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Mezquita Recuerdos De Mi Tierra album cover
4.11 | 148 ratings | 26 reviews | 39% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Recuerdos de mi Tierra (7:38)
2. El bizco de los patios (4:15)
3. Desde que somos dos (5:41)
4. Ara buza (Dame un beso) (4:30)
5. Suicidijo (7:20)
6. Obertura en Si Bemol (6:01)

Total Time: 35:15

Line-up / Musicians

- José Rafael García / guitars, lead & backing vocals
- Francisco López "Roscka" / keyboards, backing vocals
- Fernando "Randy" López Rojas / bass, percussion, lead & backing vocals
- Rafael Zorrilla / drums, percussion, backing vocals

- José Azpiri / violin (3)
- Santiago Crespo / violin (3)
- Juan Ferrera / violin (3)
- Manuel Lopez / cello (3)
- José Juan Almela / string arrangements (3)

Releases information

Artwork: Máximo Moreno

LP Chapa Discos ‎- HS-35.024 (1979, Spain)

CD Crime ‎- KICP 80 (1990, Japan)
CD Chapa Discos ‎- 50635024 (1994, Spain)
CD Forgotten Tracks ‎- FT 002 (2005, France)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MEZQUITA Recuerdos De Mi Tierra ratings distribution

(148 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(39%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

MEZQUITA Recuerdos De Mi Tierra reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by maani
3 stars Although the alleged influence here is Crimson, I hear solo Wakeman, and even a bit of Gentle Giant, plus some other influences that I can't quite put my finger on. The last of which is a good thing, because it means that, unlike many other European (mostly Italian) prog bands I've been listening to recently and reviewing, Mezquita is able to "channel" their influences and create something different, even unusual, if not quite entirely new. On most tracks, their modus operandi seems to be playing a slightly extended section of influenced but interesting prog-rock, then segueing into a more "normal" Spanish- (and sometimes Arabic-) flavored vocal segment, then ending with another short prog-rock section. And although these sections don't always segue well (though most do) - and although the prog-rock sections sometimes seem a bit aimless - it is hard not to like these guys, if only because the blend of prog-rock and Spanish/Arabic-influenced music is so interesting, and because they seem to be having so much fun putting it all together. (Another drawback is that, like so many of the European prog bands I've been reviewing lately, Mezquita does not have a compelling vocalist - though unlike many of those other bands, it doesn't have quite the level of negative effect here.) This is another case in which I would award an additional half-star if I could. I look forward to hearing more from these guys.
Review by lucas
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Mezquita is a spanish progressive rock band that blends a music inspired by the italian and english scene of the earlier seventies with elements of their own culture and some arabic influences. Vocals are in Spanish and very expressive. Track 1 opens with a binary rhythm that turns soon to prog territories with a great keyboard/guitar work. Track 2 is a Led Zeppelin/Rush-inspired song with an interesting bass line. Track 3 is a prog tune that highlights the band's interest for the arabic traditional music through the use of guitar and violins. Track 4 is the most adventurous of all tracks. It is strongly anchored in the spanish culture. In fact, the handclaps at the beginning and the end of the song evoke flamenco. The first handclaps are followed by a Rush-influenced section. Then vocals and the music are reminiscent of arabic traditional music. The track ends where it began. Track 5 begins as a hard-rock tune, with references to Deep Purple and Rush, then the pace slows down and bells and keyboards enter, soon followed by guitar and a choir at the very end. Track 6 is entirely instrumental, guitars being reminiscent of Howe's playing with Yes, lots of keyboards and odd-time signatures. Once again, this band proves that the prog attitude lies not only in the use of complex rhythms and dramatic vocals but also in the expansion of the music to other cultures than the european.
Review by loserboy
5 stars Spanish Progressive Rock in the most delicious way you could possibly imagine. MEZQUITA blend complex structures with cascading symphonia, juxtaposed with Spanish acoustic guitar accents and delicate melodies. I think I do owe a very big thanks to my Turkish friend Tugyan who without a shred of hesitation insistently recommended this album. Vocals are shared from within the group and are well suited to this music with excellent harmonies and larynx contrasts throughout. Standout for me has to be MEZQUITA's awesome and highly sophisticated guitar player (Jose Rafa) who seems to move eloquently from acoustic to electric throughout. This album carries a wonderful Spanish influence (cha-cha's and all!) throughout and is actually a wild mix of traditional, eastern and progressive musical elements. The music on "Recuerdos de mi Tierra" is ever flowing and moves with great energy and complexity. This album is really a prog lovers delight and I too would pass along the warm endorsements on this album as a real winner.
Review by Steve Hegede
5 stars A masterpiece! "Recuerdos De Mi Tierra" mixes fusion, symphonic, flamenco, and North African (Islamic) influences to define Spanish progressive rock. The music here simply doesn't slow down for a minute as your ears feast on relentless tempo-changes, odd time-signatures, and virtuoso playing. Start your Spanish-prog collection here.
Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Mezquita's 'Recuerdos de mi Tierra' is, IMHO, the definite masterpiece of Flamenco oriented prog, and most certainly, one of the highlights of Spanish prog in general. From the beautiful city of Córdoba, Mezquita managed to elaborate a prog style firmly rooted in the Flamenco traditions, and watered by the influential flows of 73-75 Yes (with less meandering), the melodic side of KC, the fire of Rush, and some hints to classic hard rock. The result is simultaneously powerful and exuberant, since the four musicians' skills are top notch. The fluency of the interactions between the guitars and the keys is simply awesome, and so is the precision with which the rhythm section lays the proper foundations for this intrincate, energetic material. The opening title track is per se a manifesto of Mezquita's personal style: the alternation between the instrumental intro's two central motifs is perfectly intertwined before the appealing sung section emerges. The following three tracks are the most explosive ones, full of tempo changes, pyrotechnics (never reaching at a gratuitous level) and genuine enthusiasm (oh!, that chanting/clapping passage right before the end of 'Ara Buza', that is special gypsy magic of Flamenco at its purest) - a special mention goes to the opening instrumental section of 'Desde que Somos Dos', which is my personal favorite song from the album, an example of the romantic facet of Flamenco in a prog-rock context. Track 5 is more somber, due to the dark solemnity of the subject (a massive suicide), but still manages to capture the intense magic of South Spanish folk, as well as the band's punchy swing. The fusion touches that were somewhat moderate in previous tracks, emerge more clearly in the instrumental closure - once more, a superb number. The occasional use of a guest string quartet enhances the Arabic air of some compositions (string quartets are very recurrent in Moroccan folk tunes), making the exotic thing compatible with the rock side of Mezquita's music. Well, let me finish by reiterating that this is a Spanish prog gem that should not be missed in any good prog collection.
Review by James Lee
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Duende! MEZQUITA are impressively talented, energetic and emotional- and very Spanish. If YES had been formed in Cordoba, they might have sounded a bit like this; fans of 70s SANTANA or Morricone's soundtracks will have no problem adapting, but the latin influnces here are obviously deeper. It's actually closer to Carlos Montoya than Carlos Santana, a rock iteration of the moorish dance traditions- one can hear the same influence in West African highlife, Algerian rai, etc.

