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2017 Next Herb Re-Issues

Discussion in 'The Beat of The Brass: Herb Alpert/Tijuana Brass' started by Steve Sidoruk, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. Naah. I think I'm covered with the CHRISTMAS ALBUM:

    Original LP
    Reissue LP
    Mono Promo LP
    1985 CD
    UK CD (Herb Alpert & his Tijuana Brass - AT CHRISTMAS)
    Shout Factory CD
    Herb Alpert Presents CD
    and a needledrop CD of the mono promo LP

    Murray, toeknee4bz and Bobberman like this.
  2. Keeping my fingers crossed that, at the very least, we will soon get the HA Presents treatment for Wild Romance, UASM and My Abstract Heart. :)
    David S likes this.
  3. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    At least we were lucky that these had past digital releases, but I know some of them are not so easy to find now.
    Bobberman likes this.
  4. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    Of those three, I'd definitely be a customer for Under a Spanish Moon. I especially love Herb's version of "Fragile."
  5. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    I just got my trio of cds today and wow not only do they sound better than ever they improved on the artwork on the inner jacket for Herb & Hugh and Bullish they both have their respective reproductions of the inner sleeve photos. EXCELLENT WORK.
    David S, toeknee4bz and Rudy like this.
  6. At some point, ya just have to say 'enough is enough'. I finally had to say that about RISE. I already have the SP 4790 vinyl, the SP 3714 vinyl, the reel tape copy, CS 3714, CD 3274, Shout Factory CD copy and I believe an 8 track copy IIRC. So I think I'll be ok without the HAP copy.
    Bobberman likes this.
  7. I'll never forget that day in 1988 when I played UNDER A SPANISH MOON for the first time. After KEEP YOUR EYE ON ME, it was a 180° turnabout. And it was every bit as fresh.
    Nathan Strum and Bobberman like this.
  8. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    I agree with you there on some of the titles for me its not so much about quantity but more about quality ( which may be subjective.) But as you menton at some Point "enough is enough" and for me now with the arrival of the 3 cds ( minus JYAM) I Have a pretty complete Herb Cd collection. Other than all new releases and possible "Gravy "as mentioned previously i accomplished my goal
    toeknee4bz likes this.
  9. DeeInKY

    DeeInKY Well-Known Member

    Been playing Bullish several times last night and today. Man, I had forgotten how much I enjoyed that album. :)
    toeknee4bz and Bobberman like this.
  10. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    "Maniac" is the only one I skip. :wink: I guess I like the original enough that nothing else really works for me. But overall, Bullish is one of my favorites in the catalog.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
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  11. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    I remember buying Bullish on vinyl back in 84 and I thought back then even if it wasn't the original tjb yet on its own terms the album had a great steady sound it was fresh and given the fact I was 17 and surrounded by metal heads and stoners who ( to quote Dire straits) " didn't give a damn about any trumpet playing band. Let alone instrumental music in general. I didn't care or pay any mind to their bluster Bullish was and still is a very Kickin' album it's still one of my all time favorites in the catalog too.
    toeknee4bz and DeeInKY like this.
  12. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    I like Bullish too. And I feel the same about "Maniac." My favorite songs on it are "Make A Wish," and the title tune, but I really dig the slow tunes too. The only other song on it I'm not a huge fan of is "Struttin' On Five."
    toeknee4bz and Bobberman like this.
  13. Time definitely alters one's perception, and this was never more true than it is today when I look back at the BULLISH album. When I was 16 years old back in 1984, I couldn't get enough of "Bullish", "Struttin' On Five" and "Make A Wish". Nowadays I rarely listen to "Bullish" or "Struttin' On Five". But I can still crank up "Make A Wish" when listening to my Herb playlist and I still thoroughly enjoy it.

    Same applies to the slower songs: "Always Have A Dream" and "Life Is My Song" are good tunes, but they're just too long and repetitive for me today. On the other hand, I still can really enjoy "Love Without Words" as much today as I did three decades ago. Side note: When I hear the Derek Nakamoto influence on "Love Without Words", it kinda makes me think 'Tokyo Brass'.

    I read somewhere (and looking back, I agree) that "Passion Play" was the most TJB-like track on the album, conjuring up a good recollection of the TJB of old. Great track. I think this song actually represents what Herb was going for, a TJB sound though modernized to the 80s. If I had to pick a 'favorite' track off of this album today, "Passion Play" would be a strong contender.

