The mythical album Mediterranean, from Spanish Joan Manuel Serrat, turns 50. In 1971, the singer-songwriter, actor, writer, poet and troubadour recorded in a Milan studio an album that had been made shortly before in a Mediterranean hotel Costa Brava, in the northeast of Spain.
From a room, which no longer exists, the artist observed the Mediterranean Sea every day while his “only guide” was his variable emotional state. “It depended on what was happening to me and what was happening to those around at that time, that is, on the kisses and slaps that life is giving you”, He recalled in dialogue with the Spanish newspaper The country.
It was the eighth album by a singer-songwriter of just 28 years who had not made his debut even four years ago and who, with the ten songs of Mediterranean, achieved a great impact at the time, which crossed borders.
All the songs were composed by Serrat – lyrics and music – except for the lyrics of “Vencidos”, based on a poem by León Felipe.
To all of them, the singer infused them with a soft layer of jazz and bossa nova, with the help of a team made up of Juan Carlos Calderón, Gian Piero Reverberi and Antoni Ros Marbà.
The album lived on for five decades and spanned generations, as the tour showed “Cape Mediterranean”That Serrat dedicated to this album in 2019.
After Mediterranean, his career was that of the consolidation of a teacher, recognized with eleven honorary doctorates for his contribution to Spanish music and literature and the 2014 Latin Grammy for Person of the Year, among many other awards.
In the interview with The countryHe remembered how those days and nights were. “In a family niche, we buried my grandmother and my father when I was a child. When writing ‘Mediterranean’ I was thinking about that niche. From it you can see the beach and the sky. You see it? There was no poetic intention. Rather, it was a very crude and very real intention.”.
And he continued: “There were things that clearly influenced. One of them is that I spent a lot of time in Ampurdán. It is an area of special strength and richness, and I always expected that to creep into me. “
Now that job is available again on vinyl on the occasion of his half century of life. They are 10 simple but round songs. Like the one that gives the album its title, dedicated to the sea that cradled him since he was a child; a song that would end up humming the whole world. Or “Those little things”, which contains one of his most personal and evocative lyrics. Or all the others, from “Lucía” to “What’s going to become of you”, going through “Defeated”, “White people”, “The woman I want”, “Paper boat”, “Tío Alberto” and “ Wandering around ”.
An essential album that traveled back in time, to the point of shining in the top 3 of the best 100 Spanish albums of the 20th century. One of his most inspired works, a summary of his lyrics, his great themes and his emotional search as a singer of the little things. A living legend who is now celebrating the 50th anniversary of the album that would change his life forever: Mediterranean.
“Those little things”
“The woman I want”
“What will become of you”
(With information from EFE and Europa Press)