50th WARM - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass (SP-4190)

What is your favorite track on WARM?

  • The Sea Is My Soil

    Votes: 11 55.0%
  • Without Her

    Votes: 1 5.0%
  • Marjorine

    Votes: 2 10.0%
  • Girk Talk

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da

    Votes: 1 5.0%
  • Zazueira

    Votes: 3 15.0%
  • The Continental

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Pretty World

    Votes: 1 5.0%
  • Warm

    Votes: 1 5.0%
  • To Wait For Love

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Sandbox

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    20

Harry

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WARM
Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
A&M SP-4190

1571682081309.png

Available on LP, cassette, 8-track, reel to reel, digital files and CD.

Track Listing:

1. The Sea Is My Soil (Dory Caymmi-Nelson Mota)
2. Without Her (Harry Nilsson)
3. Marjorine (Sol Lake)
4. Girl Talk (Neal Hefti-Bobby Troup)
5. Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da (Lennon-McCartney
6. Zazueira (Jorge Ben)
7. The Continental (Herb Magidson-Con Conrad)
8. Pretty World (Adolfo-Gaspar-Bergman-Bergman)
9. Warm (Julius Wechter)
10. To Wait For Love (Hal David-Burt Bacharach)
11. Sandbox (John Pisano)

Producer: HERB ALPERT and JERRY MOSS
Arranger: HERB ALPERT
Recorded at A&M Recording Studios
Engineer: Larry Levine
Design and Photography by TOM WILKES and BARRY FEINSTEIN
A Special thanks to the Orchestrations of SHORTY ROGERS and to RIO DE JANEIRO

A&M Records, Inc. 1416 North La Brea, Hollywood, California 90028
©1969 A&M Records, Inc. All Rights Reserved
 

Harry

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It occurs to me that in all of the years of A&M Corner’s Forums (since 2002), there has never been a dedicated Album-Of-The-Week-type thread devoted to the Tijuana Brass album WARM. That fact alone is somewhat incredible.



Oh, to be sure the album has been discussed in various threads over the years, but never in a dedicated, searchable, all defining thread. It would seem that this album has continued to slip through the cracks as it has since day one. The odd thing about that is that there’s quite a bit of evidence that it remains a fan favorite.



Consider:

  • On Wikipedia, the album’s entry is considered a “stub”.
  • It fell out of print very quickly back in the LP days.
  • It never got a CD release until the big TjB releases on Herb Alpert Presents in 2016
  • It was the first TjB album to not do really well on the charts since the early days
  • When Shout Factory released CDs, WARM was one of three that only had digital files


Since the album was released in the summer of 1969, this year was the 50th anniversary and yet even here, we sort-of forgot it. So here is your chance to weigh in on WARM.
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
I got my first vinyl copy of Warm at a yard sale in 1984 for a dollar in good playable condition which I wore out and got to replace with a better one now I have the 2016 CD and digital version for good measure at first listen I knew it was a different TJB issue but I loved every song especially "The Continental " and Zazueira the latter I was already familiar with because of its appearance on Greatest Hits Volume 2 and "To Wait For Love and Without Her were in my opinion great vocal tracks of which were unsuccessful followups to "This guys in love with you" but as I was 17 at the time it was a more mellow and different side Of Herb than what I was familiar with but yet equally as enjoyable as everything He recorded before and Afterwards as with much of the music in my library this is just one of many timeless favorites and keeps me feeling younger
 

Michael Hagerty

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My favorite TJB album. Period.

Truth be told, I never cared for the faux-mariachi thing. My favorite track on WHIPPED CREAM AND OTHER DELIGHTS was "Lollipops and Roses", the least south-of-the-borderish thing on the LP. I loved "Flamingo" and "Casino Royale", "Love So Fine" and "The Robin".

So, after the success of "This Guy's In Love With You" from BEAT OF THE BRASS and "My Favorite Things" from CHRISTMAS ALBUM, I thought WARM would be the next logical phase for Herb and the TJB.

