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CRACK

Symphonic Prog • Spain


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This Spanish band came from Gijon, the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula. The members were Alex Cakrul (bass), Alberto Fontaneda (guitar, flute and vocals), Mento Heria (keybaords and vocals), Manda Jimenez (drums) and Rafael Rodriguez (guitar).

Their only album "Si Todo Hiciera Crack" ('80) from CRACK is one of the jewels of the Spanish progressive Rock. It contains seven tracks, all with a beautiful harmony between keyboards, guitar and flute. There are hints of early GENESIS (sensitive piano chords and moving Mellotron waves) and JETHRO TULL (flute) but the typical Spanish climate and the elaborate compositions makes this album to an enthralling and emotional experience.

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CRACK discography


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CRACK top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.06 | 74 ratings
Si Todo Hiciera Crack
1979

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CRACK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Si Todo Hiciera Crack by CRACK album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.06 | 74 ratings

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Si Todo Hiciera Crack
Crack Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I was drawn to Crack because I've seen it suggested that Galadriel's debut album was reminiscent of their style, and in that respect I wasn't disappointed - like other Andalusian rock efforts, it combines a prog rock-inspired approach (in this case, a mashup of Genesis and Yes) and adds some gorgeous classical guitar into the mix, yielding a delightful mix of the acoustic and the electric. Vocalists Alberto Fontaneda and Mento Hevia do a fine job, and likewise the guitar performances from Rafael Rodriguez and Alberto deserve applause making the album a charming piece of prog which has rather slipped between the cracks due to being too late for the golden age of prog and a little early for the neo-prog revival.

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 Si Todo Hiciera Crack by CRACK album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.06 | 74 ratings

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Si Todo Hiciera Crack
Crack Symphonic Prog

Review by Gerinski
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Undoubtedly one of the finest 70's spanish prog albums. The best-known 70's spanish prog bands belong to either the north-east Catalan school firmly rooted in Jazz-Rock or to the southern Andalusian school with its flamenco influences.

Crack (not to be confused with the catalans Crac which became integrated into Maquina! for their 2nd live album) were from the north-west city of Gijon and therefore alien to both schools, and their sound is totally RPI. Melodic, with lots of piano, flute, acoustic guitar and mellotron, very symphonic in nature leaning towards the soft side. Sure enough there are faster tempo sections, electric guitar and synths but even in the most energetic parts the music still sounds gentle. To give some well-known reference think of a mix of 75% La Locanda Delle Fate's "Forse Le Lucciole?" and 25% of Hamonium's "Si On Avait Besoin?". Yes, indeed great for any symphonic lover!

The musicianship is excellent but they do not indulge in virtuosism, the lyrics are in spanish, with the vocals by guitarist/flutist Alberto Fontaneda and keyboardist Mento Hevia reinforced in some tracks by the beautiful female vocals of guest singer Encarnacion Gonzalez "Cani".

Originally the band developed very long compositions, "Descenso En El Mahellstrom", "Marchando Una Del Cid" and "Epilogo" were actually movements of a long epic called "El Cid". "Amantes?", "Cobarde?" and "Si Todo Hiciera Crack" were also quite longer, but on suggestion of the recording label Chapa the songs were split and shortened to accommodate 7 tracks in the album. Despite some initial reluctance, the band eventually admitted that this was a good decision, and in any case except for the closer "Epilogo" (2m20s) all tracks still clocked between 4 and 10 min.

The opener "Descenso?" (Descending The Mahellstrom) is a 5:30 min instrumental overture in great RPI symphonic style. "Amantes?" (Lovers of Fantasy) continues the style, this time with vocals, great track. "Cobarde o Desertor" (Coward or Deserter) and "Buenos Deseos" (Good Wishes) are a bit more acoustic, some sections of "Cobarde?" remind me of the very early Pendragon (The Jewel) and some sections of "Buenos Deseos" of Yes And You and I with its synth lines on acoustic guitar.

"Marchado Una Del Cid" (This One's About El Cid) is a true epic, El Cid was a castillian military leader in the 11th century and the music and lyrics reflect his medieval epic story. The 10 minute title track (If Everything Would Crack) is another highlight, with more predominant female vocals by Cani, and the instrumental closer "Epilogo" closes the album in style, with a chord progression that reminds me of some section of Jesus Christ Superstar but played in 4/4 instead of 7/8.

