This review of the best Spanish singer-songwriters from the 70s to today is a nostalgic trip to the past and a present vindication of all those poets of music who have made their way in an increasingly commercialized world.
Today that reggaeton and commercial genres take over the music scene, we return to songs with a message , from the sentimental and nostalgic to the vital and committed.

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1. Spanish singer-songwriters of the 70s
2. Spanish singer-songwriters of the 80s
. 3. Spanish singer-songwriters of the 90s
. 4. Current Spanish singer-songwriters. The 7 best Spanish singer-songwriters of the 70s
The Spanish song of the 70s, indebted to the pioneers of the protest song that started from the previous decade, was marked by the political message, the lyricism and the evocation of the poetic tradition of the generation from 27 (Lorca, Miguel Hernandez, Machado…). 1. Joan Manuel Serrat
To speak of the protest song is to speak of Joan Manuel Serrat (How can we forget his voice over the verses of Miguel Hernandez For freedom I bleed, I fight, I survive
), but Serrat is much more, and his talent continues to this day as one of the most successful , award-winning and international artists of Spanish song.
At the end of the 1960s he began to sing in Spanish with themes impossible to forget, among which Mediterraneo, Lucia and Esos locos bajitos stand out. Since then he has released twenty singles and another twenty-three compilations in Spanish, singing along with other myths like Sabina, flirting with Latin rhythms and inspired by poets like Machado and Alberti.
In addition he has toured and concerts all over the world. 2. Paco Ibanez
Born during the civil war, Paco Ibanez composed the most popular pieces of the protest song, most of themon the lyrics of the most famous poets of the generation of 27. Highlights Andaluces de Jaen, from a poem by Miguel Hernandez, and Words for Julia, from the verses of Jose Agustin Goytisolo.
Some, of their own accord, became a hymn of struggle and vindication , such as A gallop. Its impact on an entire left-wing generation continues to this day, as this was one of the songs that accompanied the Podemos party rallies since its inception.
One of the anecdotes that she speaks for herself about the stature of the artist is when she meets Pablo Neruda in Paris and he tells her: “Your voice is made to sing my poetry.” 3. Luis Eduardo Aute
One of the most influential singer-songwriters in Spanish music is Luis Eduardo Aute, a versatile artist (musician, composer, film director, actor, sculptor, writer, poet and painter ). Interestingly, Aute was born in Manila (Philippines) and therefore, in addition to Spanish, Catalan, English, French and Italian, he also speaks Tagalog.
In the sixties he began to write his first songs, heavily influenced by Bob Dylan, but music did not take a central place in his life until the seventies. It is in those moments when he composes his best-known song, Al alba , and his figure begins to internationalize, holding concerts in Latin America with Pablo Milanes and Silvio Rodriguez.
Al alba is a song that pays homage to the last executed by the Franco regime, since in its most successful stage Aute was linked to the protest song. 4. Victor Manuel
We would have to add “…and Ana Belen”, since this couple formed the most important duo in the music of the Spanish transition, with unforgettable songs like La Puerta de Alcala and Quiero abrazote tanto. In 1970 he established his figure as an emerging singer-songwriter with a first album that consolidated him and he began to give concerts in America.
In the seventies, Victor Manuel met the actress Ana Belen, who introduced him at a concert in La Coruna, and one of the most fruitful couples in Spanish music began. In that decade he also faced censorship and persecution, because in many of his songs his leftist ideology was perceived.
In fact, the couple had to go into exile in Mexico due to problems with the Francoist authorities. In her long career, she has published dozens of singles and compilations. 5. Jose Luis Perales
But the seventies, although politically turbulent, gave room and space for light music. A whole generation fell in love and cried with the songs of Jose Luis Perales, a singer-songwriter of indisputable success, very popular also in Latin America .
Without going any further, one of the benchmarks of Latin music, Marc Anthony, has always claimed to be deeply inspired by Perales’s songs, and he came to cover the mythical song with great success. And how is he?
He continues to be the most covered Hispanic singer -songwriter .
Perales’ songs speak of love and loss, often with a melancholic and sad tone, although the melodies are always lively and catchy. He also includes in his themes issues such as peace and freedom. 6. Jose Antonio Labordeta
Some know him as the singer-activist who raised his voice in hard times , others as the folksy politician who for decades defended the values ​​of the left in democracy in parliament, and others as the media backpacker who, because of his naturalness got into the hearts of a country discovering the unknown corners of Spain.