A near-perfect combination of instrumental intricacy and songcraft- the vocals are also pretty passionate, solo or in a surging harmony as in "Recuerdos", and often act more like an instrument than a narrative (at the very worst they don't detract from the music). Electric guitars sound ragged, in a good Steve Howe way, and are played slightly loose compared to the ultra-tight rhythm section. The lead lines in songs like "Recuerdos" and "El Bizco" are melodic rather than jazzy or dissonant, with tumbling surf-rock cascades of notes. "El Bizco" gets pretty rocking- I'd love to see these guys play live. Acoustic guitars sound fabulous (of course) especially when layered with the strings, as in "Desde Que Somos Dos", which also features some choice drumming. "Ara Buza" drives hard like a dance song, and I'm almost positive that's either the Musitron or a clavioline/ ondeline they're been using for some of the synth solos- nice to hear that sound outside of "Telstar", "Runaway", or "Please Mr. Postman". "El Suicidio" is heavier on the rock until the wailing vocal section slows things to a portentious half tempo to accent the theme of the song. The keyboards on the whole are very well done, from the warm synth solos to the ambient organs- both of which are at their peak on "Obertura".

I really can't rave enough about this band; most of my favorite elements of prog rock, and culturally rich to boot- I hope they have the huge following they deserve. If I really wanted to nitpick, I'd say that the overall sound doesn't vary much...but with such a good sound, it's not much of a complaint. It's a struggle between 4 and 5 stars- the music is really that good- but I'll have to hold one star back to see how this works on me over time.

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars The album "Recuerdos De Mi Tierra" from '79 contains six inventive and compelling tracks with exciting interplay between electric guitar and synthesizer, strong and expressive Spanish vocals, the emotional flamenco guitar and some handclapping (palmas). This is certainly one of my favourite Spanish prog rock albums because the atmosphere has such a typical Morish and Andalusian undertone like early TRIANA.
Review by NotAProghead
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions Team
5 stars It is a very special album. Such music could be born only in Spain.

A real musical storm! Great virtuosity of all musicians and endless rhythm changes, but at the same time the music is always melodic. Classical, jazz, oriental and even tango influences are here, but I cannot say that any of Western bands was the inspiration for MEZQUITA, they are very unique. I never heard anything like this before.

Vocals are very good, definitely Spanish, emotional and, according to flamenco tradition, sometimes exaggerated. The album really grows with each listening, I find something new everytime.

Highly recommended, but don't forget to give the album more than one spin.

Review by micky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I got this album on a recommend from Erik Neuteboom and I have one word for it... WOW! hahah. While prog was on the decline in the english sphere of prog in the late '70's, it was really hitting it's apex in Spain. Recuerdos de mi Tierra is generally considered one of THE masterpieces of Spanish prog. It is an essential album of what is called Prog-Andaluz. Prog rock with influences not from classical music but from flamenco whose roots lie in Indian, Arabic, and Spanish cultures. To the uninitiated, as I was, this album can be akin to a punch across the jaw. It will get your attention quickly hahahah. A real change of pace from 'english' and even Italian prog. It's a fascinating, and different style of prog. If looking for something a bit different from the 'same old same old'. I recommend you pick up this album. It's a great introduction to Prog-Anduluz.

A few words about the album itself. The album gets off to a rousing start with the title track... lightning e-guitar runs, lush accoustic guitar sections, powerful drumming. The vocals while nonsensical of course to me, do not detract from the real star of the album.. the music. Desde Que Somos Dos has a real arabic flavor that the violins and cello really accent. Hearing this takes me away to another place... suddenly I'm Peter O'Toole riding a white stallion through the blazing sands hahah. Ara Buza (Dame Un Beso) spotlights a flamenco practice 'palmos' which is rhythmic hand clapping which is used to accompany flamenco music.

As I learn more about Flamenco and review other Prog-Andaluz albums hopefully I can be a bit more informative about the music itself. That in itself is a great reason to check out this underappreciated branch of prog. It is for me a form of music I'm not familar with, and if it's not for you, this is a great album to expand your horizons so to speak.

Rating... for myself 4 stars an excellent album (reserve the right to bump it up to 5 when I understand more about the music itself) ... for the forum at large 4 stars. One of a handful of albums from Spain that should be in every well rounded prog collection. An excellent and worthwhile addition to any prog collection.

Michael (aka micky)

Review by avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 3.5 stars

Mezquita opens this album with the ethnic sounds that make them special. A dynamic entry with the guitars giving us a display of what is to come in this album, a rock show that lasts for almost 3 minutes and then enter the Spanish folk guitars. Their sound influenced by the arab musical sounds for many centuries, which is why there is a mixed Spanish (Flamenco) and arab (Mourish) sound in the guitars sound. But Mezquita play their guitars with more than folk sound and play where appropriate with a rough rock edge. The result is a fine and compelling mixture of Spanish folk and heavy rock. All instruments here are well played and heard and with each one added at different times you receive a different atmosphere in the different parts of each song. In one part you have a heavy feel which is due to the crunchy guitar and in another you have the keyboards creating the more Spanish folk atmosphere along with the acoustic guitar. There are some splendid guitar performances here like in the first track Recuerdos de mi Tierra and on the third track Desde que somos dos which are easily the two highlights f this album. I have sometimes trouble with the vocalist voice, but it does not tamper with my enjoyment of the music and in some songs it actually fits it (the third track, for instance). His voice is a little rough but it does fit several songs when he songs along with a heavy guitar playing.

As I like Spanish guitar playing a lot, I find this album to be great as it combines that music along with some harder rock (which I like as well) and it has its qualities being progressive in nature and that is awesome to have in one album and even in one song. The album as a whole holds an emotional mood to it, which is delivered through the vocals and acoustic guitar and keyboards.

Don't be too quick to judge this, if you are not familiar with this type of music, as I know it can be awkward and you might not like this the first times you hear it. Let it grow on you with recurrent listens. If you liked other Spanish bands such as Triana and Medina Azahara, you should listen to this one as well.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I recognize that this is a good album, perhaps very good, but personally I'm not able to get into it. Mezquita is just not to my taste. I have absolutely no trouble getting into music from countries other than my own, I love Italian stuff, Japanese stuff, and Scandinavian stuff. But for some reason I have more difficulty enjoying Spanish bands and I'm not exactly sure why, perhaps the Flamenco sound? Handclapping? Vocals? I don't know for sure. But I won't hold my taste against an obviously accomplished recording like this one.

