Spanish Rock in the Seventies Part 8: 1978 – The Year That Prog (& Everything Else) Broke

How better to end this series than with an introduction?

There was a big problem for many bands Progressive Rock bands during the seventies: getting their records released was extremely difficult, and for many groups it proved impossible. Effectively they had to wait until Franco died, which led to Spain becoming a democracy in 1978. Suddenly these bands, several of whom had been going since the start of the decade, could release their music on vinyl with relative ease. The irony was that by this time musical fashion was changing, and Punk and New Wave were already making their presence felt. The floodgates had been opened and record buyers were suddenly spoilt for chance. It was as if all the different genres of the 1970s were breaking at the same time.

This is what happened to Asfalto, previously featured on this blog, and La Romántica Banda Local, both of whose debut LPs appeared in 1978. Apparently the latter frequently shared bills with Punk and New Wave groups (who loved them for their anarchic sense of humour). It didn’t last however, and a few years later La Banda broke up, unable to survive in the new musical climate of the 1980s.
This is the opening song from their 1978 LP. Despite the rather prosaic title it is a fantastically colourful track, which mixes prog and pop.

NB There is also a tiny bit of Italian in the lyrics (in italics).


Un paraguas blanco,
la sombrilla y el champán,
cinco cornamusas
y un lacayo musulmán.
Bongiorno, maese
¡qué lindo gabán!
Corramos, que ya actúa
la romántica banda local.

Un lacayo blanco,
la chistera y el bombín,
cinco carricoches
y un caniche de Pekín.
Bongiorno, maese
¡Hola, primo! Comme vai?
Loco de amores
por la romántica banda local.

A white parasol
Shade and champagne
Five bagpipes
And a Muslim footman
Good day Sir
What a beautiful overcoat!
Let's run, they're already performing
The romantic local band

A white footman
The top hat and the bowler hat
Five covered wagons
And a poodle from Peking
Good day Sir
Hello cousin! How are things going? 
Madly in love
With the romantic local band


Spanish Rock in the Seventies Part 7: Singer-Songwriters

For many Spaniards the Seventies was the decade of the singer-songwriter. Two of the best were women: Cecilia (previously featured on this blog) and Mari Trini. The latter had a huge hit in 1972 with ‘Yo No Soy Esa’ which became a kind of feminist anthem.

Like many Spanish singer-songwriters Mari Trini was heavily influenced by the French chanson tradition. She also sang in French, recording an acclaimed version of Brel’s ‘Ne Me Quitte Pas’ (see below).


Yo no soy esa 
Que tu te imaginas 
Una señorita tranquila y sencilla 
Que un dia abandonas
Y siempre perdona
Esa niña, sí.. no..
Esa no soy yo

Yo no soy esa
Que tu te creias
La paloma blanca
Que le baila al agua
Que rie por nada
Diciendo sí a todo
Esa niña, sí.. no..
Esa no soy yo

No podras presumir jamas
De haber jugado con la verdad
Con el amor de los demas

Si en verdad me quieres
Yo ya no soy esa
Que se acobarda
Frente a una borrasca
Luchando entre olas
Encuentra la playa
Esa niña, sí.. no..
Esa no soy yo

Pero si buscas
Tan solo aventuras
Amigos por guardia
A toda tu casa
Yo no soy esa
Que pierde esperanzas
Piensalo ya

Yo no soy esa 
Que tu te imaginas 
Una señorita tranquila y sencilla 
Que un dia abandonas
Y siempre perdona
Esa niña, sí.. no..
Esa no soy yo

I'm not that one
That you imagine
A quiet and simple lady
That one day you leave 
And she always forgives you
That girl, yes.. no..
That's not me

I'm not that one
That you thought
The white dove
Which flatters him
Who laughs easily
Saying yes to everything
That girl, yes.. no..
That's not me

You can never boast
Having played with the truth
With the love of others

If you really love me
Now that I'm not the one
That gets frightened
Confronted with a thunderstorm
Fighting between the waves
Finding the beach
That girl, yes.. no..
That's not me

But if you are looking for
Just an affair
Friends to guard
Your whole house
I'm not that one
That loses hope
Think about it now

I'm not that one
That you imagine
A quiet and simple lady
That one day you'll leave 
And she always forgives you
That girl, yes.. no..
That's not me


Spanish Rock in the Seventies Part 6: An MOR Star Goes Prog

Miguel Ríos had a huge hit in 1970 with ‘Himno de la Alegría’ and his ‘Rock and Ríos’ LP from 1982 was one of the biggest Spanish records of all time. However, in between these commercial peaks he had a much less successful prog-rock phase.

