The New Group, from left: José Company (Pancho), Ramón Morán and Santiago “Santi” Villaseñor
|Santiago Villaseñor had been in Los Buitres, a fine Madrid group with one EP on Columbia.|
According to the liner notes to a 1985 Spanish LP Historia de la musica pop española no. 32 on Alligator Records, Santiago reformed Los Buitres with the drummer Pancho from Los Comperos, but soon they dropped the name “Los Buitres” and had a working name of the “New Group”. The LP lists the band’s members as Santiago Villaseñor (lead guitar, harmonica and lead vocals), Rafael Rios (rhythm guitar), Dani Portilla (piano and vocals), Pancho (drums), plus an unknown bassist who was a friend of Dani.
They recorded two songs at Publivox studio (Estudio Publivox), both originals by Santiago and both sung in English. “Ella se come mi mente” (“She’s Eating My Mind”) has great freakbeat-style lead guitar, and you can’t beat that title.
“Aqui, ahora, entonces” (“Here, Now, Then” would be a literal translation) has a breezier sound, but a cool guitar figure and good harmonies. The excellent lyrics fit in with the time and point to a more appropriate title for the song: “Nothing ever matters much, no one has a care, all that you could ever want, is love right then and there”.
These songs went unreleased until 1985 when Historia de la musica pop española no. 32 included the New Group tracks along with the Los Buitres Columbia EP and two EPs released by Cefe y Los Gigantes.
The sound quality on the Alligator LP is OK for the time, but not as good as these songs deserve. For example, one channel drops out for a few seconds during “Aqui, ahora, entonces”. I see there are mp3 downloads that can be purchased on the ‘net. Maybe these have better sound quality, I haven’t checked.
The New Group at Publivox Studios: José Company (Pancho) at the drums, Santi on guitar and Ramón Morán on bass
|The information the ’85 LP gives about the New Group is very different from what I heard from one of the members, Ramón Morán, who provided the following correction and the photos seen here:|
The New Group with new drummer Jorge Matey (left), Ramón and Santi
Special thanks to Borja for turning me on to these songs by giving me a copy of the Cefe y Los Gigantes / Los Buitres split LP.
Second stage of the New Group, from left: Jorge Matey, Ramón and Santi
|Five musicians from Madrid formed Los Buitres (The Vultures) in July 1964:|
Enrique Martinez (Quique) – lead vocals
The band landed a contract with Columbia in November and cut four songs released in February of 1965. The EP included two fine original songs: the excellent “Sensacion” and more formulaic “Ritmo y movimiento”, but failed to sell. The band was disappointed with the sound of the EP, which they though lacked proper reverb, as well as the lack of promotion on Columbia’s part.
They lost their singer Quique to Los Continentales and for a time Santiago took over on lead vocals. By coincidence, they were soon able to recruit the former lead singer of Los Continentales, Boris (Salvador Benzo), who was born in Ceuta, the tip of North Africa across from Gibraltar. Calling themselves Boris y Los Buitres, they entered a band competition in León. They didn’t make the finals, but Boris was a sensation due to his shoulder-length hair. Boris soon went solo and the group broke up, members scattering to other bands.
At the end of 1968, Santiago Villaseñor formed a new version of Los Buitres with the drummer Pancho from Los Comperos, but, according to the liner notes to a 1985 Spanish LP Historia de la musica pop española no. 32 on Alligator Records soon they dropped the name “Los Buitres” and had a working name of the “New Group”. Bassist Ramón Morán provided many photos and a history of the group, so I have moved that part of this article to its own page.
Thanks to Bård for the transfers of “Sensacion” and “Ritmo y moviemiento” and for pointing me to viejopickup.blogspot.com for a scan of the EP cover. Special thanks to Borja for turning me on to these songs by giving me a copy of the Cefe y Los Gigantes / Los Buitres split LP. This article is based on the liner notes to that LP – if anyone has more information or corrections please contact me.
|Pino Donaggio was a singing star from Burano, Italy. Starting out as a classical violinist, he began writing his own pop songs in the early ’60s. He often recorded his songs in Spanish as well as Italian versions, but “No tengo la culpa” has an upbeat production unlike anything else I’ve heard of his. I don’t know if the Italian version is as rocking as this one in Spanish. Orchestration was by Giulio Libano.|
Los Salvajes did another one of his songs, “Se llama Maria” on the same EP that they cover Satisfaction and Wooly Bully, but it’s not a standout in their career.
