Los Gatos Negros
International sounds, whether it bet garage, psych, soul or funk, are always a groove to look for/listen to, though I have never had the money or the know-how to dig into them in a big way.
As it is with reggae, my connection is usually via an interesting cover version (pr two), which is how I found my way to the 45 you see before you today.
The record popped up on a friend’s sale list, and the presence of two groovy covers lured me in.
Los Gatos Negros (the Black Cats for the Espanol-impaired) were a Spanish beat group (based in Barcelona) that worked from the late 50s into the early 70s. The discographical info that I have been able to track down seems to indicate that they spent a lot of time re-recording contemporary pop hits for the Spanish-language market.
The disc you see before you, containing versions of Chris Kenner’s oft-covered classic ‘Land of 1,000 Dances’ (La Tierra De Las Mil Danzas) and Herman’s Hermits ‘No Milk Today’ (Todo Cambio) was released in 1967.
The arrangement of ‘Land of 1,000 Dances’ is pretty cool, with heavy bass and a horn section, and it’s always cool to hear a familiar song in another language (though there doesn’t appear to be a Spanish equivalent for ‘mashed potatoes’).
The version of ‘No Milk Today’ (one of my fave Graham Gouldman tunes) hews pretty closely to the Hermits’ OG.
All in all, nothing earth-shaking, but a cool record nonetheless.
I hope you dig it, and I’ll see you all next week.