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Sunday, December 27, 2020

Carmen: Fandangos In Space 1973

 

In the early seventies, the British-American group CARMEN broke new ground in rock music, combining the British flair for progressive rock with traditional Spanish folk themes into a very fresh, energetic and powerful new mix. 

                                                                                                                

 

The sound is centered around guitar, keyboards are used subtly but to good effect. On the whole, they are a rather hard band to describe ... "They sound only like themselves, because it IS so unique". Some vague comparisons could be made to JETHRO TULL, MEZQUITA (some of the Spanish themes), and TRIANA (the flamenco/prog combination).
                                                                                            


David Allen started Carmen in LA in July 1970. Originally there were seven members: Dennis Trerotola - extra lead singer, Mark Anthony - an extra guitarist, David Clark Allen, Brian Glascock - drummer, Angela Allen, Vicente,   Mark Moody. They were named Los Angeles at this point.

                                                                                           


Summer 73 - Jan 74
Carmen began recording their first album - Fandangos in Space, in the summer of 73. They met Bowie, Angie, Bolan, Bryan Ferry amongst many others, and whilst recording their first album, Bowie helped promote them on his tv show, Midnight Special. Paul Fenton became Bolan's drummer when Carmen weren't touring or recording.

                                                                                        


Jan 73: leaving for london
After a lot of shuffling about, David decided to come to London with a reduced Carmen (David, Brian Glascock, Roberto Amaral, Angela, and now John Glascock) in January 1973, after finding no label in the States that was interested. They were now known as Rose.
                                                                                                

As Brian finally decided not to come, David then needed a drummer and found Paul Fenton in Kensington in a snakeskin boot shop ("the drummer I need will be the kind of man who wears snakeskin boots so I'll look in the snakeskin boot shop!"). Through Paul Fenton, David met Brian Longely, who was managing the band Paul was already in (that band was called Christie).
                                                                                

Four months on, Carmen (now complete with David Clark Allen, Angela Allen, John Glascock, Roberto Amaral and Paul Fenton) met Tony Visconti and were signed almost immediately.
                                                                                      

In London, they became friendly with several rock stars of the time, including David Bowie - who introduced them internationally by including them on his Midnight Special '1984 Floor Show', Marc Bolan (Paul Fenton became his studio and tour drummer), and Bryan Ferry. Obtaining the services of producer Tony Visconti, Carmen released three albums: Fandangos in Space (1973), Dancing on a Cold Wind (1974), and The Gypsies (1975).
                                                                                        

By early 1975, the band was enjoying its greatest success, playing as an opening act at concerts by Santana, Blue Öyster Cult, and Electric Light Orchestra, and touring for three months as the opener for Jethro Tull. A series of unfortunate events then occurred while the group was recording The Gypsies at Longview Farm. Paul Fenton seriously damaged his knee, stopping his career as a drummer for many years. Carmen and Tony Visconti ended their musical relationship, and the band's manager left. Carmen disbanded shortly after finishing their last album in 1975 and John Glascock went on to join Jethro Tull. 

                                                                              


Feb 74 - May 75
Carmen recorded their second album, Dancing On A Cold Wind, with Tony Visconti in Feb/March of '74. They flew to the US and began touring for the next year. Played with Santana, Blue Oyster Cult, Golden Earring, Rush, ELO and others.
                                                                        

For three months Carmen opened for Jethro Tull. They recorded their third album, The Gypsies, in April/May '75 at Longview Farm.
By now Carmen were no longer with Tony Visconti, and Brian quit as manager after the third album was recorded. Carmen found themselves bankrupt. Paul Fenton was badly injured in a fall off a horse, and the band lost heart. When they disbanded John Glascock joined Jethro Tull and took Angela with him - they were a couple. Roberto returned to flamenco dancing and David to flamenco guitar.
                                                                                            
   
Carmen's stage performances featured Amaral and Angela Allen dancing on a specially amplified stage floor, so that their flamenco zapateado became an integral percussive addition to the music. Spanish influences in their sound included acoustic guitar interludes in flamenco style, occasional Spanish lyrics, themes of betrayed love reminiscent of Federico García Lorca, and castanets, all supported by a traditional rock rhythm section.
                                                                            

[ Artist Biography by Eugene Chadbourne

David C. Allen and his sister Angela Allen fronted the unusual band Carmen for three albums' worth of material released in the early to mid-'70s, some of which borders on mind-boggling. The group created a fusion where no performer had before, and it seems to be a musical terrain few have wanted to visit since -- namely, the melding of progressive rock and flamenco music. Not everything this band attempted succeeded; for example, bullfighting did not replace Satan as the main subject in heavy rock. But the versatility of the musicians involved in the Carmen band is the sonic equivalent of a full-table covering of tapas tasties.
                                                          

The flamboyant producer Tony Visconti was involved with these recordings, his previous credits including artists such as Gentle Giant and David Bowie. The guitar work of David Allen is excellent, much closer to the mark in terms of an aggressive flamenco fusion model than the powder-puff noodlings of Al di Meola or Paco de Lucía]
                                                                          

DO THE FANDANGO! – THE STORY OF CARMEN!(An interview with David Clark Allen and Angela Allen-Barr - By Madeline Bocaro & Gil Soliz) READ HERE

TRACKS



01. Bulerias   5:24
a)  Cante
b)  Baile
c)  Reprise   
02. Bullfight (Roberto Amaral)    4:28
03. Stepping Stone (Roberto Amaral)    2:52
04. Sailor Song     5:13
05. Lonely House    4:07
06. Por Tarantos (Trad. arr. by David Allen)    1:44
07. Looking Outside (My Window)
a)  Theme
b)  Zorongo
c)  Finale (David Allen, Roberto Amaral)  7:20
08. Tales of Spain   5:17
09. Retirando (John Glascock, Paul Fenton, Andrea Allen, Roberto Amaral, David     Allen)    2:14
10. Fandangos in Space (Roberto Amaral)     4:33
11. Reprise Finale   3:00


MEMBERS


David Allen - lead vocals, electric guitar, flamenco guitar
Roberto Amaral - lead and backing vocals, vibraphone, castanets
Angela Allen - lead and backing vocals, synthesizer, Mellotron
John Glascock - backing vocals, bass guitar, bass pedals
Paul Fenton - drums, percussion

MP3 @ 320 Size:  MB
Flac  Size:  MB

3 comments:

  1. Those boots and the beautiful front woman, gonna dl as soon as this ELP download completes.
    Manfred Mann plays in the background and the sun is shining.
    Danke, Spasiba, Grazi, Gracias, Merci, Thank You

    ReplyDelete
  2. Update-track two is 284kbs and it says error in Foobar and Winamp.
    I thought it was an interlude or intro to the next track but it could be a problem with the unpack?
    Carry on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a problem created by my Converter program.

      Delete