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MEDINA AZAHARA

Symphonic Prog • Spain


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Medina Azahara picture
Medina Azahara biography
Founded in Córdoba, Andalucía, Spain in 1979

This popular Spanish band from Cordoba was founded in the late Seventies. In 79 MEDINA AZAHARA released their debut-album "Paseando Por La Mezquita" (aka "Medina Azahara") and they are still going strong because in 2003 MEDINA AZAHARA produced their 15th album entitled "Aixa"! During their "artistic heyday" the band featured Manuel Martinez (vocals), Pablo Rabadan (keyboards), Randy Lopez (bass), 'Paco' Ventura (guitar) and Manuel Reyes (drums).

The album "Paseando Por La Mezquita" contains the exciting Andalusian rock and earned a double-platinum status. On the album ".. En Al-Hakim" ('89) there's a guest appearance by the highly acclaimed new flamenco guitar hero VICENTE AMIGO on three songs. These are very exciting, especially the flamenco/synthesizer duel and a bluesy climate with mouth organ and sensitive flamenco guitar runs, very unique. The live 2-LP (now on 1-CD) "En Directo" (1990) contains all their best songs, the bands plays very inspired (powerful, harder-edged guitarwork and MARK KELLY-like synthesizer flights) and the atmosphere is great.

: :: Erik Neuteboom, The NETHERLANDS : : :
Fan & official Prog Archives collaborator

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Paseando Por La MezquitaPaseando Por La Mezquita
Sony 1995
$10.23
$13.84 (used)
Se Abre La PuertaSe Abre La Puerta
Pias 2007
$19.99
$5.25 (used)
25 Anos25 Anos
Box set
Imports 2006
$52.77
TangerTanger
Avispa Spain 1999
$18.40
$20.37 (used)
25 Anos by Medina Azahara25 Anos by Medina Azahara
Imports
$90.72
Estacion De Los Suenos by Medina AzaharaEstacion De Los Suenos by Medina Azahara
Locomotive
$154.30
Arabe by Medina Azahara (1995-04-27)Arabe by Medina Azahara (1995-04-27)
Avispa
$68.12
$61.68 (used)
Sin Tiempo [Digipack] by Medina Azahara (2006-10-23)Sin Tiempo [Digipack] by Medina Azahara (2006-10-23)
Import
$62.46
$56.19 (used)
En Directo by Medina Azahara (1990-12-01)En Directo by Medina Azahara (1990-12-01)
Avispa
$52.72 (used)
Aniversario by Medina Azahara (2000-06-15)Aniversario by Medina Azahara (2000-06-15)
Avispa
$25.77
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MEDINA AZAHARA discography


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

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

3.73 | 42 ratings
Medina Azahara [Aka: Paseando Por La Mezquita]
1979
2.99 | 14 ratings
La Esquina Del Viento
1981
2.32 | 10 ratings
Andalucia
1982
1.38 | 7 ratings
Caravana Española
1986
3.52 | 16 ratings
...En Al-Hakim
1989
2.50 | 11 ratings
Sin Tiempo
1992
2.29 | 10 ratings
Dónde Está La Luz
1993
2.24 | 8 ratings
Árabe
1995
1.63 | 5 ratings
Tánger
1998
3.17 | 4 ratings
XX
2000
1.69 | 7 ratings
Tierra De Libertad
2001
2.24 | 7 ratings
Aixa
2003
2.44 | 6 ratings
La Estación De Los Sueños
2005
4.04 | 9 ratings
Se Abre La Puerta
2007
4.14 | 7 ratings
Origen Y Leyenda
2009
4.00 | 11 ratings
La Memoria Perdida
2012
4.13 | 8 ratings
Las Puertas Del Cielo
2014
3.73 | 11 ratings
Paraiso Prohibido
2016
0.00 | 0 ratings
Trece Rosas
2018

