As the co-founder of A&M Records and Tijuana Brass, Herb Alpert is nothing short of a music legend. The one man who could make an album that would sell millions without ever having to tour or do interviews (he gave up doing interviews in 1967). He didn’t need MTV to make him famous because he was already famous. With that said, Alpert has lived a long life and released many albums over the years, so ranking his best albums is no easy task. However, we have managed to compile his top 10 Best Herb Alpert Albums of All-Time.
10. Just You and Me 1976
Alpert’s 10th studio album is his quietest record. Which doesn’t mean it’s his most intimate album, but if you are looking for some easy listening Alpert, then this is where to go. The album’s sound is that of a man who has nothing to prove anymore and wants the music to speak for itself, no matter how quiet it is. “Just You and Me” is one of his most underrated albums. The album has a very smooth and easy-to-listen vibe, and some of the songs include covers of “The Nearness Of You,” “I Just Can’t See For Lookin’,” and “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off.”
Album Highlights: Just You and Me, summertime
9. Blow Your Own Horn 1983
“Blow Your Own Horn,” Herb’s 8th studio album, has the distinction of being the first album ever to have debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Jazz Albums chart. And if you are looking for some good jazz music, then look no further than this one. The album was released when vinyl albums were still selling like crazy, which led to the album reaching No. 29 on the Billboard 200 list and staying on that chart for more than two years.
Album Highlights: You Can Do That, Berimbau/Samba De Orfeu
8. Beyond 1980
“Beyond,” Herb Alpert’s 7th studio album, is probably most notable for the song “Rise.” It hit No. 1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the Adult Contemporary singles chart. The album is rather good, with many of the songs having an R&B feel to them. It was also recorded in England, so it sounds so different from many of his other albums. “Beyond” is considered one of his more successful albums, reaching No. 1 on the Jazz Albums chart and No. 20 on the Billboard 200 list.
Album Highlights: Rise, Beyond
7. Midnight Sun1992
Herb Alpert’s 6th studio album is unique because it was recorded live. The songs are precise yet somehow still have an improvised feel. The album has many of his most popular songs with two Top 10 Billboard hits, “Lost Horizon” and “Route 101”. Herb can even be seen doing the trumpet solo in the music video for “Route 101”. “Midnight Sun” is a great live album that showcases exactly what Alpert was capable of during his prime. The album itself didn’t chart on the Billboard 200 list but at No. 4 on the Top Jazz Albums list and spent over a year on that chart.
Album Highlights: Midnight Sun, Route 101
6. Under a Spanish Moon1988
Herb Alpert’s 5th studio album is the last one he made in his Tijuana Brass days. The album is noted for having lyrics in both English and Spanish. It also has some great collaborations, such as Desi Arnaz Jr., who sings on “Route 101,” and an unknown Desi Arnaz (Desi Arnaz’s father) who sings on “Mame.” “Under a Spanish Moon” is one of Alpert’s most underrated albums and was his first and only album to be released by EMI (after he left A&M). The album itself didn’t chart well domestically but was successful in the Netherlands and Switzerland.
Album Highlights: Under A Spanish Moon, Mame
5. Second Wind 1996
Herb Alpert’s 4th studio album is one of his most well-known albums. “Second Wind” was released in 1996, at a time when R&B and hip-hop music were taking the main stage over anything else. So it is no surprise that this album took off once it got radio play. The album made it to No. 8 on the Billboard 200 list and spent 33 weeks on that chart, marking his longest time on that chart of any album.
Album Highlights: Diamonds, 21 And Over
4. Volume 2 1963
Herb Alpert’s second studio album is much different than his first. It focuses much more on Latin music than jazz, which can be heard in songs like “El Cumbanchero” and “My Favorite Things.” The album was not that popular when it initially came out but did get some attention thanks to the song “The Lonely Bull.” It has sold quite well in recent years and has even become one of the most sought-after records in the world.
Album Highlights: The Lonely Bull, Third Man Theme
3. Fandango 1982
Alpert’s 13th studio album is considered one of his best. The songs all have a Latin feel to them, and it also features the trumpet solos that made him famous. Even more than 30 years later, the album had held up well and sounds just as good today as when it came out. It reached No. 1 on the Jazz Albums chart and No. 33 on the Billboard 200 list, making it one of his most successful albums worldwide.
Album Highlights: Fandango, Rain Dance
2. Rise 1979
Herb Alpert’s 8th studio album is the album he recorded immediately after leaving A&M. It features some of his most popular songs, including “Rise,” which was featured in the movie Meet Joe Black, and “Diamonds,” which was his 2nd song to reach No. 1 on Billboard (the first being “The Beat Goes On”). It reached No. Three on the Jazz Albums chart and No. 17 on the Billboard 200 list, making it one of his most successful albums in America.
Album Highlights: Diamonds, Rise
1. Colors 1999
Herb Alpert’s 14th studio album is one of his most popular albums. It features a lot of the new smooth jazz and chill-out music popular in the 1990s. The album itself did not do that well when it first came out but has done very well in recent years, thanks to the internet and other digital outlets. It reached No. 1 on the Top Pop Catalog Albums chart for two weeks, which is one of the few albums in music history to reach that spot.
Album Highlights: Diamonds, Colors
Herb Alpert is one of the most successful musicians in music history, selling over 74 million records worldwide. His trumpet-playing skills are legendary, and his albums are some of the best-selling ones ever. He has collaborated with many different artists throughout his career, including Burt Bacharach, Lani Hall (his ex-wife), Janet Jackson, and many others. Each album is very different, yet very good in its way, so it is a matter of personal preference when one chooses their favorite. Some of his best songs include “Rise,” “Diamonds,” and “The Lonely Bull.” His albums have sold well in recent years, which is a testament to how good they are.