Monday, March 05, 2007

Fiebre Amarilla y sus Amigos


About two weeks ago I was in Southern California visiting Joshua Tree National Park and seeing friends in Los Angeles. I always try to find time to do some record shopping while I'm down there, but I never find anything too special. This time I decided to try the swap meets. Since I was there mid-week I found myself at the Alpine Village Swap Meet in beautiful Torrance, California (pictured above). The place looked and smelled like the Oakland Coliseum swap meet which has been pretty generous to me, so I was pretty excited while walking through the spaces. Fiebre Amarilla y sus Amigos' "Super Ensalada" ended up being my favorite out of seven sealed Latin records I picked up there. Like lots of Latin records this one has one huge medley of songs on each side. I took three nice sections out of the record to share today. What amazes me about this record is it's diversity. This record goes from operatic marches to ska/calypso jams to "Blues Brothers" early rock and roll, to bossa nova, to fuzzed out surf rock, and then back to traditional Latin cumbias.

Side one opens up with a weird wedding march sung by a woman in an opera type falsetto and then goes on to cover the theme from "The Bridge Over the River Kwai". I made the executive decision to not include that for you. What I did include was a sort of "Blues Brothers"/"Big Chill" medley of early rock and roll that starts of with "Blue Moon" then goes into a kind of low rider instrumental with reverbed out surf rock guitar before launching into a short ska set that includes Byron Lee's "Jamaica Ska" complete with Spanish lyrics and "Shame and Scandal in the Family". The band then switches it up with a slower love song and ends with a quick little surf rock guitar jam before they switch it up yet again into more traditional Latin music which I left out.

The second selection also comes from the first side and captures the band as they start into another rock medley with "Rock Around the Clock", "Tutti Fruti", "What I'd Say" and "Long Tall Sally." Unfortunately, none of the songs are sung in Spanish, but you've got to love the vocal inflictions used on "What I'd Say". The band then heads into low rider oldies territory. These could possibly be actual songs from the 50's or 60's but I'm not familiar with them. Check the little drum break before "Estuve Enamorado". This selection ends with my favorite track: a cover of Them's Gloria. Unfortunately they split the track in half between the first and second side of the album.

The third selection opens up where the second selection ended. For some reason, I love this track. First of all, I'm a sucker for covers in alternate languages, but this guy's voice sounds so great through the reverb they used. After "Gloria" they head into an unremarkable version of "Hang on Sloopy", but they come back with a loungey bossa nova number called "El Pato". Watch out for that keyboard solo! I then end the selection with two more songs that should give you an idea of what the rest of the album sounds like.

I hope someone out there gets as much of a kick out of this album as I do.

Super Ensalada #1 by Fiebre Amarilla y sus Amigos
Super Ensalada #2 by Fiebre Amarilla y sus Amigos
Super Ensalada #3 by Fiebre Amarilla y sus Amigos

14 Comments:

Blogger Penningtron said...

Definitely dig the Them cover. What about cover art or a shot of the record? Any year of recording info?

6:39 AM  
Blogger K-mac said...

Yeah, my digital camera wasn't around for a couple of days so I couldn't get a pic . There isn't any recording info on the album, but according to this paper from El Salvador it was released in 1979 and broke national sales records.

http://www.elsalvador.com/noticias/2001/10/11/ESCENARIOS/escen2.html

7:04 AM  
Blogger andres said...

yo, i really like the blog. some shit i wouldn't know too much about without sites like these. i wanted to ask if you'd be interested in swapping links on the blogroll. had to put it in the comments, i couldn't find a contact link. peace

andres

5:29 PM  
Blogger K-mac said...

Andres,

For some reason I can't view your profile or check out your blog. Get back at me with your blog's URL and we'll swap links.

K-mac

7:50 PM  
Anonymous Roberto Miranda said...

That "Super Ensalada" brings me a lot
of memories,
What a surprise to find this blog
with someone writting it about it!

Thanks
Roberto

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Roberto Miranda said...

Here a lionk for the
"Super Ensalada II"
it was posted by my brother.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=05hCihaKlUw

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely fantastic! If there is a Nacho Libre 2, this has to be on the OST.

5:01 AM  
Blogger Shawn Ryan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Shawn Ryan said...

I you're interested in more, I just posted a track called Pellejo here:

http://dollarbinjamsonline.blogspot.com/2008/04/yellow-fever.html

Never stop digging!

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am trying to locate one of the members of Fiebre Amarilla, the bass guitar player, Jaime Castellanos. I knew him when the group played in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area back in the
1980s. Can you give me any help on how to locate him or anyone from his group? Thanks.

cpattana@isp.com

1:45 AM  
Blogger Blue said...

OH MY GOD!!! THANK YOU FOR THIS. My uncle, German Ruiz, was a member of Fiebre Amarilla in the 70's. Not sure what instrument he played, but I believe he sang and played guitar,piano. I decided to google the band to find more info on them and I came upon this site! I would looooove to be able to listen to the tracks on this record, but they're no longer up! I live in SF too and oh man I am going to ask my uncle more about this!

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, this band kicks ass! I have 4 of their records and even a solo album by their guitarist German Mangandi. They played and were very good at many styles. Viva la fiebre!

9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am trying to locate the bass guitar player, Jaime Castellanos. He was with the band in the 80s. I would love to get in touch with him. If you know how to reach him, please email me:
cpattana@verizon.net

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^Thanks!!

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11:42 PM  

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