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

3.96 | 7 ratings
En Vivo
1990
4.00 | 4 ratings
A Toda Esa Gente
1996
4.33 | 3 ratings
En Escena... (CD + DVD)
2008

MEDINA AZAHARA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.10 | 2 ratings
En Gira (Live 2000)
2003
3.10 | 2 ratings
En Concierto
2004

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

4.50 | 2 ratings
Legend in Andalucia
1994
4.33 | 3 ratings
La Esquina Del Viento / Andalucia
1995
4.67 | 3 ratings
Sus Tres Albumes en CBS
1998
3.35 | 7 ratings
Baladas
1999
4.00 | 2 ratings
Version Original
2002
4.75 | 4 ratings
25 Años
2006
4.33 | 7 ratings
30 Años y la Historia Continúa (3CD + DVD)
2011
5.00 | 3 ratings
Baladas II
2014
3.17 | 3 ratings
16
2017

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

3.18 | 3 ratings
En Navidad
1995

MEDINA AZAHARA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Se Abre La Puerta by MEDINA AZAHARA album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.04 | 9 ratings

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Se Abre La Puerta
Medina Azahara Symphonic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars ' ROCK ANDALUZ EXTRAVAGANZA'

As a huge fan of 'the art of the flamenco' and progressive rock I was blown away when I heard Triana for the first time, at the home of Dutch 'progrock guru' Peter van der Laan, in the late Seventies. He was known for his huge knowledge about lesser known and unknown foreign prog. When he heard about my passion for flamenco he invited me to listen to a new LP that he had just received from Spain, Sombra Y Luz from Triana. He also showed me a promo package from Triana, with stickers, posters, info, wow. And lots of more WOW while listening to Triana, I was complety blown away: a combination of 'the art of the flamenco' and vintage keyboards, electric guitars, topped with passionate native vocals. I couldn't believe my ears, this was the music I was waiting for since I started to love flamenco and prog, when I was around 15 years old! To make a long story short, I became a huge fan of Triana and the Rock Andaluz, the unique, distinctive and widespread movement that blend flamenco and prog. After Triana the most known and popular band is Medina Azahara, their exciting debut album is from 1979 and they still make Rock Andaluz. During concerts Medina Azahara already played some Triana covers and on this CD compilation you can enjoy Medina Azahara performing seven Triana covers, along one Cai cover and three own compositions.

To me Medina Azahara sounds as a Heavy Prog version of the more symphonic prog of Triana (from the first 3 albums, later they sounded more commercial) featuring a powerful and tight rhythm- section, heavy guitar work and an excellent singer (with the typical passion and wailing undertone from the flamenco singers) The seven Triana covers are played with huge respect and passion, and many strong musical ideas.

Warm flamenco guitar, heavy guitar riffs, bombastic organ and a flashy synthesizer solo in Abre La Puerta.

Tender piano and sensitive electric guitar in Una Noche De Amor.

Great melancholical vocals, wonderful keyboard layers and howling guitar in Hijos Del Agobio.

A very compelling atmosphere in Dialogo.

Paco De Lucia inspired flamenco guitar, lush organ and biting electric guitar in Luminosa Manana.

A jazzy piano intro and powerful Hammond organ waves in Tu Frialdad.

And lots of surprising musical ideas in El Lago: from roaring Hammond organ and 'slap bass' to even rap singing (a new category, Rap Andaluz?).

The version of Cai their composition Amanecer En El Puerto sounds dynamic with beautiful vocals and the three Medina Azahara tracks Hacia Ti (dynamic ballad), Paseando Por La Mezquita (the 'Rock Andaluz anthem', blending perfectly flamenco and hardrock) and El Soldado (swirling Hammond organ solo) showcase their pleasant, melodic and harder-edged Prog Andaluz sound.

If you want to discover the unique and fascinating world of the Rock Andaluz, this CD is an excellent starter!

