Whipped Cream and Other Delights

Band: Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass
Album: Whipped Cream and Other Delights
Best song: “Love Potion No. 9” is awesome because it sounds like the type of thing you’d hear in a 1960s stag club. “A Taste of Honey” has become a theme song for many and rightfully. “Lemon Tree” is intricate and pretty.
Worst song: There really isn’t a bad song on here.

There are many memories of my college roommates that stick out in my mind, most of them recurring jokes. The Crocodile Hunter impressions. The “Howard voice.” Animal Crossing. So many jokes.

One of the running jokes, though, was our collective love for Herb Alpert’s music. It started because we put LP jackets on our book shelf as typical students do in rented townhouses. One roommate threw up a Slim Whitman album sleeve. I supplied Whipped Cream & Other Delights.

The album is most famous for its amazing cover art (parodied by Soul Asylum here and by Pat Cooper here), but it’s also Alpert’s best record. After assembling an entirely non-Mexican band (three Italians, two Jews and a German guy), he dubbed it the Tijuana Brass, after the sound to which he was adding a pop element.

The album is lovely and ridiculous and thematic and cool. Background music all the way, John Pisano’s guitar rolls through mariachi on “Lemon Tree.” The nominal title track, like the rest of the album, rolls through Alpert’s piercing trumpet. He’s not Miles Davis, but, god damn, isn’t “A Taste of Honey” fun? Or lest we forget, the burlesque swing of the Brass’ version of the Leiber and Stoller classic “Love Potion No. 9,” one of the porn-iest songs I’ve ever heard.

The album sold six million copies and not to idiot college kids or people who couldn’t get adequate porn six years into Playboy‘s run. It’s a fine album of ridiculously fun music.

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