I don't think there's a truly bad track on WARM. That said, I love some songs more than others. Here's my take:

"Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" and "To Wait For Love": My least favorites. "Ob-La-Di" sounded like it might have been fun as part of a TV special, but it didn't work for me as a stand-alone piece of audio. "To Wait For Love" has always struck me as heavy-handed and a little sluggish.

"Marjorine", "The Continental" and "Warm": Solid tracks. As good as non-hit-single TJB tracks had gotten in my book up to that point. (REVISION: I like "The Continental" the best of the three---and it is one of my favorites---but I set it apart from the six songs that come next because of feel).


"The Sea Is My Soil", "Without Her", "Girl Talk", "Zazueira", "Pretty World" and "Sandbox": To me, these are the core of the album's sound.

  • "The Sea Is My Soil" sounds exactly how the summer of 1969 felt in Los Angeles (the real one, not the Quentin Tarantino one)---a warm, hazy day at Malibu, watching the waves crash and the birds fly.

  • "Without Her" should have been a bigger hit---a logical follow-up to "This Guy's In Love With You" from arguably the hottest young songwriter of the moment. I think it was hampered by excessive dynamic range---it just resisted casual listening and was a mess on the radio (compression and limiting had meltdowns trying to deal with it, which probably limited airplay).

  • "Girl Talk" was a song that I remembered from other artists when it was featured in the film "Harlow" around '64/'65. I prefer Herb's---always have---and today, it helps that it's an instrumental, because the lyrics are cringeworthy---right up (down?) there with "Wives and Lovers". It's that same vibe as "The Sea Is My Soil", but now you're in a convertible on PCH on the way home from the beach with the top down, watching the sun set and looking forward to a drink and dinner.

  • "Zazuiera" had gotten some (but not enough) play on KMPC in Los Angeles, so I already knew it. Loved it. Great rhythm, nice Brazilian feel without going into Sergio's territory and everyone plays their tails off.

  • "Pretty World"---okay, I'm gonna toss out a theory here and Herb and Lani, if you read this and I'm way off base, my apologies in advance. I think "Pretty World" gets done soft and slow here because Herb was already aware of some deep feelings---he looks at Lani, hears her sing the lyrics to this song. It's what he's longing to do, too---but he can't admit it and can't do anything to get to Paradise, population two---at least yet. So much has to change. So this is how the song feels to him. And it's beautiful.

  • "Sandbox" is as strong a finish as imaginable---a great tension-and-release song that goes out with a rollicking chorus that doesn't seem to end as it fades out.


Strictly my opinion 50 years on. Your mileage may vary.
 
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Harry

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I played WARM endlessly that summer of 1969. Really, it started earlier with the three singles from the album. "To Wait For Love" came out first, as I recall, as a followup to Herb's big vocal hit. It was pretty much the same formula as "This Guy's In Love With You", but lightning didn't strike twice. "Zazueira" followed it. I remember my dad telling me there was a new Herb Alpert record that he'd heard on WIP, the big MOR station in town. We rushed out to find a copy of the 45. And finally out came "Without Her", yet another vocal try.

"Without Her" should have been a bigger hit---a logical follow-up to "This Guy's In Love With You" from arguably the hottest young songwriter of the moment. I think it was hampered by excessive dynamic range---it just resisted casual listening and was a mess on the radio (compression and limiting had meltdowns trying to deal with it, which probably limited airplay).
The wide dynamic range seemed to be a mess on my home system, but it sounded better to me on WIP-AM radio of the day. They must have been using this compressed 45 mix:


I remember getting the WARM album and immediately noticing the change of vocal on "To Wait For Love". Herb resang the song for the stereo mix. And the "Without Her" song still sounded overly dynamic, and perhaps that was an OK thing for an album. But the song that really rang the bell for me was the opener, "The Sea Is My Soil". It remains my favorite Herb Alpert track of all time, and I waited seemingly forever for it to enter the digital age.