When he died, the figure of Jose Antonio Labordeta had become a popular myth that gathered thousands of people in the Plaza de San Felipe to sing in unison that Song of Liberty that he used to sing holding the guitar with a red handkerchief around his neck : “ There will be a day when we all look up and see a land that gives freedom.”
Labordeta was also a great Aragonese, and his love for the land was reflected in many of his songs. 7. Luis Pastor
Son of a humble neighborhood in Vallecas, Luis Pastor discovered the songs of Paco Ibanez and poetry as a teenager, and his talent for music led him to compose the first songs. His political tone made him one of the fashionable singersin leftist circles, and in the seventies he began a prolific and conflictive career.
In fact, his dizzying success with albums like Felicidad and Vallecas led him to retire in 1979, according to him because he had frustratingly discovered that he had become more of an agitator than a musician.
However he came back, and he developed a disparate career with successes and failures, but his name is still among the most respected of those times. The 6 best Spanish singer-songwriters of the 80s
The Madrid movement marked a trend in the 80s where Spanish society abruptly metabolized the political changes of the transition. That impact on music: political commitment gave way to individual rebellion and counterculture.
They are years of sex, drugs and rock & roll, of singer-songwriters whose art goes beyond, just like their life experiences, the limits of the forbidden. 8. Antonio Vega
In fact, the 80s were a decade more of groups than of singer-songwriters, and from one of the mythical bands, Nacha Pop, emerged the most authentic personality of the Spanish song of the end of the century, Antonio Vega: a total artist and a damn singer-songwriter.
In no other singer-songwriter does the tragedy of life fit so naturally into his art. When he died, in 2009, of lung cancer, many remembered him as the young man with the broken voice, eternally depressed ., whose existence was a cocktail of drugs, alcohol and melancholy, and whose sensitivity only found a gap through which to filter: music.
Yesterday’s Girl, Fight of Giants, and My Recreation Site continue to strike the heart of that generation with their poetic crudeness. 9. Luz Casal
Born in a small town in inland Galicia, Luz Casal transmits with her voice that same melancholy that combines depth and mist, nostalgia and vitality . Throughout a long musical career, she has carved out a place for herself as one of the most powerful female singer-songwriters on the Spanish song scene.
Although she began her musical career in the 1980s, her success was progressive, and she did not start to break out until the 1990s .. It was then that songs like Loca and No me importa nada made her one of the most captivating voices of the nineties, relaunching her career, too, on an international level.
Luz Casal has also become an example of the fight against cancer: in 2007 and 10. Miguel Rios
He is considered one of the pioneers of Spanish rock and, without a doubt, a central figure in author music. His career is long and successful, since he reached popularity in the seventies, until his best-selling album (Rock and Rios, 1982) and his dazzling growth in the 90s in Spain and Latin America.
These last two decades have served to consolidate his successes and receive praise and recognition for his figure .. Of his successes we remember, with special care, El hymn of joy and Welcome (song, the latter, with which he used to open the concerts).
The maestro is still active and reinventing himself, as he demonstrated this summer by starting a tour at the Teatro Real in Madrid adapting his songs to symphonic rock. It will be because of that old rockers never die. 11. Antonio Flores
Another life whose tragedy is intimately linked to the sensitivity of his art is that of Antonio Flores, descendant of a saga of artists led by the empress Lola Flores and the patriarch “El Pescailla”, and composer of songs such as No doubt and Seven Lives. He was also known for his drug addiction.
Those who knew him describe him as a deeply troubled being whose extreme sensitivity prevented him from overcoming his mother’s death, leading him to suicide at the age of 33. His pop-rock with hints of a singer-songwriter left for history songs that we continue to sing, and that are an expression of his lyrical talent and his spiritual height . 12. Javier Krahe
Javier Krahe is one of those Spanish singer-songwriters who makes the journey from poetry to music, and whose artistic personality is based more on his lyrics than on his melodies. Listening to a Krahe song is listening to a story told with a guitar background .
But his ingenuity and his talent for irony and humor made him famous in the bars of Madrid,inspiring a whole generation of singing poets that would explode in the 90s and whose main exponent was Joaquin Sabina. Outside of a sybaritic elite, Krahe has been forgotten by the general public, but we can remember him in songs like Un crude rumor.
Heir even to the times of the protest, he did not reject criticism either: in 1986, in a concert with Joaquin Sabina on Spanish Television, they censored a song that caricatured the PSOE . 13. Loquillo
Although Loquillo’s career spans the 1990s and up to the present day, it is in the sordid environments of the Spanish suburbs of the 1980s that he forged his image as a tough and indomitable rocker : “The three F’s, ugly, strong and formal.
His almost two meters in height, his corpulence and his toupe offered a seasoned appearance to a young man who, however, spoke of failure and heartbreak, revealing a sensitive soul. In turn, his songs were a manifesto in defense of the values ​​of rock and roll and the purity of music and poetry.
Loquillo continues to publish albums and songs, but he will always remain as that rebellious boy who cried, aboard a lonely cadillac , with a bottle of gin in his hands.

  • More from the 80s: The 30 best songs of the 80s (in English and Spanish).

The 9 best Spanish singer-songwriters of the 90s
The border between the 80s and the 90s is much more difficult to mark: that decade consolidated many young singer-songwriters who had started their careers in the previous years, most of them in bars and rehearsal venues. Meanwhile, the musical genre is being renewed and the pop airs leave behind the spirit of the protest song and the scene. 14. Joaquin Sabina
Probably the most prolific, popular and authentic singer-songwriter in the history of Spain, because over four decades (he is still active) he has published 18 albums, in addition to compilations and direct ones, through which the most powerful songs have paraded musically and poetically. In that sense, we are surely facing the most talented singer-songwriter.
Joaquin Sabina’s universe is the shelter of the melancholic, the unsuccessful and the homeless , where heartbreak and nostalgia reach beauty in unforgettable songs such as 19 days and 500 nights, And yet, We have plenty of reasons, With you and And we struck ten. His broken voice gives him a more bohemian character.
In fact, Sabina’s life has been linked to her artistic image of him, since his flirtation with drugs and the bad life have clothed her songs with realism and purity. Political commitment and moments for controversy have not been lacking in his musical career. However, he is still the most revered and beloved singer-songwriter by the general public. 15. Alejandro Sanz
If we speak internationally, Alejandro Sanz is the most successful Spanish singer-songwriter, as evidenced by more than 25 million records sold, 20 Latin Grammys and 3 American Grammys, in addition to international tours and collaboration with the most important artists on the music scene.
He started as Alexander the Great at the end of the eighties, but he made the big leap in 1991 with romantic pop songs aimed at a female audience that literally fell in love with this attractive man from Madrid. He touched the sky in 1997 with the album Mas, which included the song Corazon partio , which is still one of the best known of Spanish music.
That album is still the best-selling in the history of SpainAlthough far from settling in, the artist has sought to explore other genres and has released a good handful of more albums. 16. Albert Pla
Albert Pla, the enfant terrible of Spanish song, is impossible to classify: actor, thinker, writer, musician and, above all, showman, free and provocative. His songs have been talking to us for decades about the dark side of life, about madness and the forbidden, raising taboos and irreverently and mercilessly sticking their finger into the wound .
The figure of him is permanently in question: Is he a madman or an anxiously lucid guy
? Or is he a provoked clown?
That is, the clown, from its most aseptic meaning, because his art accompanies him, in addition to an ironic poetic and sagacious, a strange circus combination that reflects a childish and anarchist spirit.
What happens is that Albert Pla, with 12 albums and many hours on stage in concerts and plays, must be loved as he is, with his contradictions. 17. Enrique Bunbury
Albert Pla, although histrionic and very particular, introduced a certain circus current in Spanish music that has been followed by very marked personalities such as Enrique Bunbury, who after many years of career has found the formula for success in the mixture of a music impacted by the transgressive style of the eighties and a bohemian aesthetic .
He became known as the leader of a reference group in the eighties, Heroes del Silencio, and although he maintains the rock spirit of those years, since he began his solo career in 1997 he has matured as an artist in the heat of other genres ranging from electronica to experimental music, flamenco and cabaret.
