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.


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,

Pon atención, 
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.


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.


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

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


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


E, A and B

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