Saturday, February 28, 2015

Manal - 1971 - El Leon

El Leon

01. No hay tiempo de más
02. Blues de la amenaza nocturna
03. Soy del sol
04. Paula (quiero ver dónde estás)
05. Si no hablo de mí
06. Hoy todo anda bien
07. (Te quiero) mujer sin nombre
08. El león (despierta un león)
09. Doña Laura [Bonus Track]
10. Elena (vas mal así) [Bonus Track]
11. Vamos a la vida [Bonus Track]
12. Libre como ayer [Bonus Track]

Alejandro Medina (bass, vocals)
Claudio Gabis (guitar)
Javier Martínez (drums, vocals)

El león –a more rock oriented LP– was not as good as its predecessor. Anyway, it features great songs like "Blues de la amenaza nocturna", "Paula" or "Si no hablo de mí". A single with two non-album tracks was also released.

Shortly afterwards, Manal split. Medina and Gabis went to La Pesada and released solo albums. Martínez left Argentina, until in 1981 (due to Almendra's successful comeback) he returned for Manal's own comeback! They toured and released two new forgettable albums (one recorded live). Despite the lack of artistic success, they actually insisted on reuniting again in 1995 for yet another live comeback and another live album! (No comment).

In 1972, El león was reissued with extra tracks as Manal (RCA Vik LZ-1225). In 1973 an excellent double LP set was released featuring the first Mandioca album, all Mandioca singles, and unreleased tracks. It was given the innovative title Manal (Talent SE 386/7) (better known as "Manal double album").

Manal - 1970 - Manal


01. Jugo de tomate
02. Porque hoy nací
03. Avenida Rivadavia
04. Todo el día me pregunto
05. Avellaneda Blues
06. Una casa con diez pinos
07. Informe de un día

Alejandro Medina (bass, vocals)
Claudio Gabis (guitar)
Javier Martínez (drums, vocals)

Javier Martínez –one of the founders of the Argentine rock movement– was a regular at club La Cueva, the legendary cradle of many rock artists. There he met bass player Alejandro Medina (ex-The Seasons) and guitarist Claudio Gabis. They formed a trio named Ricota (a type of soft cheese) after the famous British band Cream. Martinez's main ambition was to sing the blues in Spanish (something unheard of at that time).

Manal was the first act to sign to Mandioca, the pioneer label created by producers Jorge Álvarez and Pedro Pujó. The label debuted by releasing three singles (Manal, Miguel Abuelo and Cristina Plate) on November 12th, 1968. These 7"s featured unique luxury fold-out picture sleeves. Manal's a-side featured a 6 (six!) minute song ("Qué pena me das!") and the b-side included "Para ser un hombre más", with an excellent fuzz guitar. Though extremely rare, this single is hardly recommended.

In the summertime, a venue called Mandioca opened at the Beach City of Mar del Plata. Pappo used to play piano with the trio, promoted as "blues and psychedelic-soul"! (This venue closed at the end of the summer, due to economic reasons).

In the middle of 1969, a second brilliant single was released –"No pibe" b/w "Necesito un amor"– and by the end of the year their first album hit the stores.

The LP is now a classic. The lyrics have a lot of urban references, almost a modern tango. The music –mostly rock and blues– is superb as well. The most remarkable moments are "Jugo de tomate" (Manal's most popular song), "Avenida Rivadavia" (about the longest avenue in Buenos Aires), "Una casa con diez pinos", "Informe de un día" and "Avellaneda blues" (a tango-blues about the suburbs). The trio sounds great and Gabis' performance is brilliant. A must have album, although original copies are extremely hard to get in good condition. (Two songs from the album were released on a single).

Also in 1970, Mandioca released a various artists album called Pidamos peras a Mandioca (Mandioca MLP 335) featuring the original version of "Elena", a song that Manal re-recorded for their second album.

Manal, along with Almendra, represented the first great moment of Rock and Blues in Argentina. Of course there were some important precedents like Los Gatos and Moris, among others, but Manal was different. They claimed Blues as an Argentinian experience, and made Buenos Aires, for some of us very young then, our city.
Manal, an invented word in Spanish that can be translated as "a lot of hands," reached all their fingers to the gray sky of a city catching up with the new music of the world (The Who's Tommy was just coming out, and the Stones were still bad boys) and offer their take on being young and angry and sad.
This CD contains some of their best stuff from their original recording for the independent label Mandioca, first and only of its kind in those days. You can hear songs that became hymns to us down there, like Jugo de Tomate ("If you want to be a big shot / cold tomato juice / in your veins /you will have to have" the chorus went), or Avenida Rivadavia and Casa con Diez Pinos. There are too some tunes from their second album, although this one never matched the raw energy and lovely poor production of the first.
I think that you don't need to have been born in Buenos Aires nor understand what Latin America was up to, to appreciate these songs. They are forefathers to the lo-fi / indie movement that has spawn so many great bands in the States. I have no proof but I'm sure that Vic Chesnutt would approve.

Aquelarre - 1975 - Siesta


01. Pájaro De La Locura
02. Árboles Caídos Para Siempre
03. Canto Cetrino
04. Siesta Cambiada
05. Cacería En El Bosque
06. Savia De Los Aromos
07. El Hombre Cercano

- Emilio del Güercio / bass, vocals
- Héctor Stark / guitar, vocals
- Hugo González Neira / keyboards, vocals
- Rodolfo Garcia / drums, vocals

 In October 1975, Siesta was released, along with a 7" featuring a non-LP b-side. The album had a stronger symphonic style, with heavier use of keyboards and synthesizers.

click to enlargeSiesta has its great moments, like "Pájaro de la locura", "Canto cetrino" or "Cacería en el bosque", but falls short when compared to their the previous releases.

Once settled in Spain, Aquelarre played intensively in Barcelona, Ibiza and Madrid, but they only cut one instrumental track ("Mágico y natural") for a compilation album of Spanish groups in 1977 (Ni lo uno ni lo otro, sino todo lo contrario - Beverly Records L30017).

Disappointed, the group decided to split. They planned a farewell concert in Buenos Aires, but González Neira refused to return to Argentina. The concert was held anyway, with former Pescado Rabioso Carlos Cutaia on keyboards, at the huge Luna Park Stadium. (Actually, their very last performance took place a few days later –on March 16th 1977– at the Nueva Estela Theatre in Montevideo, Uruguay).

Héctor Starc and Rodolfo García later joined bass player Machi Rufino (ex-Invisible) to form Tantor, a jazz-rock oriented group which released two LPs (Tantor and Mágico y natural). Emilio del Güercio recorded a good intimate local-flavoured solo album in 1983 (Pintada - Microfón SUPS 80236).

Aquelarre - 1974 - Brumas


01. Parte del día (6:09)
02. Silencio marginal (3:29)
03. Aniñada (3:53)
04. Brumas en la bruma (3:52)
05. Milagro de pueblo (8:07)
06. Aves rapaces (3:41)
07. Mirando adentro (5:56)

- Emilio del Güercio / bass, vocals
- Héctor Stark / guitar, vocals
- Hugo González Neira / keyboards, vocals
- Rodolfo Garcia / drums, vocals

In 1974 they released Brumas, their most popular LP. The album was previewed at the Coliseo Theatre in Buenos Aires, a concert I fondly remember.

Brumas is another great record. The most inspired moments are the beautiful "Brumas en la bruma" (with superb orchestral arrangements by Rodolfo Alchourrón), the complex "Milagro de pueblo", the alluring "Aves rapaces" and "Parte del día".

At this point, Aquelarre toured feverishly through the country, motivating young musicians to form their own new bands!

With great enthusiasm, Aquelarre recorded a fourth album and announced their desire to move to Spain in search of new boundaries. They said goodbye to the Argentine audience by playing three great farewell concerts at the Coliseo Theatre. In October 1975, Siesta was released, along with a 7" featuring a non-LP b-side. The album had a stronger symphonic style, with heavier use of keyboards and synthesizers.

Aquelarre - 1973 - Candiles


01. Cruzando La Calle
02. Soplo Nuestro
03. Hermana Vereda
04. Cuentos Tristes
05. Miren A Este Imbécil
06. Patos Trastornados
07. Iluminen La Tierra

- Emilio del Güercio / bass, vocals
- Héctor Stark / guitar, vocals
- Hugo González Neira / keyboards, vocals
- Rodolfo Garcia / drums, vocals

Just four months after the first album, the group began the recording sessions for their second album: Candiles. The cover reproduced the painting "Aquelarre" by famed Spanish painter Francisco de Goya (1746-1828). It was another way to reflect the current political situation.

This great LP includes the energetic "Cruzando la calle", the soft melody of "Soplo nuestro", the rhythmic and changing "Hermana vereda" and the ballad "Cuentos tristes" (with Emilio on flute) on side A. Side B features the keyboard led with the guitar riff "Miren a este imbécil", the frantic instrumental "Patos trastornados" (with a great guitar performance) and the album's most inspired track: "Iluminen la tierra".

