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The TjB singles from GOING PLACES and WHAT NOW MY LOVE

Harry

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Ever since I put together my CD-Rs of all of the Tijuana Brass singles, there's been a question gnawing at me. If one looks at the singles chronology based on the catalog numbers, for the period of GOING PLACES and WHAT NOW MY LOVE we have:

AM 767 - Mae / El Garbanzo
AM 775 - Third Man Theme / A Taste Of Honey
AM 787 - Zorba The Greek / Tijuana Taxi
AM 792 - What Now My Love / Spanish Flea
AM 805 - The Work Song / Plucky
AM 813 - Flamingo / So What's New

So it appears that with the new album of GOING PLACES, the powers that be released "Mae" as an a-side single. It's b-side was a track from WHIPPED CREAM, "El Garbanzo". We know that "Mae" was never a hit, at least not that I know of. It's never appeared on any compilations over the years, so it was likely a "stiff", as it's known in radio parlance.

Next up, we get the single that is somewhat storied. In many interviews, Herb relays the story that "Third Man Theme" was to be the single a-side, but many DJs flipped the record over and played "A Taste Of Honey". And Herb insisted it was the better track. So, instead of a hit from GOING PLACES, another track from WHIPPED CREAM & OTHER DELIGHTS became a groundbreaking single.

So including "A Taste Of Honey", Herb's chart hits this far had been:

"The Lonely Bull" reaching #6
"Mexican Shuffle" coming in at #85
"Whipped Cream" coming in at #68
"Third Man Theme" by virtue of its initial a-side status reached #47
"A Taste Of Honey" getting to #7 as a b-side that was flipped over

The next single was "Zorba The Greek" and "Tijuana Taxi", both from GOING PLACES with "Zorba" reaching #11 and "Taxi" getting to #38 - so two top 40 records on the same single.

It's the next one that puzzles me a bit.

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This single starts the releases from the new album, "WHAT NOW MY LOVE" and backs the title track with another track from GOING PLACES, "Spanish Flea". Was this intended to be a double-a-side single like the last one turned out to be? Or was "Spanish Flea" just a relegated b-side?

Chart action shows near equal results for both sides, "What Now My Love" clocking in at #24, with "Spanish Flea" almost equaling it at #27.

There were then no other a-sides from WHAT NOW MY LOVE. Both "Plucky" and "So What's New" were b-sides to S.R.O. singles.

Since I began my paying attention to Herb's music around this time, and only via albums, this singles chronology confuses me a bit.
 

Rudy

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I think it's more a matter of when these tunes were recorded, vs. which album they ended up being released on. Clearly "Mae" and "Third Man Theme" were recorded prior to when the Going Places tracks were recorded.

If you compare how "Third Man Theme" and "Walk, Don't Run" sound on Going Places, the latter has a cleaner sound that is more in line with other Going Places tracks. "Third Man" is grungier and done more like a rock tune, where "Walk" is polished and has more of the signature TJB elements to it. Since "Third Man" didn't fit with the food-themed concept of WC&OD, it makes sense it would be held off.

Likewise with "Mae," which is a different animal entirely, a big production that may have included very few TJB musicians. We're used to it being on Going Places but based on how it sounds, it could have been recorded at any point. Strangely, it does have a similar vibe to some of the WC&OD tracks or even SOTB. (It could just be the sound of Gold Star Studios we're hearing here; that reverb chamber was legendary.)

Back then, albums were released so close together that it's natural there would be stray tracks recorded at any time that could end up on any album during that time period.
 

Harry

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It is true that these middle albums were released pretty quickly on the heels of one another, and that certainly allows for all sorts of time anomalies. Consider too that just before this period, "Las Mañanitas" was a b-side to "Whipped Cream", but was held off of any albums until CHRISTMAS ALBUM, and then augmented at that.
 

Rudy

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"Las Mañanitas" at least ended up on Baja's For Animals Only in 1965. I've never heard the TJB single version, though.
 

Steve Sidoruk

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"Las Mañanitas" at least ended up on Baja's For Animals Only in 1965. I've never heard the TJB single version, though.