Mezquita features emotional rousing vocals, good musicianship, and a very fever pitched pace of guitar and keyboard dueling. Nothing too soft or introspective here musically, this is music to bring out in the backyard and crank up for the barbecue. After a few beers someone will start dancing no doubt. Perhaps everyone!

I can't say I hear the Crimson or GG influences that others do but I do hear the YES influence primarily in the guitar. The playing in more than one song reminded me of Steve Howe with an obvious Spanish feel. The percussion is also quite impressive.

Personally I'll stick with Gotic. But if you like the flamenco sound and very lively Spanish feel you will likely enjoy this album a great deal.

Review by Gooner
3 stars As my rating states "Good, But Not Essential". I don't hear any King Crimson influence here, but more like a mixture of the "Yes Album", Spanish band Triana, Ange, Gentle Giant and Arabic influences. Best tune is the instrumental "Desde que somos dos" which can be sampled on this very site. The other essential listening experience is the somewhat lengthy "Suicidijo". This one ranges from Roxy Music, Deep Purple, Yes and Spanish band Triana. I wouldn't consider this album a progressive rock classic, but good for a listen. For an essential Spanish prog.rock listening experience, get the first Triana - "El Patio" CD.
Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Recuerdos de Mi Tierra is a wonderful album for sure. It has all we expect from an andalusian prog-rock band. Ok, in comparison with Triana the're slightly less flamenco-inspired and give a more important role to synthesizer's soloing. But when synth encounters flamenco guitars and the typical handclapping, well, this is the paradise for us all. Not to talk of fellow proghead Micky who (I think) certainly has been inspired for his traditional massive use of handclappings in the forum. Yep, I think prog-andaluz is partially (and fundamentally) responsible for his curious habit.

Backing to Mezquita, I have to admit that the band plays strong and technical excursions where all instruments are brought to highest peaks. Many shifting moods, elegant soft transitional and folky parts alternating with crescendo exciting sections. Flamenco guitars and orchestral-like movements combined almost perfectly as you can listen in Desde Que Somos Dos. A fabulous experience, indeed. Vocals are also essential ingredient for the biulding of the whole opus. Their typical morish flavour really seem to inspire the musicians who carry their instruments in catching and intricate instrumental fugues.

Yes, this is a terrific album. Near to the masterpiece status but just a half fo a step below TRIANA's debut in my humble opinion. Awesome arrengements. Passion, above all.


Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Outside the more traditional Basque folk prog groups, the most impressive album coming from the peninsula is certainly Mezquita's sole 70's album (just at the close of the decade) and by judging of their picture, these guys were not exactly teenagers. BTW, their second album of 81 is really not quite as good.And it bloody sounds like it, because this is a very well thought-out album, integrating local elements much more wisely and subtly than many Flamenco prog groups ala Triana and hell knows who else. Outside one track, the Spanish influences are very present but never overwhelming or invasive, mostly due to the fact that they take on other aspects of Spanish culture than Flamenco. This Madrid standard prog quartet sees all four members contributing vocally (but lead is handled by the two guitar man) and the group gets some brilliant string help in a few tracks. The apocalyptic artwork hints at the musical and lyrical content of the album, which is, as the title hints, a reflection about our near and mid-future.

Opening on some distant bell knelling, the title track is very representative of the album, turning into a strongly classical tune (that could sound like a galloping Rondo), with obvious Spanish dramatic theme (the acoustic guitar answering the group in the middle part is breathtaking, especially once the electric guitar replaces the acoustic. The track is about abn eclipse provoking a huge tidal wave (tsunami). The following track, the shorter Patios, is no less head-twisting as they group enters an infernal march onwards full of tempo changes, theme bending and instrumental virtuoso. "Since we've become just the two of us" is more or less the translation of the only overtly Flamenco track, even though the intro was not letting you on.

On the flipside, Ara Buza the castanets have fearing the worst, but son the track digresses into Maur and Moroccan-type of influence. Excellent stuff. El Suicido returns to a Flamenco feel, rather subtly at first, than a little more once the track slows down (the return of the bells) and some delicious guitars (both electric and acoustic) laying on the full dramatics. The album finishes on the best track, an instrumental Obertura In Si Bemol (funny that they chose not to call it Clotura), which is another one of those head-twisting tune with not a single second rest for both the musicians and the listeners.

