|Herb Alpert - Whipped Cream & Other Delights|
|Written by Joe Wood|
As a child the only records that I had access to were in my parents LP collection. Mingled between the reams of easily forgettable classical and Broadway soundtracks a few discs stand out in my memory—The Beatles' Rubber Soul, a Bert Bacharach Greatest Hits LP, and Herb Alpert's album Whipped Cream & Other Delights, which sported the whipped-cream-covered beauty Dolores Erickson on the cover.
In 1965 Erickson became every man's fantasy woman—who knew that she was actually three months pregnant at the time of the photo shoot! It didn't matter though—she was still provocative, and the LP sold like hotcakes. It went on to spend 141 weeks on the Top 40 charts, including 61 weeks on the Top 10. In November 1965, Alpert's Whipped Cream & Other Delights alone spent eight weeks in the #1 slot.
If you were around in the 1960s, Alpert's music will surely bring back memories for all the senses—visual, olfactory and aural. Little did I know then that Jerry Moss, Alpert's partner in A&M Records, suggested that this LP be a "food album". Reading the track listing will surely make you hungry, with songs like, "A Taste of Honey", "Tangerine", "Green Peppers", Butter Ball", and "Lemon Tree". Perhaps that's why so many listeners loved the "flavor" of this record. Additionally, Alpert's music was everywhere in the 60s—radio, movies, and television ("Whipped Cream" became the theme song for The Dating Game), so no matter where you were, there was Herb.
Throughout this year Shout! Factory Records is celebrating the 40th anniversary of his success by reissuing Alpert's classic albums in deluxe new editions. Most of these records have been out of print for the past 10 years, and all are now completely re-mastered and feature detailed liner notes and bonus tracks. It's about time!
Whipped Cream & Other Delights opens with the legendary "A Taste of Honey", previously recorded by The Beatles and even Tony Bennett. Alpert's Tijuana Brass band made it a pure instrumental pop classic, and in turn won three Grammy® awards. Johnny Mercer's "Tangerine" receives Alpert's samba treatment, and Luis Guerrero's "Peanuts" in turn received a German oom-pah/polka makeover—which undoubtedly helped America take to the musical styling of the soon-to-arrive James Last and his dance-able lounge music.
I'd love to compliment and single out some of the musicians in Alpert's band, but sadly there is no mention on the original LP or in the new liner notes of who any of them were. But hey guys, you did a great job! Tacked on to the original 12 tracks are two unused studio session master recordings of "Rosemary" and "Blueberry Park", both of which are so relaxing that you'll want to put your feet up and sip on your cocktail while you melt into your favorite chair.
You simply can't go wrong adding Whipped Cream & Other Delights to your record collection. From the upbeat "Bittersweet Samba" to smooth, Spanish-guitar laden "Lemon Tree" to the sultry, striptease-inspired "Love Potion #9"—which every modern day burlesque performer should own a copy of—Whipped Cream is a testament to the sophisticated and sexy elements of the 1960s.
In an era when swingin' bachelors had subscriptions to Playboy, owned the latest in Hi-Fi technology, and the Tijuana Brass ruled the airwaves—before the British Invasion—Whipped Cream & Other Delights exposed the talents of one of the most successful trumpeters and instrumental band leaders in pop history. It will be forever fondly etched, note by trumpeted note, into my memory.