March 23, 2015

Chicas! Vol.2: Spanish Female Singers 1963-1978

ARTIST: various artists
TITLE: Chicas! Vol. 2: Spanish Female Singers 1963-1978
LABEL: Vampisoul
Here’s volume 2 of Vampisoul’s look at Spanish female singers of the ye-ye period. On one level, this stuff is disposable pop music that was discarded decades ago (hence its current obscurity); on another, it’s a fascinating document of an era when Spain was striving to join first-world Europe and women were achieving some grudging liberation. As always with these kinds of compilations, covers of familiar songs offer the easiest way into the music: 1 is a killer remake of The Grass Roots’ “I’d Wait A Million Years,” 2 is “My Boy Lollipop,” 15 is the early synth-pop instrumental “Popcorn” with Spanish lyrics added, 17 is the Sam & Dave chestnut, and 25 is Jorge Ben’s samba classic “Mas Que Nada.” Digging deeper, track 8 is pretty amazing: jangle-pop with a Mamas & Papas-style vocal arrangement and a lead vocalist who sounds like Yma Sumac, this is one totally avant-garde pop song. 10 is my favorite song by the recently rediscovered Colombian-Spanish sibling duo Elia Y Elizabeth Fleta. And 7 is a speedy, elaborate take on bossa nova. Do your own digging here and you may find yourself some new favorites.
TOP TRACKS:    1    2    7    8    10    15    17    25
ALSO RECOMMENDED: many of the rest of them

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