Clearly one of the Iberic peninsula's best folk-oriented symphonic prog album (some might have some doubts as to Flamenco being folk music, but indeed it is), Mezquita's RDMT is one of these gems that have been unearthed a while ago and is not exactly obscure anymore, and the album has seen at least two different CD reissues, showing it is a consistent seller over the last two decades and deservingly so. If you don't have it yet, you'd bet get a copy before you're the last proghead in your country to have it. Recommended.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I've really enjoyed listening to this album this past week. I must say I held off getting it for a long time because i'm not really into the Flamenco thing, and the Folk genre is far from my favourite. So I was pleasantly surprised to find this was more Symphonic than Folk, and that it was very much a fiery, energetic display of Spanish Prog. The vocals are fantastic, while the guitar playing is so impressive, both the electric and acoustic.

"Recuerdos De Mi Tierra" is an uptempo track although the tempo does shift a lot. The guitar leads the way and is played with a lot of energy. I like when it settles down after 3 minutes with some Spanish guitar and a heavy sound taking turns. Vocals come in for the first time after 5 minutes. "El Bizco De Los Patios" has a good and interesting one minute intro before vocals arrive. An excellent uptempo melody comes in after 2 minutes. It's quite catchy with great vocals. Check out the guitar 3 1/2 minutes in. The synths are very cool as well.

"Desde Que Somos Dos" has a nice drum intro, and guitar and drums end up leading the way. Background synths help soften the raw sound. Vocals after 3 minutes and the song becomes more Spanish sounding. "Ara Buzza (Dame Un Beso)" has some clapping in the intro. Heavy guitar after a minute then vocals. Amazing sound ! Check out the guitar and odd metered drumming after 2 1/2 minutes. "Suicidio" opens with a good uptempo melody as drums, guitar then synths lead the way. Vocals after a minute. It calms down with a vocal melody after 2 1/2 minutes. Synths a minute later. The varied guitar melodies from 5 minutes to 6 1/2 minutes are a highlight for me. Vocal melodies end it. "Obertura En Si Bemol" is different sounding from the other songs mostly because the keyboard is given prominance. I like this one a lot. Lots of synths and organ as drums pound relentlessly. Some good guitar that comes and goes.

This is one album that I can highly recommend, it's a great example of Spanish Prog from the late seventies.

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A few years ago I had the chance to listen Hijos del Agobio by TRIANA and since that moment I fell in love with this form of Symphonic Prog blended with Flamenco or Andaluz ethnic touches, two styles that despite being so different they blend perfectly.

MEZQUITA is a bit different because as it's name clearly implies there have more Moorish influences than other bands, as a fact one of the tracks Ara Buza (Give me a kiss) is named in an Arab language.

People talk about King Crimson and even Wakeman influences, but to be honest I feel some distant ELP reminiscences rather than from any other band, the first track Recuerdos de mi Tierra (Memories of my Land) presents this clearly, after a soft Andaluz intro, the band starts to rock with the energy that only the famous power trio was able to provide, the electric guitar work is simply amazing and combined with the keyboards plus accurate drumming, almost reaches perfection, But that's not all, there are radical changes every few minutes but around the middle it's simply dramatic, they start to play in the purest Flamenco style with acoustic guitars and cante hondo included, only a subtle keyboard reminds us we are before a Progressive rock band, just perfect.

El Bizco de los Patios (The Cross-Eyed of the Patios) is much more frantic than the previous one, even when the Flamenco Moorish atmosphere is more than evident, the Prog and Rock element is predominant, the heavy and sometimes distorted guitars morph into Spanish guitars in a matter of seconds, the keyboards and bass sections are simply spectacular, not a second to breathe.

Desde que Somos Dos (Since we are Two) is even weirder, the Moorish sound is completely fused with the Symphonic performance of keyboards and guitar, their sounds has similarities with the classic early 70's Prog, but is so unique that you can't hardly identify any band in particular, they manage to create something new but with respect for the pioneers of Symphonic and their Flamenco inheritance.

In Ara Buza (Give me a Kiss), MEZQUITA guys go even further, now not only the guitar and Cante Hondo, but also palmas (hand clapping) are added, but again the bass breaks the ethnic sound with a hard section, but as usual José Raffa and his peculiar vocals don't let us forget they are Spanish. Again full of dramatic changes and for the first time they remind me a bit of KING CRIMSON with MAHAVISHNU touches, because after the clear and melodic passages, they hit us with strong dissonances, just delightful.

Suicidio (Suicide) returns us again to ELP territory, at least during the intro, because hardly heard any band able to make so many changes in such a little time. This time Roscka adds a Psyche touch with the keyboards that reminds me of early PINK FLOYD,. but almost in a second they return to the ultra complex and elaborate music they are used to play.

