Exposé Online banner

Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass — Volume 2
(Herb Alpert Presents HRB 023, 1963/2016, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2018-03-02

Volume 2 Cover art

Over a dozen years ago, the Shout Factory label was tasked to release the entire Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass catalog on fresh new digipak CDs. Mac Beaulieu even reviewed a good chunk of them back in issue 33. For some reason unbeknownst to me, they never released the second album from 1963, Volume 2. When it was originally released, it flopped, getting nowhere near the attention of the debut album The Lonely Bull with its title track single hitting #6, the two singles released from Volume 2 barely scraped the bottom of the top 100 chart, although when the LP was reissued a few years later, the album fared much better. Perhaps this is why it was ignored for reissue? Anyway, that has been rectified now with this CD reissue, released by Alpert himself (along with the rest of the catalog including other post-1968 albums that Shout Factory ignored). Opening with “The Great Manolete,” an Alpert original which seems to be attempting to re-create the feel of “The Lonely Bull” — not a knock, it’s an excellent opener — the album quickly moves into TJB’s trademark Mexican flavored interpretations of contemporary pop songs with an absolute stunning version of the Lieber / Spector hit “Spanish Harlem,” which still sounds great to this day (the song, at only three minutes, features some vocals as well, a rare thing for Tijuana Brass endeavors at this early stage). Other instantly recognizable tunes include the Bernstein / Sondheim theme “America” from the West Side Story soundtrack, and “More,” the theme from the movie Mondo Cane. Other originals with seemingly silly titles like “Surfin’ Señorita” and the striptease-like “Swinger from Seville” contain absolutely infectious melodies that will follow you around all day. The album’s highest charting single (at #96!) is “Marching thru Madrid,” written by Sol Lake, with a warm and beautiful melody that repeats and fades away gracefully at the end. Lake, who penned “The Lonely Bull” on the first album, wrote two other tunes here as well, “Crea Mi Amor” and “Winds of Barcelona.” I’m pleased that better judgement has prevailed and Volume 2 has finally made it to compact disc.


Filed under: Reissues, 2016 releases, 1963 recordings

Related artist(s): Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Trilogy - Here It Is – With a name like Trilogy, one may have some preconceived ideas as to what this band is all about. The fact that four hands man the keyboards may further lead one to believe that this is some kind of...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues