In Muros de absenta, we are very clear about the favorite decade of the blog’s visitors. Despite our repeated expression of love for the 70s, it’s the Spanish music of the 80s that generates the most impact and comments. In the long run, looking at each era with the perspective that time gives us, it makes quite a lot of sense. Not just because of the age of those who grew up in the 80s, compared to those of previous decades. It’s actually much more than that. To begin with, the fact that the Spanish bands from the 80s had new platforms for expression, beyond stages and concert halls. And it’s not that they didn’t also take advantage of those circuits, but they also enjoyed a new freedom that led to a lot in terms of shows, nightlife possibilities, and a governmental support rarely seen in our country at those levels.
As we did when we reviewed the Spanish music groups of the 60s, this time we are going to make a selection of our favorite Spanish music groups from the 80s, accompanied by a Spotify playlist where you can find many more well-known and lesser-known names from these years. Whether you’re a fan of the Madrid scene, the Galician scene, or the other scene (led by Siniestro Total), it doesn’t matter much where each band belongs. What’s important is what they gave to the people and what remains of them: their greatest hits and other memorable songs.
That’s why, in the section where we talk about the best Spanish bands from the 80s, we might touch briefly on their history behind their discography. Mainly because we know that most users who come here are interested in discovering the music rather than the artists’ biographies. In any case, we discuss all of them in our articles dedicated to each decade year by year, for which we recommend you start reading about the musical beginnings of each decade.
Selection of the best Spanish bands from the 80s
As always, before we begin, a notice. This playlist, as well as the selection of Spanish 80s groups, does not include solo singers from the 80s like Miguel Ríos or Rosendo, or duos like Azul Y Negro or Vainica Doble, for example. On the other hand, we try to be quite strict regarding the decade. So, if a group has developed most of its career in the 90s but has a hit released in 1989, it’s likely to appear here, despite being considered part of the 90s.
Everything indicates that when we create our playlist for the following decade, they will appear again, because everything is organized by release dates in alphabetical order, so we don’t have to worry much. It will be then when we dedicate more time and words to them. We know that their appearance here is essential to understand future years (see the importance of Basque punk in the 80s with La Polla Records, Kortatu, or Eskorbuto, contrasting with the predominant sounds among the most popular Spanish rock bands of the 80s).
In fact, if, for example, you miss Triana, who is in the Spotify playlist but not in the selection of Spanish 80s groups, it’s because for us, they are one of the best music groups of the 70s. Regardless of the language, paying attention only to what they did and their influence at the time and in the following decades, as also happened with Héroes del Silencio or Extremoduro.
The Auserón brothers, together with Enrique Sierra, formed one of the most emblematic Madrid scene groups from the 80s during the Movida. Even today, many believe that no other group was at their level. Both musically and lyrically, with lyrics that seemed to be aware of the moment they were living. Of course, that doesn’t mean that some lyrics, at least when listened to now, don’t feel off due to the underlying message.
That being said, let’s move on to their greatest hits: Enamorado De La Moda Juvenil, Escuela De Calor, or El Tonto Simón, among others.
Loquillo Y Los Trogloditas
Among all the Spanish rock groups from the 80s that come to mind, Loquillo Y Los Trogloditas might not be our favorite (others like Barricada, Ilegales, or Gabinete Caligari might take that spot), but their impact in their time and on a day-to-day basis seems to make them prevail. At least in terms of media interest, because we’ve been seeing Loquillo on television much longer and more often than El Drogas, Jorge Martínez, or Jaime Urrutia.
Among their greatest musical successes, we find Cadilac Solitario, El Rompeolas, or Quiero Un Camión.
Mecano is widely regarded as having composed and sung some of the best songs in Spanish music history, which is no small feat. These include Me Colé En Una Fiesta, Hoy No Me Puedo Levantar, Maquillaje, Perdido En Mi Habitación, Barco A Venus, Hijo De La Luna, Cruz De Navajas, La Fuerza Del Destino, or Mujer Contra Mujer.
Like with Hombres G or Duncan Dhu, their greatest hits remain in memory, as well as the kind of audience that, over time, seems to reassert them as part of the Spanish pop of the 80s, being seen by non-fans as music aimed at posh listeners, so to speak. In any case, no one can deny the value of all these songs. Not then, nor years later.
Despite having named many of the most important names among Spanish rockers of the 80s, one of the most cherished names in hard rock remains: Barón Rojo, who, along with Obús, led the greatest successes of Spanish heavy metal.
For us, their best songs of the 80s are Los Rockeros Van Al Infierno or Los Hijos De Caín, but you have many more to choose from.
Alaska Y Los Pegamoides + Alaska Y Dinarama
In the Nueva Ola de Pop Español (New Wave of Spanish Pop), Alaska – that is, Olvido Gara – is likely the most recognizable and representative face. This is due to the power of her hits as well as her involvement in various groups and duos throughout the entire 80s. Starting with Kaka De Luxe (considered one of the first Spanish punk bands of the 80s), then with Los Pegamoides or with Dinarama (after the previous group’s breakup).
From those formations, some of the most interesting bands of the time emerged, and inspiration seemed to flow like never before. Many names might sound familiar, such as Ana Isabel Fernández, Eduardo Benavente (both in Parálisis Permanente), Carlos García Berlanga, or Nacho Canut (with whom Alaska would continue working in Fangoria from the 90s onwards).
If you haven’t already, I recommend checking out songs like Ni Tú Ni Nadie, Cómo Pudiste Hacerme Esto A Mí, or A Quién Le Importa. And, with Los Pegamoides, Horror En El Hipermercado and Bailando, of course.
(Madrid, 1987) Novelist by vocation, SEO specialist by profession. Music lover, cinephile and reading lover, but in “amateur” mode.