Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Countdown to Christmas Pt 3 - Have Yourself a Mexi Little Christmas

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 MexiChristmas 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.


Five-Centres said...

These are marvellous. I feel like having cocktails and snacks by my Southern Californian pool in 1969.

Owen MD's theme you may know better as the rather lovely Sleepy Shores by the Johnny Pearson Orchestra. A big hit in '71 I think.

Axe Victim said...

Yes my dear Mondo, you would have had a job finding this album because I would have beaten you to it. It's one of my prized 'Xmas' LP's next to the Phil Spector. I've not yet dusted off my Christmas music just yet. I find that too much of it can dull the pallette somewhat. I shall wait until the weekend, once Mrs. A breaks out the cashew nuts. Then I KNOW that it's truly Christmas!!!

Planet Mondo said...

FC - thanks for the tip off I always skip Owen MD on these comps' will try again and see if I recognize it.

AV - I've my own copy, on CD too - it's where these tracks are ripped from. The Frank Sinatra Christmas album A side popular songs/B side carols is definitely worth lending an ear to. Nuts in a net bag ? it must be Christmas.

ally. said...

i normally avoid any xmmas shinanagins like the godam plague but these are excellent.
although i think i've done my self an injury shaking my maracas

Planet Mondo said...

Thanks Ally - don't forget to stop by on Friday for a 30 minute 'Funky Mixmas' including some tip top tunes and a sackful of goodies.

Danny Stack said...

Thanks so much for posting these! I've been trying everywhere! The album's an old family favourite, great stuff. Power to the blogs!

Planet Mondo said...

Danny -it's a winner so much better than the Herb one too - you can fill your Santa boots with the complete album

bitterandrew said...

Oh my, those tracks are glorious. They make me want to dust off my sombrero, but I can't fit through the door while wearing it.

Planet Mondo said...


Love that strap line on the cover too
"dance to your favorite carols"

Cearbhall said...

Legend. We have this at home in worn-out LP format. Any chance you could post all tracks or send via email(cbeggan-at-yahoo.com.deletethisbit). Have been looking fo rthis on CD for the last few years.

Jim in Canada said...

Thanks for the tunes. Each Christmas we watch, on video, the A&E Biography of Santa Claus and that closes with an uncredited rendering of O Come All Ye Faithful that I swore must be Herb Alberty and the Tijuana Brass. Thanks to you the mystery is solved.

planet mondo said...

Cbear have tried mailing you but seemed to bomb out if you check comment 7 there's link for downloading the whole album.

Jim in Canada - Glad I helped solve the family mystery. I would recommend downloading the Toreros Album - It's a gem see the comment 7 for a link

Anonymous said...

would someone be willing to send me a copy of the torero band cd??? I have a badly worn tape and am trying to get as high a resolution copy of this as possible. Its a favorite from my childhood. Willing to pay for your time/effort

andy at aokeeffe.endjunk.com

Den said...

My parents have (or had) this album and I have been looking everywhere for it. Any chance you can tell me where to find the rest of the tacks as it's not the one on the jeffco site. email den@removethis.patts.co.uk

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