"The Beat of the Brass" (1968) was Herb Alpert's second hour-long TV special, and I think the best one. This was the special that introduced Herb's first vocal hit, "This Guy's In Love With You," to the nation (he'd done vocals in his early career - mostly under the stage name "Dore Alpert" -- but "This Guy" was his first real smash hit as a singer). In the special, he sings it tenderly to his (first) wife, Sharon, in a sylvan setting. The rest of the hour-long show is a sort of tour of America with the Tijuana Brass, from a thoughtful stop at Ellis Island to pay tribute to Herb's Russian Jewish immigrant parents, to a rowdy Mardi Gras parade through New Orleans. The influence of "Hard Day's Night" and the Monkees is evident throughout, from the fast-cut editing to the emphasis on the musicians as personalities. These were predecessors of music videos -- and it's fun to see how it was done in the days before MTV. Herb Alpert has always been ahead of the game -- and this is one more piece of evidence that he picked right up on the Beatles/Monkees video editing style that was hot at the time, and made it his own.
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