The music of Aquelarre was becoming much more progressive and melodic, moving somewhat away from rock. This sound would stabilise in their next album (for a new label), recorded with better production and instrumental resources.

Aquelarre - 1972 - Aquelarre


01. Canto
02. Yo Seré El Animal, Vos Serás Mi Dueño
03. Aventura En El Árbol
04. Jugador, Campos Para Luchar
05. Cantemos Tu Nombre
06. Movimiento

- Emilio del Güercio / bass, vocals
- Héctor Stark / guitar, vocals
- Hugo González Neira / keyboards, vocals
- Rodolfo Garcia / drums, vocals

After Almendra's break-up, three new extremely important groups were formed. Luis Alberto Spinetta formed Pescado Rabioso, Edelmiro Molinari formed Color Humano, whilst Emilio del Güercio and Rodolfo García formed Aquelarre.

For this project, Del Güercio and García were joined by González Neira (a keyboard player from the jazz scene), and the great guitarist Starc (formerly with the beat combo Alta Tensión and a regular at every endless guitar rock jam). The group played highly rehearsed progressive music, with surrealistic lyrics, led by the peculiar and melodic sound of the electric harpsichord.

Aquelarre officially made their debut on March 17th, 1972, at the Lorange Theatre on Corrientes Avenue in Buenos Aires. Soon afterwards, they released their outstanding first LP, recorded in two months at ION Studios (sharing dates and studio with Huinca).

The album starts with the powerful "Canto" (featuring another characteristic of the group: the fast wild guitar). The soft and beautiful "Yo seré el animal, tú serás mi dueño" is followed by the best track of the LP: "Aventura en el árbol". Listen to that brilliant wah-wah echo guitar!

Side B begins with "Jugador, campos para luchar", led by the guitar riff and powerful harpsichord, and the pretty "Cantemos tu nombre" (sung by Hugo with his peculiar voice). The album closes with the sturdy "Movimiento". A highly recommended record.

The cover was drawn by Emilio del Güercio (years later he quit music to become a graphic designer), and both the cover artwork and the lyrics subtly reflected the dark period just about to arise in the country (the military coup).

A pretty good album, it picks up s from where Almendra II left off; anyways this sounds much more like Pappo's Blues than Almendra. Of course, Spinetta's absence explains the sharp drop in the quality of the lyrics when comparing this album to Almendra. I don't know if I would call it psychedelic or space rock, but it is in the same vein as most stoner rock bands. The album features a great cover, which is pretty psychedelic, and was drawn by the band's bass player.

In retrospect this is truly charming music, which lost nothing of its beauty and appeal over the years and is definitely worthy of an honorable place in any serious Prog collection.

Luis Alberto Spinetta - 1977 - A 18' Del Sol

Luis Alberto Spinetta 
A 18' Del Sol

01. Viento del azur
02. Telgopor
03. Viejas mascarillas
04. A dieciocho minutos del sol
05. Canción para los días de la vida
06. Toda la vida tiene música hoy
07. ¿Dónde está el topacio?
08. La eternidad imaginaria

Drums – Carlos Gustavo Spinetta (tracks: 1), Osvaldo López
Electric Bass – Machi Rufino
Keyboards – Diego Rapoport
Electric Bass – Marcelo Vidal
Guitars, Vocals: Luis Alberto Spinetta

Luis returns to fusion on this album, much like his work with Invisible around Durazno sangrando. The difference is that this is less disjointed and discordy, and everyone of these jams flows beautifully thanks to pianist Diego Rapoport, and of course Spinetta's guitar (it's not an instrument, it's an extension of his soul!). I'm usually not a great fan of fusion, but a lot of the stuff here is quite booty-full! His voice is also so gentle, and they carry these songs with such a feeling of comfort. It's crazy! Especially on "Viejas Mascarillas". The instrumentation is so subtle, yet so tastefully done. "Canción para los días de la vida" is another beautiful song, and it's entirely acoustic.

Invisible - 1976 - El Jardin de Los Presentes

El Jardin de Los Presentes

01. El anillo del Capitán Beto
02. Los libros de la buena memoria
03. Alarma entre los ángeles
04. Que ves el cielo
05. Ruido de magia
06. Doscientos años
07. Niño condenado
08. Las golondrinas de la Plaza de Mayo

- Luis Alberto Spinetta / guitar and vocals
- Hector Lorenzo / drums
- Carlos Rufino / bass and backing vocals
- Tommy Gubitsch / lead guitar

In 1975, young virtuoso electric guitarist Tommy Gubitsch joined the group. Now a quartet, Invisible released their third and very popular final album: El jardín de los presentes. This LP had a lot of tango-influenced music and lyrics. There is some bandoneón playing; and the opening song, the still remembered "El anillo del capitán Beto", tells the story of a sort of space city bus driver with the same nickname as a popular soccer player.

This attempt to fuse tango with rock music was a trend in those days due to the fact that revolutionary tango composer Astor Piazzolla was getting involved with rock musicians. (He later regretted this, claiming that rock performers did not like to practice to improve their playing!). Anyway, let us admit that Spinetta had already used a bandoneón in a song years before that: "Laura va", from Almendra's debut album.

Another song to remark is "Niño condenado (Perdonado)", with a powerful King Crimson-influenced interlude.

El jardín de los presentes –a very good album in the end– was promoted with a big sell-out concert. However, by the end of the year (1976) the group split.

Luis Alberto Spinetta pursued a solo career (sometimes under the name Spinetta-Jade) mostly influenced in jazz-rock and fusion. Pomo and Machi would play with different artists.

First of all I would like to say that I don't agree with the fact that Invisible is labeled as Symphonic Prog.The term Jazz fusion would suite them much better.I think that this is important because this may confuse newcomers to the band (especially not spanish speakers)
This is the third and last album by this trio , who has now become a quartet due to the inclusion of guitar virtuoso Tomas Gubitsch.When listening to Spinetta's albums lyrics are a very important aspect so probably non spanish speakers won't be able to appreciate this at first , specially with this album that manages to build a very prominent porteño feel (by the way porteños are the citizens of Buenos Aires).

That being said , the album is mainly a blend of rock , jazz and tango. You can appreciate that due to the work of guest mucisians like bandeonists Juan Jose Mosalini and Rodolfo Mederos.If I were asked about the album's standout tracks I would say that they are the opener El anillo del Capitan Beto , whose lyrics are about the loliness a common man who was a bus driver feels when he is put on a space voyage , reminding his relatives and little every day stuff that he misses so much.

The other standout tracks are Los libros de la buena memoria and the instrumental Alarma entre los Angeles.Lastly I'll add that this album is a landmark in argentinian and latin american progressive music and deserves to be listened by every fan.

Invisible - 1975 - Durazno Sangrando

Durazno Sangrando

01. Encadenado al ánima
02. Durazno Sangrando
03. Pleamar de águilas
04. En una lejana playa del animus
05. Dios de adolescencia

- Luis Alberto Spinetta / guitars and vocals
- Hector Lorenzo / drums
- Carlos Rufino / bass and backing vocals

For the next album, they signed with a major company (CBS), which garnered more production and promotional support. Durazno sangrando is a good more relaxed and progressive album. The title song was very popular and should have been released as a single. The lyrics, based on a book by Carl Jung, were very important as well.

After their majestic debut album Invisible had to confirm to the public if they were one of those one album wonder bands ( pretty usual in Argentina) or a serious project. And personally speaking , I think they made an improvement over their debut release which was really hard to top anyway. Durazno Sangrando is an album based on a book by Carl Jung and Richard Wilhem called The Secret of the golden Flower. Spinetta was really fond of reading and he got some inspirations for his lyrics from autors like Rimbaud , Artaud ( he dedicated one release to him) , Nietzche , Freud and Michel Foucault among others.
This record is a bit more accesible and less darker than his debut album. It opens with an amazing epic called Encadenado al Anima and then features shorter songs all of them with a jazzy approach. Encadenado.. opens with a spacey section driven by Spinetta's guitar and Pomo's subtle drumming. Luis's vocals share a lot in common with Jon Anderson and some of the greatest RPI singers of the 70's. Suddenly the song breaks into a faster section to become subtle once more this time with some smooth synthetizers on the back. This song is a memorable epic since it has several mood changes and is really well composed. Also I want to add that the lyrics for this song were inspired on a poem written by Luis's father.