‘La Huerta Atómica’ (1976) is a concept album about the human race being wiped out in a nuclear explosion. One man survives in a mysterious bubble that is created at the centre of the blast, but he realises his fate has merely been postponed…

This song was written by Ríos with Mariano Diaz, the keyboard player on the album, formerly of Los Que Vivimos. Other tracks on the album feature the former yé-yé singers Massiel and Jeanette.


No encuentro la explicación 
no sé quién fue, ni quién pulsó 
el botón atómico. 
No sé quién os mató. 

Y siento no estar ahí, 
ser uno más sin porvenir, 
sin tener que presenciar 
la espantosa realidad. 

A raíz de la explosión 
todo cambió y comprendí 
que la burbuja antirreacción 
tan sólo aplazará mi fin. 

Testigo accidental 
me convertiré en la postal 
del desastre universal. 
Qué caótico final. 

Y la vida bajo la cúpula 
se hace irreal. 
Entre transparencias de almendros. 
Polvo de cristal. 

I can't find the explanation
I don't know who it was, or who pressed
The atomic button.
I don't know who killed you.

And I feel sorry that I wasn't there,
To be one more without a future,
Without having to witness
The frightening reality

As a result of the explosion
Everything changed and I realized
That the counter reaction bubble
Would only postpone my fate

Accidental witness
I will become the postcard
Of universal disaster
Such a chaotic end

And life under the dome
Becomes unreal.
Between transparent almond trees
Broken glass.


Spanish Rock in the Seventies Part 5: Flamenco Pop

The previous entry in this series looked at the more serious side of flamenco rock. However there was also a more chart friendly flamenco pop movement at the same time, which often featured gypsy singers giving it loads over rhumba rhythms. Acts previously featured on this blog include Manzanita, Los Chungitos and Los Chichos. Morena y Clara got their first break singing backing vocals for the latter.

This was their big hit and it made the Spanish top ten in 1974. They are often compared to Las Grecas, a similar sisterly duo, but I think they actually outdo their rivals on this cut. In 1976 they entered the selection contest to represent Spain at Eurovision, but they weren’t chosen. After this indignity they faded from view.

This track features on the compilation ‘Acid Rumba: Spanish Gypsy Grooves 1969-1976’. However, I actually first heard it on an eccentric podcast about Spanish music by Simon Maxwell-Stewart. Anyone who compares Morena & Clara to both Abba and Amon Düül II has to be worth listening to…


Quiero que te olvides del pasado 
y vivamos el presente
No quiero que menciones 
a ninguno de tu gente.
Acuérdate amor mío cuando eras chiquitito,
Yo te cogía la mano y te decía ven conmigo.
No, no, no, no, no llores más,
No, no, no, no, porque te quiero.
No, no, no, no, que un torbellino de pasión 
Se abre en el cielo.
Bésame en los labios como tú sabes hacerlo,
Ama dulcemente y acaríciame mi pelo,
Yo te prometo darte la felicidad completa,
Y a través de mi muerte 
Escribiré tu nombre en letras,
Y te diré... 


I want you to forget about the past
And we will live in the present
I don't want you to mention it 
To any of your crowd
Remember, my love, when you were little
I took you by the hand and said 'come with me'
No, no, no, no, don't cry anymore
No, no, no, no, because I love you
No, no, no, no, a whirlwind of passion 
Has opened up the sky

Kiss me on the lips the way that you know how
Love me sweetly and stroke my hair
I promise to give you complete happiness
And until I die
I will write you name in letters
And I will tell you...



Spanish Rock in the Seventies Part 4: Flamenco Rock / El Rock Andaluz

Flamenco rock, known as ‘el rock andaluz’ in Spain, was especially popular during the 1970s. Acts who have been previously featured on this blog include Veneno and Camarón.
Lole (vocals) and Manuel (guitar) were a flamenco duo. In the mid-seventies they experimented with fusion, adding elements of Arabic music and rock production to their sound.
‘Tu Mirá’ comes from ‘Pasaje del Agua’, their second album released in 1976. It is featured in the movie ‘Kill Bill 2’ (directed by Quentin Tarantino) in the scene where Uma Thurman is driving through Mexico. The version on the soundtrack is edited, the two verses in italics only appear on the full album version.

