At last, a career-spanning collection from pop-jazz pioneer Herb Alpert! Includes The Lonely Bull; Mexican Shuffle; Whipped Cream; Lollipops and Roses; A Taste of Honey; Spanish Flea; Tijuana Taxi; Zorba the Greek; What Now My Love; So What's New; The Work Song; This Guy's in Love with You; Casino Royale; Route 101; Fandango; Rise; Rotation; Diamonds (with Janet Jackson); Keep Your Eye on Me , and Making Love in the Rain .
In an era when elaborate wordplay and adventurous production were the order of the day, Herb Alpert made an impact barely uttering a word or breaking a mold, other than expanding the commercial parameters for pop instrumentalists. Dashing trumpeter Alpert and his Tijuana Brass scored five top-20 hits between 1962 (when "The Lonely Bull" climbed to No. 11 in the U.S.) and 1968 (when the vocal-driven "This Guy's in Love with You" cracked the top 10), racking up five No. 1 albums over the same period. The group's patented "Ameriachi" sound made up in south-of-the-border sprightliness what it lacked in innovation; the likes of "Spanish Flea" and "Casino Royale" possessed the kind of unshakable hooks that fit perfectly on top-40 radio sandwiched between Nancy Sinatra
and the Mamas & the Papas
. This 20-track overview serves up 13 selections from the Tijuana Brass's heyday and is rounded up with seven Alpert solo selections, including comeback hits from 1979 ("Rise") and '87 ("Diamonds"). --Steven Stolder