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Los Shakers

The concept of a Uruguayan band in the mold of the Hard Day's Night-era Beatles may seem absurd, but it did happen in the mid-'60s. What's more, the Shakers (sometimes billed as Los Shakers on their releases) were fairly successful in mimicking the jangle of the early Beatles sound, writing most of their material with a decent grasp of the British Invasion essentials of catchy tunes and enthusiastic harmonies. While the grammar is fairly broken and pidgin, soundwise the Shakers were actually superior to many of the bona fide Mersey groups; if you like the Beatles sound as heard on tracks like "I Should Have Known Better" or "I'll Be Back," you'll like this stuff. Popular in their native land, the Shakers were understandably unable to compete on an international scale, although their 1966 album, Break It All, was actually issued in the States. Today they enjoy respect from hardcore '60s collectors, and much of their material is available on reissues.

Despite reasonable availability of some of their material to international audiences on reissues, the details of the Shakers' career remained pretty mysterious until Alec Palao's detailed liner notes to their 2000 CD reissue Por Favor. The group was formed by brothers Hugo Fattoruso (lead guitar, keyboards) and Osvaldo Fattoruso (rhythm guitar), who as a team wrote most of their material. Like so many combos around the world, the specific motivation to form the group came from watching the Beatles' movie A Hard Day's Night. The band remained extremely influenced by the Beatles throughout their career and were in fact not too aware of or interested in the work of other British Invasion groups. Signed to a deal by EMI/Odeon in Argentina, they issued their first single, "Break It All," in 1965. The band became very big in both Uruguay and Argentina, and also toured in several other South American countries.

There was never a concerted effort on the band's part to invade the English-speaking market, and they never played in North America. However, a small New York label, Audio Fidelity, took the unusual step of issuing a Shakers album, Break It All, in the States in early 1966. This LP actually consists mostly of re-recordings (and good ones) of songs from their debut Uruguayan long-player, as well as songs that had appeared on singles. For this album Osvaldo Fattoruso ended up singing a bunch of tunes that his brother Hugo had sung, perhaps because Hugo's voice was in hoarse shape. So although this is the album that fans outside of South America are most likely to be familiar with, it actually doesn't contain the original versions from the Shakers' early repertoire, although most of those songs from the original (South American) Shakers debut LP are now included on Ace's Por Favor reissue.

The Shakers continued to follow the Beatles' lead through 1968, introducing Revolver-like guitars and backwards effects, and then some Magical Mystery Tour-type psychedelia, as well as some occasional influence of their native South American rhythms and musical styles. While it's usually obvious where the inspiration is coming from, the level of writing, playing, and harmonies remained quite respectable through their third and final album, 1968's La Conferencia Secreta del Toto's Bar. The Shakers broke up toward the end of the 1960s, with the Fatturoso brothers recording an album for Odeon in 1969 before moving to the United States for a few years to work with Airto Moreira, and then forming the Latin rock group Opa. Drummer Caio Vila and bassist Pelin Capobianco, with a couple of Capobianco's brothers, recorded a 1971 album, and in 1981 the Fatturoso brothers did a reunion album with the Otroshakers. ~ Richie Unterberger
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Los Nuggetz: 60's Garage & Psych From Latin America

Disc 1

2. Hey Joe

3. Es La Edad

4. El Psicodelico

5. Colours

6. Ya Se

7. Vem Quento Que Eu Estou Fervendo

11. La Moto

13. I Wanna Go

16. Triste Luna (Mr. Moonlight)

19. Todo Negro (Paint It Black)

20. Conoces El Final

21. Voy Por Ti (Seventh Son)

24. Shain's A Go Go

Disc 2

3. Hielo En Vez De Amor

5. Baby Please Don't Go

6. Bla Bla Bla

8. Pobre Gato

10. Cielo (Sunny)

12. Soy Asi

13. Pobre Nina

14. Nadie Te Quiere Ya

16. Incomprendidos

17. Te Olvidare

18. P.S. Come Back

19. Yo No Puedo Encontrar

20. I'm So Glad

21. Corre Corre (Keep On Running)

25. Zombie

Disc 3

8. Gloria

10. Mrs. Robinson

11. Every Night

13. Hello I Love

14. Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um

16. Yo Grito

20. Sola Estoy

21. Te Digo Adios

23. Pronto Un Doctor

24. El Calcetin

Disc 4

1. Me Reire

3. Sueno Sicodelico

7. Please Please Me

10. La Carta (The Letter)

11. Solo Estoy

13. Setima Patrulla

16. Vuelve A Mi

20. Peace Of Mind

23. Un Amor Sin Igual

24. Bye Bye Baby

x

Track List: Mas Rock And Roll: 26 Rare 60's Teen-Punk Artyfacts

1. Zombi

2. El Entierro De Los Gatos

3. Vivan Las Mujeres!

4. Checkered Flag

5. Rebelde Radioactivo

6. Sonambulo

7. Shains A-Go-Go

11. Donde Vas?

13. Cheating Charlie

14. Hey Monstruo

15. El Ovni

16. Flipprotesta

20. Campo De Vampiros

21. El Amor Despues De Los 20 Años

22. 19,8

25. Glue

26. Las Mirlas

x

Track List: Nuggets II: Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond, 1964-1969

Disc 1

1. Making Time

3. I Can Hear The Grass Grow

4. My Friend Jack

6. I'll Keep On Holding On

8. Sorry

9. Imposters Of Life's Magazine

10. How Is The Air Up There?

11. Mud In Your Eye

13. Garden Of My Mind

14. Take A Heart

15. The Life I Live

16. Midnight To Six Man

17. I See The Rain

19. You Stole My Love

20. 1-2-5

21. My Mind's Eye

22. Going Nowhere

23. All Night Stand

24. Wars Or Hands Of Time

25. It's A Sin To Go Away

27. I Read You Like An Open Book

Disc 2

1. Children Of The Sun

2. Save My Soul

3. Desdemona

6. I Must Be Mad

7. Say Those Magic Words

8. Baby Your Phrasing Is Bad

9. Daddy Buy Me A Girl

10. Exit Stage Right

11. Gone Is The Sad Man

14. Reflections Of Charles Brown

15. Words Enough To Tell You

16. That's The Way It's Got To Be

18. Walking Through My Dreams

19. You Said

21. Shadows And Reflections

22. Friday On My Mind

25. Fire Brigade

27. Biff Bang Pow

Disc 3

2. Cathy, Come Home

3. Circles

6. Changing The Colors Of Life

8. Crawdaddy Simone

10. It's My Pride

11. Magic Potion

12. You're Driving Me Insane

13. Who Dat?

15. Listen To The Sky

17. Days Of The Broken Arrows

19. Path Through The Forest

20. Love Hate Revenge

21. Pictures Of Matchstick Men

22. The Train To Disaster

23. Sad

26. I Wish I Was Five

27. Glendora

Disc 4

1. Rosalyn

2. Come On

3. The Madman Running Through The Fields

4. How Does It Feel To Feel (US Version)

5. I'm Just A Mops

6. Why Don't You Smile Now

7. Nothin'

9. The Bitter Thoughts Of Little Jane

10. Touch

11. Vacuum Cleaner

12. My Life

13. Bad Little Woman

14. No Presents For Me

15. Bat Macumba

19. Kicks And Chicks

26. Here Comes The Nice

28. When The Alarm Clock Rings

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