60s Oldies Music

Los Bravos with Their Worldwide Hit “Black Is Black”

Los Bravos
Los Bravos. (Source: Wikipedia)

 

Introduction to Los Bravos

Los Bravos was a 60s music pop group hailing from Madrid, Spain.  They made waves in the US and the UK via their hit single “Black Is Black” in 1966.  The beat group’s lead singer, Mike Kogel, originated from Germany before moving to Spain where Los Bravos formed in 1965.  Although they never made it to the Billboard Top 10 or even just Top 40 pop chart again, Los Bravos maintained their popularity in Europe, especially when their follow-up single “I Don’t Care” peaked at #16 on the UK charts in 1966.

 

Meet the Los Bravos

Formed in 1965 in Madrid, Spain, Los Bravos were a five-piece pop/rock/beat group. It consisted of vocalist Michael Volker ‘Mike’ Kogel (April 25, 1944, Berlin), bassist Miguel Vicens Danus (June 21, 1944), guitarist Antonio Martinez (b. October 3, 1945, Madrid – d. June 19, 1990, Colmenar Viejo), organ player Manuel Fernandez (b. September 29, 1943 – d. May 20, 1967) and drummer Pablo Gomez (November 5, 1943). They merged from two pop groups Los Sonor from Madrid and The Runaways from Mallorca.

Lead vocalist Mike Kogel originated from West Berlin, Germany but moved to Spain in 1965, the year Los Bravos formed.

 

 

Los Bravos with their big international hit “Black is Black”

The Spanish-native group gained worldwide attention in 1966 with their debut single “Black is Black.” Released on Press imprint, the single reached its peak position at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. It was a bigger hit in the UK, peaking at #2 on the national chart. The million-selling track was later covered by the two French artists Johnny Hallyday (Jean-Philippe Smet) and Belle Epoque. It was also revived in 1977 and became a disco hit in the UK, reaching at #2 there. “Black is Black was written by Tony Hayes and Steve Wadey. Los Bravos became one of the very few pop bands from a non-English speaking country to score an international hit.

In mid-1966, Los Bravos issued their follow-up single “I Don’t Care” which charted #16 on the British charts. In late 1960’s, the band also entered acting, being the main subjects of a couple of Spanish comedic movies Los Chicos con Las Chicas (1967) and Aguirre (1968). Their song “Going Nowhere” was featured on the soundtrack of the former.

On May 20 1967, Manuel Fernandez committed suicide after the death of his wife Lottie Rey in a car accident. Fernandez was only 23 years old.

 

Los Bravos discography (may be impartial)

Spain releases

Columbia Records

(1966)

  • A: It’s Not Unusual
  • B: No Se Mi Nombre

(1966)

  • A: La Moto
  • B: La Primera Amistad

(1966)

  • A1: No Se Mi Nombre
  • A2: Quiero Gritar
  • B1: Una Flor Corte
  • B2: Recopilacion

(Apr 1966)

  • A: La Parada Del Autobus
  • B: Will You Always Love Me (Has De Amarme Siempre)

(June 1966)

  • A: Black Is Black
  • B: I Want A Name

(1967)

  • A: Uno Come Noi
  • B: Don’t Be Left Out In The Cold

(1967)

  • A: Trapped
  • B: Going Nowhere

(1967)

  • A: Como Nadie Mas (Like Nobody Else)
  • B: I’ve Been Hearing Things (He Oido Cosas)

(1967)

  • A1: Te Quiero Asi
  • A2: You’ll Never Get The Chance Again
  • B1: El Loco Soy Yo
  • B2: Don’t Get In My Way

(1967)

  • A1: Al Ponerse El Sol
  • A2: Bye Bye Baby
  • B1: Los Chicos Con Las Chicas
  • B2: Come When I Call

(1967)

  • A1: Sympathy
  • A2: Show Me
  • B1: I´m All Ears
  • B2: I´m Wearing A Smile

(1968)

  • A: Bring A Little Lovin’
  • B: Make It Last

(1968)

  • A: Love Is A Symphony
  • B: Great Is Our Love

(1968)

Medalla De Oro

  • A: Just Holding On
  • B: We´ll Make It Together

(1969)

  • A: Save Me, Save Me
  • B: Cool It

(1969)

  • A: Individuality
  • B: Viva La Vida

(1969)

  • A: Amor Y Simpatía (Love And Sympathy)
  • B: Rudi Enamorado (Rudi’s In Love)

(1970)

  • A: People Talking Around
  • B: Every Dog Has His Day

(1970)

  • A: Hagamos Una Navidad
  • B: Alegria De Vivir

(1971)

  • A: En Tu Sonrisa
  • B: Caminos Del Ayer

(1973)

  • A: Black Is Black
  • B: Bring a Little Lovin

(1973)

  • A: Welcome To Mars (Bienvenido a Marte)
  • B: Better Be You, Better Than Me (Mejor que tu, mejor que yo)

(1974)

  • A: Ma Marimba
  • B: Down

(1975)

  • A: Hey, Mama
  • B: I’m Feeling

 

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