Herb Alpert -"Ain't No Sunshine"

jazzdre

Active Member
You go, Mr.Alpert! For a man in his EIGHTIES to be making sounds like this that are fresh and innovative, where most musicians Herb's age are just coasting and afraid to adapt to change for fear of being ridiculed by critics castigating them as being old fogies trying to sound hip just to sell records to connect with the youth of today, Herb just keeps on doing what he's doing.

This is what the critics don't get about Herb: he's a chance taker and always in search of new ways to express himself. A little touch of strings(real and synthesized, I gather), heavy percussion, and a tinge of reggae make this remake incredible.Who's the male vocal, Bill Cantos? And I definitely know the female voice is Lani's( she can give the young singers of today a run for their money!) All in all, a great remake by a great artist.

P.S.: if you all want to hear another great remake of this song, check out Hanson's( yes, THOSE Hansons) acoustic rendering of this song. Also, another A&M alumni, Sting teaming with David Sanborn on their version of "Ain't No Sunshine".
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
Another Classic Given The Alpert Treatment. It joins His single from Last year " What a Wonderful World". As just another example of taking Older songs and Making them Fresh and New Again.with New Arrangements. As only He Can Do.
 

AM Matt

Well-Known Member
Singers John Waite (The Babys & Bad English) & the late David Cassidy also did "Ain't No Sunshine". Matt Clark Sanford, MI
 

Captaindave

Well-Known Member
I like Herb's styling, but am overly tired of all the synths and drum machines lately. Then that horribly synthetic voice comes in (which I hate with a passion, no matter who does it). Pass.
I agree.

We all have our tastes and opinions, and as much as I am a lifetime fan of Herb Alpert, and particularly Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, this one isn't for me. I'll pass, too. I think it is also because I never really liked the song very much anyway.
 

David S

Active Member
I agree.

We all have our tastes and opinions, and as much as I am a lifetime fan of Herb Alpert, and particularly Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, this one isn't for me. I'll pass, too. I think it is also because I never really liked the song very much anyway.
Likewise agree. Haven't liked most of the tracks on the last few releases for precisely this reason. And, sadly, it is why I opted to pass on seeing him live later this summer even though he will be playing close to my new residence even though I received an email from his agency that alerted me to it.
 

Steven J. Gross

Well-Known Member
Believe it or not, the late great actor Chad Everett did an amazing version of this song on his album "All Strung Out", which interestingly has a vocal of the song "I Can't Go On Living Without You Baby" covered by Herb on the "You Smile" album..
 

Rudy

ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ
Staff member
Site Admin
As Bill Withers songs go, I've always liked "Love Is" that Herb covered on Rise, and that version is very close to how Withers did it. Same key and everything, and Withers even had a little trumpet in there also.

A little trivia about "Ain't No Sunshine," though--Bill sings "I know..." 21 times. He cut it in the studio with unfinished lyrics in that section, using "I know..." to fill the space, and I guess it was the producer that insisted he keep the tune that way and not finish the lyrics as originally intended. I really like that arrangement also--very spare, economical, nothing extra that doesn't need to be there. Just a small string section to sweeten things a little.

Other than actual synth bands (like Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode) and artists I have followed for years, I have been drifting into more organic and acoustic music lately, so something like this new single is off my radar these days. No offense if others like it, but it's not my cup of tea. :)
 

Ruud Stuurman

New Member
I agree.

We all have our tastes and opinions, and as much as I am a lifetime fan of Herb Alpert, and particularly Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, this one isn't for me. I'll pass, too. I think it is also because I never really liked the song very much anyway.
Hi Captaindave, I'm also a lifetime fan of Herb Alpert. His music is a part of my life. Listen 10 times to the song and then reply again. I first didn't like the synthetic voices. But if you hear the song again you learn to like it more. Although 'Ain't no sunshine' is not a favorite tune for me, Herb makes me like it by his interpretation, as he always make his own version of a song.
 

Captaindave

Well-Known Member
Yes, it does "improve" for me with time and patience.

Herb Alpert can take any tune and make the best of it. Many Tijuana Brass songs were a product of Herb Alpert's genius for creating a new and unique arrangement of an existing tune, along with adding the original sound and style that he created with the invention of the Tijuana Brass.

I suppose my initial reaction here was based more on a lack of interest in the song itself, rather than this particular arrangement. Herb makes it sound good. The song itself does nothing for me, but Herb's trumpet playing and arranging skill make it all good and listenable.

My musical preferences developed back in the 1960s with the sound of the original Tijuana Brass. I will always prefer that sound and style, those songs, and the sound of the actual band that played them. I never get tired of those songs, no matter how many times I have heard them. They sound as good to me today as they did over 50 years ago.
 
