Medina Azahara - La Esquina del Viento. 1981 Spain

I had written recently that Medina Azahara's debut is one of the pillars of the Andalusian progressive rock scene of the mid to late 70s. Now the 80s have arrived, and Medina Azahara did what most bands did back then: streamline their sound, and added period synthesizers. Have no fear though, Medina Azahara are still focused on the plot here, and there's no mistaking this for anything but what it is - Rock Andaluz. I suppose if looking for a metaphor, think of Medina Azahara as southern Spain's very own Saga. That is to say a band that was able to seamlessly meld the 70s and 80s together, without leaks and cracks. Not sure how I managed to compare Saga to Medina Azahara, but hey... Anyway, unfortunately from here, the band took the metaphor too far, and ended up strictly as a pop group for a few years. But their first 2 albums are essential for the genre.

Personal collection
CD: 1995 CBS/Sony (w/Andalucia)

The CD above combines their 2nd and 3rd albums, so if you're curious about where Medina Azahara were headed, then you'll get a chance to without further investment. My first copy was the original single sleeve LP obtained in a trade back in the early 90s, but I felt the CD was a better package and sold it shortly thereafter. In retrospect, I still think that was the right decision, unless of course, you have an obsession with guys in red pants...

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