Pop music in the ’70s is nothing like we might think, especially in the early part of the decade. In Latin cultures, pop music really didn’t come to be a genre until the next decade. What we have for the early era of pop is a lot of ballad singers and singer-songwriters, like Joan Manuel Serrat. These artists influenced a lot of newer artists and many times, we hear artists today going back to early works.
Mediterráneo (Mediterranean) is Serrat’s seventh album. I started here with this career for a couple of different reasons. One is that I was challenged to find pop music from 1971, my birth year. It is a lot harder than you think to find early ’70s music that I like or fit the genre. Serrat does fit the genre because this was what was on the radio at this time. The second reason for starting here is because this album was listed as one of the best Spanish albums of all time. Popular music magazine, Rockdelux (similar to Rolling Stone) classified this album as the 3rd best album of the 20th century.
Mediterráneo by Joan Manuel Serrat became an international breakthrough album for the Spanish singer.
While many of the songs on Mediterráneo by Joan Manuel Serrat are ballads, there are a few tracks that embrace what I consider folk-pop. I am not all that schooled in seventies music but it has a familiar feel to it. Songs like “Que Va a Ser de Ti” (What Will Become of You) screams pop music for the middle-aged music lover. Did Latin teenagers listen to music in the seventies? If so, what were the Latin teens jamming to in 1971?
Joan Manuel Serrat was completely in control of his music. He wrote all the songs from the album. He also was part of the Nova Cançó movement which was bringing the Catalan language to popular music. His sound is exactly what you think about when you think of Spanish love songs. That is what he brought to the music world, a romance. Lots of strings and orchestras fill the music to go along with his crooner’s voice.
I can appreciate the music of Mediterráneo but I am not sure that I would consider it to be the third-best album of the 20th century. I might be missing something. It is well put together and can see where it falls into music history.