!Shoot-out! TjB vs. BMB -- Round III: 1966

Select the group that in your opinion issued the best LP(s) in 1966

  • Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass

    Votes: 11 91.7%
  • Baja Marimba Band

    Votes: 1 8.3%

  • Total voters
    12

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
  • Year 1966 was epoch making for Herb Alpert (and A&M). Herb, with a permanent touring band in place, begins to achieve international stardom with the issuance of inarguably his two finest TjB LPs charting #1 and #2 respectively. Meantime all year 1966 singles were hits: Spanish Flea (#27), What Now My Love (#24). The Work Song (#18), Flamingo (#28), and Mame (#19). Combined with the momentum from year 1965’s WC&OD and GP, Herb’s first three LPs were discovered by the legions of new fans resulting in near mass frenzy from the LP-buying public -- given the TjB was a "new" group with a new sound yet had no less than six or so LPs in tow.
  • Year 1966 saw the BMB assemble its touring band (though membership was not finalized until late 1966). The group’s highest charting single (Ghost Riders in the Sky — #52) was released.
  • Vote your poll choice and tell us a bit about why you made your selection.
  • What Now My Love (SP 4114)
  • S-R-O (SP 4119) — Watch Out! (SP 4118)
herb-1.jpg


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herb-2.jpg
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
With WHAT NOW MY LOVE being probably my favorite of the classic TjB era albums, and the excellent SRO thrown in as a bonus, this is a no-brainer for me. Again, the Baja Marimba Band for me has always been an afterthought coming year later - and wonderfully so - but the classic 60's belong to the Brass.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
I agree with Harry. Year 1966 found Herb and the Brass at their music making peak. The inventiveness and originality heard on WNML and SRO -- two excellent LPs -- are unmatched among all '60s TjB LPs from my standpoint.
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
An easy choice for me, too -- this is the TJB's year.

Looking at these three covers, I wonder what the A&M art department was thinking when it came to the Baja cover. Here was possibly the best LP yet by these guys, who were probably known for their humor as much as for their music, yet A&M gave them the blandest, most unimaginative cover possible. Even the guy facing the wrong way isn't as inspired as usual.

The S.R.O. cover, on the other hand, has always been my favorite of the TJB covers since it shows the whole band so nicely. The music in that album doesn't have the kick that the WNML track-list does for me (I think it has the least-grabby opener of any TJB album), but the cover is great.

The What Now My Love album, what more can be said about it? The TJB at its absolute zenith. The only mis-step (for me) on this album is "Magic Trumpet," which I've never liked. My favorite tune on it is one of those album-tracks, "Freckles," but it's the best of a fantastic bunch.
 

DAN BOLTON

Well-Known Member
An easy choice for me, too -- this is the TJB's year.

Looking at these three covers, I wonder what the A&M art department was thinking when it came to the Baja cover. Here was possibly the best LP yet by these guys, who were probably known for their humor as much as for their music, yet A&M gave them the blandest, most unimaginative cover possible. Even the guy facing the wrong way isn't as inspired as usual.

The S.R.O. cover, on the other hand, has always been my favorite of the TJB covers since it shows the whole band so nicely. The music in that album doesn't have the kick that the WNML track-list does for me (I think it has the least-grabby opener of any TJB album), but the cover is great.

The What Now My Love album, what more can be said about it? The TJB at its absolute zenith. The only mis-step (for me) on this album is "Magic Trumpet," which I've never liked. My favorite tune on it is one of those album-tracks, "Freckles," but it's the best of a fantastic bunch.
Looks like somebody kicked the marimba. That always kinda bothered me...
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Forgot to mention: with all things TjB in '66, Herb no longer had time to co-arrange BMB music. This is evident on the ballads where Herb's pen exhibited an unique heartfelt delicacy to the early BMB LPs . That said, he continued to produce the BMB in '66.
The What Now My Love album, what more can be said about it? The TJB at its absolute zenith. The only mis-step (for me) on this album is "Magic Trumpet," which I've never liked. My favorite tune on it is one of those album-tracks, "Freckles," but it's the best of a fantastic bunch.
Oh, that's too bad, Mike (I actually like how Herb re-worked Kaempfert's song: the march-with-trombone-bass feel and how the mandolin gets a solo spot with accordion backing and that that Yeee-Hawwww at the key change). As for Freckles: Agreed on all levels! I like the call-and-response (even with the drums), the fun vocal "chatter" and those two turnarounds where Herb's trumpets do a free fall out of the sky! That final piano note was the perfect musical cliche` after the "stripper" ending.

