At Espectáculos BCN, we have a great love for good music. One of the most important and acclaimed decades in musical history was the 80s, which produced incredible music both internationally and nationally.
In this article, we want to tell you all about the music of that time, its characteristics and innovations, and the standout groups and singers in the Spanish music scene. Get ready for an essential journey through the 80s in Spanish music!
A Look Back at the 80s in Spanish Music
Here, we will summarize the main musical characteristics of this era, giving you a better understanding of its impact on the music industry. We will then highlight the influential groups and singers who made their mark on the national scene, showcasing some of their most well-known songs. So grab your headphones and get ready to enjoy the music of the 80s in Spain!
How was Spanish music in the 80s?
Spain had just emerged from a period of political repression – the Franco dictatorship – and the 80s arrived filled with hope. With the advent of democracy, freedom intensified in all areas, including music.
The music of the 80s was a time of innovation and freedom of expression, giving rise to new genres such as electro-pop and techno, which continue to be significant today.
The sound of this era was characterized by the incorporation of relatively “new” electronic elements, such as keyboards and synthesizers, which were becoming more accessible to all due to falling prices. It was a time of significant technological growth, and the music industry felt its impact. Dance music and disco were also remarkable genres, with highly danceable rhythms that would make anyone want to move.
Furthermore, the influence of major international groups like Queen, Madonna, Michael Jackson, and The Police shaped the creation of Spanish bands, leading to the “movida madrileña” and the emergence of groups like Los Secretos, Alaska y los Pegamoides, Radio Futura, and Nacha Pop, among others. Many refer to this period as the “golden age of Spanish pop.”
Cantautores (singer-songwriters) also played an important role, with notable artists like Joan Manuel Serrat, José Luis Perales, Luis Eduardo Aute, and iconic female singers such as Madonna, Whitney Houston, and Mecano.
The Most Noteworthy Artists of the Era
Now, let’s take a trip back in time to remember the most outstanding artists of the 80s in Spain, and there were many! Put on your headphones and enjoy the best songs that the 80s gave us.
Hombres G is one of the most well-known groups from the 80s Spanish music scene. Songs like “Devuélveme a mi chica,” “Venezia,” and “Visite nuestro bar” were popular hits, cementing Hombres G as one of the most influential groups of the decade. Hailing from Madrid, this four-member band rose to fame with their debut album, “Hombres G.”
El último de la fila
Manolo García and Quimi Portet created songs that are still considered among the top 200 in Spanish pop-rock. “Querida Milagros,” “Aviones Plateados,” and “Como un burro amarrado a la puerta del baile” were radio hits that made everyone sing and dance. A true wonder!
Alaska y los Pegamoides
One of the most representative groups of the “movida madrileña” and the Spanish punk rock scene in the 80s, Alaska y los Pegamoides had everyone dancing to songs like “Bailando” and “Mi novio es un zombie.” They broke boundaries and undoubtedly left a mark on an entire generation.
Another significant group in 80s Spanish music was Los Secretos, a pop-rock band founded in Madrid and closely associated with the “movida madrileña” of that era. Their most popular songs, such as “Déjame” and “Quiero beber hasta perder el control,” featured memorable lyrics that still resonate today.
Known for his association with the techno and new romantic movements of the 80s, Tino Casal was a key figure in the “movida madrileña.” His visually extravagant music videos, his music, and his overall aesthetic made him a highly recognized artist. Some of his most famous songs were “Embrujada” and “Eloise.”
Nacha Pop released their first album in 1980, featuring the iconic song “La chica de ayer” composed by Antonio Vega. They became a reference point for Spanish pop-rock in the decade, and we can’t forget songs like “Lucha de gigantes” or “Asustado estoy.”
Mecano, a group known for their techno-pop style, achieved great success both nationally and internationally. Composed of three members, their most famous songs, such as “Mujer contra mujer,” “Hijo de la luna,” and “Me cole en una fiesta,” are practically impossible not to know.
Although Joaquín Sabina had already started his career a bit earlier, in 1980, he released his second album, “Malas compañías,” which included huge hits that became anthems for singer-songwriters. Songs like “Calle Melancolía” and “Pongamos que hablo de Madrid” solidified his status as a Spanish music icon.
Luz Casal is one of the most highly regarded soloists in Spanish popular music. She achieved great success in the 80s, both in Spain and internationally. Characterized by her ballads and pop-rock style, her most famous songs include “Piensa en mí,” “Entre mis recuerdos,” and “No me importa nada.”
Radio Futura, a Spanish rock group known for songs like “Veneno en la piel,” “Escuela de calor,” and “Enamorado de la moda juvenil,” belonged to the “movida madrileña” and had a successful career throughout the 80s and 90s.
Miguel Bosé has had a long-standing career as an artist that began around the 80s, a little earlier. Known for his kitsch aesthetic and songs like “Aire soy,” “Amante bandido,” and “Nena,” he has become a reference point in Spanish music.
Celtas Cortos emerged towards the end of the 80s, causing quite a stir. They are a rock and folk-rock group characterized by their Celtic music influences. Some of their notable songs include “20 de Abril,” “Cuéntame un cuento,” and “Retales de una vida.”
Loquillo y los Trogloditas
Although Loquillo now performs as a solo artist, he began his career with los Trogloditas in the 80s. They produced hits like “El rompeolas,” “Cadillac Solitario,” and “Feo, fuerte y formal,” all falling within the rock genre.
As part of the famous “movida madrileña,” Gabinete Caligari had a successful career that lasted for approximately 18 years. Songs like “Al calor del amor en un bar,” “Camino Soria,” and “La sangre de tu tristeza” were popular during the 80s, making everyone dance.
And among all these incredible artists, there are still many more! The 80s was a very prolific era for Spanish music, so don’t hesitate to continue exploring and enjoying the music of many other wonderful groups.
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