Some of the best nights of my life DJ'ing have been in Spain; there is an enthusiasm for the music that is unlike anywhere else. In addition to loving soul and beat of the 60's, the Spaniards produced some great sides on their own.
The first selection is not technically from a Spanish group, but they were living there when it was cut so I can't resist sharing it.
Darwin Teoria (not to be confused with Charles) were a Dutch group relocated to Spain who cut at least two singles, of which THIS is the one. Immediately we are hit with an overload of fuzzed out wah wah guitar and some Hammond organ that takes us on a wild ride whether it's the dance floor, living room or behind the wheel. Almost silly, nursery rhyme like verses make way for the anthemic chant of the chorus; my friend Brian (aka DJ Midnight Cowbwoy, and that is not a misspelling) played this song TWICE at Mod Chicago and when he played it again at around 3 AM Saturday night/ Sunday morning it was a call to arms that hypnotized and brainwashed me that I MUST HAVE THIS RECORD, while those of us still awake were tearing up the dance floor to this massive sound. Luckily I was able to score one of my own rather quickly. It's been stuck in my head ever since.
Los Bravos (The Brave) were the one Spanish group that served up an international hit; the excellent "Black Is Black' from 1966. In addition to that classic, this group from Madrid (with a German lead singer) released some other great singles within their career that ran from 1965 til 1974. In addition to English language singles, the group released several in Espanol. "La Moto" followed hot on the heels of "Black Is Black" in '66, and it's a fun record with a very dramatic vocal melody and great fuzz guitar. Their follow up English language single "Going Nowhere" is heard on Nuggets II and was a very minor U.S hit in late '66.
Tragically, organist and founding member Manuel Fernandez took his own life in 1967 after the auto accident death of his wife. The group had one more minor US hit in '67 with "Bring A Little Lovin'"; a song originally recorded by Australia's Easybeats. The group became the stars of two Spanish films during this time, and this track was the theme song to the film ¡Dame un poco de amooor, itself a celluloid vehicle for the group.It's a rocking number driven along by some driving bass guitar, excellent, steady drumming and super vocals.
Bring A Little Lovin' Los Brincos (The Jumps) are often referred to as 'The Spanish Beatles", and the group certainly shows a melodic prowess on this excellent double sider which was produced in London by Larry Page (Kinks, The Who).
"You Know" is an obvious attempt to cross over into the English speaking market, and the sound of the song is very much in the Beatles' Revolver vein; progressively psychedelic pop music that is very well written and performed (capped off with an amazing fuzzed out guitar solo). Almost better yet is "Nadie Te Quiere Ya", the flip side. It's dark, moody, and magnificent! The title translates to "Nobody Wants You Now", and the mood of the song captures a bitter relationship send off extremely well.
Until next time!