It is also difficult to limit the name of Enrique Bunbury to the field of music: he is much more than that, a myth, a seducer, an intellectual, a poet and a bohemian. 18. Ismael Serrano
The new generation of singer-songwriters of the 90s has a faithful reflection in Ismael Serrano, although he picks up more the tradition of the singer-songwriters of the seventiesthan the eccentricities of the eighties. Son of a poet, poetry is part of the universe of his songs, inspired above all by Alberti, Benedetti and Garcia Montero. The fruit of these protest song influences was the first single, which included songs like Papa, tell me again and which became a platinum record in 1997. Only a year later, he renewed his success with La memoria de los pezes. In total he has released fifteen albums, the last one just a year ago.
In addition to his poetic sensibilities, over the years he has shown a pure musical talent that has allowed him to explore many other genres, from electronica to hip-hop. 19. Manolo Garcia
Manolo Garcia is one of the most beloved Spanish singer-songwriters because, in addition to being a total artist with a proven and extensive career, he is an austere and reserved character who shuns fame.
After a long time of productive work together with Quimi Portet in the successful group “El ultimo de la fila”, he began his solo career in 1998 with the album Arena en los poetas, which sold more than 900,000 copies. His success was dizzying, though not fleeting. He vindicated himself with his second single, Never Time Is Lost, which many consider his best work .
Over the years, Manolo Garcia has established himself as a successful composer and a prolific musician who does not need fame or luxury to transmit his art. He is still active with his mix ofexperimental music and native verbiage . 20. Pedro Guerra
Pedro Guerra is an example of success when three factors are combined: talent, training and sensitivity. Fifteen albums and two compilations endorse the musical career of this Canarian who, after training in guitar at the Superior Conservatory of Music, began to develop his talent in one of the leading groups of the New Canarian Song: Taller.
Pedro Guerra’s talent was so evident that he began to count on luxury collaborations such as Joaquin Sabina, Silvio Rodriguez and Luis Eduardo Aute., and jumped across the pond. In the 90’s he began to travel to Madrid where, in full swing of the scene and in the effervescence of music bars, his solo career.
Throughout the years he will find the recognition of the public and the academy thanks to a very particular style in which the essences of Canarian music and miscegenation are perceived . 21. Rosana
In 1996 the Canarian singer and songwriter Rosana landed in the hearts of many people with a romantic but subtle song, El talisman, a success that has remained the best known of this artist. The album in which she was included, Broken Moons, sold more than 3 million copies and became the revelation phenomenon.
After the overwhelming success, Rosana remained one of the Spanish artists with the most records sold in the world, and published a dozen more albums. The image of her fresh and close to her, devoid of glamour, austere but warm of her, enveloped her romantic and optimistic songs with the added value of her sincerity.
She captured the sensitivity of her poetic soul in the book Sensitive Material. 22. Kiko Veneno
Jose Maria Lopez Sanfeliu excelled in music in the 70s with the group Veneno together with Raimundo and Rafael Amador . After a brief success, in 1982 he released his first solo album as Kiko Veneno, a name that would not abandon him as one of the best Spanish singer-songwriters. He is still active.
During the 1980s, he developed his true artistic talent within the framework of the Madrid scene, but it was in the 1990s with the signing of one of the largest Spanish record companies that he met commercial success . In those years he collaborated closely with musicians like Juan Perro and Santiago Auseron, and reached the top with the album “Echate un cantecito” (1992).
Since then he has released several albums and has established a loyal following, but has also been immersed in controversy such as his candidacy for the presidency of the SGAE. The 8 best current Spanish singer -songwriters
The heritage of all these artists have influenced, in one way or another, the new batch of singer-songwriters that todayThey emerge strongly in the music scene, defying the threat of reggaeton and trap. 23. Nacho Vegas
On an artistic level, the Spanish singer-songwriter with the highest level today is called Nacho Vegas. With a sophisticatedly embellished message through baroque and allegorical poetry he offers a seductive blend of folk and rock with which he has released seven hit albums.
His masterpiece was music boxes that are difficult to stop, published in 2003 and which includes his best song, En la sed mortal. It is, more than an album, a structured poetic conception in which philosophy and existential questions transpires. He too has displayed an intimate and introspective style with a strong autobiographical charge.
