🎵 AotW Classics Herb Alpert & TJB-WHAT NOW MY LOVE SP-4114

What is your favorite track?

  • What Now My Love

    Votes: 15 31.3%
  • Freckles

    Votes: 3 6.3%
  • Memories Of Madrid

    Votes: 12 25.0%
  • It Was A Very Good Year

    Votes: 3 6.3%
  • So What's New?

    Votes: 4 8.3%
  • Plucky

    Votes: 1 2.1%
  • Magic Trumpet

    Votes: 1 2.1%
  • Cantina Blue

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Brasilia

    Votes: 5 10.4%
  • If I Were A Rich Man

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Five Minutes More

    Votes: 1 2.1%
  • The Shadow Of Your Smile

    Votes: 3 6.3%

  • Total voters
    48

alpertfan

Well-Known Member
I've always liked "Brasilia", "Memories Of Madrid", "If I Were A Rich Man" and "It Was A Very Good Year".
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
One of the enigmas in the Herb Alpert canon, WHAT NOW MY LOVE has generated a lot of conversation over the years regarding the various sonic versions that have been released.

In the LP era, there was of course the normal stereo and mono variations, but within the stereo category, there were at least two different mixes of the album that found their way to the public.

The "wet" version generally features more echo on Herb's lead trumpet, has the short "Plucky", and has more prominent trombone parts on "Brasilia".

The "dry" version, which is what has been released on CD, has Herb's trumpet largely without reverb, has the longer "Plucky" with the bump'n'grind middle, and is missing some trombone parts on "Plucky".

It's possible to have a hybrid of the two as well, with one side being wet and the other dry. I know, I have one.

Those of us who "grew up" with the TJB have memories with these albums indelibly imprinted on our minds, and hearing the "other" version just sounds wrong to us. So in this discussion, let us know which version you heard first and consider "normal".

Theories on how the two came to be have to do with regional pressing and distribution, and differences between Herb and Larry Levine's mixes. We tend to think that the "wet" mix is Larry Levine's since the mono mix tends to be "wet" and we've heard that Larry did the mono mixes while Herb did the stereo.

Steve S. once told us that he brought the subject up to Herb who basically had no idea about what Steve was telling him. Steve was going to send Herb a copy of the "wet" version, but we've not heard any results.

Harry

My original version of this album is mono so I do not know about wet/dry mixes. I'd have to look in some boxes to see if I ever ended up with a stereo version of this album.
I picked "What Now My Love" as favorite but I did enjoy many of the selections.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Thread Starter
Listen for Herb's lead on "What Now My Love". On the wet mix, there's a constant reverb (quick echo) on all of the lead parts. On the dry mix. the main lead has little to no reverb but the "answer" trumpet parts are reverbed.

The easiest place to hear the dry mix is the CD of "Brasilia" - the trombone fills are totally missing! But they're there on the wet mix.
 

beatcomber

Active Member
I love the ambiguity of the title, "What Now My Love."

Does it mean "What's wrong NOW, my love" (said with a sigh) or does it mean, "What do we do now, my love" (ie: there's a conflict with the relationship)?
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
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Thread Starter
English lyrics to the French song, "Et maintenant"

What now, my love, now that you left me?
How can I live through another day
Watching my dreams turn into ashes
And all my hopes into bits of clay?
Once I could see, once I could feel
Now I'm numb, I've become unreal

I walk the night, oh, without a goal
Stripped of my heart, my soul
What now, my love, now that it's over?
I feel the world closing in on me
Here comes the stars tumbling around me
And there's the sky where the sea should be

What now, my love, now that you're gone?
I'd be a fool to go on and on
No one would care, no one would cry
If I should live or die

What now, my love, now there is nothing?
Only my last goodbye
Only my last goodbye
 

beatcomber

Active Member
English lyrics to the French song, "Et maintenant"

What now, my love, now that you left me?
How can I live through another day
Watching my dreams turn into ashes
And all my hopes into bits of clay?
Once I could see, once I could feel
Now I'm numb, I've become unreal

I walk the night, oh, without a goal
Stripped of my heart, my soul
What now, my love, now that it's over?
I feel the world closing in on me
Here comes the stars tumbling around me
And there's the sky where the sea should be

What now, my love, now that you're gone?
I'd be a fool to go on and on
No one would care, no one would cry
If I should live or die

What now, my love, now there is nothing?
Only my last goodbye
Only my last goodbye

Jeez, I had NO IDEA it was a French song!