NB The title and several other words in the lyrics are in abbreviated form:
mirá = mirada (look, glance or in context stare)
espá = espada (sword)
madrugá = madrugada (dawn)


Y tu mirá 
Se me clava en los ojos como una espá
Se me clava en los ojos como una espá

De amores llora una rosa
De amores llora una rosa 
Y le sirve de pañuelo una blanca mariposa 

De tanto volar
Sedienta de tanto vuelo 
En un charco de agua clara 
La alondra se bebe el cielo

Para recibir al día
Para recibir al día 
La rosa, niña, se puso 
Un traje de pedrería 

Lo vi desde mi barquilla, 
Lo vi desde mi barquilla 
Y un pez se vistió de plata 
Para asomarse a la orilla 
Para asomarse a la orilla 

Aquella tarde de abril 
Te dije, vente conmigo 
Y no quisiste venir
Y no quisiste venir


Y mi tren de alegría
Se va, se va
Y no tengo más sueño que tu mirá 
Y tu mirá, grillo de mis tormentos 
Rosa tronchá 
Cuando sueño tus ojos de madrugá 
Yo no puedo apartarme de tu mirá


And your look
It drives itself into my eyes like a sword
It drives itself into my eyes like a sword

A rose cries for love
A rose cries for love
And a white butterfly is her handkerchief

So much flying
Thirsty after so much flying
In a pool of clear water
The lark drinks up the sky

To start the day
To start the day
The rose, girl, dressed herself
A jewelled dress

I saw it from my little boat
I saw it from my little boat
And a fish dressed in silver
Peeking out to look at the shore
Peeking out to look at the shore

That afternoon in April
I told you: 'Come with me'
And you didn't want to come
And you didn't want to come


And my train of happiness
It's leaving, it's leaving
And my only dream is your look
And your look, shackles that torment me
Rose cut down
When I dream of your eyes at dawn
I can't escape from your look



Spanish Rock in the Seventies Part 3: No Glam Please, We’re Spanish

RIP David Bowie, who died two days ago. Spain never really had an equivalent figure, and Glam Rock made hardly any impact in the country during the Seventies. I guess Spain under Franco was just a bit too conservative at the time. Brakaman (previously featured on this blog) were about the closest they ever got to a credible group in this genre. However Norah (who was born in Argentina) did release two glam rock singles in Spain. This crazy track is from 1974, and Norah seems to be singing in English, though it’s hard to tell…


Spanish Rock in the Seventies Part 2: Rock Family Trees

I don’t know if a Spanish version of ‘Rock Family Trees’ exists, but if there does this will be an interesting page. Nuevos Horizontes have featured previously on this blog, with their great single ‘El Afinador De Cítaras’ from 1969 (written by Vainica Doble). However, by the early seventies the hits had dried up and their female vocalist left the group. Carrying on as ‘The Spanish Mamas & Papas’ was no longer an option…

Meanwhile the promising quartet Solera, who we have seen previously with ‘Linda Prima’, released their debut album in 1973. However the group then split up when both Rodrigo García and José Guzman moved on to form Cánovas, Rodrigo, Adolfo y Guzmán. Usually known as CRAG, this ‘supergroup’ enjoyed success with the single ‘Señora Azul’ (another track you can find on Spanish Pop Lyrics). But what about the talented brothers José and Manuel Martín who had been left behind?

In 1974 Nuevos Horizontes and the the Martín brothers joined forces to record ‘Telaraña’ (‘Spider’s Web’). The two halves worked well together and although the album wasn’t a hit it is now considered a classic of Spanish rock. Like CRAG and Solera they combined strong songs with adventurous arrangement. ‘Se Me Escapó Una Ilusion’ is a rich ballad, epic enough to have been included on at least one prog rock compilation.


Ya amanece otra vez,
Parece que ella hace un rato anochecer,
El alba me sorprendió,
Su rayos hilo de cera me incendió,
Un pensamiento de ayer,
La imagen que no olvidé
De la araña que su enredo me tejió 
Unos sinsabores y el recuerdo de un antiguo amor.

Se me escapó una ilusión,
Que brilla fuerte en mi mente como un sol,
Se me escapó una ilusión,
Y nos quedamos sin noche y sin amor
Hiciste tu libertad, 
Tu pudiste (?) aceptar,
Pues, vencido ante el destino
Liberé las mil cadenas que
Oprimían tus viajeros pies.