The title track is an absolute classic of argentinian rock and one of Spinetta's most popular song. It's just 3 minutes long but holds an undescriptable beauty. If I were to describe this one , I would say it's a cross between some of the early KC ballads like Lady of the dancing water or Cadence and Cascade and some of the most gentle PFM or Celeste moments. The third song Pleamar de Aguilas is not sung by Spinetta but bassist Machi. And altough his voice is a lot different from Luis the result ain't bad. Some may say this song is a little whimsical but it features very good guitarwork from Luis and nice vocal harmonies as well. En una lejana playa del Animus is probably the most laid back song on this record. Being 9 minutes long it starts with some jazzy improvisation and then features some spacey guitars. Luckily the mood of the song changes with a powerful chorus and from that moment on turns on a rocker driven by Spinetta's fantastic guitar solos and Machi's bass groove . Lastly , the record closes with another 3 minute acoustic song with jazzy chord progressions called Dios de Adolesencia. It's a really simple , yet beautiful song which happens to be my favourite on this record.

For those looking for Argentinian prog , Durazno Sangrando is the place to go.It's an essential record from both my country and South American prog.

Invisible - 1974 - Invisible


01. Jugo de lúcuma
02. El diluvio y la pasajera
03. Suspensión
04. Tema de Elmo Lesto
05. Azafata del tren fantasma
06. Irregular

Bonus Tracks:
07. La llave del mandala
08. Lo que nos ocupa es esa abuela, la conciencia que regula el mundo
09. Elementales leches
10. Estado de coma
11. Oso del sueño
12. Viejos ratones del tiempo

Luis Alberto Spinetta (guitar, vocals)
Carlos Alberto Machi Rufino (bass)
Héctor "Pomo" Lorenzo (drums)

After Pescado Rabioso's break up, Luis Alberto Spinetta formed a new trio together with two former Pappo's Blues members: Héctor Lorenzo (a.k.a. Pomo) on drums and Carlos Rufino (a.k.a. Machi) on bass.

Invisible debuted with a series of shows at the Astral Theatre in Buenos Aires by the end of 1973. Spinetta's music at this time was turning more progressive and challenging.

Those concerts were terrific. While the trio played an instrumental piece called "Tema de Elmo Lesto" (something like "Theme from Thean Noying"), a big cube-faced figured appeared onstage and "annoyed" the musicians. While they played "Azafata del tren fantasma" ("The Stewardess of the Ghost Train"), the surrealistic 1928 film Un chien Andalou (by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí) would be projected. Once again, Luis Alberto knew how to thrill his audience!

In March 1974, Invisible went to studios for their first LP. A single was released in advance: "Elementales leches" b/w the terrific wah wah guitar "Estado de coma", reminiscing Pescado Rabioso.

The first album surprised everybody. The cover showed drawings of genius Dutchman Mauritius Cornelius Escher (1898-1972). Although his drawings had already been used in the UK by Mott the Hoople and in the USA by Mandrake Memorial, this was something absolutely new for Argentina! Not only that, a bonus single was enclosed (in an envelope attached to the inner sleeve) with two new great songs: "La llave del Mandala " and "Lo que nos ocupa es esa abuela, la conciencia que regula el mundo".

All the album tracks are also wonderful and hard to describe. Spinetta's guitar sounds as clear and powerful as it ever will. The arrangements and rhythmic were complex and unheard from a rock trio. If I had to choose my favourite, I would pick the two part "El diluvio y la pasajera" for its beauty. A must-have album, one of my favourites of all time, and definitely one of the best of 1974. Absolutely recommended.

Still, by the end of the year, Invisible released another good single that would close this first production cycle.

Invisible was originally formed by Luis Alberto Spinetta (guitars and vocals) who was formerly from the band Pescado Robioso that recently broke up at the time. The bass and drums were played by two former Pappo's Blues members Hector Lorenzo (drums) and Carlos Rufino (bass.) During the beginning of the bands playing (1973) the music was more straightforward rock with influences of Hendrix and Zeppelin and touches of a Black Sabbath sound. Their first, self-titled album, reflected their influences and was very complex, especially for a three man rock group.

Their next album "Durazno Sangrando" was their debut on a major label and an all out progressive album. Spinetta's lyrics were very well written. The story to "Durazno Sangrando" was based on a book by Carl Jung. "Durazno Sangrando" is their most progressive album and is generally noted as the bands best material. In 1975, virtuoso guitarist Tommy Gubitsch joined the group. Their third and final album "El Jardín de los Presentes" turned out to be their most popular. This album has a lot of Tango influence and also some sounds that would remind us of early King Crimson. After the success of "El Jardín de los Presentes" the band split up at the end of 1976. Spinetta pursued a jazz-fusion esque solo career after the breakup.

Invisible was a bigger band in the Argentine prog scene and is definitely worth a good listen. If you are interested at all in Argentine prog they are essential. Their middle album "Durazno Sangrando" is their best and most interesting though "El Jardín de los Presentes" is also worth a good listen (mainly for it's fusion of rock, prog, and tango influence.)

Spinetta's spanish vocals may remind you of the greatest italian singers from the 70's , but in my opinion his voice is one of a kind. The music is really complex if we take into account that Invisible is just a trio and they didn't include any keyboards on this record. The opener Jugo de Lucuma features some really nice interplay between Pomo and Machi and Spinetta's surreal lyrics really go well with the mood of the song. El diluvio y la pasajera is one of the standout tracks on this release. Starts with some acoustic guitar and does not feature any drumming in the first four minutes , reminding me of Harmonium. It's incredible how they could create a song as good as this one with just bass and guitars! After that point , there comes some jazzy drumming and Spinetta delivers a killing psychedelic guitar solo. The next track Suspension opens with a Black Sabbath/ Led Zep riff and there is quite a contrast created by the majestic vocal work in the beggining. Tema de elmo lesto is a short instrumental and personally , I think is the worst song of the six included here. It sounds like a jam session and the drumming is not as inspired as it's on the rest of the record. However there are some outstanding Luis guitar solos that somewhat save this song. The next track is my second favourite here Asafata del Tren Fantasma has some of Luis best lyrics on his career ( and this guy has edited almost 40 albums including solo works so that's quite a compliment) The track is really tranquil but the band manages to build some tension around it with sudden breaks. Lastly , we have Irregular which is , alongside Jugo de Lucuma , the jazziest track of this release. I really like Pomo's and Machi's performance on this tune.

Pescado Rabioso - 1973 - Artaud

Pescado Rabioso 

01. Todas Las Hojas Son Del Viento   
02. Cementerio Club
03. Por   
04. Superchería   
05. Las Sed Verdadera
06. Cantata De Puentes Amarillos
07. Bajan
08. A Starosta, El Idiota
09. Las Habladurías Del Mundo

Bass Guitar – Emilio Del Guercio
Drums – Carlos Gustavo Spinetta
Drums, Cowbell, Chorus – Rodolfo García
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Maracas, Cymbal – Luis Alberto Spinetta

Unfortunately, by mid-1973, Pescado Rabioso split due to musical differences and a fight between Spinetta and David Lebón. A rock and roll single with a non-LP track ("Me gusta ese tajo") was released, and then Luis Alberto recorded a wonderful solo album credited to Pescado Rabioso: Artaud.

With the help of his brother Carlos Gustavo Spinetta on drums and his former Almendra mates Emilio del Güercio (bass) and Rodolfo García (drums) on some tracks, Artaud (obviously dedicated to French poet and actor Antonin Artaud [1895-1948]) is yet another masterpiece.

The cover deserves a chapter on its own. Even on this ground Spinetta surpasses his own limits. Instead of being square, the original cover of Artaud had an odd oversized shape that made it impossible to rack in conventional LP bins. It is a serious competitor for The World's Most Original and Anti-Commercial LP Cover contest. It also included a small booklet with the lyrics and technical information.

With a different (mainly folk) musical style than Pescado 2, Artaud opens with the wonderful "Todas las hojas son del viento". "Cementerio Club" is a psycho blues. The strange "Por", the moody "Surperchería" and the beautiful "La sed veradera" come next. Side B opens with the long and climatic "Cantata de puentes amarillos", and is followed by the electric "Bajan", the psycho "A Starosta, el idiota" and the terrific "Las habladurías del mundo"(one of the best songs of the album). A difficult LP to describe, due to the nature of the music and the lyrics, but a must for Spinetta followers.

Despite its brief existence, Pescado Rabioso is still today the most influential group of Argentine progressive rock musicians.

Late in 1973 Spinetta formed Invisible. In 1976 a best-of LP Lo mejor de Pescado Rabioso (Talent SE-620) was released, featuring all the singles. All the albums have been widely reissued on vinyl and CD. (Note: reissues of Pescado 2 lack the booklet; Artaud's cover became regular square!).

Using Pescado 2 as a launching pad, Luis Alberto Spinetta completely reinvented the band's sound. While Pescado 2 was heavily rooted in hard rock, and psychedelic rock (maybe a bit of blues too, I dunno), Artaud took a much more stripped down singer-songwriter, and even jazzy approach (especially the drumming style). The perfect lounge rock record.

