Monday, May 22, 2017

"Bullish" by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass

Song#:  2047
Date:  09/15/1984
Debut:  94
Peak:  90
Weeks:  2
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Alpert broke up his original Tijuana Brass in 1969, but some minor iterations of it existed until 1974. After that, Alpert was officially on his own and his solo career hit its peak with the 1979 #1 hit "Rise." As the 80s came along, Alpert still tried to keep his music modern and relevant, but very few of his singles were making any headway. An appearance during the 1984 Olympic Summer Games in Los Angeles spurred interest in Alpert and the Brass, so to capitalize on that Alpert drug out the old band name for a new album titled Bullish. The title-track song was issued as a single and it got a little airplay at AC (#22) and R&B (#52). However, it just wasn't what was happening at Pop and the song quickly disappeared after two short weeks.

ReduxReview:  This was kind of a sad cash-in project. Even though it is billed as being by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, there is no band. It's just a lot of synths with Alpert noodling over them. Anyone expecting to hear the good ol' sounds of "The Lonely Bull" or "Tijuana Taxi" were going to be sorely disappointed (as I was because I'm a big fan of the pre-70s Tijuana Brass albums). The ol' bait n' switch. It's too bad because an actual revival of the old Brass sound might have been a draw. Instead, we get typical 80s Alpert fare like this song - a middling synth-based groove that lacks any kind of flare. What made a few of Alpert's 80s songs work, such as "Rise" or "Route 101," is that there was a solid, memorable melody involved. Here, there is none. I listened to it several times and immediately afterward, I couldn't hum a bar of it. It's not a bad track. It would be fine to hear while dining on the patio. However, that's not exactly a ringing endorsement. (Note - the album also contains Alpert's perfectly awful rendition of "Maniac" featuring vocals by his wife Lani Hall. It is truly cringe-worthy...)

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  Alpert and his Tijuana Brass became famous thanks to their smart, catchy instrumentals like their 1965 #7 hit "A Taste of Honey." However, it would be a vocal track that would become Alpert's first #1 at Pop. For the Burt Bacharach/Hal David composition "This Guy's in Love with You," Alpert chose to sing the song in addition to playing trumpet for the solo section. When he performed the tune on a TV show, the response was so positive that Alpert decided to release it as a single. In 1968, the song made it to #1 becoming Alpert's first single to top the Pop chart. It was also the first single on Alpert's A&M record label to hit #1. A little over a decade later, Alpert would get to #1 for a second time with the instrumental hit "Rise." In doing so, he set a record as the only artist to reach #1 with an instrumental and a vocal track.


No comments:

Post a Comment