I'm sure they like Trini in Nicaragua.
I'm sure they like Trini throughout Latin America.
I know I like Trini.
A regular find in op shops crates he has become a firm favourite.
This Dallas born Hispanic American had his moment in the sun, his moment being ten or so years from about 1963 to 1973, but he is still popular today with audiences.
What is their not to like?
Most of his record oooze middle of the road go go hip sixties attitude. It wasn't cutting edge but it wasn't square. It was groovy music for squares.
Sixties production, sixties beat, sixties songs, covers of sixties songs, if you put this on you have people tapping their feet. Of course, there will be the difficult wanker asking you to play the original by Blind Melon Chitlin, more because they like to let everyone know they know who sang the original rather than a desire to actually hear it. But, that defeats the purpose because this music is tor toe tapping and dancing. The album is made to be played in toto as if you wre having a session (or romantic interlude) at a cabaret club . When you aren't dancing, you can sit back and tap your toe to a gentle beat, and conspire with friends or gaze into your chicks eyes.
Trini was sliding by 1969. He was still well known, and still popular in clubs, with a TV special due to come out and a supporting role in a film, "The Dirty Dozen" (1967) behind him but with no recent chart success.
Someone thought it was time for a change and came up with the idea of teaming him up with Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart.
Boyce & Hart were on a roll. They had a #8 in 1968 with " I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight" and had written and produced a number of hit songs for The Monkees, and had a knack for writing AM pop friendly tunes going back to the early 60s.
The trouble was, despite all attempts, even with Trini's acquiescence, to make Trini into an all round MOR pop entertainer, he was, at heart, a rock n roller from Texas. He loved the beat, he loved the 50s rock n roll rowdiness and he always seemed happiest belting out a tune to the point where it was almost going to topple over into a party jam session . On the slower songs he was best when channelling the emotion of the Hispanic music of his youth and wearing his heart on his sleeve when singing. These are the two Trini's at their happiest.
But, for a long time the rough edges were smoothed out and the emotion was toned down. Trini was compensated by a driving, groovy go go beat for the up-tempo numbers, a large selection of slow songs he could convincingly croon, and chart success..
Boyce & Hart with their ear for AM pop and bubblegum were wrong for Trini. But Boyce & Hart were no fools and neither was Trini. When you put genuine talent together, even when they may not quite fit they work out a way to make the other part conform or you come up with something a little, different.
And this is different. There is a lot of mainstream experimentation going on here. There is a fuzz bass, keyboards, crazed handclaps, tinkly guitars and all sorts of musical grunts and squeaks. This is Trini's acid pscyh album with experimentation on every other song. Okay, it's mainstream experimentation but it is pretty out there by today's standards. Even in 1969 it would have been quite a quirky departure for a mainstream artist. And, the mainstream doesn't like experimentation or quirkiness.
The album failed to chart.
But what a noble failure this is.
I'm not sure if you are getting the "whole enchilada" here but you are getting enough of it to keep you happy.
Probably because someone has slipped some peyote into it.
And you followed it with a glass of mezcal.
Check my other comments for biographical detail on Trini.
Tracks (best in italics)
- Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin' – (Gerry Marsden) – Gerry and The Pacemakers US#4 from 1964. Trini introduces the album and the song with "Hi everybody, this is Trini Lopez. We'd like to start this album off with one of our favourite tunes. I hope you can dig it … ". I can see why he is asking, pleading. An interesting fuzzed bass keeps the beat but it is odd, especially by Trini standards. This grows on you but I'm not sure why.
- Sunshine Superman (Donovan)/Cry Like a Baby (Penn-Oldham) – A medley containing Donovan's US#1 (1966) and The Box Tops US #2 (1968). More fuzz which is still weird given the Donovan portion is supposed to be breezy before the medlet turns to a bouncy "Cry like a Baby. A weird combination.
- Sunshine of Your Love – (Pete Brown / Jack Bruce / Eric Clapton) – Cream's US#5 (1968). It's not going to rival Cream but in its own way it's probably more "out there" and it is great.
- Sunshine Park – (Tommy Boyce / Bobby Hart) – an original. Nicely bouncy and catchy and surprisingly free of effects.
- Laleña – (Donovan- Spanish lyrics Trini Lopez) – Donovan's US #33 (1968). Beautiful with English and Spanish lyrics. Heartfelt. Trini should have recorded more material like this.
- Pata Cum Cum – (Jan Arlen) – no information on this writer but there was a female singer around in the early singers by the name of Jan Arlen that's all I know. In any event this is the "La Bamba" riff with associated whistles and whatnot that Trini would use in songs like "America", "If I had a Hammer " etc. Energetic and fun.
- I Heard It Through the Grapevine – (Barrett Strong / Norman Whitfield) – The great Creedence Clearwater Revival song. Ha. Just kidding, well I'm not but that version didn't come out till 1970. Marvin Gaye had a US #1 with this in 1968. This is a great soulful version. Perhaps the second best version.
- I Wonder What She's Doing Tonite – (Tommy Boyce / Bobby Hart) – Boyce & Hart's US#7 of the previous year. Very poppy Monkees like, err pop.
- What You Don't Know Won't Hurt You – (Larson-J.Marcellino-G.Marcellino) – Later done by Jackson 5 (1974). Strange, but again it grows on you. It seems that Trini may have been the first to record this?
- Come a Little Bit Closer – (Tommy Boyce / Wes Farrell / Bobby Hart) – A US #3 for Jay and the Americans (1964). A great tune and Trini does it well with some great Spanish ad libs. It could have be an outtake from "West Side Story".
- My Baby Loves Sad Songs – (Tommy Boyce / Bobby Hart) – A song Boyce & Hart also did on their 1969 album, " It's All Happening On The Inside". Another strange one with a strange bass horn of some sorts keeping the beat (courtesy of arranger Jimmy Haskell). Catchy, and Trini drops Reprise records founder, Frank Sinatra's name in ….
- Without You – (Roy Durkee) – written by Durkee of Fire and Ice Ltd, a Hollywood soundtrack group. Quite haunting in that "Walk Away Renee" type of way.
The songs, the details:
- Do not Let the Sun Catch You Cryin https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_Let_the_Sun_Catch_You_Crying
- Sunshine Superman / Cry like a Baby https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunshine_Superman https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cry_Like_a_Baby
- Sunshine of your Love https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunshine_of_Your_Love
- Sunshine Park
- Lalena https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lal%C3%A9na
- Pata Cum Cum
- I heard it Through Grapevine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Heard_It_Through_the_Grapevine
- I wonder what she's doing Tonight https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Wonder_What_She%27s_Doing_Tonight
- What you do not know
- Come a little bit closer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Come_a_Little_Bit_Closer
- My Baby Loves Sad Songs
- Without You
Any Trini is good Trini and this one would be perfect for parties, especially after a few drinks … I'm keeping it.
Do not Let the Sun Catch You Cryin
Sunshine Superman / Cry like a Baby
Sunshine of your Love
Pata Cum Cum
I heard it Through the Grapevine
I Wonder what she's Doing Tonight
What you do not Know
Come a little bit closer
My Baby Loves Sad Songs