 Medina Azahara [Aka: Paseando Por La Mezquita] by MEDINA AZAHARA album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.73 | 42 ratings

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Medina Azahara [Aka: Paseando Por La Mezquita]
Medina Azahara Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

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.

 16 by MEDINA AZAHARA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2017
3.17 | 3 ratings

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16
Medina Azahara Symphonic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars "FIRST REVIEW OF THIS ALBUM"

Medina Azahara is a very popular and interesting Spanish rock band that exists for almost 40 years: they were founded in 1979 and this spring 2018 Medina Azahara will give a serie of concerts in Spain (from Cordoba to Madrid). The only founding member in the recent line-up is the tall singer Manuel Marti­nez, who looks like a cross between David Byron and a Viking. But guitarist Francisco 'Paco' Ventura is another Medina Azahara veteran, he plays in the band for almost three decades (since 1989). Back to the late Seventies, singer Manuel Martinez and four other musicians wanted to make rock music, inspired by Deep Purple, Pink Floyd and Uriah Heep . The young band embraced the Rock Andaluz movement (from Andalusia in Southern Spain, blending the distinctive ethnic flamenco and rock music), speerheaded by legendary Triana. This was an important influence on their eponymous debut album from 1979. However, from their second album La Esquina Del Viento (1980) Medina Azahara turned into more harder-edged and catchy melodic rock with fiery guitar, functional keyboards and emotional Spanish vocals as their trademark. But due to the passionate Spanish vocals (with flamenco hints) and the colouring with Morish accents by the guitar and keyboards, their music kept nice Rock Andaluz undertones. To emphasize Medina Azahara their prog tendencies, the band also collaborated with: new flamenco guitar hero Vicente Amigo (.. en Al- Hakim, 1989), African musicians (Tanger, 1998), the Cordoba Symphony Orchestra (Aixa, 2003) and the Sevillian band Fondo Flamenco (La Memoria Perdida, 2012).

Of course this comprehensive compilation (although I miss the 'stage favorites' Busca and Otono) contains their most famous track Paseando Por La Mezquita. This has become the 'Rock Andaluz anthem': a known and propulsive flamenco chord is played with a powerful electric guitar, accompanied by catchy synthesizer flights featuring a strong Morish flavour and topped with passionate Spanish vocals, very exciting! Another 'must' is the inclusion of a Triana song (their strongest influence, especially on the first album), here we can enjoy a great rendition of Abre La Puerta: intense flamenco guitar, heavy guitar riffs, sumptuous organ and a sparkling synthesizer solo, what a wonderful tribute. The songs Palabras De Libertad, Necesito Respirar, Tierra De Libertad and Velocidad epitomize Medina Azahara their harder-edged and catchy up-tempo rock. To my delight this compilation also contains two tracks with flamenco guitarist Vicente Amigo from the album ... En El-Hakim: Al Hakim... Otro Lugar (a Morish climate, expressive Spanish vocals and Mark Kelly-like synthesizer flights) and the compelling Desde Corrdoba (captivating interplay between flamenco - and electric guitar). Other interesting compositions are Cordoba (with the Cordoba Symphonic Orchestra, along moving electric guitar runs) and Danza Al Viento (Medina Azahara rock mixed with African percussion), both showcase the adventurous side from Medina Azahara.

If you like harder-edged melodic rock with prog tendencies (including the Rock Andaluz sound) and passionate Spanish vocals, this compilation is a way to discover the special Medina Azahara sound.

My rating: 3,5 star.

