Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The Video - Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass "A Taste of Honey"





Songwriters Bobby Scott and Ric Marlow wrote "A Taste of Honey" as the theme to a late-Fifties 'kitchen sink' style play by controversial English playwright - and Morrissey heroine - Sheelagh Delaney. The play was, of course, made into a movie in 1961, helmed by  Tony Richardson and starring Rita Tushingham.

The deliberately confrontational play - an early affront in Britain in the manufactured media-driven war against traditional morals -  is about a young white woman who gets pregnant after a one night stand with a black sailor. Her best friend, who is a gay man, agrees to help raise the child!





This original instrumental theme was recorded by piano player Martin Denny and won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Theme. Ric Marlow added lyrics so Tony Bennett could sing it!

The Beatles recorded the song for their first UK album, 'Please Please Me.' It was actually a regular part of their concert repertoire in 1962 and 1963.

The song has also been recorded by Lionel Hampton, Bobby Darin, The Hollies, Peggy Lee, The Temptations, and The Ventures.

Alpert's version - with his pals, the Tijuana Brass! - is an interpretation of the original instrumental. It was a big success, selling over 6 million copies in the United States.

In 1966, Alpert received Grammys in 3 different categories: Best Instrumental Arrangement; Best Instrumental Performance, Non-Jazz; and Record Of The Year. In addition, Larry Levine (the engineer for this song) received a Grammy for Best Engineered Recording - Non-Classical.

The album from whence this appeared - 1966's "Whipped Cream & Other Delights" - as well as for its music, gained great renown for having one of the most recognisable pieces of cover artwork ever printed - a classic pop culture icon that has since been the subject of much pastiche!! A hot nude chick draped in oodles of whipped cream, is licking her index finger  very suggestively! (and also, for some strange reason, is holding a rose!)




The mellifluous cover model Dolores Erickson - wearing chiffon and shaving cream - was was three months pregnant when shot for the subtle artwork.

The cover was so popular with Alpert fans that, during concerts, when about to play the song "Whipped Cream", Alpert would tell the audience, "Sorry, we can't play the cover for you!"

The album was re-released in 2005 with re-mastered sound and extensive liner notes from Alpert.

In an exercise in post-modernism, the album was also recently reinterpreted - or "Rewhipped"! - with remixes by an array of modern artists such as Thievery Corporation etc. This too came replete with another somewhat similar, salacious cover with an almost identical chick (was she cloned?)!





And here's the totally f*cking nuts promo by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass for their version of "A Taste of Honey"!

Gotta love this thing! Who knew a kitsch Luis Bunuel directed music promos in the Sixties!

Half the band drowned during the perilous filming .... but so f*cking what? ... it was well worth it!!

This is taken from Herb's 1967 show 'Timeless'! And this promo is truly that ... 'timeless'!!!

Thanks to Herb's biggest fan Citizen K for the heads up!













3 comments:

K. said...

Your Bunuel quip is priceless.

K. said...

Masked and Anonymous missed a golden opportunity by not having a deadpan scene of Bob and the boys watching this!

stupid and contagious said...

Ha ha! It'd sure be interesting to see what Bob might think of this! He'd probably love it!!

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