Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Darkness: Black is Black

purchase Los Bravos: Black is Black

It doesnt get much darker than black. Black, as when your baby's gone. When you are so blue that everything is black. And black is bad - at least that's what the lyrics say.

I recall first listening to this piece on a portable transistor radio with short-wave band. It would probably have been Radio Luxembourg in the mid/late 60s, and the signal strength, coming from 1/4 of the way around the world, meant that it was like listening to everything filtered thru a wah-wah sine wave, and you would have to re-tune the radio as the frequency drifted in and out.

Los Bravos didnt have many other hits, but they made it big for a while - at least in the fall of '66 with Black is Black - even in the US. The band was originally from Spain, the lead singer being German, what success they had came about when they moved to the UK.

For what it is and for when it was, the song is fairly effective. Compare with other hits of the same year: Paperback Writer, Groovy Kind of Love, Strangers in the Night, Green Green Grass of Home ... Consider the state of the art and the state of the equipment.

For some reason - probably the "dark" message, the song ignominiously appeared on the Clear Channel list of songs that would best be avoided for airplay after 9/11: deemed a little too dark for a grieving nation.

Segue to "Their Satanic Majesties Request" the following year for more darkness...

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