The Word: In the California record culture of old, Tahitian records used to be considered ubiquitous and interchangeable. Not only was this never quite true (always, you have to scratch the surface to get at the best stuff) but there, now, as in all other places, good Tahitian records are hard to find. France predictably has a lot of ordinary ones and some great ones; Japan reissued a few titles; and some US companies once imported Tahitian records particularly from New Zealand.
Basically you are looking at something stuck in time, and for a lot of people it may get no further than admiring the jacket art. You will find here the US highlights of the idiom as well as a few imports. And on other pages (Hawaii and exotica) you can find many more records that contain one or more Tahitian tunes. For more info on many other Tahitian records, please see the Tahitian page in our guide.
Further below: Tahitian trade wants
Links: are to artists bio/discog pages in the Hyp Records guide:
Images: accurately represent items but are not always the exact copy listed/purchased
Discount: ALWAYS try to buy more than one item at a time
The Bonaires: Polynesian Sunset; Dot DLP-25585; AUTOGRAPHED E/E S $40 -- Tahiti/bossa/vocal/Paul Page; harmony quartet on a fun, mostly Tahitian theme--done as authentically as possible for the idiom; to the exotica collector the greatest attraction may be rare liner notes by Paul Page, although we rate the rarity (even more so of a signed copy!) and content as top points of desirability; the able Sam Kaapuni led the orchestra on this first and perhaps only LP by the group, which should have done more (similar to the Invitations and the Surfers); Nani Wale Na Hala, Akaka Falls, Ula No Weo, Mele Aumoe, Holo Waapa Bossa Nova, Beyond the Rainbow, E A'La, Mai Tai Bossa Nova, Lure of the Islands, Naka Pueo, Ke Kali Nei Au (Hawaiian Wedding Song), Marcelle Vahine
Chango & the Polynesians: Polynesian Percussion; Premier/Directional Sound DM-5012; 1961; gatefold N-/N S $25 -- Tahitian; authentic, terrific, one of the two or three essential LPs in this well-produced, great-sounding series, not to mention a classic rarity among Tahitian LPs; uptempo, spirited, classic tunes, not just top percussion; may even feature Afro-drummer extraordinaire Chaino (credited on some copies' side-1 label and featured on at least one other LP on this label); hip jacket design with dramatic graphics (inside gatefold too!) completes the splendor; Marcelle a Vahine, Tamure, Minoi Minoi, Vana Vana, Tahitian Festival, Tanga Tika, Papio, Vahine Anamite, Cafe au Lait, Maruru a Vaw
Augil Goupil -- Africa (under Thurston Knudson, shared LP of Tahiti/Afro drums--highly recommended!!!)
[Gaston Gilbert ] The Drums of Bora Bora & Songs of Tahiti; Criterion/Tiare Tahiti SST-1600; 1956; Pan Am version (early reissue) N/N $40 -- Tahitian; "World famous Tahitian percussionists & their exciting island rhythms" & "A blend of the old chants, ballads, and South Pacific jazz featuring native drums, nose flute, guitars, and clarinet"; authentic and excellent!; incredible drumming (Side 1's 11 great "otea" cuts) and singing (Side 2's 6 songs); standouts are "E Hina (Dear Hina)" (gorgeous duet-ballad) and the Tahitian jazz (!!!) of "Vaiho Mai (Forget Me)" and "Otaha (Frigate Bird)"; if you're going to have just one Tahitian LP, this might be the best choice; differs from the first press in that it's ES, has a jacket-back photo changed (courtesy Pan Am) and adds some fluff about Pan Am's Jet Clipper service
[Gaston Guilbert] Punaauia Serenaders: Tamure! Tamure!; Tiare Tahiti STT-1900; 1960; N/N shrink S $40 -- Tahitian; Tamure Te Fenua, Tamure Te Moora e Te Cana, Tamure Pooa Penu, Tamure Potiri Potiri, Tamure Mureta, Tamure Cepaipura, Tamure Para Pautini, Tamure Te Puhi, Tamure Tarahoi, Tamure Bar Lea, Tamure Vahine Tetea, Tamure Tu Tu Tarariha Rau, Tamure Tamure, Tamure Tapai Unu Unu, Tamure Fara I Rurai, Tamure Poanere
[Gaston Guilbert] Voices of the Atolls & Zizou Bar Trio: South Seas Honeymoon; Capitol [of the World] T-10080; 1957; E+/E- $20 -- Tahitian; the classic that started it all, placing Guilbert firmly as second only to Eddie Lund in number of records produced rather than excitement and quality; this album was reissued at least twice on Criterion but this is the hi-fi original; Pinol (Tahitian Love Call), Te Inu Nei (Tahitian Drinking Song), Fare Niau (My Native Hut), Tautira Mutu E (My Little Island in Tautira), Tiare Hinano (Flower of Hinano), Paina Te Matal (Song of the Wind), Ua Rere (Song of Victory), Otohetohe E Rori (The Song of the Fisherman), Tarevereva (Crest of the Wave), Karapara (Who Will Dance With Me), Titiriri (The Lily), Haapeu Mai Na (Tahitian Love Song)
[Gaston Guilbert] Voices of the Atolls & Zizou Bar Trio: Ta'u Tahiti (Mon Tahiti); Criterion/Tiare Tahiti TT-2000; 1957 (recorded); 1st press N-/N- $50 -- Tahitian; Gaston Guilbert; Pinol (Tahitian Love Call), Te Inu Nei (Tahitian Drinking Song), Fare Niau (My Native Hut), Tautira Mutu E (My Little Island in Tautira), Tiare Hinano (Flower of Hinano), Paina Te Matal (Song of the Wind), Ua Rere (Song of Victory), Otohetohe E Rori (The Song of the Fisherman), Tarevereva (Crest of the Wave), Karapara (Who Will Dance With Me), Titiriri (The Lily), Haapeu Mai Na (Tahitian Love Song)
[Gaston Guilbert] Voices of the Atolls & Zizou Bar Trio: Ta'u Tahiti (Mon Tahiti); Criterion/Tiare Tahiti STT-2000; 1957 (recorded) N/N shrink ES $40 -- Tahitian; Gaston Guilbert; Reo Tahiti did an excellent job with this '60s reissue of a rarity on the label (which itself reissues the '50s Capitol LP), both in updating the jacket to a photo of two vahines and in simulated stereo (if you like that); first we've seen of it and it's quite a find, in top shape no less!; Pinol (Tahitian Love Call), Te Inu Nei (Tahitian Drinking Song), Fare Niau (My Native Hut), Tautira Mutu E (My Little Island in Tautira), Tiare Hinano (Flower of Hinano), Paina Te Matal (Song of the Wind), Ua Rere (Song of Victory), Otohetohe E Rori (The Song of the Fisherman), Tarevereva (Crest of the Wave), Karapara (Who Will Dance With Me), Titiriri (The Lily), Haapeu Mai Na (Tahitian Love Song)
[Gaston Guilbert] Tahiti Fete! (Vol. 2); Criterion/Tiare Tahiti SST-1800-C/D; 1958 (originally) E/N ES $25 -- Tahiti; the second half of a 2-LP set, it has only two or three tracks per side, so they're nice and long (Tahitian cuts tend to be fast and brief, especially the drum instrumentals); another added value of this rare ES version in top shape is it has not only liner notes in French and thumbnail images of other LPs (to want and buy!) on the jacket back but also an insert sheet that reproduces the English liner notes and tiki artwork
[Genoa Keawe] Toti's Tahitians: Tahiti Dances [to Drums of Bora Bora & Papeete]; 49th State Hawaii LP-3422; N-/N S $30 (or E+/E+ S $25, specify) -- Tahitian; otea and aparima; great one for the label and first of a pair by Toti's group, who appeared in Waikiki mainly to offer some fast-paced rivalry to the Hawaiian hula; nine cuts of singing and nine of FAST DRUMS (and how!); beautiful jacket of hula dancer & drummer; worth it just for the liner notes, a classic tacky story about the Tahitian vs. Hawaiian hula contest ending in a draw--the judges had to resort to deciding the winners based on what the dancers said they were wearing under the grass skirts (the Tahitians won, natch)
[Genoa Keawe] Toti's Tahitians: Native Drums & Songs by Toti's Tahitians (jacket: Little Brown Gal--Drums of Tahiti by Toti's Tahitians); 49th State Hawaii LP-3426; E+/N- $40 -- Tahitian; otea and aparima; Waikiki's Toti delivers another great one!; a dozen cuts alternate between singing and otea (fast drums); beautiful jacket of hula dancer and drummer; beautiful shape (solid black vinyl mono)--seam splits the only flaw; a tough one to find and a welcome addition to the Lund/Guilbert duopoly of older Tahitian LPs
Eddie Lund Presents Tahiti Dances; Tahiti EL-1001; flat red label E/N- $50 -- Tahitian; "authentic Tahitian dances, chants, drum rhythms, and songs recorded in Tahiti"; first 12" LP in the series of hard-to-find, Eddie Lund LPs; not the first press but it more than makes up for it by being in top shape with great sound; partly reissues two rare 10" LPs (vols. 1 & 2, same title) but the last track is new to this edition and there are five cuts from the 10" LPs that are not included in these twelve: Patautau, Ua Haavaravare, Vahine Anamite, Ute, Tiare Maohi, Tairi Pahu, Tangi Tika, E Tupiti, Vahine Paumotu, Hiro E, Te Maru Tafano, Arutu Te Pahu
