Various ‘Algo Salvaje. Untamed 60s beat and garage nuggets from Spain vol. 1’ CD (Munster) 4/5

algo-salvajeThe extent to which the Beatles and Rolling Stones influenced the emerging pop music of other non-English language speaking countries is the subject of this extremely well put together compilation of Spanish-based music from the 1960s when the dictatorship of General Franco was still in full flow. It is a fascinating insight into how counterparts elsewhere were listening in to UK and US music of the time, and gave the sounds their own distinctive twist. The very names of the groups were symbolic and hint at external influences among youth: Tomcats, 4 Jets, Micky y los Tonys, Mike and the Runaways. Catchy bassline and surf guitar are a feature of the semi-instrumental ‘Shake Baby Shake’ by Los 4 Jets with terrific musicianship while drum beats predominate on the Tomcats ‘A tu vera’ that opens proceedings and hints strongly at the Rolling Stones in approach. The harmonies of the Beach Boys are referenced on the pulsating ‘Yo te vi’ by Los Impala while the eerie keyboards on Els Trons’ contribution, ‘Ven a mi’ conjurs up the 1960s classic Munster’s theme! What makes this package so pleasurable, apart from the value for money twenty-eight songs, is the attention to detail in the inner sleeve notes with extended notes by compiler Vicente Fabuel and plenty of original record sleeves and musician photos of the era. Everything you could possibly wish to know is contained within and that certainly makes for a worthwhile listening experience.

Tim Stenhouse