Perez Prado, Lights! Action! Prado!

Ned Sublette

By Ned Sublette

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Big Band versions of all of your favorite soundtrack hits — and some you’ve never heard of.

Here's a big band in the clutches of seriously sleazy pop art. Dámaso Pérez Prado from Matanzas, Cuba, became famous for stuffing screaming trumpets into the soundtracks of lurid Mexican movies. Frenetic, strident and funny, he was the bandleader who broke the mambo and subsequently had two number one mainstream pop hits in the US. He recorded a gazillion albums, some of them immortal, some of them extra-cheesy, most somewhere in between. This is an album of movie themes — heavily re-imagined, I'm pleased to report. There are a few you'll know: “A Hard Day's Night,” “The James Bond Theme” and a double-time “Goldfinger,” all given the mambo treatment. But most are themes from movies you may never have heard of. Woman of Straw? Why don't they make soundtracks like this today?