Even in London where, by chance I came to live, nobody had heard of them. I never got the chance to hear the record either in Venezuela where most people get rid of their vinyls as soon as the cd player appeared (a Venezuelan tendency: new always means better!!), or in the country in which it was recorded. And then, a decade and a half later, I open the usual padded envelope holding a CD to review and it that word that had escpaed my lips so often but I'd never seen in print: Spiteri. At first I thought I'd misread it, but there it was, the very same band that has been evading me all this time, that magical cd, recorded in London, by two Venezuelan brothers (Charlie and Jorge). This album, originally recorded in 1973, released in Venezuela but never in England, has now been re-released by one of the most exciting Latin Music labels today: Vampisoul.
It would be too good to be true that this album lived up to the legend, but the bare truth is that it does. It's a beautiful combination of psychedelic rock with Venezuelan folk music, a sound so fresh, so unique, so vibrant, that it is pure Spanglish bliss in a totally insane way that could only have been produced in the 1970s. It was way ahead of its time in terms of musical vision, a true fusion album when only very few musicians were daring to attempt it. It combines Afro-Venezuelan rhythmns with English melodies in a daring way, enhanced by a musical understanding and skill into something truly innovative and rare.
According to the CD booklet Spiteri was Britain's answer to Santana. Unfortunately, while Santana's appearance at Woodstock launched his career into the maintream music market, Spiteri never played at Glastonbury. They also only ever recorded one album. After listening to it, it leaves you wondering what would have happened if they had been given the exposure or stayed together as a band. One of those things we'll never know. And so this one gem makes its mark in history as a collectors' 'must have' and an album that could have been.... but never was. Still, never too late to enjoy it!» (Candelalive)
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