Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Los Bravos: Black is Black

In 1966, four Spaniards and one German hit the pop music scene and took Europe and the Americas by storm with their one hit wonder in English. Its driving bass is unmistakable and the intro builds adding instrumentation with each four measures. The lone German, Mike Kogel, provided a vocal treatment that has often been compared to Gene Pitney.

Recorded in Britain, “Black is Black” was a top five record in the UK, the US, and Canada where it was a number one record. It charted on Billboard’s Hot 100 at #4 and on Cashbox Pop chart at #3. While there were follow-up singles, none reached the Top 40 in the US. This song reminds me of the summer of 1966 – the year that I embraced AM radio – especially KQV 1410 in Pittsburgh where I heard this tune and others. Where’s Chuck Brinkman when we need him today?

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