Strangely around the middle of the track they start to prepare the grand finale with dramatic vocals, Moorish and Flamenco elements all thrown into our faces with the confidence that only the good musicians who know they are good have, just fantastic.

I don't understand why, but they left Obertura en Si Bemol (Overture in B Flat) for the end, when I should expect an overture for the beginning of the album, but after listening it it's clear that this song is the cherry over the pie, extremely complex and elaborate with incredibly dramatic changes and elements of previous songs, so complex that wouldn't disappoint an Avant fan but with enough melody to please the most demanding Symphonic listener.

The finale is simply perfect, something that I won't ruin using simple words, deserves to be listened without any previous description that could only spoil the effect

My favorite album from this Spanish Symphonic movement is still Hijos del Agobio by TRIANA which I rated with 4 stars, but this album leaves me speechless, and even if the first one mentioned suits my taste a bit more, I can't deny that technically Recuredos de mi Tierra is slightly ahead, so 5 strong stars.

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars The Spanish musical scene could really exploded after the dreadful Franco era. I was in Spain in November 77 and I could feel the immense desire of the youth to free themselves from this yoke.

Some Spanish bands were precursory and could have been exposed to severe censorship since rock music did not really fit the mood of the power in place in those days. This debut album from "Mezquita" did take advantage of the work from the pioneers to release such an album.

The mix between Andalusian moods and prog rock is quite splendid. Being on the instrumental side or on the vocal ones. These guys knew their subject and presented a rather great debut album.

Complex rhythms, great combination of classic Spanish guitar, flamenco mood and Crimsonian instrumentals as well are indeed quite a mix! Almost unmatched for sure ("El Bizco De Los Patios" or "Desde Que Somos Dos").

The highlight IMO is the superb and fully symphonic "Suicidio": a pure jewel full of emotion, skills and passion. Musicianship is top notch and I would be damned if I could not convey the message of great creativity of the music featured.

But most of the album is splendid. Another highlight is the exquisite "Obertura En Si Bemol". It proposes a fantastic opening (which is the translation for obertura) fully in line with KC. Dramatic theme, gorgeous drumming, superb bass and inhuman guitar.

This is an excellent debut album. Four stars.

Review by seventhsojourn
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The years 1976-79 were the most fruitful for the fledgling Rock Andaluz. This was a fusion of Andalusian Flamenco and folk within rock structures, and employing electric instruments. Rock Andaluz was not just a musical movement however, as it was also linked to a strong nationalist sentiment. Mezquita was comprised of musicians who had previously played together in the mid-1970s as Expresion, although a period of military service interrupted the band's development. By the time they reformed as Mezquita in 1979 the record companies were eager to promote anyone that sounded like Rock Andaluz, thanks to the success of groups like Triana.

The first thing that strikes you about Mezquita's debut album Recuerdos De Mi Tierra is the wonderful cover art which features a minaret emerging from a barren landscape; there are also some Arabic symbols and a crescent moon in the background. Morocco is home to Andalusian classical music which evolved under the Moors of Cordoba. Mezquita were clearly influenced by this tradition as their their album features a guest string section; strings were widely used in Andalusian classical music. North African modes and rhythms are also in evidence on the album, and the keyboards frequently mimic clarinets and oboes thus adding to the Arabic atmosphere.

The music consists of six complex compositions featuring exotic timbres and intricate rhythms. Tempos are generally fast and at times are breakneck speed. Three track on the album are worthy of note: The title track features superb duetting Flamenco and electric guitars along with the sound effect of crickets... close your eyes and you are in the gardens of The Alhambra; Desde Que Somos Dos contains more Flamenco guitar and syncopated drumming along with exhuberant vocals; Suicidijo starts at the usual fast speed but then slows to become the most reflective piece on the album, with wailing vocals, bells, fantastic Moog and more lovely Flamenco guitar.

Recuerdos De Mi Tierra contains top-notch musicianship and is a highly original recording due to the prominent Arabic influence. Fans of bands such as Guadalquivir, Vega and Azahar should enjoy this album. My one criticism is that the album lacks somewhat in variety, as the energetic tempos are quite relentless. However for anyone looking to add to their Spanish prog collection, this recording is definitely recommended. It contains three excellent and three average tracks, so overall rating is between good and excellent.

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is a fast-paced album that rarely lets up, stringing one grating riff with another in rapid succession. At times, the band sounds very much like a classic, hard-rocking Jethro Tull. There are excellent musical ideas throughout this album- most of them are just poorly placed in relation to one another.

