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ALAMEDA

Symphonic Prog • Spain


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Alameda biography
This Spanish band is rooted in 1977 when four musicians met each other on the Conservatory Of Seville. They experimented with music in bands like Orquesta Union, Gong, Nuevos Tiempos and Tartessos and then decided to found their own group named Alameda. In 1979 the band was allowed to record a demo-tape in Ricardo Pachon his studio ("El Aljarafe"). Soon after Alameda went from company to company to find their luck with the demo. And they were lucky because CBS deputee Gonzalo Garcia Pelayo gave the band a contract. So Alameda got the opportunity to record their demo tape in the AudiFilm studio in Madrid with the help from Maximo Moreno, known for his work with Rock Andaluz legend Triana. In 1979, the same year that Triana released their third LP entitled "Sombra y Luz", Alameda released their eponymous debut album. Between 1979 and 1983 Alameda produced four studio albums, on their fourth entitled "Noche Andaluza" famous flamenco player Paco De Lucia joined the band on one track. The band split up in 1983 but in 1994 Alameda re-united. They released three studio-albums and one live-CD, a registration from their 20th Anniversay concert in 1999. In 2003 record company CBS released a very comprehensive 2-CD compilation from their early work between 1979 and 1983.

Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
Alameda is just another interesting Spanish progrock band that blended flamenco with progressive rock. Their sound is a bit similar to Triana but more polished.

Discography:
- Alameda (1979) - Misterioso Manantial (1980) - Aire Cálido De Abril (1981) - Noche Andaluza (1983) - Dunas (1994) - Ilusiones (1995) - Alameda (1999) - Concierto 20 Aniversario (1999) - Todas Las Grabaciones En CBS 1979-1983 (2003)

Alameda official website

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Buy ALAMEDA Music


AlamedaAlameda
Import
Sony Bmg 1994
Audio CD$23.04
$56.98 (used)
Todas Sus Grabaciones 1979-1983Todas Sus Grabaciones 1979-1983
RYQZ 2004
Audio CD$29.98
$39.89 (used)
Seasons/SpectresSeasons/Spectres
CD BABY.COM/INDYS 2011
Audio CD$5.99
$3.99 (used)
Aires De La AlamedaAires De La Alameda
Audio CD$19.99
alameda LPalameda LP
EPIC
Vinyl$5.95
Calle ArribaCalle Arriba
Fods Records 2011
Audio CD$15.99
$80.12 (used)
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ALAMEDA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ALAMEDA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.42 | 20 ratings
Alameda
1979
3.84 | 10 ratings
Misterioso Manantial
1980
2.21 | 5 ratings
Aire Cálido de Abril
1981
3.12 | 6 ratings
Noche Andaluza
1983
0.00 | 0 ratings
Dunas
1994
2.00 | 1 ratings
Ilusiones
1995
0.00 | 0 ratings
Calle arriba
2008

ALAMEDA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Concierto 20 Aniversario
1999

ALAMEDA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ALAMEDA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.95 | 2 ratings
Todas Las Grabaciones En CBS 1979-1983
2003

ALAMEDA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

ALAMEDA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Alameda by ALAMEDA album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.42 | 20 ratings

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Alameda
Alameda Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Alameda were part of the 70's Andalusian Rock movement in Spain.They came from Sevilla and were led by Marinelli brothers, keyboardists Rafael and Manuel, along with guitarist/singer Jose Roca (Jose and Rafael played formerly with Tartessos), bassist Manuel Rosa and drummer Luis Moreno.With a demo out in 1978 they searched for a contract, eventually signing with CBS and releasing their self-titled debut in 1979 (under the Epic Records name).

Their sound was no more or less than romantic Andalusian Rock with Latin Jazz/Fusion influences, based on pleasant vocal harmonies and the dual keyboard work of Marinelli brothers.The tracks are characterized by Flamenco-flavored pleasant melodies, led by the pianos and the flamenco guitars of Rosa, partially mixed with the strong moog synthesizers and supported by a tight rhythm section.There is a very calm and positive atmosphere throughout the album, lacking the intensity of TRIANA, though their sound is fairly comparable.As the album unfolds the tracks obtain an evident Fusion edge with good interplays, strong synth work and an uptempo rhythm section, filled with some nice solos.The instrumental parts are decent, well- executed and performed, but the compositions lack a real depth to say the least.

''Alameda'' belongs among the good albums of the movement, energetic, fast-paced and rhythmic Andalsusian Fusion/Rock with decent individual performances and fine vocals, despite lacking a monster track.Recommended.