In the early 70’s Donaggio started composing scores for films, first for Don’t Look Now and later working with Brian DePalma and Dario Argento.
Thanks to Borja for hipping me to this one, and for the sleeve scans.
|A band from Madrid, the Arlequines released only this one 45 in 1967.The a-side is “Tomando Cafe”, which seems to be an adaption of a traditional song by Maximo Baratas. It rides the line between rock and soul in that peculiar Spanish style.|
Even better is the flip, the tense punker “No Hay Amor Para Mi” (“There Isn’t Love for Me”). The guitarist throws out fuzzed lines over a steady drum beat, while the organ player’s emergency siren-like pulsations fade in and out. The singer spits out lyrics in english that’s barely decipherable, while still managing to sound soulful. Plenty of attitude here, even the short bridge comes off drugged and ends abruptly.
As this was the b-side, it may be a band original; it was written by Juan Bona and Jose M. Panizo.
Info on the group is scant, but from what I can gather, their singer was Pepe Robles (José Robles Rodríguez). Pepe went on to join the established group Los Ángeles before forming Los Módulos, one of Spain’s most successful bands in the ’70s.
I bought this single when I was in Spain last month. Pan & Regaliz were part of a great scene of progressive psychedelic music in Barcelona around 1970.
On “Magic Colors” they float phased vocals and flute over a heavy beat as the guitar shifts from syncopated chords to full-on riffing during the chorus. The flip “A Song for Friends” is in the tradition of vaudeville, certainly the very worst choice of genre for any band to revive, so I won’t feature it here.
The band started in the Gracia district of Barcelona as Els Mussols (Muchuelos) in 1967, a teenage Catalan folk group who were part of the local “Nova Canço” movement. In 1969 they changed musical direction, renaming themselves Agua de Regaliz (translates as Licorice Water), which comes from a series of childrens’ books by Richmal Crompton about a boy named William.
At the start of 1970, they recorded for Angel Fabregas’ company Als 4 Vents, under its Diabolo imprint. Their first single was “Waiting in the Munster’s Garden” / “When You Are So Bringdown”. I’d say their sound at this point is reminiscent of early Jethro Tull.
By the start of 1971 Als 4 Vents was having legal and financial problems with its distributor, Movieplay, causing the band to jump ship and sign with the Dimension subsidiary of the Ekipo label of Barcelona. The group wanted to rename the band Pan, but added Regaliz so people would recognize their former incarnation as Agua de Regaliz.
The band at this point consisted of Guillen Paris on vocals, flute and harp; Alfons ‘Muiti’ Bou guitar; Artur Domingo bass and Pedro Van Eeckout on drums and percussion.
As Pan & Regaliz, they released their next singles “Dead of Love” / “Thinking of Mary”, followed by “Magic Colours” / “A Song for the Friends”.
In May of ’71 they went into Miguel Casas’ Gema studio in Barcelona to record a few more songs for their LP, and on May 22nd they played a major outdoor music festival in Granollers. However, soon after their album’s release Pedro Van Eeckout left to join a jazz-rock group, Jarka, with keyboardist Jordi Sabates. Arturo Domingo went into the final line-up of the German-Spanish group Evolution, who had also cut some excellent psychedelia on the Dimension label.
Guillem Paris remade the group with former Agua de Regaliz drummer Arturo “La Paca Ferocisima,” then recorded a solo album that was rejected by his label for being too uncommercial.
For some reason I’ve only ever heard Magic Colors in mono, while all their other work appears in stereo on reissues. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.
Sources include: La Caja de Musica
Los Soñadores (the Dreamers) were from, I believe, Seville. Their first 45 has an excellent original “Sin saber por que” and a song I haven’t heard, “Judy con disfraz”. If I can find a copy I’ll post it.
José Luis Garrido wrote both songs on their 45, including “Vete,” a short, upbeat number with elements of Knock on Wood and Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag. The a-side is a pop ballad “Lo sé por mi.” This is one of the discs I found in Valencia with the help of Borja.
After Los Sońadores, José formed a group called Flamenco, opened recording studios and worked as musical producer on films.