TANI DISCO RUMBA AND FLAMENCO BOOGIE 1976-1979.

Tani Disco Rumba and Flamenco Boogie 1976-1979.

Label: Pharaway Sounds.

Ever since the birth of rock ’n’ roll in the fifties, American music has influenced musicians, producers and songwriters in different parts of the world. When they heard the latest new music coming out of America, they’ve often incorporated elements of it into the music that they were making in their own country. That has certainly been the case in Britain, and in many other countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America over the past sixty years. This was what happened in Spain throughout the late-seventies and early eighties.

During the late-seventies and early eighties, rumba pop and flamenco funk scene was at the peak of its popularity. However, neither of these musical genres were immune to the influence of American music, and the influence of Philly Soul, the music released by Salsoul Records and disco could be heard in rumba funk and flamenco pop productions, including those that feature on Rumbita Buena: Rumba Funk and Flamenco Pop From The 1970s Belter and Discophon Archives which was released by Pharaway Sounds, an imprint of Guerssen Records. However, that compilation only documented part of story of how American music influenced music in Spain during the seventies and early eighties.

The next part of the story is told on Tani Disco Rumba and Flamenco Boogie 1976-1979, which was also released by Pharaway Sounds, an imprint of Guerssen Records. It’s the companion disc to Rumbita Buena: Rumba Funk and Flamenco Pop From The 1970s Belter and Discophon Archives and completes the story of American music influenced Spanish music during this crucial period in Spanish music.

Throughout the second half of the seventies, a small group of innovative songwriters, producer and musicians set about reinventing Spanish music. They played their part in modernising two traditional forms of Spanish music rumba and flamenco. However, this disco rumba and a sub genre of flamenco that must have horrified the traditionalists that  were holding the genre back. When they heard flamenco boogie they reached for the smelling salts and wept at what had happened to their music. Meanwhile, a new generation who either made or embraced the music were pleased that flamenco was being dragged kicking and screaming into the seventies. 

The twelve tracks on Tani Disco Rumba and Flamenco Boogie 1976-1979 are a reminder of these days, when Philly Soul, Salsoul Records and disco transformed traditional Spanish music.

Opening Tani Disco Rumba and Flamenco Boogie 1976-1979 is the first of two tracks from Sangre Gitana (Gypsy Blood), who released their debut album La Fiesta on the Glamour Entertainment label in 1979. It features the disco boogie of Yo Me Siento Muy Feliz (I Feel So Happy) which opens Tani Disco Rumba and Flamenco Boogie. It’s a joyous and soulful example of disco boogie which features a flamenco guitar solo by Paco Capedo. However, other parts of the arrangement have been influenced by Philly Soul and the music that was released  by Salsoul Records during its classic era. That was before boogie, when synths replaced lush strings and sophisticated arrangements. Nearly forty years later, and Yo Me Siento Muy Feliz still has the potential to fill many a Spanish dancefloor.

Rumba Tres feature three times on Tani Disco Rumba and Flamenco Boogie, and each of the tracks was released on Barcelona based Belter Records.  Their first appearance is Y No Te Quedan Lágrimas (You Don’t Have Any Tears Left which was released as a single 1979. Although disco strings feature prominently, a synth sits in the low in the mix adding a boogie influence on this memorable and oft-sampled song. Ahora Qué was the B-Side to Rumba Tres’ 1978 single Acuerdate Que Te Quiero, which is a hidden gem where rumba meets disco. The third and final contribution from Rumba Tres, is their 1978 single Ya Estoy Parao a  catchy fusion of funk, disco and rumba. It’s a reminder of Rumba Tres, who were popular group during the disco era, who had no qualms about reinventing rumba.  

When Los Gachós released No Te Atormentes Morena  as a single on Belter Records in 1978, Estrella was tucked away on the B-Side. It’s arranged by Rumba Tres who seem to have been inspired by arrangements used on classic Philly Soul and to some extent Salsoul Records’ productions. These influences play their part in the success of this classy dance track.

In 1979, Spanish singer La Marilee released Mala (Bad) as a single on Discophon. As lush disco strings cascade and dance, La Marilee adds an impassioned vocal while breathy harmonies are added to an arrangement that marries elements of flamenco boogie and Arabian influences. The result is an irresistible and genre-melting dancefloor filler.

