BURNING – Madrid (1978)

Review by: Alejandro Muñoz G
Album assigned by: Jaime Vargas Sánchez

“En La Elipa nací y Ventas es mi reino, y para tu papá, nena, soy como un mal sueño.”

From the streets of La Elipa in post-francoist Spain came Burning, delivering ‘good old rock and roll’ to the madrileño public with their debut album. Lyrically, the album ranges from common rock and roll rebellion (“Sábado noche con mi chica voy a salir, cogeré el coche díselo a papa…”) to more local references (“Tendrás que sentir las caricias de Madrid sobre tu piel”) and slang (“voy hacerte un coco y chulearte la piba por el morro”).

Musically, we find piano driven rock and roll in ‘Rock’n’roll Mama’, a power ballad in ‘Lujuria’, and even an attempt at a multi-section epic in the closing track. There’s also some hints of glam rock here and there. However, for most of the songs, the main musical influence is clear, too clear: The Rolling Stones. Swap the singer for a Mick Jagger impersonator in some of these songs and you would easily end up with a Rolling Stones tribute band. All right, I’m probably exaggerating a bit, but not too much. In tracks like ‘Madrid’ or ‘Mientelas’ they channel the Stones’ sound and attitude in a very close way, at least instrumentally. In ‘Hey Nena’ they even imitate the background vocal “woo woo’s” of ‘Sympathy for the Devil’.

That’s not to say this band just copies and does not deserve your attention. Burning’s debut may not be innovative, but it succeeds at its purpose. This band is really good at what they’re doing. They avoid the artificiality and dullness of sound of which many late 70’s, 80’s and 90’s attempts of recreating classic rock and roll and rhythm and blues suffer. These songs are fun and spirited and the album is completely enjoyable. The album is pretty consistent but if I’ll have to choose a highlight it would probably be the opening track with its catchy chorus: “Ah no, sin vivir en Madrid no lo entenderás”. I’ve never lived in Madrid and I may not fully understand what this men are singing about; but I believe their message is getting through pretty well anyway (and if it’s not, nevermind. This is good rock music).