Spanish Flea

Herb Alpert

Song Review by Matthew Greenwald

When people (mostly Americans) usually hear "Spanish Flea," the initial reaction is that it's "the Dating Game show theme." The song, and this version of it, was in fact used for many years as the theme song of the popular television show. But before that, it was a huge Top 40 hit in its own. Lighthearted and whimsical, the song has all of the same ingredients as several of Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass' other early hits: Alpert's trumpet defines the melody over a loose and delicious Latin-tinged rhythm section. As well, the use of marimba underpins the melody perfectly, providing a clever counterpoint. The song and recording also achieved some modernist "kitsch" notoriety when it was used in the cartoon show The Simpsons, with the main character, Homer Simpson, singing an out-of-tune vocal rendition in his happier moments.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Greatest Hits 1970 A&M 2:07
Classics, Vol. 1 1987 A&M 2:07
The Very Best of Herb Alpert 1999 Universal Distribution / PolyGram / Universal 2:08
Definitive Hits 2001 A&M / Interscope 2:08
A&M Gold Series [2004] 2004 A&M 2:08
Herb Alpert Is... 2020 Herb Alpert Presents 2:07