Jeanette-Spain’s Silky-Voiced Songstress 1967-1983.

Label: Ace Records.

During the sixties, seventies and eighties, Jeanette’s quiet, tender and languorous vocal was something of an anomaly in Spain, and was the polar opposite of many singers including Rocío Dúrcal, Massiel, Encarnita Polo, Marisol and Karina who had deep, raw, blazing, and powerhouse vocals. Jeanette’s unique style proved popular, as the versatile singer-songwriter started singing folk pop in the mid-sixties with her band Pic-Nic, before delivering heart-achingly beautiful ballads during a career that spanned three decades. 

During this period, Jeanette worked with some of the most talented producers, arrangers and songwriters from Spain, Argentina and France, They provided the songs that made Jeanette a star not just in the Spanish speaking world, but as far afield as Japan. 

Now, Jeanette’s music is starting to find an even wider audience, and the release by Ace Records of Spain’s Silky-Voiced Songstress 1967-1983, is sure to introduce the singer to a wider audience. Jeanette’s story is a fascinating one, and began in London in 1951.

Although Jeanette made a name as a singer in Spain, she was born Janette Anne Dimech on the ‘10th’ October 1951, in London, to a father of Maltese descent who lived in the Belgian Congo and a Spanish mother. Jeanette’s grandparents owned an import-export business, which was why she spent her early years in Chicago, Los Angeles and La Habra, California. However, when she was twelve her parents split-up and Jeanette, moved to Barcelona, in Spain.

Having lived all her life in America, Jeanette was enrolled in an American school and spoke no Spanish. This changed when she befriended some Spanish children, who taught her Spanish. This would prove useful when she embarked upon a musical career. 

In the sixties, Jeanette learned to play the guitar and started writing her own songs. She modelled herself on the new wave of American folk musicians, including Bob Dylan and The Byrds, and Scottish singer-songwriter Donovan. These were just some of Jeanette’s favourite artists and bands, and who she wanted to emulate.

The opportunity arose when Jeanette joined the student band Pic-Nic as a singer, and in 1967 they had a measure of success with a folk version of the Spanish children’s song Cállate Niña which she cowrote and features on Spain’s Silky-Voiced Songstress 1967-1983. So does two more of their best know and best loved songs, Amanecer and No Digas Nada which showcase a talented singer. 

While the success of these songs resulted in Pic-Nic becoming a popular group, all wasn’t well behind the scenes. There always seemed to be disagreements between band members, and one of the mute points was should they record English versions of their songs? This would’ve introduced their music to a much wider audience, but this didn’t happen as the constant arguments resulted in the band splitting up. The Pic-Nic was over.

After the demise of Pic-Nic, Jeanette returned to her studies, but before long, received a call from her former record label Hispavox. This had been home to Pic-Nic, and an executive at the label had a proposal. 

Hispavox were working on a project that required a female vocalists, and Jeanette fitted the bill. After some thought, she returned to Barcelona in 1971, where she embarked upon a solo career. Her debut single Soy Rebelde (I Am A Rebel) saw the singer’s name which was Janette, misspelt as Jeanette. It would be expensive to repress the single, so Jeanette was born and Soy Rebelde which features on Spain’s Silky-Voiced Songstress 1967-1983, gave her a hit in many Spanish speaking countries and proved popular, This was just the start for the newly christened Jeanette.

The ballad Estoy Trist, which featured No Digas Nada on the B-Side was released in 1972 and gave Jeanette another hit. Both songs feature on Spain’s Silky-Voiced Songstress 1967-1983. So does her 1973 release Palabras, Promesas which features Debajo Del Platanero (Underneath The Mango Tree) on the flip side and 1974s Porque Te Vas which gave her an international hit and features the B-Side Seguiré Amando. Many of these songs were ballads and featured Jeanette’s tender, languid vocal. 

After Porque Te Vas, which was also the title of her 1976 album, Jeanette continued to release singles on a regular basis. This included Todo Es Nuevo which lent its name to her 1977 album, and featured Pequeña Preciosa on the B-Side. Both sides are welcome additions to Spain’s Silky-Voiced Songstress 1967-1983. So is No Digas Buenas Noches which was released in 1978.However, by then, Jeanette’s career had stalled.

In 1981, thirty year old Jeanette released Corazón De Poeta as single, but it failed commercially. That was a great shame as it was taken from a carefully crafted and lavishly produced album.

A year later in 1982, Toda La Noche Oliendo A Ti was released as a single, and it failed commercially. By 1983, the hits had dried up for Jeanette who had enjoyed a three decade career.

Jeanette’s career is celebrated on Spain’s Silky-Voiced Songstress 1967-1983, which features songs from her time with Pic-Nic and her solo career. This includes many of trademark beautiful ballads which she was famous for. They’re among the twenty-three tracks on Spain’s Silky-Voiced Songstress 1967-1983, including a beautiful version of a 10CC’s I’m Not In Love (Te Esperaré). It’s one of the highlights of Spain’s Silky-Voiced Songstress 1967-1983, which features some of Jeanette’s finest songs, and is the perfect introduction to a singer whose largely unknown outside of Spain.

Jeanette-Spain’s Silky-Voiced Songstress 1967-1983. 

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