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Herb Alpert, "Diamonds"

Janet Jackson's Control was one of the biggest albums of of the 1986-87 school year. Audiophiles repeatedly, mistakenly, and erroneously state that this was her debut album. Actually, Control was her third, all on A&M. So when Herb Alpert (the "A" in A&M) began work on his album, Keep Your Eye On Me, Jackson was a convenient choice for vocals.

The weekend after school got out in June 1987, my friends (all of us were frosh/soph) and I saw The Untouchables at San Francisco's AMC 1000 Van Ness [now 14]. When we got out, the blazing yellow sun caught us by surprise. Since I lived just on the other side of Cathedral Hill, my friends invited themselves over to my house, and threw me a going-away party [I spent summers in Honolulu, not S.F.]. But what do friends do, when they come over? They raid the fridge, make a mess in the bathroom, and play with your stereo.

My friend Andy grabbed the Sony remote, and scrolled through FM channels. Some station began belting out "Diamonds," which we all thought was a new Janet Jackson single. No, it was really "Herb Alpert featuring Jackson" on vocals. But nevertheless, who cares? My friends stopped what they were doing, got up, and started dancing.

30 years later, Janet Jackson is still ubiquitous on the radio. And on contemporary jazz and urban R&B stations, you'll find plenty of Alpert's work. Yet, stations do not seem to play the excellent "Diamonds," which, for the Madonna generation, codified the "Don't you know? Diamonds are a girl's best friend" line. But hey, the lack of radio airplay makes "Diamonds" an audiophile favorite. At the recently-completed L.A. Audio Show, one of my friends working a room first played cuts from Whipped Cream & Other Delights, then followed those up with "Diamonds," which got the half a dozen or so attendees swingin', struttin', and dancin'. And that's what it's all about.

-Lummy The Loch Monster

Edits: 06/09/17

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Topic - Herb Alpert, "Diamonds" - Luminator 21:57:37 06/09/17 (1)


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