Formula V

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1967-68)

- Francisco de Asis Pastor (aka Paco Pastor)-- vocals

- Joaquin "Kino" de la Pena -- lead guitar, backing vocals

- Mariano Sanz -- bass, backing vocals

- Antonio Sevilla -- drums, percussion, backing vocals

- Jose "Chefo" Villar -- rhythm guitar, backing vocals


  line up 2 (1968-75)

NEW - Amador "Chapete" Flores -- keyboards, backing vocals

- Francisco de Asis Pastor (aka Paco Pastor) -- vocals

- Joaquin de la Pena -- guitar, backing vocals

- Mariano Sanz -- bass, backing vocals

- Antonio Sevilla -- drums, percussion, backing vocals


  line up 3 (2002-present)

NEW - Juan Antionio Lopez -- bass, backing vocals

NEW - Aaron Lopez -- lead guitar, backing vocals

- Francisco de Asis Pastor (aka Paco Pastor) -- vocals

NEW - Angel Poncela -- keyboards, backing vocals

NEW - Emilio Sancho -- drums, percussion

NEW - Giani Scavini -- keyboards





- Don Fancicso y Jose Luis (Paco Pastor)

- Formula Diablos (Paco Pastor)

- Paco Pastor (solo efforts)



Genre: pop

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  Adelante!

Company: Miami

Catalog: MPHS-6037

Country/State: Madrid, Spain

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: i

Available: 1

Catalog ID: --

Price: $60.00


In 1965 Francisco de Asis Pastor and Antonio Sevilla met while students attending Madrid's Cardenal Cisneros Institute.  Discovering a common interest in rock and roll, the pair decided to form a band.  Largely abandoning their studies, over the next two years de Asis Pastor and Sevilla went through a number of groups.  By 1967 they were working under the name Los Cambios ('The Changes') which included former members of Los Rostros ('The Faces') and Los Jíbaros.  With de Asis Pastor on vocals and Sevilla on drums, the rest of the  line-up featured lead guitarist Joaquin "Kino" de la Pena, bassist Mariano Sanz, and Jose "Chefo" Villar on rhythm guitar.  

Their initial break came in June, 1967 when they were hired to play a regular set of material at Madrid's Paraninfo Club.  The Paraninfo Club performances caught the attention of former Los Pekenikes drummer Pepe Nieto.  Nieto brought the band to the attention of singer/producer Maryni Callejo.  Callejo checked out the band's stage show; was impressed and already looking for talent for Philips Records, subsequently offered them a recording contract.  Signed by Philips, they quickly opted for a new name - Formula V (the name reportedly based on their mutual love of car racing).


The band's second album, 1970's "Adelante!" saw the departure of rhythm guitarist Villar and introduced new keyboardist Amador "Chapete" Flores.  Musically the set found the band continuing their partnership with producer Maryni Callejo.  Like the debut album, the collection offered up a mixture of earlier singles and new studio material.  As you'd expect from a singles band, 'Tras De Ti', 'Dos Cominos' and 'Juegos' featured highly commercial pop tunes that occasionally crossed over into bubblegum territory.  That change was intentional with producer Callejo hiring former Los Relámpago ('The Lightening') members Jose Luis Armenteros and Pablo Herrero to contribute lighter, pop oriented material to the album.  They were ultimately responsible for writing five of the album's twelve songs. Powered by Francisco de Asis Pastor's bright and commercial voice and strong performances from bassist Mariano Sanz and keyboardist Flores, the twelve tracks were consistently enjoyable. Yes, there was a bit of a formula going on here, but the songs were diverse enough to never suffer from a sounds-the-same problem.  While the Armenteros-Herrero material was good, band originals like the ballad 'Mas You No Tengo Nada' and the country-rock flavored 'Marianne' were equally impressive.  Even better, originals like 'El Final De Una Ilusion' and 'Ha Pasado El Tempo' shook up the formula a little bit, offering up material with slightly more of a rock orientation.  No, you weren't going to mistake these guys for Black Sabbath, but it was interesting to hear the band trying to expand their musical horizons. 



I'm surprised by how much I like this set and you have to wonder what kind of success this would have enjoyed had it be released by a English, or American band.


The Spanish, Argentinian and Peruvian release sported the same track listing, but different cover art (Philips catalog number 63 28 002).





"Adelante!" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Tras De Ti   (Jose Luis Armenteros - Pablo Herrero) - 2:50   rating: **** stars

The opener 'Tras De Ti' (I think the title translates roughly as 'after you'), was simply a blast.  Built on a rollicking beat and Pastor's enthusiastic vocals, it was sheer pop delight.  Yeah, I'm kind of at a loss to adequately describe the tune - first rate Spanish bubblegum-rock?    Easy to see why the song was released as a Spanish single:





- 1970's 'Tras De Ti' b/w 'El Camino Que Lleva El Tuempo' (Philips catalog number 60 29 019)








2.) Mas You No Tengo Nada   (Francisco de Asis Pastor - Juan Martinez - Tino) - 3:25   rating: **** stars

'Mas You No Tengo Nada' offered up a commercially oriented mid-tempo ballad.  Again, I was impressed by what a good voice Pastor had.  Think this one translated as roughly 'But You Have Nothing.'  Extra star for Mariano Sanz's awesome bass line.

3.) Dos Cominos   (Joaquin de la Pena) - 2:43   rating: **** stars

Written by guitarist Joaquin de la Pena, 'Dos Cominos' ('two ways') spotlighted the band's sweet harmony vocals.  Super catchy and easy to see why it was released as another single..  Surprising someone didn't cover it with English lyrics.  Again, an extra star for Mariano Sanz's awesome bass line.





- 1970's 'Dos Cominos' b/w 'Me Falta Su Amour' (Philips catalog number 60 29 033)








4.) Juegos   (Jose Luis Armenteros - Pablo Herrero) - 3:00   rating: *** stars

Written by producer Jose Luis Armenteros, 'Juegos' (games), found the band returning to bright bubblegum pop territory.  Perhaps the album's most commercial track, it was also the first mild disappointment.  Nothing wrong with the song, but the band just sounded like they were trying a little too hard to be commercial.

5.) El Final De Una Ilusion   (Francisco de Asis Pastor - Juan Martinez - Tino) - 3:28   rating: **** stars

The ballad  'El Final De Una Ilusion' (the end of an illusion) found the band slowing things down and injecting a more thoughtful vibe into the proceedings.   Awesome tune that should have been released as a single.

6.) Cenicienta   (Jose Luis Armenteros - Pablo Herrero) - 2:11  rating: *** stars

Previously released as a single, 'Cenicienta' (Cinderella) spotlighted Formula V as a pop band.  Nothing wrong with that as the song was very radio-friendly in a Eurovision Song style.  And like some of the earlier tunes, while there wasn't anything wrong with their pop sound, they were better when toughening it up a little.



- 1969's 'Cencienta' b/w 'Ahora Estoy Enamorado' (Philips catalog number 360 279PF)


Separated by about four decades, YouTube has a pair of performances of the tune.  The first is a 1969 lip-synching performance for Spanish television:   


Recorded during the 2021 COVID lockdown, this one appears to be a live renditionion: 




(side 2)
1.) Marianne
   (Jose Luis Armenteros - Pablo Herrero) - 2:41  rating: *** stars

Spanish country rock?  Who knew the genre existed?  Even more of a surprise was the fact 'Marianne' was terrible.  Nah, it wasn't a breakout performance, but I've heard far worse.

2.) Jenny Artichoke  (Peter Daltry - Eddie Pumer - adapted by Cholo Baktasar)) - 2:43   rating: **** stars

The British psych band Kaleidoscope originally recorded 'Jenny Artichoke', releasing it as a 1968.  A likeable slice of pop-psych, with the exception of the Spanish lyrics and speeding the song up a tad, the Formula V cover really didn't mess with the original arrangement.  Nice performance.






- 1970's 'Jenny Artichoke' b/w 'El Final De Una Ilusion' (Philips catalog number 60 29 007) 







3.) Ha Pasado El Tempo   (Joaquin de la Pena) - 2:32   rating: **** stars

The second tune from guitarist de la Pena, 'Ha Pasado El Tempo' (time has passed), opened up sounding like a strong Monkees tune (the nifty guitar riff sounded like de la Pena has spent quite a bit of time listening to Mike Nesmith).  As a tune with a slightly tougher rock orientation, it was another album highlight.   Shame it wasn't longer and wasn't tapped as a single.  

4.) Ahora Estoy Enamorado   (Joaquin de la Pena - Mariano Sanz)  - 2:32  rating: **** stars

Back to top-40 pop, 'Ahora Estoy Enamorado' (now I'm in love) featured some tasty Flores organ over an Archies-styled melody.  With one of those high "hum factor" melodies, Jeff Berry would have been appreciative.

5.) El Camino Que Lleva El Tuempo   (Jose Luis Armenteros - Pablo Herrero) - 3:20  rating: **** stars

The album's prettiest ballad and one of de Asis Pastor best vocals, 'El Camino Que Lleva El Tuempo' (the path that takes time), found the group showing they were capable of handing more adult, non-bubblegum material.

6.) Adelante!   (Francisco de Asis Pastor - Juan Martinez - Tino) - 2:30   rating: **** stars

I believe the title translates roughly as 'forward'.  Regardless, bouncing between stark folk and no-holds-barred rock, the title track was another album highlight.  



It is in Spanish, but Pastor has an interesting Formula V website at: