🎵 Classic AOTW Baja Marimba Band FOR ANIMALS ONLY SP 4113

What is your favorte track?

  • For Animals Only

    Votes: 6 30.0%
  • Puff (The Magic Dragon)

    Votes: 1 5.0%
  • Elephant Soul

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Gnu Bossa Nova

    Votes: 2 10.0%
  • Last Of The Red Hot Llamas

    Votes: 2 10.0%
  • La Cucaracha

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • How Much Is That Doggie In The Window

    Votes: 1 5.0%
  • Yellow Bird

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Swan Waltz

    Votes: 3 15.0%
  • A Partridge In A Pear Tree

    Votes: 2 10.0%
  • El Gazelle

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Las Mañanitas

    Votes: 3 15.0%

  • Total voters
    20

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Thread Starter
Baja Marimba Band
FOR ANIMALS ONLY

A&M SP-4113

sp4113.jpg


Tracks:

Side One
1. For Animals Only (Julius Wechter) 2:20
2. Puff (The Magic Dragon) (Yarrow-Lipton) 2:28
3. Elephant Soul (Julius Wechter) 2:30
4. Gnu Bossa Nova (Cohn-Hallinan) 2:32
5. Last Of The Red Hot Llamas (Alf Brinton) 2:40
6. La Cucaracha (Julius Wechter) 2:50

Side Two
1. How Much Is That Doggie In The Window (Bob Merrill) 1:55
2. Yellow Bird (Luboff-Keith-Bergman) 2:55
3. Swan Waltz (Julius Wechter) 3:23
4. A Partridge In A Pear Tree (The Twelve Days Of Christmas) (Julius Wechter) 2:49)
5. El Gazelle (Julius Wechter) 2:23
6. Las Mañanitas (Julius Wechter) 2:57

Produced by Herb Alpert & Jerry Moss
Arranged by Julius Wechter & Herb Alpert
Engineered by Ben Jordan, Westerm Recording
Album Designed by Peter Whorf Graphics

Liner Notes:

THE REAL TRUTH BEHIND THE BAJA MARIMBA BAND

The Baja Marimba Band is not a group to trifle with...this kaleidoscopic bunch has scored again in the new A and M album...For Animals Only.

The band, led by the cogent Baja Marimba Sr., has recorded literally scads of tunes pertaining to some of your favorites in creature-like tomfoolery. Baja first was inspired to do the lp one night while watching a tattered old 8 mm rental film. The picture was a travel adventure depicting the age-old battle between the sloth and his natural enemy, the squid. While the movie flashed on the screen Baja hummed the soundtrack to a few close friends nearby. (The few closeby friends are depicted on the cover of this album.) Unfortunately, not many famous songs mention sloths or squids...but little matter because there are melodies for doggies, llamas, dragons, etc. (Remember my Etc. has fleas?)

Mr. Marimba quickly dispatched a team of fauna fanciers to do research on the album...and they, in turn, responded with trips to the places where animals are in most abundance: The famous Yafnarrow Zoo in downtown Plankinton, South Dakota, a cave near Poteet, Texas, the Old Stork Club, The Chicago Cubs...Billy DeWolfe, Fox Movietone News, Birdland, Harry "The Cat" Brecheen.

A hard-of-hearing newspaper man contributed what he thought would be an apropos title for a song..."Puck, the Comic Weekly" (once whistled by Peter Paul and Mary). He thought it would be a great plug for the funnies in his syndicated newspaper firm...however the entire band soon trounced him and sent him groveling.

Others tried to find animal titles to correlate with this masterpiece...The works of Charles Lamb...The Rippling Rhythms of "Sheep" Fields...the melodies of "Hoggy" Carmichael...The "Whoseafraid of Virginia Woolf?"

The Marimba researchers ran into one small snag, however. (The small snag, a 45 pounder, was running across a road near Detroit and was bumped slightly by the band's myopic bus driver, Gilberto).

Some of the more important people in the whole world had questions put to them...Simian Legree...Baby Pignitari..."Bronco" Nagurski...Tabby Grimes...Pussy Galore...

Questions such as: "DO YOU THINK AN ALBUM FOR ANIMALS ONLY WOULD BE A SOUND IDEA?" And everyone came up with a resounding negative answer.

With these replies, the wise Baja (Co-author of Baja, Black Sheep, have you any wool?) sat down at his desk filled with frijoles and inexpensive num-nums and began to construct the album you are about to hear.

THE RESULT IS NOTHING SHORT OF SYCOPHANTIC!

GARY OWENS...KMPC HOLLYWOOD
 

Steve Sidoruk

Founder, A&M Fan Net
Staff member
Moderator
ForAnimalsOnlymusic.jpg

For Animals Only sheet music

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Stereo Jukebox Little LP

ForAnimalsOnlySP413a.jpg

Stereo Jukebox title strips

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Trade ad

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British pressing

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British promo pressing

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For Animals Only single on Almo International

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Jukebox title strips for single

Recording session info:

9/3/65 - Western Recorders - Yellow Bird, Puff The Magic Dragon, Original in 3/4, La Cucaracha - Julius Wechter - marimba, Hal Blaine - drums, John Lowe - woodwinds, John Pisano - guitar, Bill Pitman - guitar, Lyle Ritz - ukelele, tuba, bass, violin; Leon Russell - piano, Tommy Tedesco - guitar, Jerry Williams - drums & percussion.

9/9/65 - Western Recorders - Original #2, Blue Room Bossanova, Partridge In A Pear Tree, The Lonely Bull - Julius Wechter - marimba, Bud Coleman - guitar & mandolin, Pete Jolly - piano, Hal Blaine - drums, John Lowe - woodwinds, Dennis Budimir - guitar, Lou Morell - bass, Emil Radocchia (Richards) - percussion, Lyle Ritz - ukelele, tuba, bass, violin.

9/21/65 - Western Recorders - Puff The Magic Dragon, For Animals Only, Partridge In A Pear Tree, Yellow Bird - Julius Wechter - marimba, John Bambridge - clarinet, tuba, flute, sax; Bob Edmondson - trombone, Lew McCreary - trombone, Ollie Mitchell - trumpet, Anthony Terran - trumpet.

Notes: Obviously, some tracks were recorded in two sessions and session info was not found for all tracks from this album. But, the big question is, why didn't The Lonely Bull make the cut?
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Thread Starter
This album's tracks are poorly represented in digital form, with only four of them showing up on CD over the years:

- "Puff (The Magic Dragon)" was included on the Japanese DIGITALLY REMASTERED BEST

- "La Cucaracha" and "Yellow Bird" managed to be included on the Timeless Music 3-CD compilation.

- Steve S. tells us that "Partridge In A Pear Tree" was included on the Japanese MUSIC DIARY-DECEMBER-CHRISTMAS TIME (UICY-4429) disc. (I've ordered this one but it's been backordered - hopefully not out of print.)

On the vinyl compilation LP FOURSIDER, "For Animals Only" and "Las Mañanitas" were included, and of course "Partridge In A Pear Tree" is famously included in the SOMETHING FESTIVE Christmas album.

Harry
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
This is an album that I only managed to hear on 8-track. Haven't heard it in about 30 years. It's on my list of "albums I wish would come out on CD."
 

DAN BOLTON

Well-Known Member
I had to go with SWAN WALTZ, which I assume is the ORIGINAL IN 3/4 from the 9/3/65 session. If so, it confirms my suspicions that John Pisano played the guitar solo...surprising that Bernie Fleischer isn't featured on the flute. Nevertheless, this has always been one of my favorite BMB tunes, and one of Julius' greatest compositions, IMO. This was my second BMB album after WATCH OUT, again a present from my father, who always seemed to prefer the BMB to the TJB.


We loved the cover, especially the A&M logo being upside down...


Dan
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
We loved the cover, especially the A&M logo being upside down...
Yeah that was really cool. I hope "if" this ever sees the light of day, they keep that little feature on the cover.
 

Mr Bill

Gentlemanly Curmudgeon
Staff member
Moderator
I love the title track (and its similarity to my favorite BMB tune "Big Red") but was torn between it, "Puff" and "Doggie." I voted for "Doggie" because of the slightly richer arrangement and other "personal" reasons. I still think Wechter is a superb arranger (better than even Herb IMHO).

--Mr Bill
 

audiofile

Member
This is a great album. It's also very nostalgic. The melodies are probably the strongest here than on any other BMB album, except Those Were The Days. Swan Waltz is definitely one of Julius's most beautiful tunes, although he had quite a few. I picked Gnu Bossa Nova, because I remember it the most from playing this album in my childhood.
 

