Some tracks have been removed to save space. "Damn you, NTL and your piss-poor amounts of webspace; Damn you all to hell!" So for the missing tracks you'll have to search out these quality records, available at all good charity shops. (And some crap ones too)
Dance to your favourite carols with the wonderful 'Sound Of Brass' Indeed!
Ah, Christmas, season of burnt carrots and festive Blue Peter coat hanger death traps. The distant sound of this exceptional disc will certainly bring you cheer as you and the family wait outside for the fire engine. Pretty consistant quality tunes here, very well played by the EMI music for pleasure band. Much better than your average Herb Alpert substitues, and there are some pretty poor "Tijuana" style albums out there I can tell you. The spiele on the back cover says all you need to know.
(Though, due to the unparalleled unpopularity of this website, no-one has yet pointed out that is is obviously far too small to read.)
Now with Tunes, Weh-Hey!
The Holly And The Ivy
Featuring on the front cover the very latest discovery in flatulence powered angels, methinks the artist, if you could call it that, has been watching a bit too much 1970s Tomorrow's World. This sounds like the Torero Band again, but it looks like EMI had got wise to some session musician union scam by now and doesn't mention any names. Still, the quality is undimmed and well worth the slightly inflated price of a quid. Suffice to say that "All Things Bright And Beautiful" is certainly the highlight, but the Rev. Michael Clarke has chosen "Jesus Christ Is Risen Today" in his spiele on the back, which is best read while playing the record and doing a rubbish comedy vicar voice.
Rumour has it that many residents of Waikiki actually clubbed together and offered to pay the Waikiki Brass's air fare, on the sole condition that it was a one way ticket. Only kidding; It's quality! "Oh," I thought while mining my way through a rich seam of purest Tat in the Red Cross Society, "another really badly done Tijuana album. Pooh-eee." Then my eyes glanced down through the track listing... Tacos and Poi, Tijuana Hula, (it just gets better), Tijuana Frog! These guys have got to be having a laugh. And they are. Correct me if I am wrong in my assessment that this album was not conceived while in a legal state of mind. More like while having a Contour records management 1968 style "Who can drop the most acid spiked Margheritas and still regain higher cortical functions 48 hours later competition" beach party.
Still, those neurons did not die in vain, for this album provides the discerning listener with a veritable plethora of pap, and not a dull track amoungst them. Here are some edited lowlights.
South Of The Border
Comic scene setting introduction, very reminiscent of the Pythons Llama sketch. "Beware, there are Oles!"
Death By Wah! Mute. Prizes all round for (finally?) getting through the take without cracking up, especially the bone player.
Someone once tried to convince me that Zippy off of "Rainbow" was supposed to be a frog. I argued to the contrary, pointing out that a) Frogs don't have zips for mouths, and b) What with George being a hippo, albeit an outrageously camp pink one, surely he would just eat Zippy. Will (for that was his name) then countered this by arguing that in reality, neither hippos nor frogs have Roy Skelton's arm up their arse, and that of course Zippy was only supposed to be a pretend frog. I don't think the issue was ever satisfactorily resolved.
Tacos And Poi. What's Poi? I'd assumed there was some connection with the Hollands factory in Haslingden, but this may just be a personal liking for grey, gooey, flour and minced cardboard coated steak and kidney puddings showing through.
Tijuana Hula Booooooooooing! Made with 90% reconstitued potato and 10% bongos. Mind where you put your bits, for there is a brief but deadly maracas solo. You could have an eye out with that.
I couldn't help but notice that the record was originally purchased from Midland Educational for 79pee. I was robbed! But then you have to get up pretty early in the morning to catch out those old dears behind the Red Cross counter.
Often seen as the original box set of International Hits you'd be forgiven for missing this one in amoungst all the other dreadful tat in the group. The best things about most of the LPs are the colourful covers of typical "Man From Uncle" style international scene change slides - scratchy footage of the Eiffel Tower etc. The sleeves of the individual records claim that they have been recorded by quite different orchestras. "Garbage!" I cry. They're all done by the same crappy old players and most of the arrangements are boring as hell, and well deserve their final resting place in the skip, car boot sale or Marie Curie.
The exception to this rule is the Mexican Brass disc. Recorded it would seem after the arranger, conductor and players have had a damn fine liquid lunch and loosened up a bit, the emphasis is on comedy rather than dreary easy listening. Watch out though, there are both mono and stereo versions around, and we wouldn't want to compromise on buying a mono disc now would we? For once the sleeve notes say most that needs to be said, so I shall reproduce those under Numero Cinco and only add comments on the most enjoyable moments.
Track 2, Numero Cinco: Delightfully simple indeed; Check out the guy on acoustic guitar with the gratuitous comedy "Struuuuum!" moments. Wonderful.
Track 5, Lemon Tree: Make up your own words as you go along, involving stuffing in "Lemon Tree" every so often. Try not to be too rude.
Track 6, Sentimental Over You: Sleigh bells, Hurrah! The start of Cabaret, the next track after this one is spot on in the same key and always sounds to me as if it's launching into a coda.
Track 8, Flamingo: An example of skillful LP crafting I reckon, this tune suggests to me "Your a super audience... We're off for a break now but we'll be right back after you turn the LP over. Meanwhile it's two for one at the bar."
Track 9 Tijuana Taxi: "Which joker's put drawing pins in the bloody piano hammers?"
In the spirit of blatant self-promotion I've replaced the record version with my analogue synth one: UHJ Ambisonic Surround Analog Synthesizer Tijuana Taxi Transcription. I think it retains the true spirit of Tijuana Tat, though this version conjures up a Tat categorisation double dilemma; Should it remain in the Tijuana section or be transplanted to the dodgy synth department?
To get a minor third doppler shift from a Peugeot 205 (or any other) car horn, you have to drive like a loon along a bypass at exactly 69mph, depending on the weather.
Track 11, South Of the Border: Ahhhh, what you can't do with a "Starsky And Hutch" guitar pedal isn't worth doing. Bonkers xylophone and duet style answering trombones are wearing metal hats. The Mystery Chef from Get Stuffed periodically slaps them around the head from behind with a hilarious tubular bell:)
As above I've added to the original track with an Ambisonic Surround Sound Analogue Synthesiser version "South Of The Border"
Track 13, Lady In Red: I'd swear someone in the brass section breaks wind just after the first Hammond organ backing section.
Track 14, El Chumbanchero: In an ideal world a whole proper Bond film would be created specifically to use this track as the main theme for the incidental music. I adore the drum triplets, and the close harmonies on the descending brass line in the second half of the main theme statement. Drummer has dropped his bottle and is clearly snorting Beechams' powders. Fab-bo.
That's all for now; More detailed piccies will be added shortly (well, eventually) and we will uncover more black gold carefully garnered from the mosiac-covered 1960s shopping centres of Southern England.
Hmmm,... Town Centre underpass mosaics,... Hey,..Hang on lads, I've had a great idea... Uh.