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LOS CANARIOS

Symphonic Prog • Spain


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Los Canarios biography
LOS CANARIOS was a Spanish band that started playing back in the late 60's. At the beginning, they played Soul and R&B influenced music, singing mostly in English. Recorded in the Seventies, "Circlos" shows an adaptation of VIVALDI's "Four Seasons" with a rock and Hispanic flavour. This is a concept album with an interesting story line that goes from the creation of the Earth to the Apocalypse in 2700 A.C.

The music reminds of this era, with a predominant Hammond organ, a blend of rock and classical music in the style of THE NICE and other EKSEPTION. This album is a heavy and dynamic work in its own right with plenty of synth and organ work as well as guitar. Vocals (in English) are heard throughout but I'd say the album is dominated by instrumental sections. "Ciclos" is a classic of the Spanish progressive scene. But otherwise I have to agree with other prog fans that this is a classic.

DISCOGRAPHY:
1968 - Lo Mejor Del Clan
1970 - Libérate
1972 - Canarios Vivos
1974 - Ciclos

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Ciclos [Vinyl]Ciclos [Vinyl]
Vinilisssimo 2010
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get on your knees / 3-2-1- ah 45 rpm singleget on your knees / 3-2-1- ah 45 rpm single
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LOS CANARIOS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Lo Mejor del Clan!
1968
2.69 | 8 ratings
Libérate
1970
4.11 | 117 ratings
Ciclos
1974

LOS CANARIOS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 7 ratings
Canarios Vivos
1972

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LOS CANARIOS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ciclos by CANARIOS, LOS album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.11 | 117 ratings

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Ciclos
Los Canarios Symphonic Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

5 stars Los Canarios was a Spanish symphonic band which made two studio record and one live record. This is their second and last studio album and this was made in 1974. On this time the group made up by - Alain Richard (drums, percussion), Antonio Garcia de Diego (guitar, acoustic guitar, vibraphone, voice), Mathias Sanvellian (electric piano, Hammond, acoustic piano, violin), Christian Mellies (bass, synthesizer), Alfredo Carrion (choral arrangement and conducting), Teddy Bautista (keyboards, synthesizers, voice) and Rudmini Sukmawati ( voice). This is a long lasting record with an amazing cover which shows a butterfly with a beardy man's head including the world.

It is hard for me to describe this music. It's totally amazing and exactly how pretentious and flamboyant prog should be. Los Canarios mixed every good elements they could find and did a musical treasure box I beg you to explore. If you don't you'll miss something. I just wonder how the came up with the thought about this record. It is as ambitious as Yes' "Tales from topographic oceans" or Jethro Tull's "Thick as a brick". This is also a perfect record for all of you with a love for classical music. A lot of the inspiration here came from Vivaldi's "The four Seasons" and this record has four side-long pieces: "Primera Transmigración", "Segunda Transmigración", "Tercera Transmigración" and "Cuarta Transmigración". It is hard to explain this music. Sometimes it is symphonic as Yes, ELP or sometimes even more, like real symhphonic and sometimes it's so crazy that RIO would have been a good definition. On the other hand sometimes the similarities with eclectic music like King Crimson are distinct and sometimes they are so progressive they are outside the progressive world. I can hear echoes from opera, 50s popular music, Spanish folk music and extravagant keyboards a la Wakeman. This band shows great electric guitar and concerto piano. The third track begins with Spanish guitar and Spanish vocals and in the end there is a church choir and finaly some comical sentences. In the last song I hear a choir that sounds Swedish or German.

Over all, this is something allmost beyond fantasy. Are you open minded and like progressive rock and classical music, don't miss this chance to widen your views. It is just as weird, extravagant and narcissistic only a prog record can be. Five shining Spanish stars!

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 Ciclos by CANARIOS, LOS album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.11 | 117 ratings

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Ciclos
Los Canarios Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Los Canarios' only true prog album is an adaptation to the Tales From Topographic Oceans format of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Unlike many prog bands who took the "rocking the classics" route of producing rock cover versions of classical music, the group don't take the usual Keith Emerson approach of trying to get the keyboards to do absolutely everything whilst the guitar and drums provide rhythm and perhaps the odd shot of flavour; there are several sections where the guitar takes the lead in mimicing the classical orchestra, in fact.

