Exposé Online banner

Carmen — Fandangos in Space
(LICD 9.00598, 1972/1989, CD)

Carmen — Dancing on a Cold Wind
(LICD 9.00601, 1975/1989, CD)

by Peter Thelen, 2007-03-01:

Fandangos in Space Cover artDancing on a Cold Wind Cover art It's about time that these albums received a proper re-release after the butcher job the German Line label did with them in the late 80s (large parts of tracks missing, track indexes in the wrong places, and sound quality uniformly wretched... sheesh!). The band got their start in Los Angeles where guitarist David Allen, his sister Angela (keyboards, vocals, flamenco dance) and Spanish expatriate Roberto Amaral (vocals, vibraphone, flamenco dance and choreography) formed the band along with British-born bassist John Glascock. The whole concept behind the band was to merge all their talents (flamenco dance and music) into a progressive rock band. They utilized a special miked stage in their performances to amplify the footwork of Roberto and Angela; it was something new and different that hadn't been done before, but in Los Angeles they were met mostly with indifference, so the entire band moved to England in hopes of finding a more receptive audience there. Within months they signed a record deal with Tony Visconti producing, and found an ally in David Bowie, who got them a spot on the late-night concert TV show Midnight Special. Fandangos in Space and Dancing on a Cold Wind were released in late '73 and early '74 respectively (the latter a U.K.-only release), and certainly lived up to the promise of their initial concept. The music ranges from classical flamenco guitar to manic hard rock, often delivered in lengthy multi-sectional suites; synthesizers and Mellotron and blistering electric guitar solos abound, with vocals freely jumping back and forth between Spanish and English in a harmonized style, with percussion delivered via footwork and castanets. Their music is rousing and restless, always changing, evolving and surprising the listener at every turn. The second album differs from the first in that it contains a side-long suite "Remembrances" (here indexed as separate tracks). Two previously unreleased studio tracks are added to the second disc as a bonus. Carmen were true originals; it’s good to have proper reissues of these available finally.

by Mike Ohman, 1994-02-01:

Do you like Jethro Tull? Curved Air? Flamenco dancing? Did you ever wish for a combination of the three? Your wish has come true, and its name is Carmen! And if you don't think they could pull off such a "Hey-you-got-chocolate-in-my-peanut-butter" combination, you've obviously not yet heard a Carmen album. The players are: David Allen on vocals and guitars, his sister Angela Allen on vocals, keyboards and "footwork," Roberto Amaral on vocals, "footwork," castanets and vibes, John Glascock (later of Jethro Tull) on bass, and Paul Fenton on drums. The sound is centered around guitar, keyboards are used subtly but to good effect. David and Roberto alternate as lead singers, with occasional lead vocals by Angela. But the distinctive part, of course, is the flamenco angle, which is certainly why they are one of the most original progressive bands ever. Of course, there's Allen's guitar playing. He plays the electric guitars with the same force as the acoustics. But the one thing that assures you'll never forget is the heel-clicking, castanet-clomping dances, which is the one thing that I look forward to whenever listening to a Carmen album. It's hard to say which of the first two albums is better, both are excellent starters. But Dancing on a Cold Wind does include "Remembrances (Recuerdos de Espana)," a 23-minute rock-opera type epic, so use that as a factor in deciding which one you want first. (I haven't heard The Gypsies, the third album, yet. The prevailing opinion is that that's the last one to get, it's supposedly more subdued than its predecessors.) Progressive rock and flamenco music. Two great tastes that taste great together.

Filed under: Reissues , Issue 2 , 1989 releases, 1972 releases, 1989 releases, 1975 releases

Related artist(s): Carmen

More info

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

5uu's - Point of Views – From the beginning, led by drummer Dave Kerman, 5uu's started out as the west-coast answer to the European RIO music of the day. Their first mini-album Bel Marduk & Tiamat echoes that more...  (1996) » Read more

Peter Frohmader - Cycle of Eternity – They say the first impression is the one that lasts, and so it is here with the latest album by German electronic master Peter Frohmader: the album opens with the twelve minute "Spiral,” a majestic...  (1994) » Read more

Tempest - Turn of the Wheel – Tempest is led by Lief Sorbye (formerly of folk group Golden Bough). This is their first album for the Magna Carta label and their fourth disc overall. Jigs and reels and storytelling: that's what...  (1996) » Read more

Clockwork - Surface Tension – So far it seems that Sensory (Laser's Edge) has found a rich deposit of quality progressive metal bands; enter Clockwork. This New Jersey band is very much from the Dream Theater school. I hate to...  (2000) » Read more

Renaissance - At the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – It is with great pleasure that I announce Renaissance live at the Royal Albert Hall with Orchestra. Recorded live on the King Biscuit Flower Hour on October 14, 1977, this is a far better album than...  (1997) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues