Tuesday, December 16, 2008
A brassy old birthday
What with Christmas just around the corner, and it being my birthday today, I'm allowing myself a repost of something that gets the anonobods and browsers dropping in almost all year long.. it was originally posted on the other side anyway, so it's not like a complete cop-out is it?
In the early 90's I was afflicted by a buzz for Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, brought on by tracks like 'Spanish Flea', 'Tijuana taxi', 'A Taste of Honey' and 'Bean Bag'(used as the theme from It's a knockout) - each one a piece of polite but punchy trumpet pop. The snappy arrangements, the swishy album artwork and being cheap as chips at charity shops made these dusty Mexican nuggets perfect for collecting. But it was almost impossible to find the Holy Grail of Herb albums 'The Christmas Album'*(with H looking bored in his beard and as convincing as as in store Santa) amongst the Stereo Impact, James Last and TV Theme Tune vinyl - how many versions of Onedin Line - Theme from Spartacus and Owen MD (whatever that was) can you possibly need?
*The Herb Christmas album was eventually released on CD, but didn't live up to the expectation.
As an interim I decided to make do with the CD of 'Tijuana Christmas' by the Torero Band/Sound of Brass being sold at Woolworths. What an absolute winner it turned out to be, with the Toreros coming across as the most swingingest Salvation Army band EVER and starring the hardest working bass man at EMI. Using the textbook formula of cheeky key change after every verse, the uptempo thumpers could be themes for Carry On Christmas Specials, the mellow moments are like seasonal instrumental beds for Generation Game 'Potters wheel' sequences and as tight and sprightly as anything by Ronnie hazlehust.
Even now, every Christmas this is the first CD out of the Santa sack and onto the stereo at Cloudbase Mondo - 'Tijuana Christmas' is now deleted, so why not treat yourself to some of these Mexi-Christmas classics.
Good King Wenceslas.mp3
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.mp3
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.mp3
O Come All Ye Faithful.mp3
Recommended reading for more Christmas Kitch n' Campery
checkthecoolwax - sack loads of goodies including the artwork for 'Christmas with Colonel Sanders'
Jeffco Productions - includes the the complete Tijuana Christmas album for download.