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Medina Azahara

Symphonic Prog

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Medina Azahara Medina Azahara [Aka: Paseando Por La Mezquita] album cover
3.71 | 46 ratings | 8 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Paseando Por La Mezquita (5:02)
2. En La Mañana (3:29)
3. Hacia Tí (5:17)
4. Si Supieras (5:05)
5. Busco (4:38)
6. Amiga (4:45)
7. Sé (5:17)
8. Recuerdos Del Ayer (4:27)

Total Time: 38:00

Line-up / Musicians

- Manuel Martínez / vocals
- Miguel Galán / guitar
- Pablo Rabadán / keyboards
- Manuel Molina Huertas / bass
- José Antonio Molina Huertas / drums

- Paco Cepero / guitar (2,5)

Releases information

Artwork: Juan Oreste Gatti

LP CBS ‎- S 84014 (1979, Spain)
LP Sony Music ‎- 88985422461 (2017, Spain)

CD CBS/Sony ‎- CDCOL 32146 (1994, Spain)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MEDINA AZAHARA Medina Azahara [Aka: Paseando Por La Mezquita] ratings distribution

(46 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MEDINA AZAHARA Medina Azahara [Aka: Paseando Por La Mezquita] reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This was the record that put Medina Azahara (from the Andalusian towen Córdoba) on the Spanish rock map. This namesake debut follows the path of many other Andalusian bands, a symphonic progressive heavily infused with Flamenco colours, but unlike the jazzy guys of Guadalquivir, the Camelesque Cai, and the Pink Floydian Triana, Medina Azahara gave preferential space to the ways of hard sounding art rock (not without its notable progressive touches, of course). The electric guitar is the prominent instrument here, with a solid rhythm section supporting its riffs as well as the symphonic textures played on keyboards. Martínez's vocal style and timbre is very hard-rock oriented, though its most norable feature is that typical Flamenco overwhelming passion. The opening track was also the first single, a huge hit in the whole country (its catchy introductory riff even served as background music for a bunch of radio and TV programs), keeping the commercial success of Southern Spanish prog a bit longer (just a nit, before its impending decline). Though their music is not as complex as Cai's, Mezquita's or Triana's, these guys sure can expand creatively on their own musical ideas and recycle the evocative nature of melodic Flamenco through an ambitious rock filter. Their compositional efforts reach a peak of progressive creativity and emotional richness in tracks 1 (the aforementioned banner 'Paseando por la Mezquita'), 3 ( 'Hacia Tí', more symphonic a-la classic Yes and less Flamenco), as well as the lat 3 numbers, in which the band really approaches the exuberant complexity of their neighbours Mezquita. 'Amiga' and 'Sé' keep a special folkish flavour among the hard rocking sounds of guitar an keyboard soloing and harmonies on a solid rhythm pace, with a lead singer that never gest tired of wearing his heart on his sleeve with every word, every verse, every chorus; 'Recuerdos del Ayer' remains consistently engaged to beauty, althoug with a slightly decreased Flamenco flavour. An excellent musical work that was destined never to be surpassed or even equalled by the band in their following reordings: though not a masterpiece, "Medina Azahara" is really worth adding in any good collection of Spanish prog... or prog, in general.

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars This popular Spanish band from Cordoba was founded in the late Seventies. In 1979 Medina Azahara released their debut-album Paseando Por La Mezquita (aka Medina Azahara). This album earned a double-platinum status and since 1983 when Spanish legend Triana called it a day (because of the tragical death of their keyboardplayer/singer Jesus De La Rosa) the Spanish fans consider Medina Azahara as the successors of Triana, the masters of the Prog Andaluz movement.

On their debut album Medina Azahara delivers a very pleasant blend of melodic rock (mid-tempo songs like En La Manana and Se), neo prog in the vein of Marillion (lots of Mark Kelly-like synthesizer flights) and Prog Andaluz (mainly ballads and slow rhythms) with strong hints from Triana like in the exciting titletrack (a flamenco rhythm with heavy guitar riffs, howling guitar and emotional vocals) and En La Manana and Busco (parts with flamenco guitar). A very strong point on this album is the guitarwork, from sensitive and howling to electric rhythm guitar that creates a flamenco atmosphere, this matches perfectly with the emotional Spanish vocals that contain a wailing undertone you can often hear in flamenco singing.

Medina Azahara still makes music (in 2003 they released their latest studio album entitled Aixa and in 2007 a tribute to Triana entitled Se Abre La Puerta) but during the years the sound became more polished and straighforward rock so I consider this band as a heavy version of Triana, not every album is interesting (even melodic hardrock) but they have made some very good records like En El- Hakim and En Vivo (live), especially their early work is worth to check out.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Formed in late-70's,MEDINA AZAHARA are still active nowadays and belong among the great names of Spanish rock in general.However,their debut album holds enough prog elements to be listed as a progressive one.Heavily influenced by TRIANA's style,this work is a very interesting mix of synth-based hard rock,dominated by melodic guitars,romantic vocals and an emotional atmosphere.Hardly you'll find any flamenco guitars (except at some rare moments),but guitarist Miguel Galan's style is too close to andalusian flamenco-based prog,while the Molina brothers' rhythm section adapts a simple yet soundful style.Another important late-70's release with symphonic leanings,amazing melodies and a deeply emotional atmosphere...Not exactly highly recommended but a decent 3-star addition to any prog collection.
Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars This band comes from Andalucia, like their glorious predecessor Triana who came from Seville while Medina Azahara obviously has its roots in Córdoba.