Eddie Lund Presents...Loma avec l"Orchestre Hotel Tahiti: Tahiti--Mon Amour; Tahiti EL-1016; green label E+/E S $25 -- Tahitian; aparima et otea; partly exotic rock; 19 tracks including some otea (drums) and a rocking aparima; true stereo it seems and a jacket face photo by the fantastic Sylvain; priced low just for some marks that don't sound and the wrong jacket back (it's from EL-1017)
Eddie Lund Presents Aparima et Otea; Tahiti EL-1017; green label V+/E+ S $30 -- Tahitian; Hiriata et son Choeur, Salamon et ses Batteurs, Maono et le Groupe de Patutoa; 18 cuts (50% more!) in stereo of singing (Tahitian hula) alternated with the incredible fast Tahitian drumming (otea) you love to get with these wonderful, and hard to find, Eddie Lund LPs
Nat Mara & his Tahitians: Welcome to Tahiti/Tahiti Voila!; Viking/Olympic 6162; 1979; N/N shrink S? $20 -- Tahitian; Nat Mara, Tony Taukaki, the Tahitians, and Vilisi; good for the jacket, musically it's the usual stuff you get with New Zealand's Viking label (at least it's clean!)
Madeleine Moua et les Ballets Heiva: Tamoure a Tahiti; Philips FL-5080; Japan N-/N- $30 -- Tahitian; Japanese repackaging (same set in a different order and without brief spoken French introduction) of the A Vous Tahiti LP (Philips 840.531-BY); all of the Madeleine Moua et les Ballets Heiva records are rare, so never pass up a chance; what we like especially about this one (the liner notes are Japanese) are 5 stills on the back of what looks like a couple doing the twist in Papeete
The Royal Polynesians featuring Charles Mauu: Polynesia! 10"; Capitol H-483; N-/E- $20-- Tahitian; "Native Songs and Dances of the South Seas"; a classic, prized on several counts: 1) Charles Mauu, the leading Tahitian musical star of his day (as this set well indicates), who starred in Pagan Love Song and was an actual chief in Tahiti, 2) one of the first "naked breast" jackets on a major label, if not the first ever, 3) great music: Tamure, Vana Vana, Tanga Tika, Vahine Anamite, Minoi Minoi, Manu Rere, Papio, Cafe au lait; top shape for a 10"!
Charles Mauu: Polynesia!; Capitol T-483; 1st/green V+/E- $20 -- Tahitian; "Native Songs and Dances of the South Seas"; a classic, prized on several counts: 1) Charles Mauu, the leading Tahitian musical star of his day (as this set well indicates), who starred in Pagan Love Song and was an actual chief in Tahiti, 2) formerly a 10" LP, this is one of the first "naked breast" jackets on a major label, if not the first ever, 3) great music: Tamure, Tiare, Vana Vana, Tanga Tika, Tau Here, Vahine Anamite, Minoi Minoi, Manu Rere, Papio, Mareva, Cafe au lait, Maruru a Vau (Farewell for Just Awhile)
Charles Mauu, his Coconut Uke & Roche's Tahitians: Tamure Tahiti Dot DLP-3494; E-/E+ $20 -- Tahitian; "Authentic Tamures, Chants, & Ballads"; rarer than the Capitol classic (as you'd expect with Dot anyway) starring the great Charlie Mauu, this one features a yummy jacket photo of gorgeous dancer Tarita, who after this went on to star in "Mutiny on the Bounty" and become Mrs. Marlon Brando, so this is something of a collectors item for that reason alone; also sports rare liner photos of Gaston Guilbert at the recording controls & Yves Roche; water damage on the bottom edge but not too shabby
Carlos Rubio: Tamouré [The New Dance Rage from Tahiti]; Philips/Mercury/Fontana SRF-67515 (UK); deep groove V+/E S $20 -- bossa/Tahitian/twist/exotic rock; one of THE greatest exotic-dance-rock LPs!; mostly bossa-twist, part Tahitian-exotic LP; fantastic loud sound, great voices, awesome percussion (& flute & organ, even some horns/reeds!); capped off by a groovy jacket dance scene (slight water damage here only on the border); Anae Atoa, Manava, A San Salvador, Poto Poto Tamoure, Plenty Rum, La Tahitee est Arrivee, Desafinado, Bossa Nova Guitar, Cafezhino..
See Hawaii and strict exotica for partly Tahitian LPs (1 or more Tahitian tunes)
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