All the songs are great, no fillers at all, just a bit short of deserving the 5 stars when compared to other masterpieces, but surely a great addition for any lover of 70's symphonic prog. Too bad they just released this great album and disappeared.

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 Si Todo Hiciera Crack by CRACK album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.06 | 74 ratings

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Si Todo Hiciera Crack
Crack Symphonic Prog

Review by maryes

5 stars The Spanish prog band CRACK is one notable exception in the progressive rock scenery from that country. I say this, because unlike their countrymen's from MEZQUITA, GUADALQUIVIR and GUALBERTO (for mention just some) in their music is not so evident the characteristic Moorish or Arabian influences, besides the resource of "flamenco" guitar scales are absent in their arrangements. The result is one albun really more "framed" in the Symphonic Prog style. In fact Crack's music is more close to Italian and British Symphonic prog music. Soon as the music starts the atmospheric "landscape" bring to my mind LOCANDA DELLE FATE in their masterpiece "Forse Le Lucciole Non Si Amano Pił", the track 1 "Descenso en el Mahellstrong" from 'Si tudo ..." is a theme with melodic and structural similarities ( the alternation between agressive and calm passages, the use of the flute and a almost "whispering" electric guitar ) with the track 1"A volte un istante di quiete" from "Forse Le Lucciole..." The track 2 "Amantes de le Irrealidad" presents a "sweet" male/female vocal duo . The track 3 "Cobarde el Desertor" shows a something from space-prog with the same captivating duo vocal "game" from the previous track., another attraction is the moog in Wakeman's or Banks's "vein". The track 4 "Buenos Desejos" is a folk-prog with detached twelve-strings guitar making the harmony with keyboards and eletric guitar ocasional solos. The track 5 "Marchanda Una del Cid (Pt. 1, 2)" as the name already says is a martial theme that reminds me in some moments JETHRO TULL with a middle section in the best MEZQUITA"S style . The track 6 "Si Todo Hiciera Crack" is one ballad where the vocal duo leading the music until a unexpected "majestic" instrumental theme with keyboards and guitar prominence. The Track 7 "Epillogo" is a type of "coda" where the rhythmic section accelerates the beat, until the mellancolic end of track. In all of the 7 tracks you can find very beautiful melodic moments and highly inspirated instrumental passages. Im my opinion "Si tudo Hiciera Crack" deserves one of the highest place in the "Temple" of Sapanish progressive rock. My rate is 5 stars!!!

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 Si Todo Hiciera Crack by CRACK album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.06 | 74 ratings

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Si Todo Hiciera Crack
Crack Symphonic Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A beautiful album from this Spanish band!

Crack was the name of this band from the north of Spain, Gijón to be more precise. And this was sadly one of those bands that only released one album and then disappeared; I said sadly because when you hear this kind of brilliant music, you wonder why they did not continue composing and sharing their talent with us.

Their only album was entitled "Si Todo Hiciera Crack", released in 1979 and composed of 7 songs that together reach 40 minutes. The first one is "Descenso en el Mahėllstrong". An instrumental and exciting opener that will let you appreciate the talent they had. The piano plays a main role here, having first a delicate sound but later turning faster and in some way powerful. There is also a magnificent flute sound all over the song. The symphonic and Spanish passage is obvious here, so with this song you can expect what's next.

"Amantes de la Irrealidad" is the first track that features vocals, of course in Spanish. There is a predominant male voice but you will also appreciate some female ones. The music is softer with nice piano and acoustic guitar. Later it changes and sounds like if you were inside a fairy tale, walking through a happy land, I believe that feeling was made on purpose because if you translate the title it would say "Fantasy Lovers", so I believe it has something to do. The music in general is beautiful, with excellent keyboard passages and nice guitar solos.

"Cobarde o Desertor" begins with vocals since the very first minute, those vocals have that distinctive Spanish sound. The music is nice, good bass notes and odd sporadic keyboard moments, this is not a bad, but by far not the best song on this album. "Buenos Deseos" is another short song, folk with symphonic, great keyboards and drums and there is also a choir, I believe made as well by keyboards. The sound is gentle and comfortable, the vocals are good and the bass lines sound strong but also gentle.

