American Songwriter: Herb Alpert Talks Passing on the Kingsmen, Loving the Beatles, and Recording His New LP
Herb Alpert, the legendary recording artist, and A&M Records co-founder, remembers passing on the Kingsmen’s recording of “Louie Louie” in the late 1960s. At the time, the record just didn’t speak to Alpert, he says. So, he trusted his instinct and passed on the opportunity to distribute the recording. Even though at that moment, it may have steered him wrong, commercially speaking, Alpert doesn’t regret the decision, artistically. It’s of no real matter to the Kingsmen, of course, who went on to make history with their recording. Yet, the story is indicative of how Alpert approaches just about everything in his life: he uses his mind, intuition, understanding, and makes the best decision he can. It’s what led him to found A&M with partner Jerry Moss, and it’s what led him to record his famous 1965 LP, Whipped Cream & Other Delights, and what’s led him to release his newest album, Catch The Wind, out Friday (September 17).
“I listened to the record and I hated it,” Alpert tells American Songwriter. “It was too long, it was out of tune.” He adds, “I passed on it and I didn’t like it, that’s how it goes. I don’t have any magical touch for what other people are going to like.”
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