Moritat

Well-Known Member
I voted for FOR ANIMALS ONLY. I always thought this had a dixieland feel to it. One of my top 5 BMB tunes. My next choice would be GNU BOSSA NOVA followed by LAST OF THE RED HOT LLAMAS.
 

Dave

Well-Known Member
The one BMB album I did buy and on 8-Track Tape...! Had a cat that shook her tail and bopped along whether there was music playing or not, so I'm sure she liked this one...



Dave

Just for the record, I've also had Herb Alpert TjB Greatest Hits on 8-Track, too... Just to answer "Which ones?" in a thread we've discussed on A&M Artists on 8-Track we've had, when I mentioned "I also had the likes of Herb & BMB, in addition to Rita Coolidge, Nazareth and The Carpenters", way back on the OLD A&M Discussion Forum...!
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
The Cover…

The cover art is even more memorable this time out. Illustrating the "BMB members" adds a new dimension to the proceedings. As for the so-called "BMB member" presence based on likenesses from the first two LPs, I can report the following:
  • Herb and Jerry are represented based on their likenesses from the debute LP cover; the illustrator further distinguished them from the remaining band members courtesy of a well-placed "1" on each as well as fancy looking epaulets. I wonder how the upside down label badge came to be and if it met any sort of resistance? (RCA or Columbia would never do something like this in ’65.)
  • Julius is devoid of a goatee — suggesting that his likeness came from a post-1st LP photo.
  • Scott Turner is not present (neither are any of his songs on the LP, suggesting that he may have been a early casualty of sorts…).
  • The woman on the far right may be a likeness of the woman in the yellow dress on the 2nd LP.
  • The "nature’s calling" BMB member is present — suggesting that henceforth this will be a visual gag.
Otherwise, who the likenesses represent remains unknown. Clearly, most of the animals are from song titles though lyric contributions may also be afoot. The presence of two youths and that old bald guy add mystique of yet another BMB cover. Apple Graphics managed the 1st LP while Peter Whorf Graphics managed the 2nd and 3rd LP cover art.

According to a cost of living calculator [www.aier.org/cost-of-living-calculator], that 1965 19-cent taco would set you back $1.58 in 2021. (I’ve never ordered a taco, but I have a feeling that they are more expensive than a buck-and-a-half a throw…at least out here in krappy kalifornia…)

As the original cover is quite a nice piece of art, I wonder where it is today?

The Songs and Performances…

For Animals Only
is light-hearted romp with banjo (Coleman) and a catchy turnaround. The melody comes off like a theme song. Puff has those staccato Bacharachian trumpets. Elephant Soul exhibits well how Julius can arrange a simple song into something quite memorable. Gnu Bossa Nova merits additional discussion: Although these BMB LPs credit co-arrangments with Herb, I’m going to wager that most are weighted, if not essentially, the work of Julius. In deference to Herb’s stellar arranging abilities, his arrangements as we know them are typically in support of a lead instrument whereas Julius’ arrangements emphasize group interplay (no doubt helped by the sonic virtues of the marimba, which is not a muscular solo instrument). On Gnu, there is nice call-and-response bit and the melody is passed about. I like the definitive twin personalities of Hot Llamas. La Cucaracha was surely in the public domain even back in 1965, which I think explains Julius’ name as its composer. The familiar song doesn’t do much for me. One reason why I like the 1st LP as much as I do — is that there were no overtly cutesy numbers like this (though Julius did try to "spruce it up" a bit).

The opening of Doggie was done ala Acopulco 1922 — but lacks the free-for-all zeal of the latter. The vibes in Yellow Bird make me think of Martin Denny, et al. Swan Waltz is stellar. I wish the LP was wall-to-wall with songs and arrangements akin to this beautiful piece. I feel Herb’s contribution on this (he always had a unique sensitivity with beautiful ballads). BMB, and Julius’ pieces in particular, tend to exhibit uncommon chord progressions and quirky turnarounds and this number ending on a minor chord made the piece all the more memorable. The Twelve Days of Christmas is one of the most annoying well-known songs ever written — all the more so given an instrumental take intensifies the vexatious qualities of this hideous thing. That Julius wanted to tackle this is notable; but, even with all the work he put in (and he did!) to help out this bit, it’s hard to resist immediately picking up the stylus and moving on to anything else. Thank god even Julius gave up after the 6th day of Christmas. (I’d put this on a loop tape and play it for Phil Spector ad infinitum — but I just read that the king of reverb recently departed for that big echo chamber in the sky, or descended to that hot echo chamber down below…depending…). El Gazelle is another one of those Julius originals with unexpected chord changes in one section — to build tension — only to be followed by something more pedestrian in the next section — to release tension. Las Mananitas is very similar to the arrangement used on the TJB Christmas LP (’68).