It's an improvement over Pescado 2 too. Instead of trying to come up with enough material to fill a double album, Luis just goes for a single album of all killer and no filler, and he pulls it off brilliantly. I've heard that the lyrics are fantastic, but being a first year Spanish student (and nothing is sticking), I can't tell. But the music alone is extremely evocative, and Spinetta's voice is amazing. Just to give you an idea of how emotional in tune he is with his music, he actually cries on "A Starota, el Idiota". Talk about awkward...It's a really good song, though. And it also samples "She Loves You" by The Beatles, and I wish I knew the reasoning behind that one.

But by golly, this is some amazing stuff! It's not all that jazzy rock stuff. "Supercheria" rocks some major cock! It out rocks everything Axl Rose could ever imagine doing (not that that's hard to do).  The other great songs on here are "Todas las Hojas Son del Viento", "Cantata de Puentes Amarillos", and "A Starota, el Idiota". What I love about this album is that a lot of songs focus on having a brilliant melody throughout, and then they end with fantastic guitar outros, that out awesome just about every guitarist out there.

This album is serious business. Get it.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Pescado Rabioso - 1973 - Pescado Rabioso 2

Pescado Rabioso 
Pescado Rabioso 2

101. Panadero Ensoñado   
102. Iniciado Del Alba   
103. Poseído Del Alba   
104. Como El Viento Voy A Ver
105. Viajero Naciendo   
106. Mañana O Pasado   
107. Nena Boba   
108. Madre-Selva   
109. Peteribí   


201. 16'' De Peteribí   
202. Zapada   
203. Credulidad   
204. ¡Hola Pequeño Ser!   
205. Mi Espíritu Se Fué   
206. Sombra De La Noche Negra   
207. La Cereza Del Zar   
208. Corto   
209. Cristálida   

Bass Guitar [Gibson Semi-acoustic, Standel, Fender Strings, Fender Jazz Bass, Rotosommal Strings], Chorus, Electric Guitar [Fender Stratocaster, Picatto Strings, Squire Strings, Fender Strings], Acoustic Guitar – David Lebon
Drums [Caf. Special, Ludwig, Zildgian Sound Plates, Paiste Sound Plates, Hispana Drumheads, Everplay Extra Drumheads], Percussion – Black Amaya
Electric Guitar [Fender Stratocaster, Picatto Strings, Squire Strings, Fender Strings], Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Chorus, Illustration [Inner Cover, Vinyl 2] – Spinetta*
Organ [Hammond, Leslie 900], Piano – Carlos Cutaia

Even for a double album, this is a definite improvement over Pescado Rabioso's debut album Desatormentándonos. Their sound was rooted in blues rock, which also comes with the unfortunate side of blues rock: the fact that the songs drag on and on, with no excitement, or nothing to even enjoy in the slightest. With every song being over eight-minutes, you just get...bored.

On this, oh boy! Hold on to your butts, 'cause this album rocks your cock in the most non-sexual, psychologically satisfying way imaginable! I thought I was forever turned off hard rock, but this totally turns me back on. Unfortunately, my idea of hard rock is always going to be tarnished by having bands like AC/DC and Pearl Jam springing to mind when I hear the word, but Pescado Rabioso just proves that it doesn't all have to be bad. And I thank Luis Alberto Spinetta the most for this. I went the longest time without listening to him, and when I listened to this I forgot how absolutely mind-blowing this man's guitar work is. And he's self-taught! My God!

It's like your hard rock with organ along with all of the other conventional rock instruments. So it's really more heavy psychedelic rock than anything. Maybe a little bluesy, who knows. Spinetta sounds so unique, that his music should just be classified as 'Spinetta music'. The man does what he wants. If you know me, you would know that I have a personal vendetta against double albums, but the fact that this is a double album doesn't really turn me off. For a double album, this has relatively little filler. This makes the whole album seem much shorter than it actually is, since the boredom factor sets in very rarely. And time flies when you're having fun, right? I do prefer the first half to the second half, but the second half isn't bad by any means.

Now here's the most important part, where I tell you the goods on here. The following tracks rule on some level or another: "Inicidao del Alba", "Como el Viento Voy a Ver", "Madre-Selva", "Sombra de la Noche Negra" and "Cristalida". Not to say that those are the only good tracks, since everything rules on here in one way or another. And am I the only one who notices the glaring similarities between "Madre-Selva" and "Free Bird"? Since this album predates "Free Bird", I wouldn't be surprised if Lynyrd Skynyrd went down to Argentina and totally ripped off these guys. Mudderfuggaz...

In late 1972/early 73, Pescado Rabioso went to studio to cut their masterpiece: Pescado 2, a 2-LP set considered one of the top 5 best South American rock albums ever recorded, and certainly the highest point of Spinetta's creative genius.

Pescado 2 was conceived as two separate LPs: one called Pescado, and the other called 2. The two covers were joined upside down and the original version included a 48-page booklet with the lyrics, technical data, photos, texts and drawings, as well as a poem by Arthur Rimbaud and a quote from his "Illuminations". This is a coincidence, since it explains the origin of Spinetta's surrealistic lyrics of that time.

The 18 tracks are numbered, and the numbers are part of the song titles as well.

Side A opens with "Panadero ensoñado" a guttural duo between Luis and David, and is followed by the great saga "Iniciado del Alba"/"Poseído del Alba" lead by the Hammond organ with Leslie. "Como el viento voy a ver" is a wonderful easy blues number. The effects of "Viajero naciendo" and the first Lebón composition to be recorded "Mañana o pasado" close the side.

Side B features a rock and roll number "Nena boba", "Madre Selva", another superb moment of the album with climatic guitar and organ, and the enigmatic "Peteribí" (unique Argentine tree).

Side C begins with 16 seconds of "Peteribí" to give continuity to the whole concept. "Señorita" is a group-improvised composition. "Credulidad" is an acoustic song with Spinetta remembering his early years. "Hola, pequeño ser!" is an anti-drug hard rock with excellent guitar and organ duels. "Mi espíritu se fue" is a nice ballad written by Bocón.

Side D opens with "Sombra de la noche negra", a hard rock composed by Black Amaya with furious guitars and organs. The calm returns with "La cereza del zar", a folk-psycho ballad, and "Corto" (originally called "Después de la bomba") about the nuclear holocaust. The album closes with an absolute Spinetta masterpiece: "Cristálida", a 9-minute opus with rhythm changes and orchestral arrangements.

In other words, an absolute must have album!!!

Pescado Rabioso - 1972 - Desatormentándonos

Pescado Rabioso

01. Blues De Cris   
02. El Jardinero (Temprano Amanecio)   
03. Dulce 3 Nocturno   
04. El Monstruo De La Laguna   
05. Serpiente (Viaja Por La Sal)

Luis Alberto Spinetta (guitar, vocals)
Black "Negro" Amaya (drums)
Bocón Frascino (bass, guitar, vocals)

After Almendra broke up, Luis Alberto Spinetta recorded his legendary first solo album and left for Europe. Back in Buenos Aires, he formed a trio to perform stronger acid-related music with Osvaldo "Bocón" Frascino on bass and Juan Carlos "Black" Amaya (ex-Pappo's Blues) on drums.

click to enlarge The dreamy psychedelic cover –drawn by Jorge Visñovesky and originally released with a poster insert including the group's Statement of Principles– was the preamble of Desatormentándonos, their first superb album. (Note: future reissues lacked the insert.)

Side A, a.k.a. "Damas" ("Ladies") opens with "Blues de Cris", a powerful hard-blues led by Spinetta's guitar and dedicated to the same girl that inspired him for the sweet "Muchacha ojos de papel" (his most famous song) but this time to say goodbye. "El jardinero (temprano amaneció)" is a long psycho song full of effects and distorted guitars. On the other hand, "Dulce 3 nocturno" sung by Spinetta and Bocón is a beautiful and relaxing tune.

Side B, a.k.a. "Caballeros" ("Gentlemen") begins with "Algo flota en la laguna" –another distorted guitar psycho song– and ends with the enigmatic "Serpiente (viaja por la sal)" featuring Carlos Cutaia (soon to join the group) on Hammond organ. A must!

Bocón left and was replaced by David Lebón (ex-Pappo's Blues and Color Humano) on bass. With this new line-up, Pescado Rabioso released an excellent hard-rock single: "Post-crucifixión" b/w "Despiértate nena". During a show at the Olimpia Theatre of Buenos Aires, the quartet was filmed performing the single for the movie Rock hasta que se ponga el sol. These live versions, included on the soundtrack album (Talent I-382), are even better than the studio ones!

Luis Alberto Spinetta - 1971 - Almendra

Luis Alberto Spinetta 

01. Castillo De Piedra   
02. Ni Cuenta Te Das   
03. Tema De Pedro
04. Dame, Dame Pan
05. Estrella
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
Pappo: Guitar
Pomo: Drums

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).

