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Official Review South of the Border [Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass]

Discussion in 'The Beat of The Brass: Herb Alpert/Tijuana Brass' started by Rudy, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass


    Side One:
    1. South Of The Border {Kennedy-Carr} [2:06]
    2. The Girl From Ipanema {Gimbel-Jobim-De Moraes} [2:35]
    3. Hello, Dolly! {Jerry Herman} [1:55]
    4. I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face {Lerner-Loew} [2:25]
    5. Up Cherry Street {Julius Wechter} [2:13]
    6. Mexican Shuffle {Sol Lake} [2:09]

    Side Two:
    1. El Presidente {Sol Lake} [2:28]
    2. All My Loving {McCartney-Lennon} [1:53]
    3. Angelito {Herrera-Ornellas} [2:20]
    4. Salud, Amor y Dinero {Sol Lake} [2:05]
    5. Numero Cinco {Ervan Coleman} [2:15]
    6. Adios, Mi Corazon {Sol Lake} [2:39]

    Produced by: Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss
    Arranged by: Herb Alpert
    Engineered by: Larry Levine
    Album Designed by: Apple Graphics
    Recorded at Gold Star Recording Studio

    Liner Notes:

    Welcome to another dozen great songs with the modern mariachi touch of Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass. "South Of The Border" is the third set from this rousing versatile group. We have every reason to believe that you will enjoy this album at least as much as the other two best-selling works. Please sit back, relax and enjoy thirty minutes or so of the most original and exciting instrumental congregation on record, Herb Alpert and his Tijuana Brass . . . .

    Previously issued on LP as SP-4108 (stereo) and LP-108 (mono). Also released on CD as A&M CD 3263 and in 2005 as Shout! Factory DK 32772.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2016
    Bobberman likes this.
  2. I've been putting the new SOUTH OF THE BORDER through its paces today along, comparing it with prior issues on A&M and Shout.

    First off, it would seem that, like WHAT NOW MY LOVE, SOUTH OF THE BORDER came in two different mixings. The new CD is much more similar to the old A&M CD in terms of the mixes used, and very different from the Shout reissue. I'll try to elaborate.

    1. South Of The Border - the A&M and HAP versions start with the mandolin on the right. The Shout version has the mandolin left. OK so the stereo is reversed. There's something about the Shout version that sounds "heavier". Not more bass-y, but it's a "wetter" mix.

    2. The Girl From Ipanema - the A&M and HAP versions sound similar. There's a bit of a "dirty pot" sound in the left channel as the record gets going. The whole recording is much drier than the Shout version, which has a heavier reverb applied.

    3. Hello Dolly - Again, the A&M CD and the HAP CD sound very similar and drier than the Shout, which again has a heavy reverb added.

    4. I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face - Both the A&M and HAP CD begin with a travelling mandolin. It starts in the left channel and "walks" over to the right before the main melody starts. The Shout doesn't do that. The mandolin starts right and stays right. Again, I detect a lightly drier mix on A&M and HAP with more reverb on the Shout. The HAP is a slight bit better in the bass than the A&M.

    5. Up Cherry Street - The A&M and HAP CD sound similar with just a little bit more bass on the HAP. The Shout again sounds like it has more reverb and is a bit grittier sounding.

    6. Mexican Shuffle - Both the A&M and HAP have this track, which is only a mono recording, slightly skewed to the left. The Shout Factory version gets this one right, making it rock-solid mono in dead center all the way. The Shout sounds heavier though with a pretty big bass boost.

    7. El Presidente - The A&M and HAP sound similar to each other, nice and clean. The Shout has that grittier sound throughout. It starts a bit earlier with a longer section of crowd "Ole's" before the first drum - maybe an extra second's worth. The Shout track seems to be a tad slower also, and fades a bit later making a rather noticeable difference in the track length. A&M and HAP report 2:44, whereas Shout lumbers in at 2:52.

    8. All My Loving - Again A&M and HAP sound drier and lighter while the Shout seems to be grittier, move reverb-y and fake bass-y.

    9. Angelito - The A&M version starts with the mandolin hard right, while the HAP version is tilted a bit more toward the center, and the Shout is again laden with heavier reverb.