 La Esquina Del Viento by MEDINA AZAHARA album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.99 | 14 ratings

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La Esquina Del Viento
Medina Azahara Symphonic Prog

Review by maryes

2 stars 2,5 stars !!! The second album from Spanish prog band MEDINA AZAHARA ""La Esquina del Viento", in my humble opinion is just a little bit better than their first sel-titled abum, I say this only due to the fact of this one shows a more variety in terms of rhythm among their eight tracks. For instance I can cite the beat difference between the first track "El rincón de mi mente" and the second track "Sueños de locura" : the first is more adequately framed in symphonic prog (at least in their overture)... while the second is more close from a hard or heavy prog. But in meantime this album "recalls" some weak points already verified in their first realease, in all tracks the rhythm is repetitive with a very few moments of musical "landscapes" variations, a fact which makes the audition very monotonous.For this considerations my rate is 2 stars !!!
 Andalucia by MEDINA AZAHARA album cover Studio Album, 1982
2.32 | 10 ratings

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Andalucia
Medina Azahara Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars The third album by this Spanish band. Their first album was really good. Their second album not that great and the slide to the bottom of the sea is completed on this album.

Medina Azahara has always fused rock, pop, prog rock and folk music into one musical expression. On this album, prog rock aka Genesis has been dropped altogether. What remains is a mix of commercial pop rock and folk music. The type of music that makes the dance floors in the rural areas fill up with more or less sober men and women. Every country has scenes like this and Medina Azahara has made a stab at this scene with this album.

The music here is not particular interesting. The rhythm section is laying down a four by four pattern and never deviates from that. Playing drums and bass on this album is as interesting as watching paint dry. Not that the guitarist have a much better job either. The vocalist is laying down his soul ikn the vocals and I do not think he sings about splitting atoms and the latest innovations in how to predict weather forecasts. My guess is that the vocals is about love in all it's variations. Love hurts, love is complicated, love makes you happy. These subjects which no members of ProgArchives even have the faintest ideas about (sorry guys, but Wikipedia is down today).

The quality of the music is not too shabby. Well, it is by no means good. But this album is not a turkey, although it makes the same kind of noises. It is Spanish pop/rock, no less and no more. A very weak two pointer it is.

2 stars (barely)

 La Esquina Del Viento by MEDINA AZAHARA album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.99 | 14 ratings

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La Esquina Del Viento
Medina Azahara Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars The second album from this Andalucian symph prog combo.

The band and music is unmistaken Spanish with Spanish vocals and Spanish folk rock sound. The music is a blend of Genesis aka Foxtrot and RPI bands like Banco and Le Orme. I would label Spanish symph prog as RPI's brother. No wonder in fact. Both countries are in the deep south Europe and in the Mediterranean Ocean area. Both are also bordering to the Arabian Africa spheres.

Medina Azahara is combining their Genesis like keyboards with flamenco and other folk rock from this region. The guitars are mostly heavy. The music is proper rock with some pop influences. The music is much more crossover rock than symphonic prog.

Y Amanece En La Ciudad and the good keyboards here is the best song on an album which ticks over nicely with some good music. Their vintage keyboards driven sound is really good too. This is a good album and a good example on what Spanish symphonic prog anno the 1970s sounds like.

3 stars

 Medina Azahara [Aka: Paseando Por La Mezquita] by MEDINA AZAHARA album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.73 | 42 ratings

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Medina Azahara [Aka: Paseando Por La Mezquita]
Medina Azahara Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

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 country seen from afar and I have a lot of time for Spain. This band is from Cordoba in Andalusia, a region and nation in the far south of Spain. Their music is called Andalusian Rock. Exciting stuff, in other words.

And the music here is indeed very special and indeed a subgenre within the symphonic prog genre. Genesis, ELP and Yes copies, this is not. But still well within the symph prog genre. The music is both melodic and rhythmic with a very large slab of flamenco and folk rock. The opening song is much more a hard rocker than the rest of the album so don't think this is a hard rocking album. The music on the rest of the album is very melodic and keyboards driven with Spanish vocals on the top. This interplay between hard rocking guitars, melodic keyboards and superb vocals is something we also find in Rock Progressivo Italiano. Hence, those who likes Rock Progressivo Italiano will also like this album and this band.

The overall quality is very good, bordering to great. Hacia Tí with it's moog is a great song and closest to what I feel is missing on this album; a real killer track. But this is indeed a very good debut album which has made me order some more albums from this band.

