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Herb Alpert: The Lonely Bull

It seems redundant to rerelease Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass’ whole catalog since it’s readily available at used record stores and thrift shops across the country. But the lure of CDs’ deluxe packaging, including extensive liner notes, supersedes the vinyl editions. And speaking as someone who took to Alpert’s music the way other ’60s babies took to security blankets and stuffed animals, there is something addictive about this music that should be heard again every so often.

Alpert-the A of A&M records-always played with a bright, strong tone, which is the most noticeable aspect of his debut, The Lonely Bull (1962). Despite the catchy mariachi lilt of the title track and pleasant versions of “Desafinado” and “Let It Be Me” most of the album feels like filler. South of the Border (1964) introduces Alpert’s skill as an arranger: the title track gets a rock backbeat, “The Girl From Ipanema” does a tango and the Beatles’ “All My Loving” paraphrases “I Get a Kick Out of You” in the opening bars.

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