I just did a google search, and see that numerous English vocal versions were done, by Shirley Bassey, Ben E. King, Elvis Presley, and others.
:withstupid:
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Thread Starter
The story goes that Herb knew of the song, and was vacationing in Hawaii where he heard car horns honking, in the correct pitches for the start of the song. That gave him the idea to record it.
 

DAN BOLTON

Well-Known Member
Around here, when the song was popular (and it seemed to dominate the airwaves), a local bank came up with a jingle based on it that was so bad, it was funny. A couple of guys sang a ditty about getting..." a loan with the smaller O-W-E...". They really butchered the song, which had to be their intent...they were way off key, but it was effective.

The same guys did another commercial with a cowboy theme where one of them, who was rather corpulent, rode a stick with a horse's head on it...he was the "Loan Arranger".


I'll stop now.
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
English lyrics to the French song, "Et maintenant"

What now, my love, now that you left me?
How can I live through another day
Watching my dreams turn into ashes
And all my hopes into bits of clay?
Once I could see, once I could feel
Now I'm numb, I've become unreal

I walk the night, oh, without a goal
Stripped of my heart, my soul
What now, my love, now that it's over?
I feel the world closing in on me
Here comes the stars tumbling around me
And there's the sky where the sea should be

What now, my love, now that you're gone?
I'd be a fool to go on and on
No one would care, no one would cry
If I should live or die

What now, my love, now there is nothing?
Only my last goodbye
Only my last goodbye
This is exactly how I felt when my engagement was broken several years ago but thankfully I first heard Herb's version which was the first version of this song I ever heard so it doesn't really affect me negatively but lyrics hit home but Herb's arrangement kept the sentimentality in check which is always a good thing
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
English lyrics to the French song, "Et maintenant"

What now, my love, now that you left me?
How can I live through another day
Watching my dreams turn into ashes
And all my hopes into bits of clay?
Once I could see, once I could feel
Now I'm numb, I've become unreal

I walk the night, oh, without a goal
Stripped of my heart, my soul
What now, my love, now that it's over?
I feel the world closing in on me
Here comes the stars tumbling around me
And there's the sky where the sea should be

What now, my love, now that you're gone?
I'd be a fool to go on and on
No one would care, no one would cry
If I should live or die

What now, my love, now there is nothing?
Only my last goodbye
Only my last goodbye
Gilbert Becaud wrote and first recorded the piece back in 1961. Though recorded with the English translations by numerous artists in the 1960s and 1970s, one of the more interesting versions was by Bud Dashiell (of Bud & Travis): In 1967 he recorded his one and only "solo" LP (for WB). He utilized two acoustic guitars, double bass, and drum kit throughout the session. For "Et maintenant" he preserved the original French lyric. Given he spoke French fluently, his cover was compelling. "What Now My Love" has received treatments as a tango, a 4/4 swing, a rubato ballad, a bolero, a bossa...and Bud delivers his own unique reading.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Thread Starter
The "Plucky" Conundrum

Since back in the late 80s, when I first heard the CD of WHAT NOW MY LOVE, and nearly lost control of my car when the "Plucky" bump & grind section came on, I've had questions about this mix of the song. I'd grown up with the "wet" version of the album and never knew of any other. On that "wet" version, "Plucky" is a straightforward song with no middle "bump and grind" part.

So, after hearing this new middle part, well, new to me anyway, I wondered how in the world that part fit into the record. Doing side-by-side comparisons back in the vinyl + CD days, running them simultaneously gave ne no answers. Over the years, I'd not given it a whole lot of thought, but today, with nothing pressing going on, I decided to take a closer look using the valuable editing tool of Audacity.

