Best music sung in Spanish

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spiderpig
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Best music sung in Spanish

Post by spiderpig » Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:53 am

I'm learning Spanish. Since immersion is the best way to learn, I'd like to listen to good music sung in Spanish. Would you mind recommending stuff? I know there's a few Spanih speakers here, so I'm counting on them but I'll listen to everyone's opinion. The more recommendations the better. Also, if it is no trouble for you to rank those recommendations, it'll be even better, so that I can set priorities. Oh, by the way, I know Pixies have a few songs sung in Spanish, but I also think Black's Spanish is a bit broken - what do you say about this, you Spanish speakers?

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Pierre
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Re: Best music sung in Spanish

Post by Pierre » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:02 pm

First of all, welcome to this forum! Secondly, I'm French, so my opinion is not the best, but I've been listening to Spanish-spoken music for a while already, so I'll have recommendations. I'll come back to this later today when I have time, but I may already suggest Manu Chao (first in solo, and then in the band he sang in before, Mano Negra), his lyrics are simple, and his accent is very clear. In my opinion, that's the best place to start.

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Mattceinicram
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Re: Best music sung in Spanish

Post by Mattceinicram » Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:42 pm

My favorite Spanish speaking artist is Buena Vista Social Club. Their debut self-titled album is golden.
Check out my music review blog! Matt and Music! mattandmusic.blogspot.com

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Blanco
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Re: Best music sung in Spanish

Post by Blanco » Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:44 pm

Welcome to the forum, spiderpig!
spiderpig wrote:I'm learning Spanish. Since immersion is the best way to learn, I'd like to listen to good music sung in Spanish. Would you mind recommending stuff? I know there's a few Spanih speakers here, so I'm counting on them but I'll listen to everyone's opinion. The more recommendations the better. Also, if it is no trouble for you to rank those recommendations, it'll be even better, so that I can set priorities.
Yes! I'm working in a music in spanish spreadsheet, more or less like the work done on this site, but on a smaller scale, because there are fewer sources. I'll try to post a song every day (Just like Romain does with French music), I feel that it can give more attention to each song. Although if you wish, I can send you the names of the songs that, according to my spreadsheet, occupy the first 10, 20, or 50 higher places.
spiderpig wrote:Oh, by the way, I know Pixies have a few songs sung in Spanish, but I also think Black's Spanish is a bit broken - what do you say about this, you Spanish speakers?
Yeah, the Spanish spoken by Frank Black tends to cause very curious results. Everything is mispronounced and poorly written, so their lyrics end up being a bit surreal, so I do not recommend studying the songs of the Pixies in this topic. Although hey, they are good in English!

And well, Matt and Pierre have done great recommendations. Manu Chao sings in many languages, so if you know how to distinguish which songs are in Spanish, you have no problem.

Oh, and any other questions you have, do not hesitate to ask.

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Pierre
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Re: Best music sung in Spanish

Post by Pierre » Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:12 pm

OK, I promised I would come back to this. First of all, I don't know what kind of music style you'd like to listen to, my favourite is rock, so that will be most of my recommendations.

I think if you're looking for some Spanish legends, Joan Manuel Serrat and Camarón de la Isla are the best place to begin with, since I heard of them in school. Rolling Stone Spain chose Serrat's Mediterraneo as the greatest Spanish song ever, and I think he sings his lyrics quite clearly, so it's a definitive first-listen choice. However, if Camarón, the king of flamenco, is clearly a must-listen too, the way flamenco singers sing is such that trying to decipher their lyrics is not the best way to begin, I believe. Nevertheless, you should really listen to him at one point or another (the album La leyenda del tiempo contains some of his most well-known songs, like the title song or Volando voy. If you like flamenco, the song Omega by Enrique Morente & Lagartija Nick is probably the best song I've ever listened to in the style so far.

Regarding straightforward rock music, I think the greatest Spanish-speaking rock band of all times is from Argentine, and is called Soda Stereo. I love the voice and the way of singing of their leader Gustavo Cerati, the only point that could be a drawback is the fact that most of his lyrics are surreal, and that the accent of Argentinian is slightly different from that of native Spanish people. If you choose to still go ahead and listen to them, there's a lot of places to stop. I've made a topic about them once, here:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1359

My favourite Spanish-speaking rock artists past them are Andrés Calamaro (Argentina) and Los Prisioneros (Chile). Radio Futura (Spain) are also a great band that I like. In the arena rock department, I would also recommend Los Héroes del Silencio (Spain), but I'm not a fan of them, not yet at least.

Regarding pop, I love a Spanish band called Mecano, however, I know it's not everyone's cup of tea. Their ballads, like Cruz de navajas, Hijo de la luna or Mujer contra mujer are their most well-known works.

If you're more into folk (I'm trying to cover as much genres as possible), I've mostly listened to Chilean protest folk singers, most of them are legends in Chile: Violetta Parra, Víctor Jara are the most important. I believe Chilean uses some vocabulary that is different from academic Spanish, so that's why I would still be careful.

In the hip-hop department, Tiro de Gracia and Illya Kuryaki & the Valderramas are the only ones I've listened to so far. The former authored Ser humano!!, one of the greatest hip-hop albums I've ever listened to.