Nacho Vegas has also been politically committed to the Platform for People Affected by Mortgages and the Podemos formation. 24. El nino
de la Hipoteca Guiu Cortes is the name of the man from Barcelona who, under the pseudonym El nino de la Hipoteca, went from playing in the subway to succeeding in the world of music thanks to the songs he wrote himself and the support of the Youtube platform . With his first two albums, May you go well and My girlfriend from 2º B, a loyal and growing public was assured.
Thanks to the impulse that this medium gave him, he was able to renew his logistics and reinterpret his songs, which he published in 2016 in Operacion Guitarra Sessions. He became, overnight, one of the best-known Spanish singer-songwriters., and began to make successful tours throughout the peninsula and Latin America. 25. Pablo Alboran
He is the revelation artist of the last decade and, currently, the one who generates the most. Pablo Alboran is synonymous with work and success, talent and emotion. He broke out in 2011 with an album bearing his name and broke all records by staying on the charts for several weeks. In just a few months he dazzled the world with a performance alongside Demi Lovato at the Grammys.
Since then, the singer-songwriter from Malaga has made the public fall in love with him with romantic songs interpreted from simplicity and lyricism. In 2012 he returned to number one in saleswith his second album Tanto, and continues in the vortex with Terral in 2014. After a three-year break, he released his fourth album in 2017: Prometo.
Pablo Alboran has achieved a loyal audience, especially women, who are moved by sentimental songs like Only you, his best song. 26. Vanesa Martin
The song with a deep message and a delicately composed and meaningful melody is something expensive to see, in these times, and one of the firm defenders of it in Spain for more than a decade is called Vanesa Martin.
In 2006 and with the help of Carlos Jean, Vanesa Martin entered the music circuit with the album Agua, supported by a major record label, which warns of the talent that was already glimpsed in this young composer.With songs of great sensitivity but accessible lyrics and digestible rhythms, he won the warmth of the public and the favor of critics.
He has collaborated with leading arrows such as Alejandro Sanz, Malu, Melendi and Pablo Alboran, and his name is among the elite of author music in Spain. 27. Vega
Exiting the musical program Operacion Triunfo, Mercedes Migel Carpio has made a name for herself in the music scene as a renowned singer-songwriter under the pseudonym Vega. Her first album in 2003 was a success with more than 150,000 copies sold , and her song ¡Grita! managed to reach number one on the Top 40 list.
Since then, the musical production of this talented and ambitious artist has not stopped giving successes and projects, also beyond our borders. Without going any further, in 2006 the singer managed to found her own record label. Although her concern has led her to explore other fields, she has always moved in the comfort of pop rock. 28. Mr. Chinarro
When we say Mr. Chinarro we really mean Antonio Luque , the only permanent member of the Sevillian group who has continuously reinvented himself for twenty years. In his style, however, an indie base reminiscent of Kiko Veneno survives.
That is why the group has been changing components, except for the soul of the project, Luque,whose final product is difficult to classify . After some experimental albums, the critics applauded the maturity reached in El fuego amigo, in 2005, in which he also had the collaboration of a myth like Enrique Morente. 29. Rozalen
This young woman from Albacete, with a master’s degree in Music Therapy and experience in humanitarian organizations and work with excluded social sectors, transmits her purity of soul and her goodness in songs that, since 2013, have brought her to the forefront of the Spanish music scene . Known as Rozalen, she has already had three solo albums .
When the producers recognized in this artist her overflowing talent, she became part of important record labels and representation groups. In 2013 she fulfilled expectations:With the single 80 times it exceeded a million views on YouTube .
Her second great album was even more applauded, and the theme dedicated to people with HIV Comiendote a besos was even more visited. She demonstrated her talent as a songwriter by creating the soundtrack for the film Losing the North, and worked on a successful third album. 30. El Kanka
With an original mixture of Extremoduro and La Cabra Mecanica, this singer-songwriter from Malaga has become a musical reference in our country . He began his solo career in 2007, although it was not until 2011 that he published his first demo, More sad is stealing.
After attracting a large number of fans with a casual and approachable style, El Kanka (pseudonym of Juan Gomez Canca) has become a popular and acclaimed character, although, as is often the case with modern stars, he is more so on social media. than in the mass media .
After several albums he has managed to create his own record label and has collaborated with leading singers on the current scene such as Rozalen and Jorge Drexler.

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