The VERY first thing I did when I got a CD recorder was to make a CD of WARM. Blanks for the CD recorder were so expensive that I also tacked on THE BRASS ARE COMIN', and I played that CD-R in my car for years. It was so wonderful to hear these tracks without the warble of cassettes.

The most disappointing thing about "The Sea Is My Soil" is that the master tape seems to have gotten damaged before it was committed to digital. The whole first minute sounds pretty awful, ruining what should have been a wonderful experience. To this day, when I want to listen to the track, I have to grab one of my CD-R's (or digital files) with the song lifted from vinyl. It's the only way to avoid the mangled master tape syndrome.

When I first heard "Zazuiera", my thought was that it was a nod to the Brasil '66 style of music, and Sergio's "Pretty World" version sounded more like the style of the Tijuana Brass.

I really love the whole album, and it's true, there's not a bad track on it. When it gets to "Sandbox", if I'm in the car, I have to watch my speed. That one always makes me want to go faster...
 

Michael Hagerty

Well-Known Member
When linking the videos to my post, I noticed an audio dropout in one channel at the beginning of "Zazuiera". Corrects by about :18 in---but it's posted by the official Herb Alpert account---and if they've got a bad copy.....
 

Harry

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It's that way on the WARM CD from HAP.
 

Rudy

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Funny...I liked this album when I rediscovered it back in the 90s. Yet today I don't really have a desire to listen to it beyond "The Sea Is My Soil." The rest of the record has a couple of highlights for me ("Zazueira", "To Wait For Love," the title track), but I find the rest of it sort of runs together anymore. Oddly, I've always like that Bacharach/David vocal track because the melody and chord changes are unusual--an earworm.

Interesting how that works. Just not my cup of tea anymore. 🤷‍♂️
 

Michael Hagerty

Well-Known Member
The wide dynamic range seemed to be a mess on my home system, but it sounded better to me on WIP-AM radio of the day. They must have been using this compressed 45 mix:

I'd forgotten that most (the ones that had record service from A&M) radio stations would have been using the mono promo 45. Still, in listening to that link now, while the peaks and valleys aren't extreme---the loud passages don't sound very good. The rest of it is like looking through crystal clear water.
 

Captaindave

Well-Known Member
I think Warm is a very good album. The first song that I heard on the radio back in 1969 was Zazuiera.

I like the album in general. However, speaking for me, I have to always be careful not to compare it to what had gone before in terms of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. For me, this album was a pretty big departure from the previous albums in general. The kinds of songs, the orchestration, and perhaps most significantly, simply the overall sound of the album were all very different to my ears. I do like most of the songs. But when I first heard this album, it just didn't sound like the Tijuana Brass I had become so accustomed to hearing. Nothing negative - just different.

I like the sound of Girl Talk...a nice smooth, pretty melody. I like the trombone playing behind what I am sure is a flugelhorn playing the melody. I also like the arrangement and sound of Marjorine. Since the first song I heard was Zazuiera, I continue to like that one because I immediately recognized the Herb Alpert trumpet. I like the way Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da has been given what I consider to be more of the older style Tijuana Brass sound and arrangement. I like the uptempo part of The Sea Is My Soil that also has the older sound of the TJB rhythm section behind the brass lead.

As far as I am concerned, Herb Alpert will always be associated with being a trumpet player; not a vocalist. A little vocal is fine. In my opinion, This Guy's In Love With You opened that door, so to speak, and it doesn't seem like that kind of hit was due to happen again, as history seems to show. By the time This Guy's In Love...was a big hit in 1968, Herb Alpert and the TIjuana Brass had become a huge international success, and with that fame, combined with a unique song that just happened to be in the right place at the right time, I think a repeat of anything like that was to be highly unlikely. It all happened at the peak of popularity, and I am sure the Beat of the Brass TV special probably helped.