Se me escapó una ilusión,
Pues, puedo aún recobrar la para mí,
Se me escapó una ilusión,
Quizás tú quieras guardarla para ti,
Yo te prometo luchar con armas que me darás
Con tus besos, con tu vida y con tu amor
Y viviremos hasta siempre o hasta sabe en Dios.

Now that it is dawn again,
It seems like she went dark just a while ago,
The dawn surprised me,
Its rays, threads of wax, set me alight
A thought of yesterday,
The image I haven't forgotten
Of the spider that wove a tangled web around me
Of troubles and the memory of an old love.

The dream slipped away from me
That shone so strongly in my mind like a sun,
The dream slipped away from me
And we are left without night and without love
You took your freedom, 
You could accept,
Well, defeated by fate
I released the thousand chains that
Were oppressing your travelling feet. 

The dream slipped away from me
Well, I can still recover it for myself
The dream slipped away from me
Perhaps you want to keep it for yourself,
I promise to fight with weapons that you'll give me
With your kisses, your life and your love
And we will live forever, or until God knows when.

Spanish Rock in the Seventies

Part 1: Entre Dos Aguas

If you talk about the music of sixties or (especially) the eighties to a typical Spaniard, they will probably wax nostalgically about certain acts and their favourite hits of those periods. If you mention the seventies however, they will probably grimace.

To some extent the seventies seem to have been polarised. On one hand you had cheesy pop acts in the charts, whose ultimate ambition was to win Eurovision (and who increasingly sang in English). On the other hand there were the singer-songwriters (the most influential of whom was Serrat), earnest types more influenced by Brel and Brassens than Bob Dylan, who often sang of ‘libertad’.

To further complicate matters, it was becoming increasingly fashionable for ‘underground’ rock acts to sing in regional languages, in particular Catalan and Basque, though these groups are outside the scope of this blog.

However, if you look deeper you can discover that the seventies did produce some interesting acts, though few of them achived much commercial success at the time. In fact, arguably these eccentric groups made some of the most original sounding rock music to ever come out of Spain.

The title of the first part of this new series (literally ‘between two waters’) is also an excuse to include an instrumental on Spanish Pop Lyrics. Here is the great flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía playing his big crossover hit of the decade: ‘Entre Dos Aguas’.


Spanish Rock in the Seventies: Prologue

Here is Vainica Doble’s Christmas single from 1972, which is also going to act as a prologue to a new series about Spain in the seventies. Gloria Van Aerssen died in October this year, her musical partner Carmen Santonja having died 15 years earlier.

Vainica Doble were two women in the male dominated rock world, moreover they were both pushing forty by the time their recording career started to take off in the early seventies. They always followed their own unique vision, and they are exactly the kind of eccentric misfits who will feature heavily in the new series which will start properly in the new year.

NB The Latin chorus translates as ‘Glory to God in the highest’.


Hosana, Hosana;
Gloria in excelsis deo

Vamos a Belén 
y veamos lo sucedido
que el señor nos quiere hacer saber.

Iban unos mozos 
y encontraron a María, José y al niño, 
recostado en un pesebre.

Viéndolo conocieron la revelación 
que les había sido hecha,
referente a aquel niño.


Todos los que lo oyeron 
se admiraron de lo que decían los pastores,
pero María conservaba todas estas palabras,
meditándolas en su corazón.

Y regresaron los pastores alabando a Dios
por todo lo que habían oído y visto,
según les había sido anunciado.


Hosanna, Hosanna;
Gloria in excelsis Deo 

Let's go to Bethlehem 
And we will see the event
That the Lord would have us know

They were some young people 
And they found Mary, Joseph and the child
Lying in a manger

Seeing it they experienced the revelation 
That had been made for them
Concerning this child 


All those who heard it 
Admired what the shepherds said
But Mary kept all these words
Thinking about them in her heart

And the shepherds returned, praising God
For all they had heard and seen
As it had been revealed to them


Prog, Psych and Beyond from Spain, Argentina & Mexico (1970-79)

FrontTo celebrate the 200th post from Spanish Pop Lyrics, here is this blog’s second compilation, a sequel to the first which covered the years 1964-69.

All the songs are originals sung in Spanish. Mostly I would file them under progressive rock or psychedelia, but I have also thrown in a couple of blasts of blues rock and a few of the more progressive singer-songwriters from the period. It is split fairly evenly between bands from Spain and Argentina, but two groups from Mexico also make an appearance. Download

Almost all the songs have been featured on this blog (the couple which haven’t will appear in the near future). Anyway, you know where to look for the lyrics…