    10. Salud, Amor y Dinero - A&M and HAP sound similar, light and airy. Shout has its heavier bass and extra reverb.

    11. Numero Cinco - A&M and HAP both have the "Mexican Engineer" at the start, A&M pans harder right than the HAP. The stereo is a little narrower on the HAP version making it a bit nicer to listen to in headphones. Shout has no engineer and has the heavier bass and reverb common to most tracks on this album, along with the severe stereo panning.

    12. Adios, Mi Corazon - A&M stereo is wider than the HAP, but overall tonality is about the same, with Shout heavier, more separated, and reverb-y.

    Recommendation: You can't go wrong with the new HAP mastering. It sounds good, it sounds authentic, and it's the way most of us recall the album sounding on vinyl. The A&M is also nice, if a bit too wide at times in the stereo. The Shout is just too bass-y, too reverb-y, and too gritty most of the time, but gets points for getting "Mexican Shuffle" right.

    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016
    Bobberman and zen like this.
  3. abstract_fan

    abstract_fan Active Member

    11. Numero Cinco - A&M and Shout both have the "Mexican Engineer" at the start.

    Does the HAP have it?
  4. My mistake. Yes HAP has the engineer. I've edited my post.
    toeknee4bz likes this.
  5. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    Well i guess i better add this to my list since i have the engineer intro on the mono lp version and none on the shout factory version and since i have the 2 versions of what now my love. Truly a potential collectible.
  6. David S

    David S Active Member

    Have always like Numero Cinco. I think I played it ten times today. That and The Happening, on Herb Alpert's Ninth, a tune I've always liked and, until today, never knew was a tune by The Supremes (a theme song, apparently, for a film of the same name).
  7. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    I've always liked Numero Cinco as well--even as a kid, three years old, playing it on the old Admiral hi-fi in the basement. I liked both sides of the album, but that sequence of tunes on the second side is really tight. In later years I've felt that this was the first time that Herb really nailed that TJB sound which would become famous with the next album.
    Bobberman likes this.
  8. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    For me the whole South of the border Album is one of my personal favorites i first had the A&M Sp 4108 vinyl reissue with the silver/tan label given to me for christmas 1980. That had the opening announcement on Numero Cinco i unfortunately wore that copy out and later got vintage mono Lp108 and stereo SP 108 in the ochre label the mono had the engineer on the aformentioned track the stereo didn't so it appears this new HAP version reflects my old vinyl version from 1980.
  9. I felt differently as a kid, but today, I would probably call Numero Cinco my favorite song on the album (although there are certainly many contenders for that title!)

    And yeah, when I rediscovered Herb Alpert's music in 2014, I of course had the power of the internet at my fingertips, and could easily research the originals of HA's covers, as I had never dreamed I could do back in the 1970s and 1980s. Some of my findings surprised me.
  10. On the inside of the cover where the track listing is, NUMERO CINCO is credited to Julius Wechter. Isn't Ervan Coleman the composer of that song?
  11. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    This is an album that I've always liked parts of, but never really got into it completely. I really like the sound of it -- Herb really found "the sound" with this album -- but he was still a little stuck in the Mexican mariachi-inspired bag, and would break out of it big-time with the next album. I always felt like this was the album where he truly nailed "the sound" of the TJB, and on the next album he really dialed into "the style" of the TJB, and putting the two together, that's when the real fireworks started.
    Bobberman likes this.
  12. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    Yes i Believe Ervan "Bud" Coleman is the Composer. You discovered another error.
  13. bob

    bob Active Member

    hi guys how have all of you been? I would agree with Bobberman I have the original single version of the Mexican Shuffle A&M 742 and the flip is Numero Cinco and it does list it as Ervan Coleman and on the A&M 108 the vinyl version it does say that and

    on the Shout Factory versions all say Ervan Coleman. so again as Bobberman said in the above post it was an error published by Irving Music

    take care
    Bobberman likes this.
  14. Do you ever notice(?), particularly, on GIRL FROM IPANEMA; how: the BASS is *so* wet and over-modulated, that those old tube Ampex recorders just "crap out" during the bridge portion of the song...because the guitar went LOWER than the specs the equipment was capable of(!).
  15. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    I also hear overmodulation on S.R.O., especially "Our Day Will Come" and "Mame." I had the latter on a styrene single (which might have been a jukebox pull), and that whole bass line distorts the song throughout the record. :D
  16. "Our Day Will Come" sounds as clean as a whistle, in stereo, on the German HörZu version of the SRO album, and it also sounds really clean on the original 45 (AM 823) with just a bit of over-modulation distortion on some bass notes. It's nowhere near as bad as on the stereo LP or any of the CDs. There's just a hint more distortion on the mono S.R.O.

