The other day I was listening to the oldies station on my satellite dish, and they played “Black is Black” by Los Bravos. What a great song that is, and sounds surprisingly contemporary for something that was a hit all the way back in 1966. Anyway, as I was contemplating this song, I realized that I know nothing about Los Bravos, but if you had asked me, I probably would have said they were an American band, from maybe the West coast. Also, I was pretty sure that Black is Black was a one-hit-wonder (OHW) and that was about it. So I Googled Los Bravos, and then I Wiki’ed them. And what a surprise!
It turns out that I was right about the OHW thing, but beyond that, I could not have been more wrong. The group Los Bravos is what the Wiki writer calls a Spanish beat group. They are all Spaniards, from Spain except for their Gene Pitney dead ringer sound alike lead singer, who is a German, from Germany. As Jack Benny used to say, “Well!” While they charted a couple more modest hits in the UK, Black is Black was their only charting US Billboard hit (all the way to #4 in the Top Hot 100).
So, here is the group singing their famous song, and a little Gene Pitney tune for comparison. I just love Gene’s voice, and all of his songs, but I picked this one, Mecca, because the similarities are easy to hear. It occurs to me, though, how times have changed. I wonder if anyone these days would see releasing a song about Mecca as a risk, given the way things are. A question without an answer, for sure.
Los Bravos video by YT member lauuu Gene Pitney video by YT member Brent441 Photo from www.sassyscrubs.com (really!)
I'm a baby boomer who grew up dancing in the streets of Detroit during the classic Motown years, lived beside the Rocky Mountains for many years, now retired and living (and writing full time) in S. Ontario. I have one blog for rock 'n' roll oldies, and one for nature, poetry and life along the Lake.