Title - 'Rise: Expanded' (Shout! Factory)
Artist - Herb Alpert
It's great to see Herb's masterpiece get the remastered treatment is so richly deserves. "Rise" is one of the greatest instrumental singles of all time. It is as refreshing to hear on the radio now as it was back when it hit #1 on the pop charts in October of 1979. The entire album holds up surprisingly well. "Rise" is so contagious, so infectious, and so groovy that it is literally impossible not to shake your booty while listening!
This is dance/jazz music for grown-ups who know great hooks and catchy melodies when they hear them. The two bonus mixes are rather dated and don't really hold up well next to the current dance scene. But DJs with any talent or imagination can recognize that the original tracks are full of great funky grooves that are still relavent nearly 30 years later.
Indeed, the new version of "Aranjuez" is listed as a 2007 dance mix but there really isn't a whole lot that's been changed on the track. Although there are some just noticeable differences -- the Spanish guitar intro has been cut and the drums have been remixed to the point where it doesn't scream "Disco!" as much as the '79 original! It's a good mix and I think I may like it as much, maybe even a little more, than the original version.
The other bonus track is a new version of "Rotation". I originally thought they had included a '79/'80 era dance version of the song but this version sounds like it would be right at home on the WHIPPED CREAM RE-WHIPPED album along with "Lemon Tree" and "Ladyfingers". At any rate, it's a great version and I think fans of the original will like it. I always thought "Rise" was a great album and really deserved all of its success. With this reissue, I think it's become an even better album.