Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Rock
In an era when elaborate wordplay and adventurous production were the order of the day, Herb Alpert made an impact barely uttering a word or breaking a mold, other than expanding the commercial parameters for pop instrumen... more »
In an era when elaborate wordplay and adventurous production were the order of the day, Herb Alpert made an impact barely uttering a word or breaking a mold, other than expanding the commercial parameters for pop instrumentalists. Dashing trumpeter Alpert and his Tijuana Brass scored five top-20 hits between 1962 (when "The Lonely Bull" climbed to No. 11 in the U.S.) and 1968 (when the vocal-driven "This Guy's in Love with You" cracked the top 10), racking up five No. 1 albums over the same period. The group's patented "Ameriachi" sound made up in south-of-the-border sprightliness what it lacked in innovation; the likes of "Spanish Flea" and "Casino Royale" possessed the kind of unshakable hooks that fit perfectly on top-40 radio sandwiched between Nancy Sinatra and the Mamas & the Papas. This 20-track overview serves up 13 selections from the Tijuana Brass's heyday and is rounded up with seven Alpert solo selections, including comeback hits from 1979 ("Rise") and '87 ("Diamonds"). --Steven Stolder
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Member CD Reviews
Toni G. (ToniG) from WATERFORD, CT
Reviewed on 8/11/2006...
0 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Not Really "Definitive"
W. J. Bernardi | Austin, Tx USA | 04/04/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"While it's always a thrill seeing a new Herb Alpert CD, I kind of wonder about this one. Yet another Greatest Hits collection, but this one with a new twist. A 20-bit mastering system is used here, yet it's more of a two-bit sound. There are so many dropouts in songs like "Tijuana Taxi" and "The Work Song" that it actually detracts from the performance. The original master tapes of "Lonely Bull" were lost, so an enhanced mono version is used here. One other complaint I have is that this should've been a 2 CD set. Alpert certainly had enough hits in his career to justify a 2 disc set. The TJB hits alone would've filled one CD. But the other tunes that are here a nice representation - albeit too short - of Alpert's long career. It's just too bad that a bad mastering job was done on this collection, because Alpert deserves better treatment."
Disappointing replacement for the TJB catalog!
-=Rudy=- | Canton, MI USA | 04/10/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Being at the epicenter of A&M Records fans around the world at our A&M Corner website, I found this release to be a curious event. With all the available (and far superior) Tijuana Brass and solo Herb Alpert compilations available, why was this project created? It only took a couple of months to find out the reason: Universal took its axe to the Alpert catalog, to where this compilation and one or two other very recent Alpert recordings are all that remain in print. A pathetic situation for an artist with well over 30 albums to his name, one who set Billboard records that still stand to this day.It's my gut feeling that Universal is in the process of shrinking their catalog considerably. Over the past few years, they've routinely picked an artist and slashed the artist's catalog back to one or two recent albums (if the artist is still musically active), and a compilation. And like clockwork, every couple of years, we'll get yet another different compilation that they feel will bring more buyers out of the woodwork. Why else would they take an entire body of work and distill it into a single-CD package? Universal has a history of doing this with other artists on other subsidiary labels...A&M is just the latest victim, and Universal's compilations reek of commercial exploitation at its worst.From a sound quality standpoint, this release is spotty at best. First, a mono version of "The Lonely Bull." Why? Apparently the original masters were lost. (To be honest, my monaural LP copy of this one sounds cleaner than what made it to CD.) But some of the earlier TJB tracks really don't sound all that good. "A Taste of Honey" is still noisy and lacks a clean bass or treble. "Tijuana Taxi" is full of tape dropouts. (You'd have to have cotton in your head NOT to hear this!) Even through low-quality computer speakers, you can hear the dropouts very clearly--I sat shaking my head the first time I played it. (These dropouts are also present on the earlier GREATEST HITS album, but not to as great an extent--just shows you how magnetic recording tape can deteriorate as time passes.)For the record, I question whether some of these are indeed the original master tapes. Given the studio equipment available back then, they very well could be. However, I also own a Mobile Fidelity LP of the first Brasil '66 album, and it sparkles...far better than any 80's vintage A&M CD ever produced. It has a high end, a low end, and incredible detail. How detailed? You can even hear when an engineer raised or lowered the level on Mendes' piano! But comparing the tracks on this CD to the same tracks on A&M's original CD album reissues of the 80's (which were made from LP masters), I hear very little difference. (It should be a night and day difference, of which I can give my readers dozens of examples.)As the years went by, A&M's studio equipment improved, and tunes like "This Guy's..." sound better. The "tube remastering" is arguably good or bad, depending on your views of adding 2nd-order harmonic distortion to the original tapes to make them sound "warmer."The song selection is hardly "Definitive" by any means: we once compiled a list of Tijuana Brass' charting singles, and came up with enough music to completely fill an 80-minute CD. Many are left out. That's only a minor nitpick. What bothers me more is that it's jarring to go from a classic TJB track into some Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis funk. This is indicative of a set that by any measure should have been *two* CDs: Tijuana Brass on disc 1, and solo works on disc 2.For casual listeners (the obvious target of this release), this CD will give you most of the popular hits in one package. But for collectors for something new, the only thing this package is good for are the excellent Alpert-penned notes in the booklet. One can only hope that true TJB fans will get a decent box one of these days that covers all the bases: the hits, the rarities and the fan favorites. Until then, it's back to the vinyl..."