Mezquita - Recuerdos de mi Tierra. 1979 Spain

In post-Franco Spain, regionalism - which for years had been suppressed - came back with a fury in the mid to late 70s. And progressive rock was but one of many different art forms to be affected by this passion in a positive way. Mezquita were from Corboda, right in the heart of Andalusia. It's a place I had the pleasure of spending a couple of days in while backpacking through southern Spain in 1996. It's a part of the world that is electric - alive in color, taste, and sound.

Recuerdos de mi Tierra is one of the best examples we have from this time and place. It takes the blueprint laid out by Triana, and accelerates it forward, while adding large doses of complexity. A complexity that is found in Flamenco music in general. There are speedy guitar runs, acoustic interludes, synthesizer explosions, and dramatic Arabian voices. Mezquita have perfectly captured the realization that progressive rock has a place in this mysterious world, that of southern Spain. This is a type of music that has sadly gone extinct, almost before it begun. By the 1980s, Spain was anxious to be part of a general Europe, and this too was reflected in the music. Likewise ,Mezquita's followup effort was just a mere shadow of its predecessor, an album that could have been from anywhere. But we still have Recuerdos de mi Tierra, an album that has stood the test of time well. Along with Triana's El Patio, and Medina Azahara's debut, Mezquita's album represents the third piece of the triumvirate of masterpieces of Rock Andaluz.

Personal Collection
LP: 1979 Chapa
CD: 1990 Crime (Japan)

I first heard this album via the Japanese CD, which was recommended to me by various mail order dealers at the time. There were a couple of other reissues, but they've long fallen out of print, and the album is now sadly in the hands of pirates. The surreal gatefold artwork is awesome, and as such owning it on vinyl became imperative. I purchased a copy on ebay over 15 years ago for a good amount of cash. And now it hangs proudly on my LP wall, where my favorite artwork albums can be found. There's never been an LP reissue, which is truly surprising.

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