"Marchando una del Cid" starts precisely with a sound of people marching, military drums you know. Then it changes with the introduction of that special flute sound. All the instruments make an excellent job: bass, drums, piano and guitars, of course accompanied by those flute and keyboard masters. A couple of minutes later vocals appear and a classical piano appear. The music has its ups and downs, changes everytime on both music and atmosphere. The vocals are showing a lot of passion, while the music sounds fast and sometimes even nervous. The symphonic sound prevails here. There is a kind of interlude where the piano disappears for a second but later it returns faster and powerful. Later some brilliant keyboard solo appears while the rhythm of the whole song keeps the same form. This is an extraordinary composition.

"Si Todo Hiciera Crack" is the longest track. Melodic, melancholic in moments and adventurous in others. With a soft and charming sound produced by the vocals (male and female) and by the instruments. This time I feel again like a character of a fairy tale, the music has fantasy inherent so you can travel to new lands and worlds. The keyboards are the best thing here, sometimes with exceptional solos and sometimes just as "filler" which are not really. The previous song and this one are the strongest points of this brilliant album.

"Epķlogo" represents what the name suggest, just the final part of this story. It is short and instrumental passage full of flute and exquisite drumming. A Beautiful way to finish this great album.

This is an album I like so much, forty minutes of great music made by this one shot Spanish band. Though it is not especially a masterpiece, it could be considered as a fabulous addition to any prog lover, and a must have for the symphonic prog ones. My final grade, four stars.

Enjoy it!

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 Si Todo Hiciera Crack by CRACK album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.06 | 74 ratings

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Si Todo Hiciera Crack
Crack Symphonic Prog

Review by Prog_Veteran

5 stars What to say about a glorious classic record ? MUCH !!

This is an alternating beautiful /romantic with bombastic pieces music. Musicians are of Banco or Yes caliber and the record production is pretty good. This is art.

I guess I can make analogy with classics from Italy for the conception and ideas richness. Also because it's Latin origin sung music. Comes to mind 2 Locandas : 1st Quella Vecchia and delle Fate for the flute and complex acoustic instruments interplay. The Spanish vocals with female chorus are great, when it comes I reminded by Cittą Frontale, but Crack is better structured than the last.

The moog (one could say with old fashioned sound, I prefer to say "avant guard" sound) and strings keys (mellotron ?) brings personal characteristic to Crack. I have already listened those similar tones with Bloque, Mezquita or Gualberto. But they don't keep that evident flamenco sound we can listen in many Spanish bands, they are much more varied. Italian school analogy is more appropriated to describe the music.

I love when bands bring the typical country culture (or even unexpected elements) into the hybrid prog realm. Better when it works pretty well like Crack. I also love Los Canarios "Ciclos" and Gotic from Spain, but what to say about ITOIZ sung in Basque language ? This is another review for sure.

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 Si Todo Hiciera Crack by CRACK album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.06 | 74 ratings

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Si Todo Hiciera Crack
Crack Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars These guys sure know how to create pleasant melodies. Piano and flute lead the way most of the time with little in the way of instrumental outbreaks. The Spanish vocals fit the music well.

"Descenso En El Mahellstrong" is an instrumental that begins and ends with birds singing and water flowing. Very pastoral. In between piano, gentle guitar and flute lead the way. The tempo does pick up before 1 1/2 minutes. Some nice prominant bass late. "Amantes De La Irrealidad" opens with piano,gentle guitar and vocals. A fuller sound arrives 1 1/2 minutes in. Mellotron before 3 minutes as flute then guitar come in. Vocals return 4 1/2 minutes in. Mellotron 6 minutes in to end it. "Cobarde O Desertor" is probably my favourite track. The melody sounds great with vocals.

"Buenos Deseos" has a pleasant melody with vocals. "Marchando Una Del Cid" is an excellent tune as drums and flute lead the way early with piano joining in. Vocals after 1 1/2 minutes, mellotron a minute later. Synths 5 1/2 minutes in. Cool song. "Si Todo Hiciera Crack" features female and male vocals in this the longest track. Lots of synths late followed by tasteful guitar before 9 minutes. "Epillogo" features a piano,drums and flute intro as the tempo picks up. A calm with flute to end it.

