Los Canarios were a Spanish pop rock (prog rock later) band from Canary Islands founded by Eduardo “Teddy” Bautista in 1964.
The band started off in Las Palmas as Canaries performing soul music and rhythm & blues with lyrics in English. Their first album Flying High with The Canaries (1967) was only released in the US, receiving a belated edition in Spain, in 1985.
The singles “Get on Your Knees” and “Free Yourself” became hits in Spain, as a second LP entitled Libérate! was released in 1970, but they had to disband momentarily when Bautista entered the military service. “Get on Your Knees”, specifically, reached triple gold status.
Through the first half of the 70s the style of the band became closer to prog rock, as Bautista increasingly experimented with synthesizers and electronic music. All this came to fruition by means of Ciclos (1974), a double album that came like a symphonic rock adaptation of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”.
The group disbanded in 1974. (wikipedia)
The classical repertoire has been given a modern, avant-garde twist by the Spanish quintet Los Canarios. Led by keyboardist Edward “Teddy” Bautista, the group has consistently revamped the classical tradition with their imaginative interpretations. Their 1974 album Ciclos remains a classic adaptation of Vivaldi’s cycle of concertos “Four Seasons,” composed more than 200 years earlier. Formed by Bautista in 1967, Los Canarios initially performed American-style R&B and soul music and sang in English. The group recorded several tunes, including “Get on Your Knees” and “Free Yourself,” that became hits in their homeland, and opened shows for such bands as the Beach Boys. Temporarily disbanded when Bautista entered the armed services, Los Canarios reorganized after his discharge. Their music became more progressive as Bautista increasingly experimented with synthesizers and other electronic keyboards. Bautista has continued to balance his involvement with Los Canarios with soundtrack work for Spanish television productions, including a Spanish version of Jesus Christ Superstar. (by Craig Harris)
And here´s theri second album:
And here two completly contrary reviews:
Let’s start by saying this is Los Canarios second LP and i think by far the best of them all. Although “Ciclos” has blown my mind several times when listening I do believe this album holds much more harmony in all its parts.
The album starts with Hello! a salsa, jazz, blues, swing mix introduction preparing the ear to a very well orchestrated second song Free Yourself, giving it’s name to the album: “Libérate”. The lyrics and vocals on this song are very well performed as well as the choirs. When listening to this song you get the feeling of hearing a bizarre version of the Beatles in the very best of senses. The presence of numerous wind instruments makes this song a marvelous piece.
The following song is Magna, beginning with a kind of a classical piece that reminds us a little to Ciclos, the album released 4 years later. Once again the wind instruments take a great part in the song. Also, you can hear a lot of strings that make the song even stronger. At the half of the song we hear a great sax solo with a great change in tempo and rhythm. Every piece gets connected once again with the main melody to close an incredible song.
Intro/Bossa/Oito is exactly what it’s title says: a quiet and calm Brazilian like song with a touch of Bossanova and some Cuban influences.
Next we can hear You’re My Sunshine: a fantastic piece following the same concept as the one before, with some stripes of Spanish and Latin American rhythms. Again, the exceptional voice of Teddy Bautista and the other members choirs leave us wanting more and more while the disc reaches a very high point.
Both Say Hi! To The Salvation Army and Say Bye! To The Salvation Army work as a perfect interlude.
Words of the Lord starts as a ballad and quickly evolves to a very nice and emotional song.
She Brought The Blues (Into My Life) is a fantastic soul song in where the sax and trumpet take the lead. Then again, Teddy Bautista amazes us with some great singing techniques making this whole song on of the very best of the album.
Hey, Mr. Teller!, Where Is The Hope?, a recited composition in spanish bring us the end of the disc with Let It Be Me.
This last song concludes and closes one of the most well performed albums of Los Canarios. It introduces some great free jazz sounds and more soul and jazz rock as we have seen in the previous songs.
In conclusion, I highly recommend you listening to this disc, you won’t regret it. If you loved “Ciclos” and want something closer to jazz, soul and blues, this is the perfect album for you. (wiznia)
Lots of short to very short songs (four are clocking under the one minute barrier or just above it) which are totally useless. By any means, there are hardly anything progressive here! The bottom is reached with some heavy and dripping soul music (“Free Yourself”); and you can add a combo of almost the same but just with some more prog orientation (“Magna”). Although the syrupy string arrangements is nothing of my liking.
Lyrics are in English and don’t convey a very authentic feel. What is really discouraging, are the weak trumpets which are to be listened all the way through. This album has NOTHING to do with symphonic prog ; but apparently their album “Cyclos” released in ’74 is of another texture. But this will be for another review…
As far as I’m concerned, this album is totally uninteresting from A to Z. The dreadful soul experience can again be heard during “You Are My Sunshine”. I bet you! Press next. In a hurry!
There is one very easy thing to do after such a listening: it is to rate such a “work”. One star. Easily.
And this is really a maximum for such a sequence of poor songs. Don’t spend your time on this one; but looking at the reviews, very few did.
Only one five stars rating before mine. Well, now it is balanced? (ZowieZiggy)
Listen and make your own decision … for me it´s a good album (but “Cycles” is a masterpiece), very much influenced by the brass sound of Blood, Swet & Tears.
Teddy Bautista (guitar, vocals, harmonica)
Graham Bircumshaw (organ)
Tato Luzardo (drums)
Alfredo Máiquez (trombone)
Vicente Máiquez (saxophone)
Nano Muñoz (trumpet)
Germán Pérez (guitar)
Alvaro Yébenes (bass)
Alternate front + backcover:
01. Hello (Bautista) 1.06
02. Free Yourself (Bautista)
03. Magna (Bautista) 5.39
04. Intro-Bossa-Oito (Bautista) + You’re My Sunshine (Traditional) 5.32
05. Say Hi! To The Salvation Army + Words Of The Lord (Bautista) 3.29
06. Say Hi! To The Salvation Army + The Brought The Blues (Into My Life) (Bautista) 5.27
07. Eh Charlatan! ¿Dónde Está La Esperanza? (Eh Mr. Teller! Where’s The Hope) (Bautista) 0.59
08. Let It Be Me (Bécaud/Curtis/Delanoé) 5.25