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 Alameda by ALAMEDA album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.42 | 20 ratings

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Alameda
Alameda Symphonic Prog

Review by Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Alameda is a band that has to be placed into the fascinating realm of andalusian rock movement (some would call it "prog-andaluz"). Their debut is from 1979 and they follow the wake of more famous bands such as the pioneer TRIANA or the contemporary MEDINA AZAHARA. Unilkely to the said bands, their debut is closer to pop, romantic and slow for the most part, with massive use of piano (both classical and electric) and synth's flights, with hints of jazz here and there (in "Matices", for example).

There's excellent flamenco guitar here and there, as in "Ojos de Triste Llanto"; "Aires de la Alameda" is particularly noteworthy also for the sweet melody and typical morish climate (even if not too original); palmas (handclapping) are even added in some tracks as in "La Pila del Pato".

The result is very good: elegant music with low rock quotient.

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 Ilusiones by ALAMEDA album cover Studio Album, 1995
2.00 | 1 ratings

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Ilusiones
Alameda Symphonic Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

— First review of this album —
2 stars This is the second studio album released by the reformed Alameda in the 1990s. The band had at that time been inactive for more than a decade, and I’m not completely sure why they got back together. I’ve not come across any of the other 90s albums, but don’t think it would be a stretch to assume they are at least somewhat similar to this one. Like their 1981 release ‘Aire Cálido de Abril’, the band’s direction continues in a slightly more commercial vein and certainly a less progressive one than their first two well-received recordings which were more along the lines of Triana and other progressive folk Andalusian bands.

The flamenco influences are less pronounced here except with a few songs such as “Complice” and “Rosa Y Violeta”; and the arrangements include synthesized strings along with usually subtle acoustic guitar fingering that is always exquisite (something that barely needs stating when it comes to Spanish music in general). As with their earlier music, vocals play a key role, and guitarist José Roca is prominent and at the front of virtually every track here with his singing, if not with guitar work. This is true even on songs such as “La Guitarra” where you would think the instrument would take center stage.

I can’t say there are any standout tracks anywhere on the album; like their 1981 release all the songs here are mellow, easygoing and emotive. At times the folk influences are at the forefront (“Tu Mano”, “Medianoche”, “Campanas De Mediodia”). Elsewhere the band leans fairly strongly in a popular music direction, particularly on the opening “Luna” and the lively “Rosa Y Violeta”. It is only at the very end of the record that the group seems to decide to slow down and hearken back to their early days as an adventurous progressive band; the closing “Aires de la Alameda” and “Amanecer en el Puerto” are full of keyboards flights of fancy, intricate acoustic guitar and majestic synthesized orchestral sounds (or at least some strings), as well as energetic rhythms and the occasional electric guitar riff. These are easily the two more memorable tracks on the album.

I wrote a while back of the band’s ‘Aire Cálido de Abril’ album that I wasn’t sure it even qualified as progressive music. For the most part the same is true of this record. The last two songs are the redeeming qualities, and while none of these tracks are necessarily bad, neither are any of them among the band’s finest work. This isn’t a particularly hard CD to find, so for progressive folk and especially Andalusia fans it is probably worth seeking out; but for most prog folk fans there isn’t much here to hold their attention. I considered rating this at three stars, but considering the statement above I think two is the right amount. Recommended to fans of the band and to fans of modern Spanish folk, but not really to anyone else.

peace

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 Noche Andaluza by ALAMEDA album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.12 | 6 ratings

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Noche Andaluza
Alameda Symphonic Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Noche Andaluza was the last Alameda album for their first era. This one, although in many ways follows in the lightweight Flamenco-based art-rock fixed on the preceding album Aire Cálido de Abril, it also brings back some of the symphonic colorfulness that had made the best of the band's first two albums (especially, the namesake debut release). The namesake song is actually an old instrumental piece that has been a full classic for generations of Andalusian men and women; here, Alameda gave it a stylish treatment focused on jazz-oriented Flamenco rock and lyrics. The final result is a moving refurbishment of a compellingly beautiful theme. The following two songs highlight the old and new Alameda successively: 'Con Música y Aroma' is a mid tempo Flamenco rumba with a predominant role for the synth solos and orchestrations, as well as some tasteful use of Latin percussions at unison with the drum kit. 'Días de Amor' is a soft rock tune stated on a pasodoble tempo (there are a couple of tracks like this in the Aire Cálido album). 'Por los Espacios del Tiempo' brings back part of the spirit of the jazzier songs from Alameda: perhaps a longer duration would have allowed the track to breathe properly and exploit its groove more convincingly. Anyway, its artistic goal is petnetnly more ambitious than those of the preceding two songs. The pairing of 'Umbría' and 'Bajo la Sombra y el Sueño' has to be the album's highlight. 'Umbría' is a brief Spanish guitar solo that floats concisely over an orchestral background, serving as a prelude to the magnificent architecture of 'Bajo la Sombra y el Sueño'. This track features the elaboration of dual keyboards, Roca's enchanting singing and a solid rhythmic basis that shows a revealing tightness without showing off. The sad thing regarding the album in general is that the aforeaid paired tracks become more impressive because the following two really aren't: 'Desnudos' is a pop-rock tune with slight jazzy tones, while '¿Qué Queda Después de Amar?' sticks to the pop-rock thing. The melodic motifs are not special, they can even be trivial and somewhat uninspired. The closer is a delightful introspective ballad that partially serves the day, providing a dignified farewell to a a band tha twas a very interesting exponent of the Andalusian wave of prog rock during the late 70s and early 80s. Great Noche Andaluza is not, but it is good enough to become a nice item in any good prog collection.

