THE HYPOCONDRIACS are rumored to have been the first reggae/rocksteady band from Madrid, who recorded in the late 60′s and released one privately pressed LP that went virtually unnoticed by the press and music fans…not for musical reasons! Dave Barker and Roy Ellis are rumored to contribute backing vocals on this scarce album…if you listen closely you can hear that it could be true. The reason why people did not buy the LP from the band back in the day? Fear and superstition!
From what we know this four piece had contracted a very rare and highly contagious disease that nobody could diagnose. Because of this, fans were afraid to just touch a copy of the LP – you can imagine what that did for sales! The band had given up on live shows altogether. Copies of the LP that survived seemed to have been scrubbed clean by the owners, and also included a “farewell note” from the band, which we have put into Google translate for non-Spanish speakers:
“We’re very ill, all of us. The doctors can’t seem to find what is wrong. Regardless of what they say, we know something bad is going on inside us. For this reason we’ve rushed these recordings to vinyl in an attempt to preserve our legacy. The inspiration for this style of music came after a trip to England in search of a doctor to cure our illness. During our stay we stepped into a pub where they were performing a music the people called “reggay” or “rocksteady”, the band was composed of Jamaican immigrants so we believe this music must belong to that far away land. On our return to Madrid, recalling that night, we decided to emulate that sound on our LP. Due to our strange sickness we don’t know if we’ll ever get to see if this style of music catches on or if our LP survives the test of time. We hope it does.” Hypocondriacs Madrid, 1969
JUMP UP will reissue “60′s Rocksteady and Reggae” on vinyl for the first time in over 40 years mid- March 2012.
Check out the sounds on our blog music player AND on this YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/hypocondriacsreggae?feature=watch