The story behind the release of Luis Alberto Spinetta's first solo album is a bit strange, and it shows clearly two different mentalities: the honest -even innocent- artist and his work, and the underhand and merely commercial company that releases and distributes that work. The aim of the artist, if there is something valuable in him in the first place, will be the hallucination and the beauty just for the sake of it, and justified in it, without any second intention.
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.

Almendra - 1970 - Almendra 2

Almendra 2

01. Toma El Tren Hacia El Sur   
02. Jingle   
03. No Tengo Idea   
04. Camino Difícil   
05. Rutas Argentinas   
06. Vete De Mí, Cuervo Negro   
07. Aire De Amor   
08. Mestizo   
09. Agnus Dei   
10. Para Ir   
11. Parvas   
12. Cometa Azul   
13. Florecen Los Nardos   
14. Carmen   
15. Obertura   
16. Amor De Aire   
17. Verde Llano   
18. Leves Instrucciones   
19. Los Elefantes   
20. Un Pájaro Te Sostiene   
21. En Las Cúpulas

Bass, Vocals, Organ, Piano, Effects – Emilio del Guercio
Drums, Vocals, Percussion – Rodolfo García
Guitar, Vocals, Organ – Edelmiro Molinari
Guitar, Vocals, Piano – Luis Alberto Spinetta

The second album of this Buenos Aires rock band Almendra was an ambitious double vinyl, perhaps slightly less solid than the debut for some, more erratic and less concise, in style and inspiration, yet including a considerable amount of great tracks, and possibly its sound is more appealing for my taste.
Notwithstanding the best songs here are better than the best songs of the first LP, this one cannot capture that especial, fragile and almost golden mood the first album had, and due to its length, "Almendra 2" ends being a more diluted affair.
The irruption of Led Zeppelin and other 70s' bands is already clear in the sound that Luis Alberto Spinetta et al gave to this record, also influenced by some progressive rock acts of its time, and why not, by the blues rock of groups like Jethro Tull, with vocation for the jam and the psychedelia a la early Amon Duul 2, which is especially appreciated on the long and trippy "Agnus Dei".
There are many good songs, in quality and quantity to remark here, like "Toma el tren hacia el sur", "Camino difícil", "Rutas argentinas", "Leves instrucciones", "Mestizo", "Parvas", "Los elefantes", "Aire de amor", "Vete de mí, cuervo negro" or "Un pájaro te sostiene", among others, and despite the disc one it's slightly better than the second, these -almost- 80 minutes of music are interesting, beginning to end.
After this album Almendra would disband, and several outfits would born from its ashes: Pescado Rabioso, Color Humano, Aquelarre, but these bands belonged more clearly to the 70s' hard and progressive rock camp than Almendra itself.
"Almendra 2" is, in short, a genuine classic, in spite of certain technical 1970's imperfections

On December 19th, 1970, Almendra (a.k.a. Almendra Double Album) was released, along with a new single taken from it. The 2-LP set included only traces of the unfinished opera but was full of songs that previewed what the members of the group (noteworthy Emilio and Edelmiro) would do next. Although Luis Alberto Spinetta was the main composer of the first album and most of the singles, it was clear that his fellow musicians had their own ideas as well.

The brilliant double album is, thus, pretty heterogeneous. The music is more complex and has much organ and guitar playing. Side A begins with "Toma el tren hacia el sur" featuring a great Edelmiro guitar solo. Next to the short and simple "Jingle", a powerful Molinari guitar composition ("No tengo idea") follows. "Camino difícil", written by Emilio, would fit in any Aquelarre album. The steady rock of "Rutas argentinas" (a very popular song on live shows), the dark "Vete de mí, cuervo negro", and another two Molinari compositions: "Aire de amor" (advancing the Color Humano style) and the excellent "Mestizo" completes this side.

Side B features the chirping hard-psycho 14-minute-long "Agnus Dei" and the cute "Para ir".

Side C includes the powerful "Parvas", "Cometa azul", my favourite "Florecen los nardos", –all with great guitar work– and Del Güercio's rhythm ballad "Carmen".

Side D begins with "Obertura" (obviously the ill-fated opera's overture), followed by the country-folk "Amor de aire" and "Verde llano" (both written by Edelmiro). This last side continues with "Leves instrucciones", a nice tune sung by Emilio and Luis Alberto and the outstanding "Los elefantes". "Un pájaro te sostiene" –a rock number written by Del Güercio– and the great Spinetta's guitar-oriented "En las cúpulas" close this highly recommended album.

Almendra's split produced these wonderful outcomes: The famous groups Aquelarre, Color Humano, and Pescado Rabioso.

Years later, on December 7th and 8th, 1979, Almendra reunited to play live at the Obras Sanitarias Stadium in Buenos Aires. These highly successful shows led to a big tour including various cities of Argentina and Uruguay. A 2-set live album –Almendra en Obras (Almendra ML 712 & 713)–, and a studio album of new material –El valle interior (Almendra ML 135)– were also released, this time on their own independent label. My advice: forget these and stick to the old stuff!
 Some interesting compilations are 1972's Almendra (serie Rock Progresivo) (RCA Vik LZ-1227) and 1977's Muchacha, ojos de papel (RCA AVS-4765). Both include singles.

A rare 4-song EP with picture sleeve (RCA Vik 3ZE-3704) also exists.

Also, a now-impossible-to-get book (already guessed it's name? bet: Almendra!!!) featuring poems and drawings was published in 1970.

Almendra - 1969 - Almendra


01. Muchacha (Ojos de papel) 3:07
02. Color humano 9:12
03. Figuración 3:32
04. Ana no duerme 2:46
05. Fermín 3:20
06. Plegaria para un niño dormido 4:03
07. A estos hombres tristes 6:00
08. Que el viento borró tus manos 2:38
09. Laura va 2:52

Bass, Flute, Vocals – Emilio Del Guercio
Drums, Piano, Vocals – Rodolfo Garcia
Guitar, Organ, Vocals – Edelmiro Molinari
Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica – Luis Alberto Spinetta

Organ – Santiago Giacobbe (tracks: 4)
Guitar – Rodolfo Alchourron (tracks: 9)
Bandoneon - Rodolfo Mederos

Along with Manal, Vox Dei and Los Gatos, Almendra was one of the pioneer groups of the Argentine rock (in Spanish) and with a proper concept and personality, this first eponymous album (1969), it's an exercise that mixes the psychedelia, with some acoustic and peculiar element, and a pretty personal style in general.
The Beatles influences are there probably, as a ground to develop something different, which seen closely, does defer from the British bands, in mood and in spirit, especially in certain subtle localisms, which sealed it unavoidably with its mark and flavor.
In the Buenos Aires of 1969, all these young rock groups were seen like a bunch of aliens (in those times the usual term over there was "pop music", "beat" or simply "hippies"), they were usually deemed revolting and junkies, since the normal people didn't listen to this, but to the correct starettes who appeared on TV, singing normal love songs, with neat hairdos, and correctly shaved...this "Almendra", which for these times sounds extremely innocent and ingenuous, for the Buenos Aires of 1969 was something considerably strange, too irregular, and close to marginal circles, I guess.
The production of this album is as low-budget as it can be imagined, the sound is technically deficient, not exactly bad, just old, though all the bands of the time and the place sounded this way, or worse.

I also find in "Almendra" certain cadences that remind me of the first Yes' album, which was released in those months, the spirit is pretty similar, imbibed with a dreamy, suave psychedelia, and a very 60s' sound yet. The album is graced with creativity, and fine tunes galore, like "Que el viento borró tus manos", "Fermín", "Ana no duerme", "Figuración", the very long and psychedelic "Color humano", or the folk-ish ballad "Muchacha (ojos de papel)", tune which, for some reason, stayed like the best song of the disc, though "Almendra" features more interesting tracks than that imo.
I suppose that part of the attractiveness of this album is in its oldness, and in its enchanted, fragile, almost surreal atmosphere, and of course: in its gorgeous songs...another folky ballad, similar to "Muchacha" is the angelical "Plegaria para un niño dormido", while the psychedelic pop beauty of "A estos hombres tristes", is probably my favorite track here.

The feel of the record is always melancholic, with fine poetry, guitar signature and vocals by an extremely young Luis Alberto Spinetta, well supplemented by Rodolfo García on drums, Edelmiro Molinari on guitar and Emilio del Güercio on the bass, listened today, 40 years later, Almendra leaves a sour-sweet aftertaste in the listener, talking about a Buenos Aires in distant past tense which I never lived, too distant, unreal, enigmatic.

Though nobody thought about it when the whole thing started, nowadays everybody agrees that the Argentine rock movement was established by three groups: Los Gatos, Manal, and Almendra.

While Los Gatos played beat-pop, and Manal played urban blues, Almendra (Almond) played something completely creative, innovative and... different. None of the other groups had sounded that way before! Almendra played beautiful melodies and magnificent lyrics, sometimes mixed with extremely moody sounds and sometimes mixed with extremely furious –but always melodic– lines.

Almendra was formed in 1968 after the break up of three teenage school groups: Los Sbirros, Los Mods, and Los Larkins. The initial rehearsals were held at the Spinetta's house in Belgrano (an upper-middle class neighbourhood of Buenos Aires). By mid-1968, they met producer Ricardo Kleiman, who signed them for a single. (Kleiman was the owner of an important clothing shop –Modart– and ran a radio show –Modart en la Noche [Modart at Night]– that aired the latest editions of beat and rock music of the world).

On September 20th, 1968, "Tema de Pototo" (a.k.a. "Para saber cómo es la soledad") b/w "El mundo entre las manos" was released. "Tema de Pototo" is a beautiful beat ballad about a friend they thought was dead. Both sides feature orchestral arrangements by Rodolfo Alchourrón (a producer's request). This was the starting point of the brief career of one of the most wonderful groups in the world!

By the end of the year, "Hoy todo el hielo en la ciudad" with a great fuzz guitar work by Edelmiro hit the stores. The b-side features "Campos verdes," from which a promotional film was made.

Due to their performance at the Festival of Aucán in Peru (something completely unusual at that time), the single became a huge success in that country. They even appeared on a TV show in Lima.

Back in Argentina, Almendra played during the summertime –that is, beginning of 1969– in Mar del Plata (a beach city 400 km south of Buenos Aires). Their debut in Buenos Aires was on March 24th, at the DiTella Institute (the avant-garde cultural centre of the 60s). Almendra spent the rest of the year performing at different venues, until September 21st (the first day of Spring –also Student's Day) when they played at the Pinap Festival. Pinap was the name of a beat magazine, and this festival was the first major event of Argentine rock.

Meanwhile, the group was recording their debut album. An odd event marked the completion of the album. Spinetta had drawn an original enigmatic face character for the cover. Days afterward, the record company told the boys that the drawing had been lost, so they were planning to use a photo of the group instead. Obviously upset, the musicians looked for the lost drawing and eventually found it discarded in the garbage! Spinetta stayed up all night reproducing his original artwork and took it to the record company the following day. They offered no excuses the second time!

The extraordinary debut album was finally released on November 29th, 1969. Along with the infamous drawing, it included an insert with the lyrics and technical information. The black and white back cover pictured the group live at the Pinap Festival.

This LP is astonishingly beautiful. All the songs are excellent. It is really hard to try to explain them!

The opening track is an Argentine rock hymn: "Muchacha (ojos de papel)", an acoustic Spinetta song devoted to an old girlfriend that still thrills the listener. Next comes the superb 9-minute long "Color humano", written by Edelmiro, featuring his now famous long fuzz guitar solo. Molinari would name his next group after this song.

"Figuración" is a soft tune brilliantly sung by Spinetta with Pappo on backing vocals and Emilio del Güercio on flute. The energy and fuzz guitar returns with the superb "Ana no duerme", one of the best tracks of the album. Santiago Giacobbe guests on organ.

Side two begins with the sweet "Fermín", another beautiful song where everything is well done: the guitar, the organ (played by Edelmiro), the vocals... followed by a lullaby tune "Plegaria para un niño dormido" with yet another inspired Spinetta lyric.

I am personally fond of "A estos hombres tristes", a song with changing rhythmic and melodies. Emilio wrote and sung lead in the next one, the pleasant "Que el viento borró tus manos".

The LP ends with the slow and beautiful "Laura va", yet another great Spinetta song full of urban moods. Rodolfo Alchourrón was called on again for his fruitful orchestral arrangements and Rodolfo Mederos played the bandoneón to complete the sound of Buenos Aires.

This indisputable masterpiece is one of the best albums ever recorded in South America and a must to anybody interested in the music of these latitudes.

By the end of 1969 the record company released a new single featuring "Tema de Pototo" and "Final". The latter was originally scheduled to end their debut album, but could not make it due to time length limitations. The group wanted "Gabinetes espaciales" to be the a-side of this next single, but RCA wished to promote "Pototo" instead. "Gabinetes espaciales" was eventually included in the compilation LP Mis conjuntos preferidos (RCA Vik 3836).

In early 1970, another single was released with two songs from the album. Meanwhile, Spinetta was working on a highly ambitious –though not original at that time– project: a rock opera about mankind's inner search. But while they were working on this new album, the group split.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Robin Lent - 1971 - Scarecrow's Journey

Robin Lent
Scarecrow's Journey

01. Scarecrow's Journey
02. My Father Was a Sailor
03. Pushboat
04. Leaving Since You Came
05. Almitra (The Love That Became Us)
06. The Sky Has Called Us Out to Dance
07. Waiting for the Morning
08. Ocean Liner Woman
09. Sea Spray
10. Speak Softly Now

Robin Lent: guitar, harmonica, vocals, writer
Jan Hollestelle: bass
Jan Akkerman: electric guitar
Kees Kranenburg: percussion
Thijs van Leer: piano, flute

Cuban born, Robin was raised in a family that traveled regularly - living in the US, Asia, and Europe as a child.  In 1969, after dropping out of the University of California at Berkeley, Robin returned to London to play in the folk scene.  There he auditioned for the musical Hair that was to open in Holland.  He landed the part of Woof and for two years played and toured with the musical.  During this time, he picked up a contract for his first solo album, Scarecrow's Journey, which was released on the writer's label, Nepentha in the UK.  In 2006, Tull on Wildlife selected the song "Sea Spray" from Scarecrow's Journey to be part of their second 'save the planet' album. Robin toured and worked as a studio guitarist in the early 70's, then landed a deal with CBS for a group he put together with guitarist Hans Hollestelle, Robinson Cruiser.  Following this, Robin moved to France where he lives and continues to write and record.  He has put out two new releases, The Blue Man and Escale en France.

This is a classic 70's album with plenty of atmosphere and a uniqueness that of course has its influences, coming from James Taylor and Paul Simon among others. A seductive voice over simple and straight forward backings. Some brillant guitar work from Jan Ackermann and excellent flute and piano played by Tijs van Leer, two top Dutch musicians. Robin plays acoustic guitar and wrote all of the songs.

Really solid acoustic song album with warm, low male vocals and acoustic guitar, well worth checking out for Nick Drake fans who want to investigate the kindred obscurities from the era. Other than Lent's own fine accomplishment here, the album is interesting to me because the backing musicians include Jan Akkerman and Tijs van Leer of Focus, and their distinctive, beloved sound peeks through here at times, particulary on the short jammy section of "The Sky Has Called Us Out To Dance" (awesome song title!), though not to the extent I could get excited about. Okay, I'm a little excited. I'm just such a fan of early Focus. A better example of the invisible hand of Focus from the same time is The Beauty of Bojoura. This album has a mix of orchestral soft rock backing and stripped-down percussion-less songs. It could also be likened to Appaloosa, the obscure violin-laden 1969 masterpiece from the USA, at least in terms of vocal style, but certainly pales in terms of songwriting and accompaniment.

Pappo's Blues - 1978 - Pappo's Blues Volumen 7

Pappo's Blues 
Pappo's Blues Volumen 7

01. El hombre suburbano
02. El viejo
03. El jugador
04. Tema 1
05. Abordo
06. Gris y amarillo
07. Detrás de la iglesia

Pappo: Guitar, Vocals
Alejandro Medina: Bass
Darío Fernández: Drums, Percussion

"Pappo's Blues Vol. 7", released in 1978, was originally intended to be a live album, at least that was the intention of Pappo and bassist Alejandro Medina, some tapes from live shows were recorded, but the quality was so poor that they declined the idea.
Finally the LP consisted of re-recorded Pappo's Blues songs (with rawer sound), plus a couple of new tracks, namely "Detrás de la iglesia" and "El jugador", which were erroneously issued without the vocal tracks.
The old songs sound considerably stronger, heavier and dirtier than the original ones, although the production and the mix of this record is a bit strange, the final result smells like an unfinished task, which had an anticipated release.
Musically this album is quite fine, especially the new version of "El viejo" (original from 1971), including a Pappo's killer slide guitar with his Gibson Les Paul, "Tema 1", another song from the early 70s, also recorded by Luis Alberto Spinetta on his first solo album, and "Gris y amarillo", song that features hoarse vocals by Pappo.
The weird production is especially noted on the Darío Fernández drums (which is clearly revealed on the CD issue)... a fun album all in all, despite the technical imperfections and the odd details.