"Recuerdos de Mi Tierra" Following a thudding bass and synthesizer introduction, quick, jarring, guitar-led progressive rock breaks forth. Sticking out like they don't belong are the Spanish-flavored acoustic guitar interruptions. After the lengthy instrumental beginning, a verse section begins abruptly, featuring decent but not great vocals over a busy patchwork of musical phrases.

"El Bizco de los Patios" This second song rocks harder than its predecessor, but still has that strident lack of flow. The worst aspect of this, however, is that the lead guitar sounds out of tune. Also, it doesn't help that the piece ends so abruptly, as though the band just said, "Okay, that's enough of that one. Moving on!"

"Desde que Somos Dos" After a terse solo, the drummer is quickly joined by bass and then the ensemble playing a series of glitzy runs. Interjecting again, there are several acoustic guitar cadenzas in call and response fashion introducing the singer (much like the first track).

"Ara Buza" Quirky and unsettled riffs ride a wave of handclaps as a hauntingly sweet electric guitar or thudding bass solo breaks up. The vocal section is structured more like a hard rock song with progressive leanings- a line sung followed by a heavy, complex riff. The second half bears no relation to what came before- it just happens, using fast percussion, a loose group of singers belting out the title, and active guitar soloing.

"Suicidio" The band engages in further frenzied music. The vocals and guitar soloing are highlights of the piece, and there's a rare moment of peacefulness, which makes excellent use of the bass and passionate vocalizations.

"Obertura en Si Bemol" The final tune is a peppy one, with happy organ, synthesizer, and guitar- essentially one solo after another. However, it is ultimately more of the same tricks with nothing fresh in store- great soloing, a fantastic rhythm section, yes, but nothing new. As with the other tracks on this album, the music is difficult to follow.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Mezquita were part of the Andalusian rock wave which arose in Spain during the late 1970s. Testing the limits of official restrictions on artistic expression in the late days of the Franco regime, the Andalusian rock groups would seize the opportunity arising from the end of the Francoist era and the restoration of democratic freedoms to really take their art forwards.

Mezquita's debut album finds them drinking deeply of their new freedoms. The band had chugged along under the Franco years as the psych-influenced unit Expresi'n, but the renaming here fits their new sound - for Mezquita is Spanish for "Mosque", and the album celebrates the rich heritage of cultural mingling between different religious faiths which was a strong feature of much Spanish history (and an aspect that the hardline Catholic Franco regime was disinclined to honour).

As you might expect, then, there's a certain note of Arabic music influencing proceedings here, particularly that of North Africa, as well as a blend of progressive rock (I smell hints of Relayer-era Yes, especially in the keyboard work), flamenco, and jazz fusion. (The blending of traditional Spanish music and jazz-rock puts me in mind at points of early Return to Forever.) It's a real melting pot of musical influences to reflect the melting pot of Spanish history, which is presumably precisely the band's intention, and the end result is an excellent blend.

Review by siLLy puPPy
5 stars For the casual lover of progressive rock, it may seem strange that nations like England, France, Italy and Germany were so prolific in how many bands they produced during the freewheeling 70s while others like Greece, Portugal and Spain seemed to be woefully absent from prog party. It has to be remembered that many of these nations were under the control of authoritarian regimes who restricted artistic expressions with an iron fist. No nation fitted this more than the Francisco Franco dominated Spain who ruled with impunity from 1936 to 1975. Once this tyrant finally died in 1975, suddenly Spain was free to engage in an entire world that had passed them by including the golden years of prog that had only recently peaked and still lingering on well into the latter half of the 1970s (but declining quickly).

Many bands soon got in on the act including the lineup of José Rafael García (guitar), Randy López (bass), Rosca López (keyboards) and Rafael Zorrilla (drums) who had traversed the Franco years from 1971 to slightly beyond in 1978 as the band Expresión delivering a mix of psychedelic and hard bluesy rock but in 1978 the members suddenly shifted gears and changed their name to MEZQUITA (means "Mosque" in Spanish) and transmogrified itself into one of the most accomplished progressive acts of the entire Spanish prog scene that erupted in the latter half of the 1970s. While the band existed from 1978-83, MEZQUITA only released two albums, the first of which RECUERDOS DE MI TIERRA ("Memories Of My Homeland") is considered a Spanish prog classic.