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 Aire Cálido de Abril by ALAMEDA album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.21 | 5 ratings

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Aire Cálido de Abril
Alameda Symphonic Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

2 stars I’m not sure these guys really qualify as progressive folk. At least this album doesn’t as far as my ears are concerned. I’d like to get my hands on one of their first two albums sometime to make a comparison, because I’ve read good things about them. But this third release from the band reflects very heavily the age in which it was released; namely, the early eighties. The fact is I found this among a stack of my brother-in-law’s albums which included the late Rocío Dúrcal (and Juan Gabriel of course), Enrique Guzmán, Vikki Carr, and a bunch of Baja California mariachi bands I’ve never heard of. So I expected something at least mildly commercial, probably ethnically dated and conservative, and folkish.

Well, partially true it turns out. Since these guys are Spanish the stylistic influences run closer to flamenco than mariachi, and they aren’t anywhere near as commercial or dated as Ms. Dúrcal and her light-loafered sidekick. Don’t get me wrong by the way – I loved Rocío Dúrcal’s music and was listening to one of her Juan Gabriel collaborations when I met my future wife. But that’s not what I look for in my prog.

And that’s pretty much where the problems come in. These guys have a lot of the right trappings: twin keyboards, highly flourished Latin percussion, a great and emotive vocal presence in José Roca, and some excellent (although underemphasized) brass and string arrangements. But the downside is that the music itself (and most of the lyrics) are steeped in gaudy eighties shtick, beginning somewhere in the middle of the third track and running through the end of the album. The simple rhythms are obviously intended to make the music danceable, and the keyboarding Marinelli brothers have an annoying tendency to lay down a short keyboard or piano sequence and then repeat it ad nauseum rather than experimenting with more complex variations. Occasionally an interesting riff makes its way into the equation, but for the most part this is a rather pedestrian attempt at commercially palatable music that has not aged well at all these past twenty-seven years.

There are a few exceptions, and one is the opening title track. The piano, string arrangements and soft percussion are a very promising lead-in to the album. And like I said José Roca has a very solid and emotional voice that is perfect for flamenco-inspired folk music. This one still ends up sounding a bit in the style of Ms. Carr’s Spanish efforts of the seventies, but the instrumentals save it in the end. “Puente Azul” moves a bit closer to lounge-act territory, but still the string arrangements and keyboards are solid.

But somewhere in the middle of “Santa Clara” the band takes a great keyboard, string and guitar instrumental and morphs it into some sort of almost calypso dance number in a very abrupt and unflattering way. The awkward and poorly mixed fadeout ending completes the destruction of what could have been a solid track.

The band partially redeems themselves with another flamenco and piano composition on “Cuando llegue la Aurora”, and the instrumental “El Portil “, while heavily electronic, is an interesting flight of fantasy. “Sangre Caliente” is unexceptional but at least skirts the borders of folk, albeit in a rather cheesy eighties fashion. The vocals particularly pass the line of emotional and become trite by the end.

But all is lost with the one-two dance beat and keyboard finger exercises of “Zalima” and the very similar “Tierra del Sur”, and by the time the closing poppy show tune-like “Urbana Princesa en Flor” comes around I’m beginning to tire of this album.

This isn’t a bad album, but it also isn’t what I would have expected considering what great praise I’ve seen heaped on these guys in other reviews I’ve read, mostly of their first two albums. I can’t speak for those since I’ve not heard them, but as a representative of the band I can only hope this is not their finest work. Almost three stars for the three solid tracks on the front side of the album, but I’m going to go with two stars as a prog folk work and hope that I get a chance to hear better music from their other albums some day.

peace

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 Misterioso Manantial  by ALAMEDA album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.84 | 10 ratings

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Misterioso Manantial
Alameda Symphonic Prog

Review by playitstrange

4 stars This album sits firmly in the 'laidback' category. It all flows by smoothly, yet isn't without intriguing harmonic/melodic twists and turns; they're just done in a subtle manner. Admittedly a tad on the commercial side when put up against the cream of, say, Triana, and the vocals can sound overblown to those unaccustomed to the style, but for all that, full of memorable, stately themes. Maybe I'm a sucker for twin-keyboard lineups and full- blooded production, but the surefooted confidence with which Alameda deliver their fine playing and compositional clout without always needing to grab the listener by the proverbials and demand undivided attention is not easily dismissed.