3.75 stars

 Medina Azahara [Aka: Paseando Por La Mezquita] by MEDINA AZAHARA album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.73 | 42 ratings

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Medina Azahara [Aka: Paseando Por La Mezquita]
Medina Azahara Symphonic Prog

Review by maryes

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 progressive rock music". After some careful auditions, my conclusion about MEDINA AZAHARA (self-titled) still the same: In spite of present some very beautiful guitar and keyboards passages, the disk suffer of a "deathly sin" - a very monotonous rhythmic section and this fact make one track very similar to others. If I want be coherent with one of my parameters of "What make a music be really progressive ?", which is the evolution of harmony, melody and rhythm, I think that last term from my "equation" are renegade at this work. For the reason above-mentioned, my rate is only 2 stars !!!
 Se Abre La Puerta by MEDINA AZAHARA album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.04 | 9 ratings

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Se Abre La Puerta
Medina Azahara Symphonic Prog

Review by Thierry

4 stars Medina Azahara are the main heir to the flamenco rock movement created in the seventies by bands such as Triana. Listen to their first eponymous album. Then the combo slowly hardened their sound, incorporating some metal guitars. But they still play a reprise of 'El lago', Triana's anthem, during gigs. Hence this brilliant idea: playing in a 'modern sauce' the main tracks of flamenco rock. You'll find many Triana's hits of course ('Abre la puerta', 'Tu frialdad', 'Hijos del agobio', 'Una noche de amor', 'Dialogo', 'Luminosa mañana'), but also songs by Alameda ('Amanecer en el puerto'), and of course from Medina Azahara's flamenco prog period. In a more metallic blend but never forgetting the flamenco roots (many guests from that movement are here). The best is for me, 'El lago', with its rap arrangements. I know some will disapprove but isn't it the very definition of prog (at least in the seventies), breaking walls between styles and creating a new music? A great way of discovering or revisiting that fabulous prog school even if some prestigious names are missing (Cai for instance).
 Sin Tiempo by MEDINA AZAHARA album cover Studio Album, 1992
2.50 | 11 ratings

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Sin Tiempo
Medina Azahara Symphonic Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

2 stars "Sin Tiempo" is one of the most representative albums of Medina Azahara, a curious band from Cordoba, Andalucia, south o Spain.

They were originally born at the end of 70's very influenced by another famous band from Andalucia, Triana. The voice of Manuel Martínez is very similar to the Jesús de la Rosa's one, and so are the oriental music influences. Maybe Medina Azahara were less flamenco, and more arabic, but similar anyway.

But Medina Azahara suffered a change in their mussical style... From the andalucian prog-rock of the beginning, they evolved to a more conventional heavy-rock, but still with the arabic touch and the curious Manuel's voice. And "Sin Tiempo" is just that, a heavy album from beginning to end, without any prog element, but with a strong spanish feeling.

The sound of the album is not spectacular, being the guitars a bit weak in my opinion... Although Paco Ventura is a very talented player. You only have to hear the fantastic solos in Solo y Sin Ti... And the songs are also ok, being Todo Tiene Su Fin and Necesito Respirar the two most famous Medina Azahara's hymns. The lyrics are cheesy and sometimes even ridiculous, but they are listenable.

So although this album is good, I can't recommended to any prog lover, because is just not prog. Just for curious heavy searchers.

Best songs: Solo y Sin Ti (a fine ballad), Todo tiene Su fin (a great version), Junto a Lucía (cool hard rock track) and Necesito Respirar (the chorus is too repetitive, but the song is good)

Conclusion: "Sin Tiempo" is very far from the Triana influenced first years of the band, so you will not find prog here... Just a curious hard rock / heavy album with some cool andalucian and arabic arrangements, and with some fine tracks too. Just for collectors.

My personal rating: ***

ProgArchives rating: **

Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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