Search Manic Mark's Blog

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Magic Of The Caribbean - Herbert Spencer And His Orchestra

Voodoo Moon
The Magic Of The Caribbean
Herbert Spencer And His Orchestra
Decca Records  DL 9080

When I find jackets that cost a small fortune to produce, I ask why did the label think that this set was worth the cost of the packaging? Or was it just the right moment in time to invest in this type of "trend" marketing?

The LP comes in a heavy book-fold jacket that features a die-cut cover (the hat shape is punched out of the cover). There are three nicely designed pages fixed to the spine that feature 4-color and 2-color printing.  Decca paid Richard Joseph, Esquire Travel Editor, to write the copy, which is a dry sounding history of the Caribbean.

The album seems to have been created as a "concept" album... meaning that the tracks blend into one another, bridged mainly by canned sound effects.  The track I selected, from side 2, may be the most "exciting" of the lot. None of the tracks, in my opinion, support one another so that the effort to create  "seamless" content or a flowing theme is lost.

Speneer was competing against the likes of Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman along with a host of other artists and labels who were milking the exotica market that they (Denny, Lyman, etc.) had created. There was lot of competition for buyers.

However, the Billboard reviewer had this to say:

From Billboard - August 8, 1960: This lovely album with wonderful packaging and fine recording of familiar Caribbean folk songs, and entertaining travel tips on Caribbean lands. It is the type of super-duper packaging that with exposure could turn into a big-seller. The Herbert Spencer work plays "The Peanut Vendor," "Jamaica Farewell," "Limbo Man," etc. Good wax.

The Peanut Vendor (El Manisero)
Mama Look a Boo-Boo
Luna Caribé
Don't Talk Too Much
Limbo Man
Baia (Na Baixa Do Sapateiro)
La Martinique
Sly Mongoose
Jamaica Farewell Song

1 comment:

  1. Hi: I used to have this album and loved it. Is there a CD version of it anywhere? Thanks much. John


Howdy! Thanks for leaving your thoughts!