The band emerged from the Andalucían city of Córdoba which historically was a crossroads of cultures as well as an Islamic stronghold after the Umayyads conquered it in 711 and would remain so until the Castillian-Leonese king in the year 1231 recaptured it and brought it back under the jurisdiction of the Spanish Empire. Despite all the battles and booty plundered throughout its history, the city and region has left an indelible mark on the Spanish culture existing in the region where Arabic, Moorish and Spanish influences forged a musical truce which would become the global musical phenomenon flamenco which in the 1970s was utilized to create a new style of progressive rock called Rock Andaluz of which bands like Triana, Veneno, Cai, Imán Califato Independiente and MEZQUITA would develop to put Spain on the map with its own unique style of progressive music.

The band's debut RECUERDOS DE MI TIERRA was released in the summer of 1979 and displayed the region's rich cultural heritage fortified with flamenco, Arabic and Moorish influences that had made Andalucía's traditional music so exhilarating. The band crafted an amazing display of adapting these sounds to the world of crazy complex prog rock and in the process unleashed one of the most defining and daring displays of virtuosity in all of the Spanish prog scene of the era. While a good five years late to the original prog party, MEZQUITA wasted no time and went for the prog jugular with RECUERDOS DE MI TIERRA with dazzling time signature rich guitar workouts, ELP inspired keyboard freneticism and crazy twisted compositional meandering all kept in check by the traditional melodic underpinnings that merged the present with the past.

The blistering title track immediately sets the stage with Arabic music scales luring the listener in like a desert mirage before jumping into a high tempo, time signature fueled frenzy with lightning fast precision and impeccable instrumental interplay and competent vocal deliveries in the Spanish language. The album while offering a few moments of placidity for the sake of catching one's breath hardly lets up in its 36 minutes playing with six tracks blurring the distinctions between flamenco rock, jazz and the most demanding strains of progressive rock in the vein of Gentle Giant, Yezda Urfa or the Mahavishnu Orchestra. With a galloping rhythm section stampeding full force like a herd of spooked cattle over the plains, the soloing delivers a lightning bolt approach whizzing around the rhythmic processions. The musical richness was fortified with guest musicians providing a string section along with several violins and a cello often sounding a big liker a spaghetti western.

The Spanish prog scene was utterly unique standing proud and distinct from its European counterparts and although thwarted by political totalitarianism was allowed to erupt into a frenzy of creative expression for the short time that prog was still in fashion however the best years had been missed and most of these bands including MEZQUITA only squeezed out a sole album or two as their creme de la creme before financial pressures forced them either to give it up completely or to adopt the model of dropping the complexities altogether and delivering a more mainstream mix of rock or new wave. Unfortunately MEZQUITA did exactly that and while not abandoning its signature sound altogether, watered it down enough to be of no interest as heard on the 1981 sophomore album "Califas Del Rock." While leaving only this sole example of Rock Anadaluz at its most proficient and wildly unhinged, RECUERDOS DE MI TIERRA has become a cornerstone of the entire Spanish 70s scene and a reminder that had this nation been allowed to participate in the golden years of prog that it would've more than produced some of the top acts of the entire prog 70s.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Córdoba was a stronghold of Islamic culture and influence from its conquest by the Umayyads in 711 until its recapture by the Castilian-Leonese king in 1231. Those five centuries of Islamic rule left an indelible influence on the region's culture, most notably in music and architecture. Mezquita ... (read more)

Report this review (#2903088) | Posted by TheEliteExtremophile | Friday, March 31, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 'A Rock Andaluz gem with Morish magic!' The embryonal part of four piece formation Mezquita its history starts in 1970, in Cordoba. On the square of the breathtaking Mezquita young people have vivid and endless conversations about music. ... (read more)

Report this review (#1999174) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Thursday, August 23, 2018 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album is a real crazy thing. Blending folk with symphonic, but the folk used in here is very much alike to the Spanish Flamenco sound. Remembering the domination of the Arabs for almost 800 years, Flamenco music maintains a lot of the influence in their style. This time MEZQUITA uses the ... (read more)

Report this review (#1022385) | Posted by Memo_anathemo | Friday, August 23, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A great album for this Spanish band. To me, one of the most important music works in seventies in Spain. It's a fusion betwen Spanish Flamenco , Progressive Folk and Jazz Fusion, with a very complex music contexts. Some spanish voices give a Folk context but a great guitar performance give the ... (read more)

Report this review (#273186) | Posted by João Paulo | Saturday, March 20, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "Recuerdos de mi Tierra" is a fusion between symphonic rock and flamenco folk. The music is perfect and the José Rafa sound of guitar is amazing with Roscka in keyboards adding superb melodies. All the album is singing in Spanish and this gives the music a unique emotional feeling.To finish i ... (read more)

Report this review (#104708) | Posted by Quba | Wednesday, December 27, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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