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.

13 comments:

Keith said...

Happy Birthday! I do hope you have an awesome birthday. My birthday is pretty close to the start of December....on the 4th. I can remember that many birthdays I've gotten Christmas albums for presents. That's been fine by me. Many times I asked for them. Have a great day. Cheers!

Clair said...

Ha! I bought that in a charity shop but haven't played it yet! Good King Wenceslas is the one that anyone of A Certain Age remembers as being played as Christmas theme music on telly in the Seventies. Marvellous!

Planet Mondo said...

Thanks Keith I treated myself to a fried egg sandwich and whole load of guitar playing - marvellous...

It's magic album Clair, I've only got it on CD, would love to see the real-life, full-size album - you should blog a couple of nuggets from it - hope you had a top tear up last night - any news or goss'?

office pest said...

Happy Birthday Mondo. If I had your address I'd have sent you something.

Planet Mondo said...

Thanks OP, and if knew were coming I'd have baked a cake

office pest said...

I'll raise your cake - I'd have hired a band, the grandest band in all the land

Planet Mondo said...

There's a high flying Magician literally and Welsh lungbuster too..

Matthew Rudd said...

Many happy returns... a presentless existence for 11 months of the year, then two come along at once. You know how Jesus felt.

Piley said...

had that VERY SAME album PM! Almost certainy purchased in the very same shop too.. Hadleigh Woolworths by any chance??

Remember me and me mum having a right 'ol boogie to it when we first got it!! No idea what happened to it tho... you got the rest of it MP3'd up too??

P

Planet Mondo said...

Cheers Matt - luckily I'm not so close that I get the two-fer-one prezzie cop out...

Got it on CD P from Woolies in Leigh Broadway, I'll drop a copy in with your Christmas card

Furtheron said...

I remember this nonsense from last year...

Planet Mondo said...

I have put a cop-out disclaimer in the opening bit F-Ron, and isn't part of the fun of Christmas catching up repeats of vintage things?

*closes 'Bloggers Book Of Dodges'*

Five-Centres said...

Bit late in the day, but happy birthday and a happy Christmas too.

I love HA. You can't beat a bit of Casino Royale, and Spanish Flea is the perfect cocktail party soundtrack, at any time of the year.