The music proposed by Medina Azahara has a more rocking angle. It is even heavy during their debut album (Paseando Por La Mezquita or Hacia Ti).

The later is a real upbeat song and features some splendid (electric) guitar from Miguel Galán. Hacia Ti is a very melodic track and is extremely enjoyable. It is a highlight.

This album is actually very catchy, the Spanish language being a wonderful add-on to this heavy- symphonic music (a new genre maybe). A song as Si Supieras, even if it holds some basic lyrics, is a very emotional moment of this work: the song is again dominated by the great guitar work as well as moving vocals.

Busco is also worth the mention. It is the most Andalusian track so far; mainly thanks to the vocals which are somewhat flamenco oriented. But the lead singer Manuel Martinéz is not at all exaggerating this aspect. He is not as exuberant as Molina (from Ñu) or de la Rosa (Triana). He is more sober but as efficient as both of them.

I really like their guitar-oriented symphonic music. Still, the other band mates are not staying behind: the rhythmic section is particularly solid: this is particularly confirmed during Se during which the flamenco style also gets a chance to emerge. A fine song as well.

It is a pity that this band is not better known outside of Spain. They also have very little exposure on PA. But the same applies to Triana and another great band from that country: Ñu.

Medina Azahara really deserves your attention. Guitar lovers and progheads looking for something different: this album is highly recommended.

Four stars.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This was Spain's MEDINA AZAHARA's debut released in 1979 surprisingly the same year MEZQUITA released their debut. What a double bill that would have been! Two hard rocking Spanish bands with incredible vocalists and both albums have but a touch of the Flamenco thing I'm not that into. Tough to pick one over the other although MEZQUITA's is possibly proggier. Still I rate them both highly for that year. We get plenty of synths and keyboards in general although the guitarist and the vocalist steal the show here. The bass is very upfront the way I like it as well. This has been an absolute pleasure to listen to, especially those first three tracks.

"Paseando Per La Mezquita" was love at first listen and my favourite off the album. The guitar is raw as bass, drums and keyboards kick in. So good! The guitar starts to solo over top at 1 1/2 minutes. A calm 2 minutes in to a drifting psychedelic vibe as the vocals eventually join in. The guitar replaces them but not for long. The guitar is back as the vocals step aside to the end.

"En La Manana" opens with cymbals as the bass joins in then some raw guitar as drums and a full sound follow quickly, synths too. The vocals are next before a minute. Great sound here. The vocals and guitar trade off then we get some flamenco guitar and percussion before 3 minutes to end it.

"Haciati" has this relaxed guitar and percussion as synths then bass join in. Spacey synths come in over top then drums a minute in. A new sound 1 1/2 minutes in then the vocals return after 2 minutes. Love those passionate vocals. Catchy as well. The guitar starts to solo before 3 1/2 minutes as the vocals step aside. Nice. Vocals return a minute later but the guitar ends it.

"Si Supieres" opens with synths as drums and multi-vocals join in. Guitar and bass as well. This is kind of melancholic. The vocals step aside before 1 1/2 minutes as the tempo picks up briefly. Almost spoken vocals follow and the bass is upfront. The guitar starts to solo as the vocals stop. A calm with synths after 3 minutes as the vocals return. Themes are repeated.

"Busco" opens with the synths swirling as drums and some aggressive guitar join in. Nice bass here as well and the vocals join in before a minute. Some flamenco guitar is added. The guitar solos before 2 minutes as the vocals stop but they return after 2 1/2 minutes as themes are repeated. "Amiga" opens with synths along with drums in this dramatic intro. It does settle some. The tempo picks up 1 1/2 minutes in with the guitar helping out. Nice bass here as the vocals and guitar trade off.

"Se" opens with pulsating keys as outbursts of power come and go before it settles in. The guitar and bass are excellent here. Synths will come and go. Check out the bass solo after 2 1/2 minutes. Oh my! Vocals 3 minutes in with the guitar lighting it up. "Recuerdos Delayer" starts out with relaxed guitar and spacey synths before the guitar and drums kick in around a minute. Vocals after 2 minutes and they will come and go as will the guitar ripping things up. A really good closer.

Highly recommended Spanish Prog right here that rocks hard with killer vocals. My kind of music.

Latest members reviews

3 stars ProgArchives is a very valuable tool for discovering new bands. One of them is this Spanish band. This album is Medina Azahara's debut album from 1979. The band is still going strong. Spain is more a confederation of independent nations than a nation itself. I find Spain a very fascinating cou ... (read more)

Report this review (#573359) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Wednesday, November 23, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I'm so sorry , and I wish to presents my excuses for my friends (collaborators, members, prog reviewers and etc...) from P A , but, I cannot agree with the 44% who give "Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection" and so minus to 31% who gives " Essential: a masterpiece of progr ... (read more)

Report this review (#566533) | Posted by maryes | Saturday, November 12, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The name Medina Azahara comes from the old city ruins of the same name in Cordoba, Spain. The name wasn't an omen anyhow, because the band is still alive and they recently (2005) published their sixteenth(?) studio album La estación de los sueños. It's the vocalist, Manuel Martínez who has carrie ... (read more)

Report this review (#168580) | Posted by Nilman | Thursday, April 24, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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