Looking at these three covers, I wonder what the A&M art department was thinking when it came to the Baja cover. Here was possibly the best LP yet by these guys, who were probably known for their humor as much as for their music, yet A&M gave them the blandest, most unimaginative cover possible. Even the guy facing the wrong way isn't as inspired as usual.
Good point. Yes, looking back, they surely could have done something more inspired. Given the weak cover, I almost wonder if there was an intended cover / photo shoot that didn't materialize...and then Jerry, up against a deadline, had to move to Plan B -- except there wasn't a Plan B -- so the photo used, which probably took about 30 minutes to stage, was thrown together in one afternoon. I'll bet the photographer even said, "why don't cha boys all hold up yer wristwatches or somethin' you know..." on the fly out of desperation to try and add something to the photo.
 
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AM Matt

Forum Undertaker
"S.R.O." for me because I grew up listening to that when I was a baby. My late dad bought the MONO album though.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
BMB for me. What Now starts the run of TJB albums I am not overly fond of, outside of one or two tracks each--to me, the "fun" of the past three TJB albums is lost with What Now and especially beyond. The title track of What Now, though, is still a heavy favorite. BMB was just starting on a roll here. Ironic, again, that my all-time favorites of both groups are the 4th and 5th albums. 😊
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
I voted for Herb as 1966 truly Belonged to the TJB with 4 albums on the charts at the same time although I also Love the BMBs contribution they were just beginning to permanize its lineup and it was in transition nevertheless these challenges are tough but I look at it realistically the TJB was solid and set by 1966
 

Mr Bill

Gentlemanly Curmudgeon
Staff member
Moderator
For me it's pretty close between What Now My Love and Watch Out.

What Rudy describes above as his reaction to WNML is how S.R.O. hits me -- no tune on that one stands out to me except maybe "Work Song." But I do agree with Rudy that the title trac, having never really "wowed" me, was a lacklustre track to start off the LP. I much prefer side 2's kick off with the terrific reworking of Kaempfert's "Magic Trumpet" (Sorry, Mike B) as a semi-military march with a great trumpet/trombone exchanges and Julius's fabulous xylophone work.

So I'm going to go with WNML just slightly over the BMB. Baja's next LP, Cabezas Arriba, is my all time favorite BMB album, so I'm looking forward to voting on that one! It'll be tough to weigh against Sounds Like... though!

--Mr Bill
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
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What Rudy describes above as his reaction to WNML is how S.R.O. hits me
For me, it's all the albums following Going Places (with Warm being the anomaly) that except for a few moments, lose the fun factor that I enjoyed so much with the third through fifth TJB albums. Some listeners like the more serious approach, but even as a kid, the albums were too serious compared to everything through Going Places, each album having a track or three I was fond of, but otherwise they didn't (and still don't) do much for me. Not that the music is bad by any means--it's just how I've processed them throughout my life, and the memories associated with them.

Not a big deal anyway--if we all liked everything exactly the same, life wouldn't be any fun, and we'd have nothing to talk about! 😁
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Looks like somebody kicked the marimba. That always kinda bothered me...

That does play into their image. My uncle saw the BMB in concert in Portland Oregon, and he said when they came out onstage they were dragging their instruments on the floor!
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
One of the TV appearances on YouTube had them doing the same thing. It wasn't like they took the stage. More like they just stumbled upon it during a lazy stroll down the street, and decided to make music since hey, they dragged their instruments all that way, so, might as well make some noise with 'em. 😁
 

Captaindave

Well-Known Member
If I were going to introduce someone to the TJB who had never heard the TJB before, I would start with the GOING PLACES album. Then, I would probably recommend these two albums next. These three albums from the mid 1960s are, to me, the quintessential TJB sound. They are a big part of the musical "landscape" of the 1960s.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
If I were going to introduce someone to the TJB who had never heard the TJB before, I would start with the GOING PLACES album. Then, I would probably recommend these two albums next. These three albums from the mid 1960s are, to me, the quintessential TJB sound. They are a big part of the musical "landscape" of the 1960s.
Touche'!
 
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