The result is a decent album with a fairly diverse sound, although the performances don't quite hold my attention over the entire double album format and I never find prog covers of classical compositions to be as compelling as original symphonic prog songs. Three stars seems fair.

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 Ciclos by CANARIOS, LOS album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.11 | 117 ratings

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Ciclos
Los Canarios Symphonic Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

3 stars As much as I like Prog adaptations of classical works, this try doesn't work for me. Too long, too many weird parts that I either don't get, or that doesn't make sense at all, sense of big "What?" for first five minutes of Primer Acto, however, pure classical Prog heaven for the rest of this song (and I mean whole 12 remaining minutes). This is being mixed together in a very uneven way and I think that in the end, it hurts the music. Impression I get from it could have been better if these compositions were edited in better way. But as I see from other's reviews, some of you are satisfied, some even excited.

3(+), I take this warmly, but not so enthusiastically.

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 Ciclos by CANARIOS, LOS album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.11 | 117 ratings

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Ciclos
Los Canarios Symphonic Prog

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Spanish prog epic you need to discover

The story of this little known progressive rock gem is almost as interesting as the music itself: a true, sprawling four sides of pure symphonic grandeur of the scope and ambition of "Tales from Topographic Oceans" or "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway." The Spanish band started out as the pop/rock group Los Canarios and had several releases which did well, but were of little interest to prog fans. Then around 1973, leader Teddy Bautista split with his bandmates and retained the name, shortening it to just Canarios. He surrounded himself with all new people and decided to create an epic work for the ages. Today, "Ciclos" is little known and rarely discussed, but I think this is likely the most significant Spanish progressive rock title of its time. As Hugues points out, even the fact that such a project could come to fruition given the political/social oppression of Spain in this period makes it very existence incredible. The high-minded plot themes deal with the circle of life and the history of humanity.

"Ciclos" contains only four songs, each covering an entire side of this double album. The music is a free reinterpretation of Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" and a serious attempt to meld together classical music with symphonic progressive rock. I say reinterpretation because this is not purely a rock band covering a piece of classical music. Everything is subject is change here and the four pieces show a wealth of creative writing and arrangements. The band brings in all various styles to play with: symphonic prog, jazz rock, avant-garde, operatics, and melodic pop/rock. The end result ends up being something not far from the Italian prog of the same period: ambitious, bold, a bit naïve, and sometimes a bit over the top. The "everything but the kitchen sink" approach is on display here. It's a complex album and in my view a great success, but it takes time to reveal itself to the listener. Like some other reviews I've read, the album did not appeal to me at first. Had I written a quick review it would not have been complimentary. But the more you play this one, the better it gets, which is why I rarely write quick reviews. Sections of the album are beautiful beyond belief, other sections rock hard, and other sections leave you scratching you head at what you just heard. Not bad at all!

"this album is much more than just a cheesy rock adaptation. The band put a lot of effort to mix elements from jazz, blues, opera, and even the modern avant-garde classical into Vivaldi's original. Listeners are treated to harpsichords competing with blues and jazz-infected electric guitars, moog synths that let loose a flurry of notes from Vivaldi's original composition before jumping into funky seventies fusion, classical guitars that gently play melodic interludes as the drummer bangs away inspired by John Cage's compositions for percussion. These guys simply loved to mix different genres of music together." -Steve Hegede

As some have pointed out, it can be a bit garish and cringeworthy at times-this is a fair criticism. The keyboard sound choices in particular can be a little cheesy and may make the album too dated for some. In a pure sound sense it does not hold up quite as well as the Yes and Genesis titles mentioned above. But, for those who don't insist on refined restraint in their prog adventure, "Ciclos" is a pure roller-coaster ride that may leave you breathless with listening pleasure. It is certainly not the least bit ashamed to wear its heart on its sleeve. Tightly performed and with reasonably deep, punchy sound, the album lays out a convincing and jamming rock base over which it displays incredible window dressings: I most love the oodles of unique instruments, the little baroque elements, the occasional operatic vocals and choirs, and the adventurous avant-garde excursions. The album can seem inspired by Topographic Oceans although Yes were more seasoned, and Oceans final product more "musically mature" than this one. My personal guess is that most people who like classic era Yes, Genesis, or Banco will be very happy to have acquired Canarios. I consider this title nearly essential to a deep prog-rock collection.