As for one-hit wonders, I would recommend Jeanette's Porque te vas (pop), Extremoduro's So Payaso (hard rock), Alarma's Frio (new wave), they are the ones that come from the top of my head.

I guess Blanco shall be a better teacher than me, I would love to see his own recommendations :)

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Bruce
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Re: Best music sung in Spanish

Post by Bruce » Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:30 pm

I guess I would have to go with "La Bamba" by Ritchie Valens.

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Re: Best music sung in Spanish

Post by Blanco » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:56 pm


spiderpig
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Re: Best music sung in Spanish

Post by spiderpig » Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:11 pm

Thanks for the warm welcome! (actually, I've been using AM for a decade and I posted in the old forum a few times under several names, including this one, but I've just been lurking from time to time in the new forum until now)

I appreciate the time it took you (especially Pierre and Blanco) to write your response. I think I should have given you some more information, but it really wouldn't have changed much. I don't care about music genres, I just care about good music. As I grew, I came to enjoy many genres I dispised as an adolescent.

As for my learning, I have an unusual advantage: I speak Portuguese. So even though I'm starting to learn Spanish, I can already read simple books or a newspaper, as long as it doesn't get too advanced (so no Quixote for me ...yet). But it's harder to understand spoken Spanish if people aren't speaking slowly and I want to be able to do it (or to watch an Almodovar movie without subtitles and understand everything).

I already know a couple of your recommendations. "La Bamba" is a very famous song, so I know it. And I own "Buena Vista Social Club" (actually I even own the albums that Ibrahim Ferrer and Rubén González recorded after that). I also know Manu Chao's first two albums. But thanks anyway, that might be useful to someone reading the forum now or in the future.

I'll listen to most stuff recommended in this thread and I will be following Blanco's "Music In Spanish" thread. Thank you guys. (and to anyone that replies after this post - I'll still be keeping an eye on this)

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Bruce
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Re: Best music sung in Spanish

Post by Bruce » Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:19 am

spiderpig wrote:As for my learning, I have an unusual advantage: I speak Portuguese.
One of my best friends speaks Portugese and teaches Spanish at a local high school. He's also a soccer referee and he looks kind of Italian. When he does the schools that have Hispanic players he plays dumb like he only speaks English and when one of them curses in Spanish or says something else that he shouldn't, THEN he comes back at them in Spanish and they know that the jig is up.

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Re: Best music sung in Spanish

Post by DocBrown » Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:09 am

spiderpig wrote: And I own "Buena Vista Social Club" (actually I even own the albums that Ibrahim Ferrer and Rubén González recorded after that).
Have you listened to the "Rhythms del Mundo" series, esp. "Rhythms Del Mundo: Cuba"? While my terrible Spanish prevents me from commenting on the linguistic value, listening to familiar tracks by Coldplay, U2, Sting, etc. in Spanish with collaborations by people like Ibrahim Ferrer is great for me to tune my ear to the language.

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Blanco
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Re: Best music sung in Spanish

Post by Blanco » Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:22 am

Bruce wrote:One of my best friends speaks Portugese and teaches Spanish at a local high school. He's also a soccer referee and he looks kind of Italian. When he does the schools that have Hispanic players he plays dumb like he only speaks English and when one of them curses in Spanish or says something else that he shouldn't, THEN he comes back at them in Spanish and they know that the jig is up.
Hahaha. And how good is it in Spanish? Do you remember "Bésame mucho - El Rifle y Los de Abajo"? Ask him for that one. If nothing happens, he does not master the language.

spiderpig
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Re: Best music sung in Spanish

Post by spiderpig » Sat Dec 21, 2013 2:30 pm

Have you listened to the "Rhythms del Mundo" series, esp. "Rhythms Del Mundo: Cuba"?
Is it any good? Your description makes it sound like one of those compilations looking for profit while ignoring quality.

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Re: Best music sung in Spanish

Post by DocBrown » Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:25 am

spiderpig wrote:
Have you listened to the "Rhythms del Mundo" series, esp. "Rhythms Del Mundo: Cuba"?
Is it any good? Your description makes it sound like one of those compilations looking for profit while ignoring quality.
Had to find it, and listen to it, to answer your question. (2006)

Now that I've relistened, no it's not very good, not very Spanish, and why did I recommend it anyway? But as a non-Spanish speaker, it does what I originally said, it allows me to follow the familiar songs in Spanish, which then enables me to follow unfamiliar songs in Spanish, if you know what I mean. I always find a different language requires a brain reset.

I speak no Portugese, but I like fado, just for the sounds and the drama. Kind of like Italian opera, all sound and drama, very little comprehension.

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Re: Best music sung in Spanish

Post by spiderpig » Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:13 am

There are actually excellent lyrics in Fado. There's a tradition of poets writing lyrics for Fado songs, so it's not just "she loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah". Average Fado lyrics are way better artistically than average rock lyrics. But I don't care much for lyrics in music. I listen to Dylan, Cohen or Reed mostly for the music, I'll just notice the lyrics every now and then. Einstürzende Neubauten is one of my favourite bands of all time and I don't understand a word of German...

Obviously, I'll be noticing and reading lyrics when I listen to these songs in Spanish, but I'll also be listening without paying attention to the lyrics, just to familiarize myself with the sounds of the language (and the accents) - that'll make me better equipped to understand speech.

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