    Then there's "Maniac". [heavy sigh... How do I put this delicately?] It starts out great. Driving rhythm, much the same as the Michael Sembello original. Herb's trumpet comes in, bold and fresh, the first verse plays through. Then Lani sings. Ok. I'm still on board... to a point. But as the vocals and the loud arrangement and the whole cringing, jarring thing goes along, it just gets more and more strained and screechy. By the end of the track, it's all just too much. IMHO, Lani sounds much better on a lower octave. She shines with the softer material. But "Maniac" was just UNbearable. Sorry, but Lani sounds like she's screaming on an octave way above the earth's atmosphere, all of the overblown harmony vocals sound like a Broadway production on overload, and the recording ends on a note that simply makes me think "Thank God it's over." I just can't listen to it anymore. And that's a shame, because there are certain elements early on which are pretty good.

    Overall, the BULLISH album is not a 'bad' album per se, but it's not one I immediately jump to in the grand scheme of Herb's collection of work. I take it by spells. If I am listening to my extensive Herb playlist, I will listen to the album in the set. But I rarely conjur up a BULLISH track on it's own.
    Bobberman likes this.
  14. Suddenly it occurs to me that I have probably said all of this before, on another thread. Please forgive me if I repeat myself! :hmmm:
    Bobberman likes this.

    In prior posts I've mentioned that BULLISH was a disappointment to me because its "Tijuana Brass" moniker seemed to me to be a case of false advertising. For a guy who came of age in the 60s with the old Tijuana Brass, I eagerly sat my new LP down on the turntable and prepared to once again be magically whisked away with new tracks that would sound like my favored '60s albums. As we all know, these tracks didn't do that. They sounded very much in the vein of Herb's recent solo albums and a quick search of the limited credits yielded no names from the old Tijuana Brass. As a result, BULLISH had an immediate negative connotation in my brain, and it's remained a sort of stepchild in my collection, often neglected and forgotten. I never really listened to it much.

    Still, by 1985, I acquired the CD version of the album, and trough work, found a cassette of it as well, so I was never lacking for multiple copies. Later on, I even found and purchased the BRAVIO Latin-market version. But it still was never a favorite because of my initial feelings on its marketing.

    Sometime in the last few years, as the Shout Factory reissues dried up and it was clear that BULLISH and many others were languishing in obscurity, I got them all together and made a car CD with most of Herb's solo stuff on it in WMA audio files. Occasionally BULLISH would play in turn, and I found that I really enjoyed it, much more than I'd ever imagined from those inital feelings. And the recent discussion plus the new reissue got me to pull the album out again.

    The title track, "Bullish" is also found on the CLASSICS VOL. 20 disc as well as the A&M GOLD SERIES solo disc. This track DOES have some elements of a Tijuana Brass sound with the harmony trumpets plating the chorus. It also has a lot of elements common to "Rise" with the hand-claps, whoops, and "shooo" shouts. Still it's a rousing track - a good album opener. I also like the "Specially Remixed Version" on the 12" with the "Monster Funk Mix" and the "Rubba Dub Dub Mix".

    "Always Have A Dream" is a nice laid-back track with a pleasant melody. "Make A Wish" has some elements of a Tijuana Brass sound and then gets rather repetitive.

    "Maniac" seems to generate a lot of negatives around this forum, but I always liked this track. It was perhaps the first track that I gravitated to on BULLISH, if I were to pick one early on. My wife liked the popular FLASHDANCE the movie at the time and this song came from there, so it was welcome to hear Herb - and Lani - do their version.

    I must admit that I rarely, if ever played side two of BULLISH. I just would lose interest, repeat "Bullish" or "Maniac" and move on. So "Struttin" on Five" even now sounds like an unfamiliar track to me. I'm not crazy about the siren-like sounds in this one.

    "Love Without Words" is a really nice track. Very mellow and melodic. If it has any negatives it's the vocals near the end that sound like they're helium-indiced.

    In this discussion above, member @toeknee4bz points out his fondness for "Passion Play" and I have to concur. This is a great track. It cooks; it's got some TjB-type elements about it and it generously lasts well over five minutes! Herb sounds really good on this one too.

    "Life Is My Song" kind of ends the album on a bit of a down note, but this is another long song that has elements that really work, with its great minor-key melody.

    Some notes on packaging:
    The original LP, SP-5022 missed a section of musician credits. The A&M CD corrected it by adding this section:
    Additional Musicians: Paulinho Da Costa, Percussion. Daniel E. Marfisi, Drum Effects.
    Kevin Brandon, Acoustic Bass. Charles Fearing, Guitar.