The vocals are in English which pains me, but will no doubt make this title more accessible to some proggers who don't like non-English vocals. Try to get the Japanese mini-lp sleeve CD which will give you a beautiful gatefold presentation, great sound, and the reproduced inserts.

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 Ciclos by CANARIOS, LOS album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.11 | 117 ratings

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Ciclos
Los Canarios Symphonic Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars After the release of a disastrous debut album ("Libérate") recorded in 1970, this Spanish band gets back with something totally different this time. And quite good, I must say.

It is not the first time that a rock band approaches some classical oeuvre. Their model with this double album might well be ELP with "Pictures At An Exhibition". It is particularly true during the opener "Paraíso Remoto". One can find lots of bombastic (pompous) moments and appreciate the rework around this famous theme.

The second movement "Abismo Próximo" is more complex and mixes art-rock, opera-like vocals and some folkish moments as well. The second half of this song is really brilliant: a superb combination of mellotron, superb vocal part and a moving guitar solo: it sounds as THE archetype of the symphonic style we appreciate so much. Still, this great passage is a bit too short IMO.

Mostly instrumental, this album shows a very good musical maestria and if ELP (and the usual clones) are on your list of fave band, there is no doubt that this work will enjoy your ears.

The third movement Is not so pleasant: from classical to eclectic prog, this track is quite difficult to apprehend. There is also some similarity with ELO (the spoken intro from "El Dorado") at the middle of the track. I am lacking harmony and great instrumental passages. It is the less achieved section of this good album. Too much choir and church-related effects to my taste.

The inspiration seems to lack for the fourth section "El Eslabón Recobrado". An unnecessary percussion part like the one during "The Ancient" (from "Yes" TFTO) is quite useless in my opinion. It only makes a long track even longer. The synth moments just after this are quite noisy.

In all, this album holds some excellent musical moments and some?other ones. In my rating system, three stars sound logical.

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 Libérate by CANARIOS, LOS album cover Studio Album, 1970
2.69 | 8 ratings

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Libérate
Los Canarios Symphonic Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

1 stars Gosh! What is this?

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?

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 Libérate by CANARIOS, LOS album cover Studio Album, 1970
2.69 | 8 ratings

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Libérate
Los Canarios Symphonic Prog

Review by wiznia

5 stars OK, this is my first review here at PA although i've been a member since the old days. When i noticed this essential and incredible prog album wasn't on "Los Canarios" discography I had to add it and comment on it.

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.

Cheers!

Ariel.

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 Ciclos by CANARIOS, LOS album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.11 | 117 ratings

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Ciclos
Los Canarios Symphonic Prog

Review by Gerinski
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Did you think that "Tales from Topographic Oceans", "The Lamb" or ELP's "Pictures" were bold and ambitious projects? Well, they pale in comparison with this album from Canarios, mostly the creation of band leader Teddy Bautista. Another adaptation of Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" to rock? Aargh no, vade retro! Well don't worry, this one is really special and in my opinion deserves full credit. It never intends to be a transcription of the classical work to rock instruments, it's an avant-garde loose re-interpretation of the theme which revisits several fragments of the Vivaldi's work, but has also a lot of own material.

The ambition put in this work was huge, double vinyl album with a trascendental concept, integrating early 70's prog-rock, classical music, electronic experimentation with Moogs, Mellotrons, ARP's, Theremin and such stuff, opera, classical choir, gregorian chant, broadway musical, greek chorus narration, lyrics partly in english, spanish and latin, you name it.

With such a daunting task the result would inevitably be a totally ridiculous pastiche or a masterpiece of modern art, and they achieved the latter. We also need to consider the context. If this album would be released now in 2010 I'm not so sure what my opinion would be, but this was made in early 70's underdeveloped Spain, which was in most respects 10 to 20 years behind compared to the main european countries. The sense of authenticity and the conviction and professionalism with which Canarios undertook this mamooth task makes you take your hat off in front of this work.