All just my opinions - Warm is a fine album, but I will probably listen to the older albums more.
 
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Harry

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Anyone order the posters that were advertised on WARM's innersleeve?

Inner4190a.jpgInner4190b.jpg
 

Rudy

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I think we had the horse poster...but that's been long gone for decades. We also had the earlier Ampex promo poster, which my mother talked a local record store into selling her.

However, speaking for me, I have to always be careful not to compare it to what had gone before in terms of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. For me, this album was a pretty big departure from the previous albums in general.
I would consider this Herb's first solo album, but back in the day, group names often sold better than artists, and Tijuana Brass was a known brand in the marketplace so it made sense to continue that as far as naming went. Musically though, I feel as though it attempts to shed the Tijuana Brass sound in favor of something new and untested, which it did. Some still retained a little of that flavor, but others were a bigger departure.

Funny thing is, when Just You and Me came out, I didn't really notice it wasn't labeled as "T.J.B." until a couple of weeks later when the excitement had worn off, and I re-read the credits. I wasn't quite so detail-oriented in my pre-teen years I guess. :laugh:
 

Mike Blakesley

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Warm is the album which, as I've recounted here before, I spent $41 to have a "near mint" copy sent to me by a record search service. The fact that it finally saw a CD release 47 years after its release is kind of amazing.

Warm is my favorite TJB album -- it's the one I can always go to if I want to listen to some TJB but am not sure which album to play.

I remember when I first heard about it, I thought the title was kind of odd for a TJB album. "Warm?" I thought. But the music does fit the title.

My favorite song, same as Harry, is "The Sea Is My Soil." Sometimes when I listen to that song, after it's over, I need to go back and play it again... I don't know if there are more than one or two other songs I can say that about. The orchestra/choral part at the end never fails to raise goosebumps on me. If I ever had a chance to visit with Herb, I'd love to ask him a few questions about this song, such as how many people played on it, how he happened to find it, and such. (He'd probably be looking around for an exit during the conversation!)

Some of the other songs have grown on me more over the years. I always liked "Marjorine," but over the last 10 years or so I have gained a new appreciation for how much the band really swings on this song. This would have been an excellent song to hear in concert.

I've always loved "Zazuiera" and wondered who the singers were on it. I've heard that Lani is in there, but I've never been able to pick her voice out. Herb's is there for sure.

My other big fave (and I know I'm in the minority here) is "Ob La Di, Ob La Da." I love the jaunty-ness of it and how it recalls the old TJB sense of fun. Herb's playing on it is super-casual and I really like the vocals, especially that they replaced the word "brah" in the original with "hey," which fits more with the TJB spirit. My only complaint with this one is, it's too short.

I like "Sandbox" a great deal... it's another one of the great "un-sung" TJB originals. "The Continental" is excellent too, although not in the league of my other favorites... but it's a genuine ear-worm, sometimes the beat or the melody gets stuck in my head and refuses to leave.

My least favorite songs on the album are probably the slow ones, especially the vocals. I'd probably put "Without Her" near the bottom, if I was ranking my favorite songs. That said, I still like the song - it's catchy and fun (belying the sad lyrics) but Herb's vocal has always sounded sort of phoned-in on it, to me, especially the last verse. It sounds to me like he's wearing a pair of headphones and singing along with another singer he's listening to. I can see why it wasn't a hit -- it doesn't jump out of the speakers the way "This Guy" did. (I think "This Guy" benefited more from that Bacharach arrangement more than we all give it credit for.)

"To Wait For Love," the other vocal, is more to my liking but the production is kind of muddy on it and that might be what kept it from being a hit, in my humble opinion. With "This Guy," the verses were wide open-sounding... "To Wait For Love" has more of a wall-of-sound quality to it that I can't quite put my finger on. Plus, the pop scene was moving away from vast orchestrations and into more simple arrangements.

The slow instrumentals are better. "Pretty World" is gorgeous, and "Girl Talk" has an almost country feel to it.