This really deserves 4 stars it's so well done. For me though if it's light and pleasant like this album is it has to move me or do something special for me. It doesn't. Good but not great. 3.5 stars.

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 Si Todo Hiciera Crack by CRACK album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.06 | 74 ratings

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Si Todo Hiciera Crack
Crack Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This spanish band release a single album way back in 1979, but what an album, high class symphonic prog. Si dodo hicera crack is an album full of vintage keyboards with solid guitar, bass and drums interplay. Vocals are sung in spanish and are very well done with loads of harmonic passages. Sometimes Crack reminds me of italian scene from the '70's but as well some of thier country fellows like Iceberg, Goma and Gotic and even in places Banana. Anyway this is an excellent album with spanish floavour just good to keep your attention on the highest levels. This is a great musical experience for me and i will give 4 stars without hesitation, one of the best bands from Spain no doubt. recommended.

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 Si Todo Hiciera Crack by CRACK album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.06 | 74 ratings

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Si Todo Hiciera Crack
Crack Symphonic Prog

Review by digdug

4 stars A strong album that really doesn't sound like any other band I know....Maybe a little like early Genesis....but definitely it has a flavour all it's own....I highly recommend this to amyone who enjoys symphonic prog....which should be most people on this site ! ....There aren't very many vocals...but the vocals that are there are well done in spanish.... Read some of the other (better written) reviews for this excellent album....and then check them out!

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 Si Todo Hiciera Crack by CRACK album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.06 | 74 ratings

BUY
Si Todo Hiciera Crack
Crack Symphonic Prog

Review by laplace
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Here's a disc full of cheerful and instantly appreciable songs, likely to resonate with the pulse of your blood the first time you hear it, and drive you mad through the same summery enthusiasm five plays later.

Crack have done a lot of work on their melodies, and all the songs have catchy moments strong enough to be chartable. Every cut on "Si Todo Hiciera Crack" is breathlessly lovely and uplifting - perhaps the songs aim to take you to such heights to disguise the music's lacking depth?

Maybe that's too strong, but it's fair to say that because Crack's music is so memorable in the first place, nothing is really gained through repeat listens; take the triumphant melodies of "Amantes de le Irrealidad" and realise that there's nothing interesting going on behind them, or else savour the restless joy of the title suite, and come to acknowledge the drab and unimaginative chords it has been drizzled upon.

The musicians themselves are certainly capable, and seem to have a variety of influences. There's a lot of Camel-ism going on here, both in elevator-jazz-pop and bad-solos-over-galloping-bass modes, and I can't say I'm a fan of their work, so it's a little cloying when it's copied so well. Still, this album has superior melody to anything on Mirage. What I do enjoy is the occasional Oldfieldian nod that takes place in the guitar playing. Additionally, the bittersweet moments reminiscent of Banco del Mutuo Soccorso are worth listening to the whole album for, although I dare say that the italian band would have taken more advantage of the group's skills. As it is, "Si Todo Hiciera Crack" is initially enjoyable, fading to nothing special.

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 Si Todo Hiciera Crack by CRACK album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.06 | 74 ratings

BUY
Si Todo Hiciera Crack
Crack Symphonic Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

4 stars This is one of those albums that makes collecting and reviewing progressive symphonic music a real pleasure. It’s also a band I would have never heard of had this not become such an addictive pastime.

Crack were a Spanish band that apparently existed briefly in the latter seventies but who did not have the flamenco-tinged sound of many other bands of that era. They are more like Italian symphonic music, kind of like Lisker or Gotic and other bands of that nature that produced one or two beautiful albums and then disappeared (at least I assume the comparisons are valid from the limited samples I’ve heard of those two bands). In one way they are more like Tarantula or Atila though, maybe not in their style, but in the fact someone took the time to track down their music and reissue it on CD. In this case that someone was Si-Wan Records, which is a great credit to that label. The downside, as with many Si-Wan CDs, is that the liner notes are in Korean so I have no idea what they say.

No matter, this is a fantastic recording and a choice find for any symphonic rock fan, especially those like me who have an affinity for the peculiar inflection of Spanish singers. The vocals here are both male and female, which lends an even more exotic flair to the music; although on some tracks like “Cobarde O Desertor” the falsetto male vocals are a bit of a distraction.

