Trying to sneak in another snooze during Reveille? Well, The Nest has just the music you need to shake off that rust. That’s because it’s Monday, that day we polish up on our lost hits by unclogging the pipes to sound out another classic from that giant flugelhorn of forgotten tunes we like to call the Dusty Vinyl Archive! DJ Scratchy’s always feeling horny and ready to talk about sax, while the Sponkies try to work their way up in the school band from lead kazoo. This song really blows, and that’s a good thing….
During Mecca Radio’s daily playlist we’d been stuck with at work for almost three months until finally being freed this past weekend, there was an instrumental that would play on Sunday nights not long before 4 AM that really grew on me fast. Of course, the fact that there were no words to look up made it nearly impossible for me to find out what song I was enjoying… and it wouldn’t be the first time an instrumental stumped me. But I had a hunch what it might be, and what do you know? My first guess was right!
The name Herb Alpert probably doesn’t come immediately to mind when one thinks of the great pop musicians of the Baby Boomer coming of age era, but it probably should. In 1965, the albums he recorded with his band The Tijuana Brass outsold everyone, including the Rolling Stones and the Beatles!
While Alpert is well known for his instrumental pieces, he did score his first #1 hit in 1968 with a vocal performance, “This Guy’s In Love With You.” When this week’s featured song “Rise” made it to #1 in that wacky late 1979 era of the Hot 100 that saw a slew of oddball songs top the charts, it gave Alpert the distinction of being the only artist to hit #1 with a singing and non-singing song.
“Rise” not only features that signature Herb Alpert trumpet, but a heavy dose of that funk sound as well, and that’s due to the fact that “Rise” was written by Alpert’s cousin Randy, who was primarily a funk artist. Randy “Badazz” Alpert was pretty stingy with who he’d allow to use his song… but he apparently liked what 90’s rapper Notorious B.I.G. did when he sampled “Rise” for his most popular song, “Hypnotize.”
While Biggie was granted permission to use “Rise,” Randy Alpert drew the line at Pfizer wanting to use it for a Viagra commercial. And yeah, that would have been really, really cheesy….
I hope to get another rise out of you with more forgotten songs next Monday…