Exposé Online banner

Carmen — Fandangos in Space/Dancing on a Cold Wind
(Angel Air SJPCD229, 1975/2006, 2CD)

Carmen — Fandangos in Space
(LICD 9.00598, 1972/1989, CD)

Carmen — Dancing on a Cold Wind
(LICD 9.00601, 1975/1989, CD)

by Mike Ohman, 1994-02-01:

Fandangos in Space/Dancing on a Cold Wind Cover artFandangos in Space Cover artDancing on a Cold Wind Cover art Do you like Jethro Tull? Curved Air? Flamenco dancing? Did you ever wish for a combination of the three? Your wish has come true, and its name is Carmen! And if you don't think they could pull off such a "Hey-you-got-chocolate-in-my-peanut-butter" combination, you've obviously not yet heard a Carmen album. The players are: David Allen on vocals and guitars, his sister Angela Allen on vocals, keyboards and "footwork," Roberto Amaral on vocals, "footwork," castanets and vibes, John Glascock (later of Jethro Tull) on bass, and Paul Fenton on drums. The sound is centered around guitar, keyboards are used subtly but to good effect. David and Roberto alternate as lead singers, with occasional lead vocals by Angela. But the distinctive part, of course, is the flamenco angle, which is certainly why they are one of the most original progressive bands ever. Of course, there's Allen's guitar playing. He plays the electric guitars with the same force as the acoustics. But the one thing that assures you'll never forget is the heel-clicking, castanet-clomping dances, which is the one thing that I look forward to whenever listening to a Carmen album. It's hard to say which of the first two albums is better, both are excellent starters. But Dancing on a Cold Wind does include "Remembrances (Recuerdos de Espana)," a 23-minute rock-opera type epic, so use that as a factor in deciding which one you want first. (I haven't heard The Gypsies, the third album, yet. The prevailing opinion is that that's the last one to get, it's supposedly more subdued than its predecessors.) Progressive rock and flamenco music. Two great tastes that taste great together.

by Peter Thelen, 2007-03-01:

It's about time that these albums received a proper re-release after the butcher job the German Line label did with them in the late 80s (large parts of tracks missing, track indexes in the wrong places, and sound quality uniformly wretched... sheesh!). The band got their start in Los Angeles where guitarist David Allen, his sister Angela (keyboards, vocals, flamenco dance) and Spanish expatriate Roberto Amaral (vocals, vibraphone, flamenco dance and choreography) formed the band along with British-born bassist John Glascock. The whole concept behind the band was to merge all their talents (flamenco dance and music) into a progressive rock band. They utilized a special miked stage in their performances to amplify the footwork of Roberto and Angela; it was something new and different that hadn't been done before, but in Los Angeles they were met mostly with indifference, so the entire band moved to England in hopes of finding a more receptive audience there. Within months they signed a record deal with Tony Visconti producing, and found an ally in David Bowie, who got them a spot on the late-night concert TV show Midnight Special. Fandangos in Space and Dancing on a Cold Wind were released in late '73 and early '74 respectively (the latter a U.K.-only release), and certainly lived up to the promise of their initial concept. The music ranges from classical flamenco guitar to manic hard rock, often delivered in lengthy multi-sectional suites; synthesizers and Mellotron and blistering electric guitar solos abound, with vocals freely jumping back and forth between Spanish and English in a harmonized style, with percussion delivered via footwork and castanets. Their music is rousing and restless, always changing, evolving and surprising the listener at every turn. The second album differs from the first in that it contains a side-long suite "Remembrances" (here indexed as separate tracks). Two previously unreleased studio tracks are added to the second disc as a bonus. Carmen were true originals; it’s good to have proper reissues of these available finally.

Filed under: Reissues , Issue 34 , 2006 releases, 1975 releases, 1989 releases, 1972 releases, 1989 releases, 1975 releases

Related artist(s): Carmen

More info

Latest news

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more

2020-01-07
Joel Vandroogenbroeck RIP – Word has reached us of the death of Joel Vandroogenbroeck, best known as one of the founders of Brainticket, He also recorded electronic music under a variety of names. He was born August 25th, 1938 in Brussels, Belgium and died December 23, 2019 in Arlesheim, Switzerland, aged 81. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Dan Ar Bras - Douar Nevez 'Terre Nouvelle' – Finally, the long-awaited reissue of Dan Ar Bras' compelling first album. This is a very unique music, with wide-ranging influences, all served up in an inventive mix of moods and styles that pleases...  (1993) » Read more

The Who - At Kilburn 1977 – These DVDs present The Who at two ends of their peak years. Disk one captures them at Gaumont State Theatre, running through a set that was intended for Jeff Stein’s 1978 documentary The Kids Are...  (2009) » Read more

Lucio Fabbri - Amarena – Fabbri is probably best known for his tenure as violinist with PFM in their post-Passpartù period, and with Claudio Rocchi, and also for some of the work he's done with Demetrio Stratos. As...  (1995) » Read more

Mamabaoyou - Moni Rensheng (Analog Life) – Mamabaoyou is an instrumental band from Dalian in northern China, which is also home to the more well-known Wang Wen. Oddly enough, although the band’s name sounds Chinese, it is never written...  (2010) » Read more

Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass - The Lonely Bull & Five Others – “You hear three notes and you know it’s Herb Alpert,” remarked Miles Davis in a 1989 interview. That isn’t at all surprising considering Herb Alpert and the Tijuana...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues