DAVID LEE ROTH – Sonrisa Salvaje [Friday Music remastered reissue]
Did you know there’s a Spanish version of DAVID LEE ROTH’s Eat ’Em And Smile album done back in in 1986? Or you didn’t know it existed at all? Don’t worry. Most people don’t know about it. But the album originally intended for Spaniard-speaking listeners titled “Sonrisa Salvaje” is available again on CD, and this time, it’s the remastered version done by Friday Music re-issued on CD for the first time.
The Spanish-language album featured all the backing tracks used for Eat ’Em and Smile — laid down by Dave’s band at the time, which included Billy Sheehan on bass and Steve Vai on guitar — but with Spanish translations of English lyrics.
And very ‘bad’, hilarious translations by the way. In fact, if you know some Spanish language, this is terrible. But a lot of fun!
And if you do not understand a word of Spanish, it’s darn fun too.
You have to give David Lee Roth credit, he is nothing if not ambitious. “Sonrisa Salvaje”, near the very beginning of his solo career, represents a lot about DLR that people forget: contrary to the wild image and outrageous personality, he’s actually quite intelligent and cultured.
I guess that’s one reason why he decided to record three sets of vocals for his Eat ‘Em And Smile album back in ’86! (The other reason was that Roth was told there was a huge market for rock music in Mexico.)
His Portuguese version has never been released, and this Spanish version it was not originally released on CD.
You should already know these songs in it English format. Same music tracks, just re-recorded vocals. Are all identical on this version – except for a minor edit to “En Busca De Pleito / Big Trouble”.
You should already know this is Roth’s all-time best solo album. His ace band — Steve Vai, Billy Sheehan and Gregg Bissonette — rivaled the mighty VH itself. Together they put together this album which contains some of Dave’s best and most memorable tunage. It is playful, fun, smokin’ and diverse.
The Spanish translations, as expected, are a little awkward. That was bound to happen.
“Shy Boy” becomes “Timido”, “Ladies Night In Buffalo?” becomes “Noche De Ronda En La Ciudad”, and so on, and kind of stumbles off the tongue a bit. But it’s truly amusing.
The original, English album ‘Eat ‘Em And Smile’ never has been remastered – and I doubt it gonna happen soon as there’s some legal troubles – so, technically, if you wanted to hear remastered versions of these songs, this is the only place to get them. And that, to me, is a weirder thought than a Dave album in Spanish!
But over all, this “Sonrisa Salvaje” is an enjoyable curiosity, great songs with funny vocals.
This is a Friday Music limited edition, some kind of a collectors piece which seems sold out now.
01 – Yankee Rose (Spanish Version)
02 – Timido [Shyboy]
03 – Soy Facil [I’m Easy]
04 – Noche de Ronda en la Ciudad [Ladies’ Nite In Buffalo]
05 – Loco del Calor [Goin’ Crazy]
06 – La Calle del Tabaco [Tobacco Road]
07 – Arma de Caza Mayor [Elephant Gun]
08 – En Busca de Pleito [Big Trouble]
09 – Cuanto Frenesi [Bump And Grind]
10 – Asi Es la Vida [That’s Life]
David Lee Roth – vocals, backing vocals
Steve Vai – guitars
Billy Sheehan – bass, backing vocals
Gregg Bissonette – drums, backing vocals
Jeff Bova – keyboards on 1
Jesse Harms – keyboards on 5
Sammy Figueroa – percussion on 5
The Waters Family – backing vocals on 10
The Sidney Sharp Strings – strings on 10
Jimmie Haskell – horn and string arrangement on 10