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 Todas Las Grabaciones En CBS 1979-1983 by ALAMEDA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2003
3.95 | 2 ratings

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Todas Las Grabaciones En CBS 1979-1983
Alameda Symphonic Prog

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Here is a 2-CD by Spanish progrock band Alameda featuring all the tracks from their four studio-albums, released between 1979 and 1983. If you are up to Spanish progressive rock, don't miss this excellent compilation, what an exciting encounter between progressive rock and flamenco, the ethnic music from Andalusia (the southern part of Spain). The 32 elaborate compositions sound very pleasant, melodic, harmonic and varied, from romantic and dreamy to bombastic symphonic rock or swinging jazzrock. The Spanish vocals are outstanding: powerful, emotional and that typical flamenco undertone (without the usual wailing experssion), this man gives many tracks an extra dimension! Alameda plays very professional: a splendid, very fluent rhythm- section, tasteful keyboards (from soaring strings to swinging piano and sensational synthesizer flights) and often exciting guitarwork, both electric as flamenco (with contributions from legends Tomatito and Paco De Lucia).If you want to discover the Spanish prog or you like Triana, Cai or Azahar, this comprehensive two set is yours!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!



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 Alameda by ALAMEDA album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.42 | 20 ratings

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Alameda
Alameda Symphonic Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Formed by five sessions musicians (a couple of them, recurrent collaborators for Triana, while keyboardsman Rafael Marinelli assisted Guadalquivir on piano duties), Alameda turned out to be one of the most refined cases of symphonic prog with a strong Flamenco essence. Their own country's musical press hurried at pointing them as a Triana-clone band, but the fact is that the similarities are only partial. Their refinement didn't get them as far as to equal that amazing magic that Mezquita, Cai and Imán provided to the listener through their astonishing albums, that's true; yet, Alameda's music remains a consistent exposure of Flamenco-tinged romanticism and texturial elegance, all of it seasoned with Latin-jazz inspired flavours every now and then. The fact that the two Marinelli brothers were in charge of keyboards (grand and electric pianos, synthesizers and some clavinet) makes the repertoire enhance its melodic aspect, as well as retain an unmistakable sense of exquisiteness. That becomes clear from the opening track: 'Aires de la Alameda' is a flow of pure musical magic focused on the orchestrations, harmonic leads and layers created on the dual keyboards' input. It's a pity that the fade-out comes too soon: its 4:20 duration feels really too short, especially when you come to realize that guitarist-lead singer José Roca has the most beautiful voice of Flamenco-based prog. It's really true that a well performed and genuinely emotional singing makes the mastery of language a trivial issue: you don't need to speak Spanish to feel touched by the song's structural emotion. The same goes for the album's summit track, 'Amanecer en el Puerto'. This is perhaps the band's most emblematic song in their whole career. Starting with a sonic portrait of a deck (including sound effects of water flowing and seagulls softly screaming) in a subtly mysterious way, the mood changes for the main section, a beautiful celebration for a new era (perhaps the advent of democracy in Spain? I don't know). The continuing piano washes perfectly complement the synthesizers' harmonies and leads, while the rhythm section sustains the overall sound with accurate precision. The most intense side of Alameda is shown in those numbers instilled with obvious Latin-jazz references: those are 'Hacia el Alba', 'Matices' (a great closure) and the instrumental 'A La Veradel 'Jueves'' (featuring "Manglis" from Guadalquivir as a guest lead guitarist). It seems as if the romantic side of Roca's musical ideas were as strong as to lead the band through the path of melancholy, so the adequate counterpart had to come from a more essentially joyful musical source - and joy is what Latin-jazz is mainly al about. These aforementioned tracks are the ones in which the musician's technical abilities become more obvious, since the ambience is set to demand a more thorough use of colorfulness in the instrumentation. There is another instrumental in this album: track 2 'La Pila del Patio' is sheer Flamenco-fusion (hand clapping included), something that might have appeared in any Guadalquivir album with a different instrumentation. Track 3 is really moving, and the only song based on a Flamenco guitar duet [leads played by guest Enrique Melchor], with a subdued keyboard role. The lyrics, passionately and hauntingly sung by Roca, portray an overwhelming oath of loving care and devotion. This is the closest that Alameda gets to traditional standardized Flamenco: a breeze of simplicity among a forest of tastefully adorned stylization. In conclusion: Alameda's debut album, while not genius, is well structured, full of attractive melodic ideas and skillful performances. [I dedicate this review to the memory of Manuel Marinelli].

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