Pappo's Blues - 1975 - Pappo's Blues Volumen 6

Pappo's Blues 
Pappo's Blues Volumen 6

01. Slide blues
02. Abordo
03. Nervioso visitante (Parte II)
04. El escarabajo
05. Los libres pecan por ser libres

Pappo: Guitar, Vocals
Eduardo Daniel "Fanta" Beaudoux: Bass
Eduardo Garbagnati: Drums

This album contains studio-outtakes recorded in 1973/1974
The sixth volume of Pappo's Blues comes like a lazy and derelict record featuring 24 obscure minutes and 5 songs, starting with a 6-minute blues rock, "Slide blues", so simple and derivative athough completely cool in its psychedelic rock licks and monotonous monolithdom.
The second track of an album that it slides from the fingers like sand, is "Abordo" (On board), a risible instrumental with heavy guitars and lysergic aura.
"Nervioso visitante part 2", title recalled from a former album ("Triángulo"), here is rebirth as a chaotic, schizoid riff by Pappo, on a structure that sounds like the earliest Motörhead from 1975 and jam band spirit.
Perhaps this track could be deemed heavy metal for 1975, some spoken, apparently noncohesive words ("the capacity of our minds / I never saw what was happening in my life, who knows") are intertwined in the middle of the song, which ends with futuristic psych noise.
The last segment of "Volumen VI" consists of "El escarabajo" (The beetle); brief instrumental where the fingers walk on the guitar strings like a tarantula-Bach (?)
In the very end is "Los libres pecan por ser libres" (The free ones sin because they are free), intriguing piece featuring subtle electric guitar with groovy drums that encircle a philosophical Pappo's speech, which barely can be understood (the voice sounds very low, almost inaudible).
"Vol. 6" is not bad as experiment, and perhaps it's the Pappo's darkest gem ever.

Pappo's Blues - 1974 - Triángulo (Pappo's Blues Volumen 5)

Pappo's Blues 
Triángulo (Pappo's Blues Volumen 5)

01. Malas compañias
02. Nervioso visitante
03. Mirese adentro
04. Hubo distancias en un curioso baile matinal parte I
05. Hubo distancias en un curioso baile matinal parte II
06. El buzo

Pappo: Guitar, Vocals
Eduardo Daniel "Fanta" Beaudoux: Bass
Eduardo Garbagnati: Drums

Leon Gieco: Vocals on track 6
Nacho Smilari: Vocals on track 6

"Pappo's Blues Triángulo" is the entry to the strangest epoch of this guitarist's sound and style, and of the Argentina's history.
The context and environment when this "Triángulo" (aka Vol. 5) was released, was marked by politically turbulent times in Argentina, 1974, the aged president Juan Peron died, and his second wife and vice-president, Isabel Peron, assumed the presidency trying to fill some shoes which were too big for her.
The economy was quite well-managed, with a reasonable social justice, but the violent atmosphere impelled by some terrorist groups, plus the impotence of the government to control them, paved proper road for a crude military intervention a short time later, in the early 1976, regime which entitled itself as "bastion against the communist menace in the zone" (government that would last til the War of the Falklands, in 1982)... unfortunately all these military dictatorships were devised by the CIA, which makes us think that, perhaps, the worst South American Fascists were an American creation.

When this album was released Buenos Aires was a rarefied city, the social-political atmosphere was volatile and any unexpected thing could happen, there was a violent and sudden devaluation of the currency in 1975, and many people lost their savings... the final economic collapse brought a violent change in a country that would walk toward dark years.
Pappo, born Norberto Napolitano, family of Italian immigrants, modest working class, he started playing guitar when he was very young, in the mid-60s, and also some piano that his older sister taught him.
Impelled by his enthusiasm about the blues, and especially the 60s and 70s blues rock, he forged a style, simple and robust at the same time, where the psychedelia of Jimi Hendrix, and finally Black Sabbath and Jethro Tull, would configure this sum of things that Pappo was, and so he started in the artistically improbable Buenos Aires of the late 60s, briefly in a band called Los Gatos, and then, going ahead with his Pappo's Blues.
This album from the mid 70s was called "Triángulo" (because Pappo's Blues was a trio), and it's actually the first album of the band featuring a title on the cover.
The first tune "Malas compañias" is a dense hard rock with long instrumental passages that flow into "Nervioso visitante", a sombrous and creepy instrumental that starts with a little sound, and derives into the camp of the jam band and the experimental, with a solid base giving support to the Pappo's fingers, which walk over the strings like two schizoid spiders.
The side one is closed with "Mirese adentro" (Look at yourself inside), similar in structure to the first track, but shorter, and featuring a good portion of mystical lyrics:

"Come to see me, I want to show you, how it's raining in the darkness
Don't tell me what you think, I want to show you, how the community sleeps... now tell me what you think."

"Hubo distancias en un curioso baile matinal", is just a 14-minute song divided in two parts, with excellent performance by Eduardo Beaudoux & Eduardo Garbagnati on bass and drums... the song ends in spasms of exhausted Gibson Les Paul.
Towards the end is "El buzo" (The diver), weird acoustic song played with a Spanish guitar only, backed by creepy voices and laughter intertwined with incomprehensible words that barely can be heard, bringing the LP to an end with phantasmagoric mood.

"Triángulo", along with "Vol. 6", are both the cursed diamonds in the Pappo's Blues discography, but this one in particular still stands there like a dark secret, dark like the social and political context from which it emerged.

Pappo's Blues - 1973 - Pappo's Blues Volumen 4

Pappo's Blues
Pappo's Blues Volumen 4

01. Fiesta cervezal
02. Gato de la calle negra
03. Abelardo el pollo
04. Semilla de sésamo
05. Con Elvira es otra cosa
06. Sol de armónica
07. El palacio de la montaña en invierno

Pappo: Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
David, Lebon: Rhythm Guitar
Alejandro Medina: Bass
Black Amaya: Drums
Isa Portugheis: Percussion

On track 5
Carlos Alberto "Machi" Rufino: Bass
Héctor "Pomo" Lorenzo: Drums

Fourth chapter of Pappo's Blues, featuring guitarist-vocalist Pappo and his voice which brings some Hanna-Barbera's character to mind, here we have this "Vol.4", released on the last months of 1973.
The opening tune "Fiesta cervezal" (Beer party), a superfluous rock with ostinato transports the beef quickly toward "Gato de la calle negra" (Black street's cat), only track penned by Pappo and an enigmatic Tony Gibson, song framed by spectacular, blackened riff and cool drums, creating a hypnotic mood.
This one and the proto-metal "Abelardo el pollo", are the best tracks, followed by "Semilla de sesamo", a 9-minute instrumental that reaches a heavy epilogue on its last minutes.
After this sequence appears "Con Elvira es otra cosa" bringing some blues rock a la Led Zeppelin's "Living loving maid", and including twin guitars; let's add that this LP was probably the last "accessible" output from Pappo's Blues, because the next three records are quite un-approachable and obscure, so to speak.
After the long monster blues "Sol de armonica", the long play closes with an unusual acoustic instrumental, "El palacio de la montaña en invierno" (The mountain palace in winter), which is a sweet little tune with groovy drums, acoustic bass and delicate, slightly echoing chords from a meek electric guitar.
This tune is totally different to the rest of the album, and brings the end of the record in a mystic mood, from the Andes or the Himalayas maybe.

I'm not sure if originality is still important in rock music at this stage of the game but, if it is, Pappo's Blues "Volumen 4" should be taken into account.

Pappo's Blues - 1973 - Pappo's Blues Volumen 3

Pappo's Blues 
Pappo's Blues Volumen 3

01. Stratocaster boogie
02. Pájaro metálico
03. Sucio y desprolijo
04. El sur de la ciudad
05. Sandwiches de miga
06. El brujo y el tiempo
07. Trabajando en el ferrocarril
08. Caras en el parque
09. Siempre es lo mismo nena

Pappo: Vocals, Guitar, Piano
Carlos Alberto "Machi" Rufino: Bass, Vocals
Héctor "Pomo" Lorenzo: Drums

Third volume out of the seven that the delirious Pappo's Blues spaceship left recorded in the 70s for next generations to discover it.
This is the album where Pappo's Blues find the strongest influence from Jimi Hendrix, and among the highlights, the proto-metal "Sucio y desprolijo", "Pájaro metálico", the Celtic-like? "El sur de la ciudad", the delirious lyrics of "Sandwiches de miga" (according to the legend, penned by Pappo seconds before playing it live for the first time), or the esoteric "El brujo y el tiempo" (The wizard and the time) among others, sum up a tremendous psychedelic hard rock record.
The trippy & acid atmosphere are there, too, and already it can be noted from the artwork (the internal photos showing the trio, Pappo, Pomo & Machi are extraordinary).
Little to say about this, since it needs to be heard to be understood; maybe like a footnote here I can add that the opening instrumental track "Stratocaster boogie" was recorded using... a Gibson Les Paul.