    "Mame" fares better on the mono versions as well.
  17. Rudy's right about how it affects (at least the original) S.R.O. -- and "Our Day Will Come" and "Mame".
    I've never understood why the recording quality post-WHIPPED CREAM (until, really, BEAT OF) seems so uneven? I mean: THE WHOLE W.C.&O.D. album sounds so "immediate" and "live" (for example: you can notice the slight feedback of the guitar pickup right after the TASTE OF HONEY intro, in the pause before trombone and drums...AND: the bass -on the track WHIPPED CREAM- has GOT to be one of the recordings with THE MOST "guttural" bass EVER!; yet, the recording is "focused").
    It was the same, three-track Gold Star (until "NINTH"...when they'd -finally- gotten four track) with Larry Levine at the board --- was it not(?) Also, the "wet" stereo of WHAT NOW MY LOVE is reminiscent of a Capitol Beatles' album and; as for SOUNDS LIKE (the original): with the exception of "Casino Royale" (which, I know, Bacharach recorded separately...in London), the rest of it always seemed "muffled" and lacking in treble boost.
  18. bob

    bob Active Member

    Hi guys I hope I am posting this in the right thread, I was at a used record store today and for $1.00 I found south of the border from Canada on the mroon quality label Cat. # V 1707 in mono the cover had some wear on it. but the record looked

    likeit never was played, so question on Numero Cinco it did NOT have the talking intro, but the US version in mono has. any body know the story on this. and South of the Border on the version from Canada Herb's trumpet is a bit louder and more clear
    take care
    Bobberman likes this.
  19. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    Its been well known that there were two different mixes for SOTB as was the case with WNML and both were used in stereo and mono variations so it depended on which pressing plant the records were pressed and which masters were used. And it varied from region to region and country to country
    Acapulco 1922 likes this.
  20. Steven J. Gross

    Steven J. Gross Well-Known Member

    Adios Mi Corazon is a fave of mine...
  21. TallPaulInKy

    TallPaulInKy Member

    Actually the "London" version as I understand it was only used on the soundtrack album issued on Colgems. Even then only the orchestra track was recorded in London. Bacharach send the backing track to Herb, where the overdubbed lead trumpet parts were added n the US. The orchestra backing on the hit single and A&M album version would be the usual Wrecking Crew musicians and a total different recording. The Casino Royale soundtrack is a well worth purchasing...
  22. I'm pretty sure that "Casino Royale" on the Colgems album and on the A&M album and single are the same recording. The two match up perfectly in Audacity. The only difference on the Colgems album would be the editing of the track for the finale, but it's still the same basic track.
  23. TallPaulInKy

    TallPaulInKy Member

    I've seen the credit on the album referencing to Herb Alpert and the TJB courtesy A&M but always thought it was the artist credit, since they were not Colgems artists not the actual recording. But Herb I'm pretty sure Herb does say on the Wrecking Crew film, that Bacharach sent the British backing to him and he added the trumpet for the soundtrack. Thanks for clearing that up.
  24. That's true. The backing tracks were sent from London and Herb and Co. added what they needed to finish off the track. The tracks on the Colgems LP were simply licensed from A&M to Colgems for the soundtrack.

    I only own the Varese Sarabande CD of the CASINO ROYALE soundtrack, and it's just so-so, soundwise. I seem to recall a dropout on the TjB track that didn't occur on the A&M CDs of the day.

    While I never owned the LP, one of my buddies did, and I remember borrowing it and noticing how incredibly smooth and detailed it sounded, even on my modest setup. Yet that YouTube above, allegedly from vinyl, doesn't do anything for me sonic-wise.

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