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Los Bravos Ilustrísimos
  • Ilustrísimos (lp)-1
    LP MR-SSS 05
    18,00€ NOT AVAILABLE
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Reissue of the fourth album by Los Bravos, the most international Spanish band from the 60s, known all over the world for their smash hit 'Black Is Black'. Recorded in London in 1968 with arrangements by Jean Bouchety, it contains songs by Vanda-Young, Augusto Algueró, Reed-Mason and Manolo Díaz. The cover picture was taken by renowned photographer Alberto Schommer.

In 1969, when "Ilustrísimos Bravos" is released, Spain's most international band has just split. It's a complex story, told in detail by Germán Alonso Moreno in his essential "Los Bravos: recuerdos de una leyenda" (AHE, 2004). Let's recap: at the end of 1968, producer Alain Milhaud, responsible for Los Bravos' success, announces at the Café Gijón in Madrid that singer Mike Kennedy is leaving the band to work as a solo artist. At the same public event, a lawyer turns up to declare that the group also wants to part ways with Milhaud. It was a dramatic move that ended up in negotiations so that Los Bravos could keep the rights to the band's name and continue with another vocalist: Englishman Anthony Anderson, brother of Jon Anderson, by then frontman of Yes.

The reason for this conflict is the fear of a Mike-less Bravos to be ignored by Barclay-España, Alain Milhaud's production company. It's well known that the band members hardly participate in the recording sessions that take place in London, which are ruled by Milhaud's efficiency ideal, which involves using studio musicians instead.

Thus, at the start of Autumn 1968, when "Ilustrísimos Bravos" is recorded in London's Lansdowne Studios, only Mike Kennedy, guitarist Tony Martínez and (according to some magazines) organ player Jesús Gluck are present. The musical director is a friend of Milhaud's, the great Jean Bouchety, responsible for many French pop tubes (hits) and a recording artist under his own name. Bouchety even recorded an orchestral version of 'Great Is Our Love', the song by Augusto Algueró included here.

"Ilustrísimos Bravos" follows the pattern of the band's records for the international market. It gathers pieces by the singer-songwriter Manolo Díaz translated into English (except 'Como Superman', an outtake from the previous LP) with songs by established composers: Les Reed and Barry Manson have written hits for Tom Jones; Harry Vanda and George Young, from the Australian Easybeats, have penned the glorious 'Bring A Little Lovin''; Kenny Young and Scott English are New York songwriters with a brilliant career…

'Save Me, Save Me' is the single released in Europe, while 'Dirty Street' is chosen for the United States. However, the songs from "Ilustrísimos Bravos" only have some commercial success in Spain: their sound has probably gone out of fashion by 1969. The dream of keeping the worldwide impact of 'Black Is Black' vanishes. It will be more than six years before Mike Kennedy returns to front Los Bravos, and it won't be a triumphant comeback.

Diego A Manrique

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