Pappo's Blues - 1972 - Pappo's Blues Volumen 2

Pappo's Blues 
Pappo's Blues Volumen 2

01. El tren de las 16
02. Llegará la paz
03. Insoluble
04. Tema I
05. Desconfío
06. Pobre Juan
07. Blues de Santa Fe
08. Tumba

Pappo Napolitano: Vocals, Guitar, Piano
Black Amaya: Drums
Carlos Piñata: Bass
Luis Gambolini: Drums

The second fascicle of this adventure that -in the 70s- was called Pappo's Blues, simply entitled "Vol. 2", is a rare example of what could be deemed stoner rock in 1972, the groovy bass, the drums and the Pappo's guitar signature recreated in the past, a sound of the future.
Seeing the naive artwork is difficult to guess this half an hour contained in the record, featuring psychedelic hard rock, and the appeal of its strange sound (probably due to technical defects sometimes).
"Pappo's Blues 2" contains, in its minimal duration, some of the classics of this deceased guitarist, composer and singer, 'Tren de las 16', 'Llegará la paz', 'Insoluble', 'Tema I' (aka Hay tiempo para elegir, aka Castillo de piedra) or the melancholic blues with piano 'Desconfío' (aka Desconfío de la vida), which is one of the most beautiful blues I've ever heard.
'Solitario Juan' (aka Pobre Juan), 'Blues de Santa Fe' (aka Un blues para Santa Fe) and the great 'Cementerio' (aka Tumba), shape the side two, finally, with longer songs and some interesting lyrics, intriguing at times.

It could be said that several factors make of this little album one of the Pappo's finest LPs, capturing even today, 42 years later, the attention of the listener with its inept production, streetwise philosophy, weird riffs.

Pappo's Blues - 1971 - Pappo's Blues

Pappo's Blues 
Pappo's Blues

01. Algo Ha Cambiado   
02. El Viejo   
03. Hansen   
04. Gris Y Amarillo   
05. Adios Willy   
06. El Hombre Suburbano   
07. Especies   
08. Adonde Está La Libertad   

Pappo Napolitano: Guitar, Vocals, Piano
David Lebon: Bass
Black Amaya: Drums

Norberto Aníbal "Pappo" Napolitano (La Paternal, 10 March 1950 – Luján, 25 February 2005). Ten Years gone but not forgotten... Grande Carpo!

 Norberto Napolitano, better known as Pappo, was born on March 10th, 1950. In 1967, after playing with his teen band Los Buitres, his drummer friend Pomo introduced him to Miguel Abuelo and poet Pipo Lernoud. Pappo then joined Los Abuelos de la Nada.

A self-taught guitar player, his skill is noticeable even early in his first composition, "La estación", sung by him and recorded by Los Abuelos de la Nada after Miguel Abuelo left the group. (This song was included on the compilation LP Mandioca Underground [MLP 331] in 1969).

Pappo played piano (!) with Manal during a coast tour and later joined beat group Conexión Nro 5 for a brief period of time. Credited as Pappo's, he recorded a song ("Nunca lo sabrán") for another compilation: Pidamos peras a Mandioca (MLP 335).

In 1969, Los Gatos called him to replace Kay Galiffi. With Pappo on guitar, the pioneer beat combo turned rocker and released their best two albums. He later joined the short-lived groups Engranaje and Pistola, and played on the first two Billy Bond y La Pesada LPs. Pushed by producer Jorge Álvarez, he finally formed his own group, Pappo's Blues, with David Lebón (credited as "Davies") on bass and Black Amaya on drums.

click to enlarge click to enlarge The first Pappo's Blues album, recorded on a 2-track machine, shows a brilliant skilled rock and blues guitar player. The powerful "Algo ha cambiado", "El hombre suburbano" or the long "Adonde está la libertad" are good examples.

For Pappo's Blues Volúmen 2, Pappo is joined by Luis Gambolini and Black Amaya on drums and Carlos Piñata and Willy Verdaguer on bass, among others. This excellent second LP, "inspired" by Tommy Iommi's and Rory Gallagher's best known riffs, includes lots of Pappo's classics: "El tren de las 16", "Llegará la paz", "Blues de Santa Fe" and the beautiful blues "Desconfío". Much stronger than his first effort, the album was recorded "live in the studio" with minimum post production.

Pappo also appeared in the rock movie Rock hasta que se ponga el sol playing "El tren de las 16" and "Trabajando en el Ferrocarrill" with group La Máquina (no relation with the Charly García symphonic outfit). The soundtrack album does not include these performances.

click to enlarge Soon afterwards, Pappo recruited drummer Pomo and bassist Machi for the best remembered line-up of Pappo's Blues and recorded his best LP: Volúmen 3. This album opens with the speed instrumental "Stratocaster boogie" and includes "Pájaro metálico", the classic "Sucio y desprolijo", the enigmatic "Sándwiches de miga" and the superb blues "Siempre es lo mismo, nena". The group sounds like a real power trio and Pappo is as good as ever, establishing his reputation as great guitar player. However, influential rock magazine Pelo strongly criticised this album when released, mainly due to the poor lyrics.

Pomo and Machi left to join Invisible, Luis Alberto Spinetta's new project. Pappo –with his friends David Lebón and Black Amaya and La Pesada musicians Alejandro Medina and Isa Portugheis– recorded Pappo's Blues Volúmen 4. (Pomo and Machi played on "Con Elvira es otra cosa", also released on single [Music Hall 40022]). Another great album, Vólumen 4 includes "Fiesta cervezal" (a tribute to beer drinking), "Gato de la calle negra" and "Abelardo el pollo" (yet another example of offbeat lyrics).

click to enlarge click to enlargeHis fifth album, the only to have a name (Triángulo), was still good, but much improvised in the studio. The best moments are the great "Malas compañías", "Hubo distancias en un curioso baile matinal (parte 1)" and the psycho-folk "El buzo".

Soon after the album was released, Pappo moved to England for a two-year period. He jammed with Peter Green and got in touch with hard-rock bands. In the meantime, the record company released Volúmen 6, an LP comprising studio outtakes. Although mostly instrumental, this album is still good to me.

Pappo returned and formed Aeroblus, with Alejandro Medina on bass and Brazilian drummer Junior Castello. They recorded a hard rock album.

click to enlarge click to enlargeIn 1978, with Medina on bass and Darío Fernández on drums, Pappo released Pappo's Blues swan song: Volúmen 7, an album of new and old songs re-recorded. Also in 1978, Pappo went to Spain and played some well-acclaimed gigs; but unable to release a record there, Pappo's Blues split.

Pappo went back to Europe, and when he returned he formed the successful Riff, a heavy metal band influenced by Black Sabbath and AC/DC. Later he played on and off, to return to his rock and blues roots. He played live and recorded with B.B.King, Deacon Jones and Edgar Winter. In 1993 he had a huge success with "Mi vieja", a popular tribute to everybody's mother.

First Pappo's Blues album, the musical project of guitarist-vocalist Norberto "Pappo" Napolitano after his tenure in Los Gatos during the latest 60s, here accompanied by David Lebon (aka Davies) on bass and "Black" Amaya on drums, the perfect and typical power trio from the 60s and 70s, rocking hard without complexes.

For some reason (maybe because it was the debut) this record turned out to be the superior classic in the Pappo's discography for many people (along with "Pappo's Blues Vol. 3"), the sound is primitive and technically imperfect, including heavy wah-wah by Pappo and some moments of jam band; the solos are frenetic and the vocalizations are quite desperate every now and again, the sound of the cymbals is crude, and all the whole thing seems to have been recorded in one session, live and without any technical schtick, the sound of the drums is strange and the bass is, sometimes, excessively groovy, some spacey aural feel is not completely absent, also.

Highlights include "Algo ha cambiado", "Hansen", "Especies", "Adonde está la libertad", or the bluesy "El viejo", everything sung by the Yogi Bear-like voice of Pappo, with slightly philosophical lyrics full of streetwise advice, and his guitar that sounds like echoing his own words.

God, I love it when Pappo uses the wah pedal! It's a shame that he only uses it on two tracks here and completely forgets about it after this album. "Algo ha cambiado" (heavy wah jam!), "Especies" (Sabbath riff!), and "Adonde esta la libertad" (more wah-wah!) are the best tracks, and they put the rest of the songs on this album to shame. It almost sounds like Pappo used up so much energy on those three gems that he decided to play slow, relatively boring blues to catch his breath. And this seems to be live sessions without a trace of overdubs or any other studio effect; and that doesn't seem to be a bad thing in this case.

The album is recommendable as an inception to Pappo's Blues, and it's especially adequate for hard rock, heavy psych and 70s' proto-metal fans (Buffalo (AUS), Sir Lord Baltimore, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Lucifer's Friend, etc).