Overall, it seems the LP aligns well in mood and spirit with the 2nd LP.

It’s now late 1965, and with the TJB starting to go places, Herb saw in Julius a writer who could provide catchy, yet uncommon songs: indeed, Julius’ songs fully support the peak creative TJB period (!!Going Places!!Sounds Like…); and arguably more so than their memorable cover versions, Julius’ songs — along with those of Sol Lake and John Pisano — will soundly come to define TJB sonic essence. As we enter the TJB’s peak creative period, it will be interesting to see how his pieces will be utilized. For instance, will he keep choice material for the BMB to bolster his own LPs, or will he "give away" his best material to Herb for TJB consumption. Stay tuned — things BMB start to heat up with the forthcoming release…
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
My favorite BMB tracks are the originals from Julius and the group members. One of these days, I may construct a playlist of all of those tracks. Given the BMB's penchant for clever titles, I'd probably call it "Homegrown." 😁

Cheap tacos? Usually the fast food places are the only ones who'd have tacos in that range. Not sure about the food trucks/"street tacos" but at a restaurant, a plate of good tacos with the sides (beans, rice) would probably run $8-$10.

And dang it...it's been almost a year since I've been able to go to my favorite taco haunts...
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Thread Starter
Our original scan at the top of the thread is really tiny. How about a nice large scan to appreciate the artwork?

1614608645992.png
 
My vote went to Partridge. The use of the descending vocals at the crux and the grand orchestral finale contrasted strikingly with the sparse lullaby beginning. Perhaps my favorite Christmas song. Was McCartney listening to this when he thought up the Paperback Writer vocals?😎
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
The bald guy at the right has always reminded me of 60s Los Angeles car dealer Ralph Williams... He had a lot in Encino (not far from the Wechters) where my folks bought their first station wagon.
I do believe you nailed it! I vaguely recall him (though my memory kicks in better with Cal Worthington round about 1970).
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
To Harry's point, I photographed and enlarged the detailed sections. I'm guessing the artwork itself is surely much larger than a 12"x12" LP jacket:

DSC01549.jpg


DSC01549.jpg


DSC01549.jpg
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
(Not sure what happened to the first image...it looked fine in Preview and upon initial posting. I gave it another go, but the image exhibited the same visual abnormalities.)
 
Last edited:

Mr Bill

Gentlemanly Curmudgeon
Staff member
Moderator
All the animals in song are present on the cover except for the Gnu (Bossa Nova) and (El) Gazelle. Perhaps the "Mananitas" is missing as well, but I'm not sure what sort of animal a mananitas is! The inclusion of a goldfish, frog and shark in the art leads me to think, the Gnu and Gazelle had had different titles at the time the art was created... I suppose maybe the back end of a gazelle is at the very right edge of the cover, but the tail and hair are more reminiscent of an alpaca or goat IMHO... The cover has always made me think of classic MAD Magazine covers of the day, but this is certainly not a Jack Davis caliber work... fine work indeed, but not Jack Davis!

--Mr Bill
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
The lady wrapped in the snake is named Florence M. Gazelle, originally of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. She moved briefly to California to pursue a career in fly swatter manufacturing, but found that unfortunately there were no fly swatter manufacturers in the area. She kicked around a few other menial jobs, including posing with a snake near the entrance of the Hollywood Bowl (where she was fired for posing with a fake rubber snake rather than the genuine article), before leaving the L.A. area for Fargo, North Dakota, where she settled down with Henry J. Swan, Jr. (himself originally of No Name, Colorado) and took to making and selling needlepoint recreations of the Leaning Tower of Pisa at craft shows throughout the area.

I'm lost on the Gnu, however...
 

Mr Bill

Gentlemanly Curmudgeon
Staff member
Moderator
Please cite your sources, Rudy! The inclusion of the Blue Lady with Red Roses (obviously a reference to a cut on the previous LP) always threw me off here...

--Mr Bill
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Thread Starter
I've owned this album now for something just under 20 years when Rudy sent me a bunch of ~$5 sealed BMB albums. And I've never really taken any time to study the artwork - in fact, it was as I scanned the larger photo above that I noticed the "elephant in the room", literally!

Really big full scan here:

 
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