Weeks at number one: 2 (29th April – 13th May 1955) / Length:  3m02s / Label: HMV

Notable for…being the first (and last?) Cuban number one….aaaaAND for being number one on the date 5/5/55…..if I was a bit more conceptual, and wrote for Pitchfork, I would probably rate it a ‘5’ for everything. But I’m too serious to do that. This is too important.

MELODY & HARMONY ~ 4 : Gymnastic mambo experiment, with a kind of flaymboyant sixties-ness to it. There’s only really one strong melodic phrase, so most of the song is polyfilla (that’s a little joke there, because it’s filler, and it’s also polyrhythmic. i realise that’s not really a joke)

WORDS ~ 2 : Here are some better titles for this song: “Tooting On The T-Horn”, “Mambo Infinity”, “Billy Bongo’s Jazz Rocket”, “Indisputable Gravy”, “See-Through Avocado”, “El Funkadente”, “Squeakers Anonymous”, “Test Match Overhaul”, “South American Food”, “The Fourth Dalmatian”, “Worm Warfare”, “The Correspondent”, “Canberra!”….when I spoke to the now dead Perez Prado, he said that he preferred all of my titles, and wished he could go back to change it, even if it meant he wouldn’t get the chart success (which seems unlikely). He also said that he really enjoyed my blog, and that he wished more people read it, and especially COMMENTED on it. I felt like he might have said all of these things in an attempt to flatter me into giving him a higher score, but I took it all at face value, because I think there isn’t enough trust in this world, and I don’t want to make it worse.

VOICE ~ 6 : If a trumpet can take up hobbies, which it can, then Prado’s does yoga – allowing it to contort into back-breaking bends and hypnotically supple hip-gyrations.

STRUCTURE ~ 3 : Turns out I like mambo for about ninety seconds

PRODUCTION & ARRANGEMENT ~ 4 : Woody (not wooden), strong

COOLNESS/STYLE ~ 7 : This was the theme for Underwater!, which was a film, and: “For its world premiere, the film was projected on a submerged movie screen at Silver Springs, Florida, and the invited guests were encouraged to don aqualungs and bathing suits so that they could watch the picture while swimming.”

ORIGINALITY/NEWNESS ~ 5 : Mambo is so hot right now, and Prado’s T-Horn is summat else

CATCHYNESS ~ 2 : It has that “I KNOW WHAT THIS SONG IS!” type intro that is a guaranteed dance-floor rusher, but beyond that its a bit too spaced-out to be interested in all that pop malarkey

CONNECTION/EMOTIONAL HOLD ~ 4 : Once you know it’s from an underwater film, the heavily reverbed trumpet suddenly becomes a sexy submarine of some kind, tooting its way into your pants. By which I mean, it creates imagery.

MORALITY/INTENT ~ 3 : I have to hate it, because it kept probably the best instrumental of all time off number one (i don’t mean that): TOM HARK

OVERALL ~ 40/100

Spotify here, or buy it: CD or mp3



  1. Thomas George Crapper Esq.
    Posted September 26, 2010 at 00:56 | Permalink | Reply


  2. Thomas George Crapper Esq.
    Posted September 26, 2010 at 00:57 | Permalink | Reply

    *Phonically- reed, not red. It is an ongoing thing I assure you.

    • Posted September 26, 2010 at 17:03 | Permalink | Reply

      thanks babes. gimme yr address sometime somehow cos i got a present for you x

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