Overall, if I was ranking the songs on the album between 1 and 10, with 10 being the best, there isn't a song on here that'd rate less than a 7 in my book. It's too bad that it never got the recognition it deserved, but that just makes it more special to those of us who really like it.
 

Mike Blakesley

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I would consider this Herb's first solo album, but back in the day, group names often sold better than artists, and Tijuana Brass was a known brand in the marketplace so it made sense to continue that as far as naming went. Musically though, I feel as though it attempts to shed the Tijuana Brass sound in favor of something new and untested, which it did.
There is the fact that this album does not have musician credits or a band photo, compared to the previous few albums (starting with Going Places), all of which had one or both.
 

RichardWarner

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I asked Herb about the album in one interview and he said it came as a result of his trip to Rio, which would have been around the time the Christmas Album came out. That's where he saw the birds flying effortlessly, catching the thermal waves over the water and decided his life was too complicated. He told me he wanted to record a Brazilian-flavored album following the Rio trip but "didn't want to step on Sergio's toes." The album is a gem, though as he said, it was the beginning of a difficult time in his life after being exhausted under the pressure to keep the TJB going because A&M needed revenue. I remember when it came out, being a trumpet player who noodled around playing with his albums, I picked up "The Sea is My Soil" and began playing along with it midway through the first listen.
 

toeknee4bz

Well-Known Member
I have to confess, WARM isn't an album I play too often. It's probably the most 'easy listening' TJB album ever recorded. And as I'm not a big fan of lush string orchestration, it's just not going to be on my favorites list. Now, with all of that being said...

There are a several standout gems on this album: "Marjorine" is an absolutely great track which dabbles in the Dixieland jazz category, featuring a fantastic clarinet solo and keeps a toe-tapping rhythm all along.
Likewise, "Girl Talk" is one of those fantastic melodies that will run around in my head for hours if I'm not careful. Awesome tune!
And then there's "Zazueira"... a tune like no other in the TJB catalog. If I had to pick a favorite off of this album, this one would be it. The melody just moves me, and always has done so (as Herb said on the back cover of GREATEST HITS VOL.2) "for unanswerable reasons". I once called "Girl Talk" my favorite WARM tune, but I'd have to say that "Zazueira" just barely edges it out.
Then there's "Pretty World", a tune which Earl Klugh would cover about a decade later on guitar. Both Herb and Earl had beautiful renditions of this song.
And finally, "The Sea is My Soil" is a good piece, albeit a bit too heavily orchestrated for my taste.

The rest of the songs are listenable, even if it's not quite my cup of tea stylistically. As always, I respect the talent therein, regardless.
 

Captaindave

Well-Known Member
I would agree. I like the songs and the album in general.

However, if there is one thing I would change about the album to make it better for my ears, it's the orchestration. In my opinion, the orchestration is often simply overwhelming. I'd like it better without any orchestration at all.
 

Harry

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And speaking of "Zazueira" (as we were in another thread), I remember having that 45 single (and the one for "To Wait For Love") for a long, long time before the WARM ever came out finally giving me the stereo versions of those two songs.

As a result, those two still sound more familiar to me in their mono incarnations.

 

Bobberman

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And speaking of "Zazueira" (as we were in another thread), I remember having that 45 single (and the one for "To Wait For Love") for a long, long time before the WARM ever came out finally giving me the stereo versions of those two songs.

As a result, those two still sound more familiar to me in their mono incarnations.

I Had this single with the flip side being " The Treasure of San Miguel".
 
Warm and The "Ninth" were the first Herb Alpert albums that I had bought. They showed up in the discount bins at a store.
Warm has become my favorite album. I eventually got all the lp's but this is the only one(other than Classics 1) that I have bought on cd.
Zazueira was the first song played on the radio in my area and I never heard Without Her played. I did hear To Wait For Love a few times on radio.
The Sea Is My Soil is my favorite followed by Sandbox.
 
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