The name Espiritu has, inevitably, been attached to quite a few different acts from quite a few different countries over the years, but the only one represented in my collection is the one which formed in the nice enough but not-quite-tropical coastal resort of Brighton, East Sussex, in the early 1990s.
This Espiritu’s career splits into two phases: the first, when the act consisted of Vanessa Quiñones and ex-Frazier Chorus member Chris Taplin, was as an alternative dance-pop act heavily influenced by the sounds of South America. The second, when it was Quiñones solo, shifted toward drum’n’bass, with the occasional nod toward the French pop music she grew up with – the latter to be explored further with her subsequent band Vanessa & The O’s.
From 1993, “Los Americanos” was the duo’s third single, and was supposed to be the one to launch their debut album. I know I saw reviews of the LP (then titled Manifesto) in the music press, but Heavenly ran into distribution problems at just that moment, with the result that it never came out – at least in Britain. Somewhat flukily, one of its tracks, a cover of the Bacharach & David song “Always Something There To Remind Me” (best known to us Brits in its Sandie Shaw rendition) became a big hit in Japan, and the album did eventually appear there under the title Always. A remix of “Always Something There To Remind Me”, credited to Tin Tin Out featuring Espiritu, made the top 20 in the UK, but didn’t appear to generate much interest in anything else they did. It was at this point that Taplin left the act, and Quiñones left Heavenly. She later signed to Deconstruction, and the second and final Espiritu album, Another Life, got a full release – it didn’t do much commercially, but at least it was actually available to buy!
Back to “Los Americanos”, here are the tracks from the UK CD single. Mark “Spike” Stent provides a radio mix in vocal and instrumental versions, while Mother turn in a remix not a million miles away from their own club hit “All Funked Up”. I’m not complaining! There’s also a sweet little B-side, “Manifesto #1”. As a bonus I’m also including the album versions of both songs, which lean more toward the latin influence than the pop one.
Espiritu – Los Americanos (UK CD single, 1993)
Link: Espiritu – Los Americanos
Link: Espiritu – Manifesto #1
Link: Espiritu – Los Americanos (instrumental)
Link: Espiritu – Los Americanos (Mother mix)