When Tobago released Esa Mujer as a single on Belter Records in 1979, Oye Chiquilla was tucked away on the B-Side. It’s a fusion of funk, rumba, soul and elements of the classic Salsoul Records’ sound. Together they create a slick and polished track that was too good to be consigned to a B-Side.

After the death of the dictator Franco in November 1975, Spain emerged from what had been a dark period in the country’s history. The Spanish were determined that better times were ahead, and over the next few years there was a new social and sexual openness. To celebrate this new beginning, Barracuda recorded Puedes Buscarte Un Nuevo Amor for her Exitos Del Verano album which was released on Impacto in 1976. It’s sensual, funky and sometimes slightly dubby before the lushest disco strings sweep Barracuda away on this long-lost hidden gem.

When Juan Bautista released his eponymous debut album on Belter Records in 1976, one of the album’s highlights was the closing track En Cartagena. It’s soulful, funky, dancefloor friendly as rocky guitar licks are combined with a vocal that sometimes heads in the direction of AOR. Despite that, it’s a memorable and hook-laden song that is worthy addition to Tani Disco Rumba and Flamenco Boogie 1976-1979.

Las Deblas featured Faly and Lola Chacón who released Puedes Buscarte Un Nuevo Amor as a single on Belter Records in 1976. Hidden away on the B-Side is Tani which features an arrangement sounds as if it was recorded by The Salsoul Orchestra at Joe Tarsia’s Sigma Sound Studio in Philly. Meanwhile, Las Deblas deliver the lyrics in English and add syncopated handclaps. The result is rumba disco with a Salsoul influence.

Spanish Flamenco singer Manuel Mancheño Peña dawned the moniker El Turronero when he embarked upon a recording career. In 1979, he released the alum New Hondo which featured Yo Soy Nube Pasajera (Bamberas). It’s a captivating mixture of funk, disco strings and a vocal powerhouse which i accompanied by tender cascading harmonies. The result is a potent and heady brew that is one of Tani Disco Rumba and Flamenco Boogie 1976-1979’s highlights. 

Sangre Gitana closes Tani Disco Rumba and Flamenco Boogie 1976-1979. with Esta Noche Te Perdí which was released in 1979.  It’s the second track from the exiled Spaniards who were living in Bochum, Germany when they seamlessly fuse flamenco guitar with disco strings and a Euro Disco inspired vocal. The result is a dance track where musical genres and cultures unite and play their part in a track that is a reminder of the end of disco era.

During the three-year period that Tani Disco Rumba and Flamenco Boogie 1976-1979 covers, a number of Spanish musicians, producers, arrangers and songwriters drew inspiration from the music that filling dancefloors in America. This included boogie, disco, Philly Soul, funk and the slick and sophisticated singles and albums being released by Salsoul Records. There’s also occasional hints of Arabian, electronica and rock during Tani Disco Rumba and Flamenco Boogie 1976-1979, where two traditional forms Spanish music are modernised and reinvented, rumba and flamenco.

This was long overdue, and if it didn’t happen, then rumba and flamenco risked becoming irrelevant. Despite this, the traditionalists had opposed any changes from sixties onwards. Like a musical equivalent of the flat earth society, the traditionalists were determined that rumba and flamenco weren’t going to change, despite the fact that they were holding the genre back. However, they couldn’t stop this group of pioneering musicians, producers, arrangers and songwriters who were determined to make rumba and flamenco relevant once more. 

Both rumba and flamenco were given a makeover with boogie, disco, funk, Philly Soul and the Salsoul Records’ sound  being added to the mix. When the traditionalists heard these new, innovative and hook-laden fusions they had to reach for the smelling salts, and wept at what had happened to their music. 

Meanwhile, a new generation were overjoyed at the transformation which is documented on Tani Disco Rumba and Flamenco Boogie 1976-1979 by Pharaway Sounds, an imprint of Guerssen Records. Suddenly, a new generation of record buyers and clubbers embraced the styles of rumba and flamenco. They were overjoyed that somewhat belatedly, rumba and flamenco s being dragged kicking and screaming into the seventies where clubbers danced until dawn to these carefully crafted dancefloor fillers on Tani Disco Rumba and Flamenco Boogie 1976-1979.

Tani Disco Rumba and Flamenco Boogie 1976-1979.

1 Comment

  1. You surely highlight the response of the traditional flamenco world at the time clearly! I tried to find La Marilee – but couldn’t. It is great to listen to some of these while reading. Another great article, Derek!

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