Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass

December 24, 2007 at 1:49 pm Leave a comment

Any examination of 1960’s instrumental popular music has to include a review of Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass. The only recording artists who outsold them in the 1960s were Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and the Beatles. Alpert was born March 31, 1935. He is also famous for being a recording industry executive – he is the “A” of A&M Records (a recording label he and business partner Jerry Moss founded and eventually sold). Alpert’s musical accomplishments include four top ten hits, thirty-six hot-100 singles, twenty-eight albums on the Billboard charts, eight Grammy Awards, fourteen Platinum albums and fifteen Gold albums.

tjb.jpgThe The initial version of the Tijuana Brass consisted entirely of studio musicians. In 1964, due to a growing demand for live appearances by the Tijuana Brass, Alpert put together a performing band. No one in Alpert’s band was actually Hispanic — Alpert himself is Jewish. The band debuted in 1965 and quickly became one of the highest-paid acts then performing, having put together a complete revue that included choreographed moves and comic routines written by Bill (“Jose Jimenez”) Dana.

This is a period video of the hit “Tijuana Taxi”:

The group released an album or two each year throughout the 1960s. They were also featured in several TV specials, each one usually centered on visual interpretations of the songs from their latest album – essentially an early version of the kinds of music videos. Alpert’s only number one single during this period (and the first #1 hit for his A&M label) was a solo vocal release: “This Guy’s in Love with You”:

Alpert has since remained active in the music business. He had his second number one hit with “Rise” in 1979.

I have arranged and recorded two of Alpert’s biggest hits.

“The Lonely Bull” was the Tijuana Brass’ first hit. Alpert paid out of his own pocket to press the record as a single, and it caught on and became a Top Ten hit in 1962. It was quickly followed up by the debut album entitled The Lonely Bull by “Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass”. It was written by a frequent Alpert collaborator – Sol Lake. My arrangement tracks fairly closely to the original, though you might notice the middle section borrows from the Benny Golson classic “Killer Joe”.

The Lonely Bull Stream Mp3 Chart

“A Taste on Honey” was written by Bobby Scott and Rick Marlow. It was covered by the Beatles on “Please Please Me”. Herb Alpert’s version won a Grammy for record of the year in 1965. My arrangement incorporates aspects of Herb Alpert’s and Chet Atkin’s versions.

A Taste of Honey Stream Mp3 Chart
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Entry filed under: Guitar, Music, Oldies, Vintage Instrumentals.

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