02. Ni Cuenta Te Das
03. Tema De Pedro
04. Dame, Dame Pan
06. La Busqueda De La Estrella
07. Vamos Al Bosque
08. Era De Tontos
09. Alteracion De Tiempo
10. Descalza Camina
11. Lulu Toma El Taxi
Luis Alberto Spinetta: Bass & Vocals
Miguel Abuelo (Guest): Tambourine & Backing Vocals
Luis Alberto Spinetta was born on January 23rd, 1950, in Buenos Aires. He was the founder and leader of extremely important groups like Almendra, Pescado Rabioso and Invisible.
When Almendra split, he participated in the Billy Bond y La Pesada debut. Then he went to the studio to cut a solo LP for contractual reasons. His friends Pappo, Miguel Abuelo, Pomo, Víctor Kesselman and Elizabeth Viener, joined him for this effort.
In just 30 studio hours, he recorded an excellent mind-blowing experimental album, full of creativity and improvisation. Spinetta was credited as composer of all tracks, but it is known that "Castillos de piedra" and the hard psycho "Era de tontos" were actually written by Pappo; (Pappo later recorded his own version of "Castillos de piedra" for the Pappo's Blues Volúmen 2 album). Both songs were a sort of preview of the first Pescado Rabioso LP. Other songs like "Ni cuenta te das", "Dame, dame pan" or "Vamos al bosque" are more hippie psycho-folk oriented.
Spinetta's will was to call the album Spinettalandia y sus amigos (Spinettaland and his friends); but RCA had a "better" idea: they called the album Almendra (!) and designed a cover featuring a photo of all former members of the late group, omitting details about the musicians involved in the recording. All this was done behind Spinetta's back (he was visiting Europe at this time). Eventually, Emilio del Güercio and Rodolfo García (from Almendra) sued the company and won. The LP was reissued with a different title and photo. Later on it was re-released as La búsqueda de la estrella with a totally different photo (Luis Alberto's face). (It had yet another re-reissue with this same title, but with a cover photo of Spinetta standing).
On the other hand, the responsibility of those media (labels, companies, men in suits, CEO's, technocracy, commercial plausibility, numbers) should be reduced to a simple distribution and diffusion of the artist's work, nothing more, respecting the work as the artist conceived it and created it to be showed to public consideration.
On the late 1970 Spinetta disbanded his project Almendra, they recorded two albums for RCA Victor Argentina, the RCA (Argentine branch) said to Spinetta that the band still owed the company one album, according to a contract (contract which apparently was for three albums), Almendra didn't exist anymore in the early 1971, but they insisted, so Spinetta decided to record an album, exclusively to solve the contractual demand.
Is interesting how this story continued, cause for me, it shows two clear vital philosophies: the cold commercialism vs. the simple art.
Spinetta was back then involved in a loose project "that some day could come true" with guitarist Pappo, and drummer "Pomo" Lorenzo, it was a heavy psych power trio, "Agresivos", Pappo on guitar, Pomo on drums & Spinetta on bass and vocals; the RCA contract gap was the opportunity for "Agresivos" to crystallize their LP, so Luis penned a bunch of songs in a weekend, plus some Pappo's tracks that were added, and there the album was created, and they quickly recorded it, with the help of a friend: Miguel Abuelo, on tambourine, flute & backing vocals.
The album was presented to the RCA authorities, including 11 tracks, an artwork, and a title: "Spinettalandia y sus amigos", and it was not an Almendra album.
Actually Spinetta was pretty fed up with all this affair of the contract, debts etc, and decided to record something rare, experimental and acid that, in his own words "they (the RCA) couldn't sell to anybody".
The RCA declined the release of this stuff, the album was archived, and Spinetta, tired of Argentina, flew to Europe, that was March of 1971.
While Spinetta was in Europe (April, May, June, July?) the RCA released the album suddenly, but in their own terms: they 'entitled it' "Almendra" unilaterally, and the cover showed a photograph of the Almendra's members, who didn't participate in the record at all, an absolute nonsense with commercial intentions, and especially, a clear example of the disrespect that the corporations showed for the rock musicians (and for the fans) back then in Argentina, selling a misleading and false product.
The rest of the Almendra's ex-members, Rodolfo García, Emilio del Güercio & Edelmiro Molinari, along with a returned -and surprised- Spinetta took legal actions, the album was withdrawn from the record stores.
And that was, basically, the turbulent solo debut of Luis Alberto Spinetta... the record was reissued as "La búsqueda de la estrella", "Luis Alberto Spinetta" and, finally in the digital era, it was released on CD with the cover and title that Spinetta originally gave it: "Spinettalandia y sus amigos".
Listening to this album is, in part, like listening to the first Pappo's Blues, the Pappo's additions and presence are too imperative here to ignore them, especially on the hard rock cuts penned by him, "Castillo de piedra", and "Era de tontos".
Strangely, in the copy I own (a vintage tape of "La búsqueda de la estrella"), "Castillo de piedra" is credited as a Spinetta's song... Pappo would record it, as well, with different lyrics and arrangements on his second LP "Pappo's Blues 2", as "Tema I", months later.
This album, intended in the first place by Spinetta to be a simple contractual obligation (mixed with willingly experimental pleasure with friends), is divided among the hard rock, the psychedelia and a considerable acoustic element... the Spinetta's usually great lyrics are not so inspired here, though the rocks featured have a cool and groovy feel a la Black Sabbath of "Master of reality", sounding like some insane 1971's stoner rock.
Among the folk-ish tracks, "Ni cuenta te das" it's a fine exercise in the vein of "Led Zeppelin III", same as the acoustic instrumental "Tema de Pedro", the lucid "La búsqueda de la estrella", or the vehement and lysergically beautiful "Dame, dame pan" (give me, give me bread).
The psych-folk and nightmare-like "Vamos al bosque" is possibly the climax of the LP, track which is spiritually linked to the dyonisiac journey "Estrella".
This LP, with its multiple titles, issues and album covers, it's like a wild testament from the Argentine rock 70s' scene, mixing in a same bag, musicians whose own environmental deficiencies extracted, surely by force, a huge potential in creativity ideas and poetry, and a local industry, idiotic, flat, mediocre, old, pathetic, commercial and horrible, which was surely obstacle for the pure development of the spirit, obstacle that created muscle and hardened carcasses.
Today, Luis Alberto Spinetta is not that post-adolescent that the RCA fucked anymore, he's a sort of national symbol, a nationwide bard decorated by the authorities, sort of Borges of the rock music, the Sony-BMG CEO's are younger than him today, and wouldn't dare to modify a comma of his albums, now you tell me who won.