What and when was it recorded?

The state of the art of spanish progressive, a first approach: In the following histogram, the years when the albums that appear in the Spanish Progressive Rock Encyclopedia are displayed.

The peak in the second half of the seventies is very remarkable, being the actual golden age of the spanish progressive, delayed with respect to the rest of the world in 5 years due to the political circumstances in the country until 1975. In that time interval, tens of bands recorded and played live all over the country (sometimes in front of tens of thousands attendees) with the support of labels and communication media. When the fashion vanished and the punk and new wave pushed hard from Europe, that was over and then came the dark ages. Since then, prog has been mainly dead and now a number of bands make interesant music trying to bring new life to the genre, but without any aid from the established media and labels, becoming a geniune underground current.

The sub-genres

The Spanish Prog, at least according to its most fruitful time (1975-1982) was absolutely contaminated with other musical styles that provided a unique and different sound. Regarding to that fact, four main distinctive trends can be considered:

  1. Catalan progressive, also named rock laaietano; biased to jazz rock, mainly looking at the fusion sound, with bands like Iceberg, Gotic, Orquestra Mirasol, Secta Sónica, etc. Other bands outside the catalan area practising this style, with their own accent from their southern lands, were Guadalquivir or Imán. Follow this link for a rock laietano family tree courtesy of Peter Huender.
  2. Prog from Madrid; influenced by a sound more "urban" and "hard", less symphonic and more rocker, with bands like Asfalto, Ñu, etc.
  3. Andalusian prog; doped by flamenco-ish flavours. That was a unique movement that provided a diferent and distinctive way of making progressive rock. Sometimes less complex but always very personal with bands like Triana, Cai, Medina Azahara, Imán, Guadalquivir, etc.
  4. Basque prog: very infuenced by folk, popular music, etc. With acoustic trends, winds, and basque typical instruments, soft moods, and usually female voices.

The history after 82

After the golden age, most of the bands disappeared o reconverted their sound in order to survive. The good times had converted a lot of musicians into professionals, and then survive was a must. The solution was a change of job, to work as a sessionist, or to change the band sound, adapting it to the new market trends.

Among the first, there were a lot of musicians that abandoned music and now they can not even imaging that here we are speaking about them; among the second, great musicians as García de Diego (Canarios), Carles Benavent (Música Urbana), Manuel Rodríguez (Imán), Chano Domínguez (Cai), Josep Mas "Kitflus" (Iceberg), to name a few, have collaborated with a lot of high commercial success musicians in Spain; among the third, bands like Asfalto, Medina Azahara or Ñu opted to harden their sound, approaching to heavy metal in order to survive.

A particular case is that of Teddy Bautista (keyboardist and leader of Canarios), that became a producer (Triana for example), and now is the President of the Spanish Society of Authors!

Updated June 20, 2007
Mantained by José M. Iñesta

Already served to
Ver la versión en español

Go to Sp.Progressive Page

the SPRP
La Caja de Música