rock and pop

rock and pop
   The trajectory of rock and pop music in Spain is a reflection of political and social circumstances. Until the 1950s popular music mainly consisted of songs with folk roots: cuplés and flamenco, as an expression of the Nationalist spirit promoted by the Francoist regime. Radio stations on American military bases were in large part responsible for introducing rock and pop music to Spain, playing records which, owing to socio-political constraints, were new to the majority of the Spanish audience. In the 1950s Spanish versions of Paul Anka or Elvis Presley tracks, sung by artists like El Dúo Dinámico began to appear. Covers of film tracks, recorded by stars like Gloria Lasso, became immensely popular. However, it was ballads, like those performed by José Guardiola, which triumphed in the commercial market. In the 1960s modern music established a firm foothold in Spain, and this decade was rich in songs which later became classics of popular music. The groups that formed in the 1960s often copied what was happening in other countries. Spain had its own version of The Platters called Los 5 Latinos, and Los Mustang tried to emulate the distinctive sounds of the Beatles. With a few notable exceptions, for instance Raphael, solo artists made way for groups like Los Brincos and Los Bravos. Music festivals and guateques (dances) also became popular in this period. The 1970s saw the return of solo artists, with strong vocal abilities and huge followings, including Niño Bravo, Camilo Sexto and Juan Bau. This was also the decade of singersongwriters with committed political affiliations, like Joan Manual Serrat and Cecilia. After 1975 censorship rules were relaxed, and songs with overt socio-political messages proliferated, for example Jarcha's hit Libertad sin ira (Freedom Without Rage). Another tendency to emerge at this time was progressive rock exemplified by the music of Medina Azahara. The permissive society of the late 1970s gave rise to the birth of the socalled "new wave" as a reaction against progressive rock. Tequila and Ramoncín typified the aggressive attitude of this movement, and they revolutionized the music scene with their electric guitar playing, short tracks and direct lyrics. 452 Roca i Junyent, Miquel There was an explosion of popular music in the 1980s as an essential part of la Movida which started in Madrid and spread across Spain. Groups sprang up overnight (Gabinete Caligari, Alaska y los Pegamoides, Radio Futura, and numerous others) and a new phenomenon in the Spanish music industry emerged: independent record companies.
   After the euphoria of the 1980s, the music industry suffered the effects of recession. In the early 1990s many independent Spanish labels disappeared or were taken over by multinational record companies. However, other independent labels have since taken their place (e.g. Siesta, Elefant and Subterfuge), whose releases often reflect international tendencies (e.g. grunge, noise and dance). Spain has also seen a resurgence of flamenco music with a modern edge, known as Nuevo Flamenco.
   See also: folk music; music
   Further reading
   - Pardo, J.R. (1988) Historial del pop español, Madrid: Guía del Ocio.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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