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Rudy

ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ
Staff member
Site Admin
I suppose my initial reaction here was based more on a lack of interest in the song itself, rather than this particular arrangement.
I'm on this from the opposite direction--I like many of Bill Withers' early songs and "Ain't No Sunshine" is one of the best. "Use Me," "Grandma's Hands," "Harlem," "Lean On Me," "Who Is He, and What Is He To You?"...and a dozen or two others are all indispensable in my book.

A new synthed-up version of anything is a turn-off to me lately.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
I was never crazy about the song, but Herb's take on anything is always interesting. The "processed-sounding" vocal is a bit of a turn-off, but Lani saves the day with her vocal. I'm still not fond of the overly-thumpy-distorted bass.
 

Ruud Stuurman

New Member
My musical preferences developed back in the 1960s with the sound of the original Tijuana Brass. I will always prefer that sound and style, those songs, and the sound of the actual band that played them. I never get tired of those songs, no matter how many times I have heard them. They sound as good to me today as they did over 50 years ago.
Captaindave, I agree with every above mentioned word you wrote.
I saw Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass for the first time on Dutch television in 1965. After that my father bought the Whipped Cream album and we played it every day. I have all of Herb's albums, including Definitive Hits, except the other compilation albums.
The Tijuana Brass sound was a great invention of Herb and this sound en his great arrangements were heart-touching music for me. It made me happy, it has given me so many hours of happiness.
May God bless Herb Alpert and may Herb still release many albums!
And may you, Captaindave, enjoy it for a long time!
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
I've always liked this song, and Herb's arrangement is cool. This sounds like an outtake from the Music Vol. 1 album, with the production style it has. I always like it when a few vocals come in out of nowhere on a Herb song (he did a similar thing on "Human Nature").

I do wish, though, that he'd do some of these new arrangement with his real band. The drums in particular would sound so much better. But like others have stated, this feeling is probably borne out of the fact that I grew up listening to Herb play with a band, and that's how I think he sounds best.
 

toeknee4bz

Well-Known Member
A little trivia about "Ain't No Sunshine," though--Bill sings "I know..." 21 times. He cut it in the studio with unfinished lyrics in that section, using "I know..." to fill the space, and I guess it was the producer that insisted he keep the tune that way and not finish the lyrics as originally intended. I really like that arrangement also--very spare, economical, nothing extra that doesn't need to be there. Just a small string section to sweeten things a little.
Not meaning to be funny, but I thought it was 24 times. Kinda hard to keep track because he rattled it off so fast. Maybe I should count it again...
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
I guess I was thinking more in terms of "real" drums as opposed to synth-beats. I like the vocals on this though -- I've never been a fan of the auto-tuned, synth-bent vocals, but on this tune they used a lighter touch on the electronics compared to the norm today, so it works OK for me.
 

DAN BOLTON

Well-Known Member
I doubt that Herb's voice would really be right for the song. It seems to me to be a rather challenging and powerful melody line, rather intense in places. Herb's voice is more gentle. Mine is, too; and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I'd probably break my neck trying to belt out..."Ain't no sunshine when she's gone, and she's always been gone too long anytime she goes away..."

It might be that way for Hussain, too, maybe that's the reason for the Autotune.

Remember that Herb had some challenges when he sang Close To You, which has a somewhat similar melody pattern.

Just my two cents, YMMV...
 
The first thing I noticed when I heard this new recording was Herb’s choice to change a couple of the chords. Here are the lyrics to the first verse - please note the words that are underlined:

Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
It's not warm when she's away
Ain't no sunshine when she's gone
And she's always gone too long
Anytime she goes away

Bill Withers used minor chords at the points where these words are sung. In Nashville Number System parlance, the chord for “gone” would be the 5 minor 7th, and the chord for “long” would be the 4 minor 7th. Herb chose to forgo those two minor chords and used each of their corresponding major chords instead. Not trying to go all music theory here for its own sake. But, for my ears that change is huge. From the first time I heard this terrific song nearly half a century ago I felt that those minor chords were a significant part of the charm of the song. I understand that artists look for ways to re-interpret any older song they wish to cover. I love Herb (just saw him and Lani in concert again a few hours ago in Nashville - and yes, they did perform this song). But, I have to admit, after more than a dozen listens, I wish very much that they would have left the chord structure the same.

Otherwise, I like their choice to record it as well as all the other arrangement decisions they made.

I can hear the rebuttals now:

It’s not a MAJOR deal.

It’s only a MINOR change.

😁
 
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