The keyboard work is also quite expressive, much like the limited amount of Italian symphonic bands I’ve heard like PFM or Osanna. Crack also feature flute quite heavily, but otherwise their surprisingly expansive sound comes from the voices, bass, guitar, and a single yet highly creative keyboardist, Mento Hevia.

The songs are all in Spanish, but again no matter that their meaning is lost if you don’t speak that language. The real magic hear is in the musical arrangements, which are bright, upbeat, and irrepressibly beguiling.

The opening “Descenso En El Mahellstrong” features the fat acoustic guitar flair so unique to Spanish music in general, along with delicate keyboards and Celtic-tinged flute, which seems to be something of a trademark of symphonic Spanish music as well. This is an instrumental, and the electric guitar work at the end casts an intensely introspective mood on the whole song. A beautiful work.

In contrast “Amantes De La Irrealidad” starts and ends with vocals, with leading male voice backed by almost operatic female backing, and endless tempo shifts punctuated by flourishing keyboards (pretty sure the heavy ones are mellotron), a couple brief passages of rather intense guitar, and finally a brief climax of keyboards and male chamber vocals before fading abruptly. Does the title mean ‘lovers of fantasy’? If so, an apt title.

“Cobarde O Desertor” is the most vocally intense track, including the strange falsetto singer who I assume represents the coward the lyrics are no doubt referring to. This is closer to a complex pop song or perhaps contemporary world music, but still Hevia’s keyboards set it apart from more mundane popular music.

I’m not sure what the desires are that referred to in “Buenos Deseos” (lust? Not sure). Anyway, this one also has more folkish vocals than symphonic, and again the keyboards save the day. Well, maybe not ‘save’ – it’s a good song nonetheless, but Mr. Hevia sure does know how to coax a lot of sounds out of his keyboards. Towards the end this one kind of wanders into jazzy-funk territory, a nice diversion that serves to give the album even more variety.

“Marchando Una Del Cid” has a martial rhythm, complete with militant drumming and flute. Again, no idea what this is about – marching somewhere to do something, not sure, and it occurs to me that the harmonic male vocals in the background may in fact be synthesized. But again it doesn’t really matter. This is the only track that has a bit of a dated feel to it, mostly because of the yawning lead male vocals, which remind me of some Mexican and Cuban pop bands of the early eighties, but besides the vocals this is a delicious two-part work that really takes off in the second part, which are almost completely dominated by the keyboards. I’m guessing this would be an interesting tale if I could get someone to translate the lyrics. It’s a top-notch symphonic adventure even without that.

The title track (“Si Todo Hiciera”) is the apex of this album. The female vocalists are more prominent here, trading leading bits with Hevia and the guitarist, while Hevia lavishes on the extended reverb in his keyboards, alternating between piano and more exotic synthesized sounds. I get the impression there’s a kind of ‘let’s all hug and get along’ kind of message to the lyrics, and the acoustic and electric guitars present a pleasantly upbeat mood behind the graceful vocals in support of that message. I’ve played this one song more than the rest of the album combined since picking it up, and it hasn’t dimmed in my estimation one bit.

The epilog is full of flute and piano, slowly winding down the mood and the music until a sustained note and piano flair bring it to an end.

This is really a great musical experience; I really don’t know any other way to put it. Hard to believe these guys basically faded away after such a short period. I read about the band a little, and my understanding is they had a lot of unfortunate personal issues and misfortunes that led to their early demise as a group. But I believe several of them have remained in music, including the brilliant keyboardist Mento Hevia, who ended up in a group known as Gueta Na Fonte after some time playing classical music as well as electronica. That’s good to know, as we can’t have enough creative symphonic keyboardists in this world in my opinion.

So, what to give this album? For the life of me I can’t find anything bad to say about it. The music is lively, complex, varied, and inspiring. It is a little treasure that can be had fairly easily thanks to its reissue on CD several years ago, and it represents pretty much everything I would look for in a great symphonic rock album. I’m hesitant to say it is essential, since I believe if it truly were then it would be more prominently known and appreciated in progressive circles. But it would most definitely make a great addition to any music lover’s collection. So four stars it is, but very close to five.

peace

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