The BAJA & TJB (single) versions are almost 100% identical. Julius said that Herb loved the tune and was the trumpet on the BAJA version. He then took it for his own. The WHIPPED CREAM single released about the second week of February 1965. Don't know why it didn't get more notice, even as the B-side. But could be attributable to timing of how other things happened back then. I didn't know about it originally as I mostly bought albums and not singles, but I did find it way ahead of its CHRISTMAS ALBUM inclusion. So a previously unknown find. I think most would agree that the melody seems to really be for the trumpet.

As for a new single A-side being backed with a B-side from a previous album, it apparently was the A&M way back then, being used for other artists at the time.
 

Harry

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The BAJA & TJB (single) versions are almost 100% identical.

Yes, in arrangement and style, with extra marimba and flute parts in the Baja version. The two recordings are not from the same basic track as they never can be synced up. I've tried. I remember when Julius told us about Herb loving the song and taking it for his own..

The TjB mono single and the mono album version *can* be synced up. The album version runs on a little longer at the fade, but the basic tracks are identical.
 

Captaindave

Well-Known Member
I think it's more a matter of when these tunes were recorded, vs. which album they ended up being released on. Clearly "Mae" and "Third Man Theme" were recorded prior to when the Going Places tracks were recorded.

If you compare how "Third Man Theme" and "Walk, Don't Run" sound on Going Places, the latter has a cleaner sound that is more in line with other Going Places tracks. "Third Man" is grungier and done more like a rock tune, where "Walk" is polished and has more of the signature TJB elements to it. Since "Third Man" didn't fit with the food-themed concept of WC&OD, it makes sense it would be held off.

Likewise with "Mae," which is a different animal entirely, a big production that may have included very few TJB musicians. We're used to it being on Going Places but based on how it sounds, it could have been recorded at any point. Strangely, it does have a similar vibe to some of the WC&OD tracks or even SOTB. (It could just be the sound of Gold Star Studios we're hearing here; that reverb chamber was legendary.)

Back then, albums were released so close together that it's natural there would be stray tracks recorded at any time that could end up on any album during that time period.

To my ears, the trumpet tone and style of Mae fits perfectly on the Going Places album. The songs on Going Places fit the concept described in the notes on the rear of the album regarding the development of the TJB sound and style at that time. By the time of the Going Places album, the sound of the Tijuana Brass was beginning to take on its characteristic mid to later 1960s style - a little more toward instrumental pop and even eventually a little bit toward a jazz ensemble. To me, Mae fits in that concept well - a lead trumpet playing a lyrical ballad style song in front of some additional orchestration.
 

Rudy

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Yes, in arrangement and style, with extra marimba and flute parts in the Baja version. The two recordings are not from the same basic track as they never can be synced up. I've tried. I remember when Julius told us about Herb loving the song and taking it for his own..
Since they didn't have multitrack back in the day (beyond using the three track machines at Gold Star), it's not like they could have easily boosted the level on only the marimba and flute to make the BMB version, or cut them back to make the TJB version. But it's easy to do with a separate take--rearrange the mics and/or the musicians, and run through the track again.
To me, Mae fits in that concept well - a lead trumpet playing a lyrical ballad style song in front of some additional orchestration.
It does fit the album nicely--it's a nice break between the surrounding tracks. Although from the chronology, we can figure out it (along with "Third Man Theme") was recorded prior to the other Going Places tracks and released around a similar time as the Whipped Cream album. The label on the 45 RPM single doesn't show an album for "Mae," unlike the flip side which attributes itself to "LP110." Same for "Third Man Theme."

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Interesting to note that while browsing some Discogs listings and looking at images of labels from the release-year pressings, there are a handful of singles that don't list an album attribution. I get the feeling that back in those busy days, like other bands of the era, the Brass were in the studio often, recording when they had time and as Herb got ideas for new songs, and worried about which albums they'd place the songs on at a later time. Those were busy times, with many (most?) bands going into the studio, recording whenever possible, releasing singles throughout the year and at least one album (if not two or three) per year.
 

DAN BOLTON

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Harry mentioned that several of the TJB albums were released very close to each other, so I decided to check on just how closely that happened. My info comes from Wikipedia, so it might have to be taken with a grain of salt, but this is what I've found...

THE LONELY BULL released December 1, 1962 12/21/62
VOLUME 2 released December 1963 10/5/63
SOUTH OF THE BORDER released October 1, 1964 11/20/64
WHIPPED CREAM released April 1, 1965 4/24/65
!!GOING PLACES!! released October 1965 10/1/65
WHAT NOW MY LOVE released May 9, 1966 5/8/66
SRO released November 1, 1966 11/18/66
SOUNDS LIKE released May 1, 1967 5/8/67
NINTH released December 8, 1967 12/1/67
BEAT OF THE BRASS released May 1, 1968 5/4/68
WARM released June 1969 6/21/69

So, from SOTB through BOTB, Herb released a TJB album roughly every 6 months.

I'm sorry that some release dates are approximate, maybe Steve has better info. Corrections noted above.
 
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Rudy

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It wasn't just the Brass but most pop artist back then were cranking out a couple of albums per year. Add in the touring that all of these groups did, and you can see why some of them would burn out after several years. Who needed a home life or a relationship when you lived in the studio or out on the road for most of the year?

I see Whipped Cream and Going Places are just over five months apart. 1965 certainly was a huge breakthrough year for the Brass with arguably their two most popular albums released so close together.
 

Harry

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My memory is that I really grabbed onto the Brass by watching the Grammy show in 65, I guess. It wasn't an awards presentation show, but rather a musical special featuring the winners.

Then I got a couple of albums. I believe it was WHIPPED CREAM, GOING PLACES and THE LONELY BULL. I had those three in mono.

Then that Christmas, I was given a stereo record player along with WHAT NOW MY LOVE and SOUTH OF THE BORDER in stereo. Thereafter, I kept pace with the releases as I found them.

VOLUME 2 had to wait awhile as the "runt of the litter", so to speak, and I started with a cheaper mono version.

But they all seemed to come fast and furious over just a few short years.
 

Rudy

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When I was growing up, all those records from Lonely Bull to Sounds Like were just there and I played them regularly. It wasn't until Ninth when we finally got a stereo console system upstairs and bought stereo records. The first new TJB album that was my own was You Smile, and prior to that I'd had Greatest Hits, Solid Brass and Foursider for my own use. ($69 GE stereo. :laugh: Still have it in a box somewhere!) By the time I was getting new albums in the 70s, releases were about one a year. And that was good, since it was just about easy enough to keep up with.
 

Mr Bill

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Speaking of You Smile - The Song Begins, I've been listening to the HA Presents version of it (and Coney Island) a LOT in my car lately. I always mentally lumped them together as "the mid-70's reformed TJB" albums, but the two grow more different from one another the more I continue listening. The re-mix of YS-TSB, to my delight, really brings out Wechter's marimba and Vince Charles's steel drum.

But it also brings out something I rarely noticed when I listened to the vinyl long ago: The accordion of Pete Jolly. It's present on almost every track, even managing near solos a few times, most notably on "A Song For Herb." I almost wrote "presumably" between "accordion" and "of" in that last sentence, but Jolly confirmed he played on the album when I met him at one of his trio's gigs in LA back in the 90s.

--Mr Bill
 

TallPaulInKy

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THE LONELY BULL released December 1, 1962 12/21/62
VOLUME 2 released December 1963 10/5/63
SOUTH OF THE BORDER released October 1, 1964 11/20/64
WHIPPED CREAM released April 1, 1965 4/24/65

I remember when Whipped Cream came out it was such a big success, I walked in discount stores (K-Mart, W T Grants, and others) with record displays and see whole bins taken up with copies of each of the four TJB albums. Most artists had two or three copies of their current album on display. These bins probably held 25 or more copies of each album. Amazing to see!
 

TallPaulInKy

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My memory is that I really grabbed onto the Brass by watching the Grammy show in 65, I guess. It wasn't an awards presentation show, but rather a musical special featuring the winners.

Hopefully over the years you have grabbed a copy of this album. Not sure who actually issued it, but it went to radio stations only to promote the upcoming broadcast titled, "The Best on Record". That way stations would have songs used on the broadcast..but these are actual records..not excerpts from the broadcast.


https://img.discogs.com/W-YdXPO-YnY...ogs-images/R-6380962-1417836443-7798.jpeg.jpg
 

Harry

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No, I never managed to find one of those at a reasonable price. It's enough that I recall watching the show with great fascination.
 
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