    The cassette also misses that section, as does the new HAP version.

    The LP had two pictures inside on the custom innersleeve, one of Herb in a blue-grey sweater and jeans blowing the trumpet on a red background. This picture is repeated in the cassette artwork and the new HAP version, but is different in the A&M CD. There, the foldout insert has a two-page version from the same photo session offering Herb in four different poses, none the same as the other versions. All versions have the gray background double exposure photo of Herb having lowered his trumpet with the reflection off the bell streaking downward. The difference in the cassette version is that that photo is black & white.
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  16. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    The TJB connection (or lack thereof) never bothered me. To me it was the latest Herb album, and that was good enough--I was in a Walkman phase at the time while at work, and it was one of a couple dozen mainstays I had with me at the time. I Found the "Bullish (Monster Funk Mix)" 12-inch promo before the album was out, and I picked up on the TJB-ish touches in that tune and a couple of others. Other than "Maniac," I don't find one bad tune on that album--it is one that works well as a whole. A nicely done pop instrumental album. I had it on CD from the release date, found a sealed LP of it several years ago, and have it on high-res also. And the T-shirt. Which unfortunately I cannot find at the moment (hoping it wasn't lost in one of my prior moves).
    Bobberman likes this.
  17. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    I think the reason "Maniac" is disliked (by just about everybody except Harry, it appears) is because the Michael Sembello version is such a great record, it's nearly perfect as is. It's one of those songs you can't imagine doing anything to improve it. At least, I can't.

    My personal beef with Herb's version is Lani's vocals. It's the only track she's ever sung on where I thought her vocals didn't sound great. She just doesn't sell the song, for me. And, the synth drums on that song don't sit well with me either for some reason. They don't bother me on the rest of the album.

    The ballads on this album tend to get short shrift, for some reason. I especially like the ending tune, "Life Is My Song." I think it's a great fadeout for the album.
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  18. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    That might be it for me--if the brassy synths had been toned down, and the track done as an instrumental, I would be totally into it. I just consider it a poor production choice at the time. Sembello's hit version is a lot more even-tempered throughout, which is part of its appeal for me--it has a flow to it.

    The song is definitely a standout compared to some of the other music released that same year. It has a lot of the similar elements of the day (drum machines, synths), but something about the melody and arrangement just "pop" compared to others. And it's not like Sembello was a newcomer--he quit school to work with Stevie Wonder back in the days of Songs in the Key of Life. He is still quite busy today...just not in the limelight. But anyway, yes, there is so much happening right in this song that it just captured that magic in a bottle, and IMHO it would not be an easy song to cover and get the feel right.
    Bobberman likes this.
  19. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    Regardless of all circumstances regarding this Album I still regard Bullish as a very memorable slice of 80s music. And ironically in 1984 I was finally able to purchase a copy of the first Herb and Hugh Lp the price tag was $4.99 so I scored double that year. And along with BYOH finally having all 3 of these on CD is very exciting and as of right now I still have the original vinyl copies in excellent shape.and I remember the first time I ever saw Michael sembello's name was on a Sergio Mendes Brasil 88 album this was several years before Maniac and I knew he was destined for Greater success. I know Herb and Lani s version of Maniac kind of falls short with some but it's not a bad cover I like Herb's trumpet solos those really cook for me. But to each their own.
    toeknee4bz likes this.
  20. I love "Bullish" and have to say my two favourite tracks are "Always Have a Dream" and "Maniac" - which simply proves we all have different tastes! I had a cassette copy of the album in the car for several years and played it until the oxide fell off.....
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  21. Personally, I find BLOW YOUR OWN HORN a lot more enduring than BULLISH. I can still put BYOH on, at any point, and enjoy the album as much as I did some thirty-odd years ago. Especially "Latin Lady". For the life of me, I never understood why that track was never released as a single. But I'm sure you're already enjoying your new copy every bit as much! :wink:
    Bobberman likes this.
  22. Since both Herb and Lani recorded "Latin Lady"/"Te Quiero Asi" around the same time, perhaps it was hard to choose which was better. Here's Lani's version, a duet with Jose Jose:

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  23. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    I love both versions equally. And lately the duet version with Lani and Jose somehow the music and arrangement bring tears to my eyes and especially in light of recent events but nonetheless I still enjoy both versions as I said. I do agree It's always hard to choose
    toeknee4bz likes this.
  24. Two completely different arrangements of the same tune, both equally enjoyable.
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