The question was, could I use the existing CD track of "Plucky" and successfully edit it so that its structure followed the wet LP version? I knew that simply chopping out the bump & grind part wouldn't do it. The remaining parts don't fit together the way they should.

So, first, I brought up the CD version in Audacity. For comparison, I also brought up the wet LP version. I could easily see where the bump & grind part was, starting near the 1:30 mark and continuing to the 2:10 mark. The wet LP wave form didn't look anything like that, of course, and that LP track is a good bit shorter in length.

In trying to synch up the two tracks, I had to speed up the CD track by about a half of a percent so that it matched the LP track as far as it could. This had no bearing on the edit I was attempting, but it helped to have both running at the same speed.

At the 1:26 or so mark, the tracks deviated, and by looking at the wet LP's waveform, I noticed that a part of the song that came earlier, might have been repeated here instead of the bump & grind part.

Looking back over the waveforms, I noticed the repetition of the part from about 46 seconds into the track to about 1:05. At that point it was just a matter of picking the right moment to start copying that section and then finding the right place to plop it into and instead of the bump & grind section.

Success! The two tracks now lined up perfectly and I finally figured out how the edit was accomplished all those years ago. It would appear that the bump & grind part was in the original recording, and for whatever reason, Herb either edited the track himself or had Larry Levine do it for the purposes of the album. We know that Herb often considered an album listener to be maybe a little more refined than a singles listener, so he was willing to alter things for both types of audiences. In this case, whatever the reason was for the wet LP, it carried the less controversial bump & grind section.

So, while I believe the sonic mixes of the two versions of "Plucky" are a bit different, it is possible to edit the CD version to mimic the length of the wet LP version.
 

bob knack

Well-Known Member
I think he took it out because he already had a bump and grind ending on Freckles and didn't want to be repetitive.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Thread Starter
I think he took it out because he already had a bump and grind ending on Freckles and didn't want to be repetitive.
That would make sense, but then why include it on the "west coast" or dry version of the album? The two versions of this album are just so darned confusing, and other than 'Herb did one and Larry Levine did the other', there's been no real explanation other than conjecture on all of our parts.

I just find it fascinating listening to the differences.
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
I just find it fascinating listening to the didifferences.
Me too I was quite surprised hearing the changes when a friend of mine got the original CD in 1989 and showed me sadly I couldn't afford a CD copy at the time then when I finally could it was out of print ( which was the case of many many CDs) but thankfully when it came back in print I listened even closer to the differences through the headphones it's a very revealing listen.
 

TjbBmb

Well-Known Member
I’m unsure of what original lp had the “bump and grind” section. I have mono and stereo albums from back in the day and none have it. It was only when I heard the cd version that I became aware of it.
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
My theory has always been that the dry version is the "unfinished" version. There are a lot of features on the wet version that would seem to be accomplished by putting "more work" in to the album. Adding the trombone to "Brasilia," taking the bump-n-grind out of "Plucky," adding the echo here and there. It all sounds like stuff that was done to tweak the album and smooth off the rough edges, if you will. So to me, the dry version will always be the "unfinished" one.

Given the apparently slap-dash way they labels maintained their recordings back in the day, it seems entirely possible that the "wrong" (unfinished) version of the album was sent to one of the pressing plants, and maybe nobody even noticed the differences at first, until the master for the wet version was lost to the ages along with all the work that was done to "finish" it, leaving us all with the dry version as the only version still extant as far as master tapes go.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
I'm still going with the idea that there was a mono mix, and a stereo mix (current CD version). But someone mistakenly released a stereo version of the mono mix. They would normally not create three mixes and honestly, the version that's officially been on CD is the worst of the two stereo versions. With the trombone missing from "Brasilia," it has never sounded right (I grew up with the mono album, and the stereo version I found decades later was identical, except for being in stereo). And the break in the middle of "Plucky" makes absolutely no sense at all. Ruined a good song.

Too much fuss for an album I don't really like... 🤷‍♂️
 
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