Part 3: Spanish Garage Bands and Cover Versions in the Sixties
Many Spanish singles of the sixties were translations of UK and US hits. It’s difficult to write a good singable translation of a song, and usually these efforts seemed rather rushed. Often the lyrics were translated in an embarrasingly literal manner. Other times the translations manage to lose most of the original character of the track, turning everything into generic love songs.
Perhaps the best Spanish cover of the 1960s is this version of ‘Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown’, originally by the Rolling Stones. Los Salvajes clearly wanted to be the Spanish Stones, and here they achieve it – in Spain it outsold the original. A good translation usually requires a bit of creativity and artistic license, which is another way of saying that I’ve had to translate the Spanish version back into English!
Unsurprisingly these rougher groups like Los Salvajes, Los Huracanes and Los Cheyenes generally enjoyed much less success than more clean cut groups like Los Brincos. Still, at least they were allowed to exist by the Franco regime. In contrast, psychedelia (long hair, free love, drug references, rebel against the system etc.) never really made it past the censors in this decade.
LA NEURASTENIA Es la clase de chico, que le vence siempre la tensión. Que le abruma el ruido de la circulación. A veces reaccionas y te sabes dominar, mas sin saber porque ya estás, con ganas de llorar, ESTRIBILLO: Pon atención, Cuidate Atención, atención… Ten cuidado con la neurastenia. Cuando eras niño con gran cariño, se te malcrió, nada te negaban y mimaban, mas nada te bastó. No habia quien te advirtiera que tenias que luchar, y a la primera adversidad, te pones a llorar. ESTRIBILLO A quien culpar, de chicas ni hablar, persistes en el complejo de que, lo que tu quieres no puedes conseguir En la escuela habia aquel profesor a quien caias mal, su enfoque psicológico te resultó fatal. Al conocerte me empeñé en poderte enderezar. Y al fin desistí porque, me iba a contagiar. ESTRIBILLO
NERVOUS BREAKDOWN He’s the kind of guy who’s always overcome by tension Who’s overwhelmed by the noise of the traffic Sometime you respond and you can control it but you don’t know why you feel like crying CHORUS: Pay attention Take care Look out, look out… Be careful with your nervous breakdown When you were a child with lots of affection They spoiled you They never refused you anything and they pampered you but it was never enough for you There wasn’t anybody to warn you that you have to fight and at the first adversity you’re starting to cry CHORUS Who to blame Don’t even mention girls You’re still hung up about not being able to get what you want At school there was this teacher who you didn’t get on with whose psychological analysis was a disaster for you When I met you I insisted you could straighten yourself out In the end I gave up because you were going to infect me CHORUS
* CHORDS / ACORDES E, A and B