The cyclic nature of the seasons is re-interpreted into a mystical adaptation of the Eastern culture cyclic concept of the universe and life in it. As in Genesis "The Lamb", the booklet includes apart from the lyrics a text explaining the story (in spanish at least in my edition, which being my mother language I understand).

Spring is translated in the first concert "El Paraiso Remoto" (The distant paradise) as the creation of the universe and the birth out of mother nature's Matrix of the perfect life form, Embryo, eager to assimilate everything around him.

The second concert "El Abismo Proximo" (The nearby abyss) takes the place of Summer, with life now around the year 1700 impersonated as Febos, sucumbing to the temptation of mastering the world, the process of alienation from nature and its creator, discovering technology and becoming an impersonal and anonimous being.

The third concerto "La Ciudad Futura" (The Future City = Autumn) sees life (now middle- aged Metantropus in the year 2126) immersed in an extremely technocratic and grey society where beings are given doses of "alcoholin and nicotin" to keep them quiet or even subjected to the "cybernetic process" where they are reprogrammed to be submissive (George Orwell and Aldous Huxley revisited). Metantropus escapes to the mountains where he has a revelation telling him that the only way out is to recover his sense of unity with the universe and the creator, but he gets caught.

In the fourth concert "El eslabon recuperado" (The recovered link = Winter), life is now the elder Anacros and finds itself in an impersonal dying world in the year 2700 where the radiation of the sun has been depleted and society keeps a hopeless life harnessing some remaining cosmic energy. The prophet Oracle tells Anacros that his fate is to reunite with the creator ("the Supreme Programmer") by crossing the doorway of death. Anacros submits to his fate, voluntarily going to the Expiatory Machine which gives his prana-less material body back to Matrix, while his spirit or karma returns to sit at the right of the Supreme Programmer, from where they witness the Apocalypsis of the material world and its return to the primeval state, from where the cycle will start all over again. A truly astral voyage not only in its storyline, but also in the music which goes along with it.

This album is surely not for everybody's taste. For my personal taste there is a bit too much experimental material and the parts of true 70's symphonic rock (reminiscent of King Crimson, The Nice, Focus, the most experimental side of Yes etc) feel too short because of it, but they are nevertheless great, with wonderful work by all the musicians.

At any rate this is an often forgotten masterpiece, an album which every lover of early 70's prog-rock should have or at least know, a classic in its own right.

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 Ciclos by CANARIOS, LOS album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.11 | 117 ratings

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Ciclos
Los Canarios Symphonic Prog

Review by groon

5 stars OK... let it be 5 stars, though it's more likely 4.5. Rather unusual interpretation of Vivaldi's Four Seasons masterpiece which differs from what the other prog bands do. Actually this opus is very popular among prog/speed metal performers who use to compete in guitar virtuosity and forget to offer something else. These guys go the other way. Instead, they focus on the experimental improvisation introducing the vocal parts and complex polyrhythm structures. The performance is excellent; the final track is particulary worth notice and offers a variety of musical styles - Emersonesque piano improvisation, CLEARLIGHT reminiscence, strong guiatr staccato and avant garde inserts. The operatic voice in the middle of a track is the most beautiful and contrasts with the preceding dramatic sequence. IMO the third track is not as strong as the rest though it doesn't spoil much the impression of this album.

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 Ciclos by CANARIOS, LOS album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.11 | 117 ratings

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Ciclos
Los Canarios Symphonic Prog

Review by Vasil Jalabadze

2 stars I am really surprised, why is this album so overrated... and if not the last number, which includes at last nice tempo moments and some well vocal parties I would give this boring piece zero star without doubt.

I think remaking Classical works is too risky and it demands very carefully approach, but I couldn't see such method of attack. I think guys didn't decide what to play, Prog Rock or Classic with modern keyboards - a-la Rick Wakeman? Anyway, maybe you should get this CD and listen to it, but you will shelve it for a long time very soon ;-)

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