The imperial years of Hispavox | Culture | EUROtoday

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No, Hispavox was not the longest-lived of the Spanish document firms: that title belongs to Discos Columbia, an organization based in San Sebastián in 1923. But Hispavox developed a selected mark of excellence, because of the care of its productions (the well-known Sonido Torrelaguna, in reference to the Madrid road the place he had his studios), the extent of neatness of his covers established by the formidable designer Daniel Gil and, naturally, the successes in his inventive signings: Mari Trini, José Luis Perales, Karina, Raphael, Miguel Ríos , Enrique Morente, Paloma San Basilio, Los Pekenikes, Nacha Pop, Radio Futura, Alaska and their successive bands. Without forgetting that the corporate was born with a transparent cultural dedication. He printed bold anthologies of flamenco singing or Spanish folklore, adopted by an intensive assortment of early music that, a few years later, would show to be a gold mine, with the worldwide launch of the Gregorian by the Benedictine monks of Santo Domingo de Silos.

A voluminous quantity, Hispavox. The sound of an period (Lenoir Ediciones), emphasizes the epic nature of the journey. It was based in 1953 by a gaggle of companions headed by brothers José Manuel and Luis Vidal Zapater, educated in classical music. But he was solely capable of launch his first references in 1957: with Franco's autarchy, it took years to import the presses and the identical materials (vinylite, carbon black) essential to manufacture information. Because there weren't any, there have been hardly any recording studios in Madrid: music was often recorded on movie units or radio stations. This explains why, with the enlargement of the sixties, Hispavox opted for a horizontal plant. Everything mandatory was put collectively—apart from its printing press—on the aforementioned Torrelaguna headquarters: manufacturing unit, warehouse, places of work and studios. The creator of this e book, José María Díez Monzón (Santander, 1950), labored there as a sound technician for seven years, recalling the spirit of the time: “In the studios we could work 15 or 16 hours a day. And we couldn't get enough of the music! Some nights, when my shift ended, I would go to Whiskey Jazz, where the same instrumentalists that I had recorded a few hours before were playing.”

Waldo de los Ríos directing a recording in Studio 1 of Hispavox in 1969.
Waldo de los Ríos directing a recording in Studio 1 of Hispavox in 1969.Photo offered by José María Díez Monzón

Metaphorically, it’s typically said that Hispavox grew because of Karina's successes: “It's not just that she sold millions of records, she embodied the ye-yé girl and the entire staff was in love with her!” Despite its conservative matrix, Hispavox knew the best way to capitalize on the group period (Pasos, Ángeles, Mitos) and even approached progressive rock (Módulos), though it turned disillusioned with the failure of the supergroup Cánovas, Rodrigo, Adolfo y Guzmán, in 1974; It didn't assist that its primary theme, blue woman, could possibly be interpreted as a political criticism (in actuality, he attacked essentially the most deified characters within the music press and radio). Between these two potential readings, the disk fell into the void.

The firm additionally examined daring concepts, and not using a clear business goal. The saxophonist Pedro Iturralde explored the union of flamenco and jazz with the presence of a Paco de Lucía who didn’t but have a stellar dimension. Another anomaly was Landscape, path and music (1974), by Euterpe, an eclectic Majorcan group that recreated folklore from throughout the nation. Without forgetting the great delusions of Gregorio Paniagua and his group, Atrium Musicae. Díez Monzón remembers that Paniagua insisted on recording the totally different hums of a bee, “and it was achieved.”

Sound engineer José María Díez y Ramoncín during one of the recording sessions for 'Corta!'  (1982).
Sound engineer José María Díez y Ramoncín throughout one of many recording periods for 'Corta!' (1982). Photo offered by José María Díez Monzón

The creator of Hispavox. The sound of an period Prioritize what you skilled. The studios didn’t cease all through the day: at evening, minor or newly signed artists entered. The rhythm solely modified throughout January and February, when the teams and soloists who made the songs for the April Fair in Seville appeared. They have been fast recordings, with efficient gamers—from Paco Cepero to Enrique de Melchor—and the supervision of the scholar Blas Vega. A person with a way of odor even outdoors of flamenco: in 1981, he found the singer-songwriter Javier Ruibal. Despite the identify, Hispavox was a cosmopolitan firm: the primary producer was the Milanese Rafael Trabucchelli and the orchestrations have been signed by the Buenos Aires native Waldo de los Ríos. Both collaborated within the nice worldwide hit of the Hymn of pleasure, by Miguel Ríos. The origin of the artists was not an issue: the guitarist Ian Davies, a flamenco from London, recorded there, as did the Argentine Nacha Guevara or the Chilean Fernando Ubiergo.

In 1977, Hispavox took a flip in the direction of the bottom frequent denominator when José Luis Gil entered, a supervisor from the highly effective CBS, who thought by way of “products” moderately than artists with a artistic vocation. He was behind the good-looking Pedro Marín, the couple Enrique and Ana or the tv Mari Cruz Soriano, whose piano components have been touched up by the virtuoso Agustín Serrano. Gil renewed the manufacturing crew, eradicating features from Trabucchelli in favor of one other Lombard, Danilo Vaona, important for the triumphant stage of Raffaella Carrá in Spanish or the launch of Bertín Osborne. With these approaches, it’s comprehensible that Hispavox didn’t perceive teams like Nacha Pop and Radio Futura, though it did persevere with Alaska, which was searching for success. mainstream: “From the beginning, it became evident that she had an extraordinary ability to defend her arguments.”

View of the main façade of the studio building, built in 1963. To its left, the office building would be built years later.
View of the primary façade of the studio constructing, in-built 1963. To its left, the workplace constructing could be constructed years later.Photo offered by José María Díez Monzón

Gil, who would later return to Hispavox to edit Loco Mía's albums, was changed by Saúl Tagarro, an government with out inventive whims who needed to make harsh work selections (the corporate had greater than 200 staff). The nice paradox: the financial outcomes have been succulent, however they coincided with the fatigue of the Vidal Zapaters, who urged promoting the corporate. In 1985, Hispavox merged with the multinational EMI. Ten years later, the complicated at 64 Torrelaguna Street disappeared. Recently, Díez Monzón took benefit of a visit to Madrid to sneak into the primary constructing: “It was heartbreaking to see everything abandoned, with no trace left that they had left there.” about 14,000 information, together with personal manufacturing and licenses from international labels. And additionally with the suspicion {that a} good a part of the archive had ended up within the landfill.”

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