The evolution of Latin American music: The 80s


Much like the times, music in Latin America has changed a lot in the last 40 years. From the 80s with romantic ballads to today with reggaeton and Latin rap, music in Latin America continues to change in style and popularity. Here is a vision of the 80s.

For starters: in the 80s, love was a lot more conservative. As a result, the ballads that dominated the 80s had a lot of popularity because these songs would express a love they couldn’t vocalize before.

Ballads came from many origins, but some popular examples are, “Until I met You” or “Hasta Que te Conocí” by Juan Gabriel, mexican singer and undoubtedly the king of ballads in the 80s and the years to come. He also wrote another famous ballad, “Thus it Was” or “Así fué” sung by spanish singer Isabel Pantoja. Other examples include an album completely filled with ballads, titled “Las Baladas” by Hombres G, a spanish group with hits like “I love you” or “Te Quiero,” which talks about the endless amounts of love one feels when in love with someone.

The ballads of these years also incorporated other elements in the songs as well. For example, great Argentine singer Amanda Miguel uses her powerful guitar voice to bring back a rock element to her romantic songs. Some of her popular songs include: “He Lied to Me” or “Él Me Mintió” and “So He Will Never Love You” or “Así no te Amará Jamás.”

An element of Pop and mariachi also came with ballads. Mexican singer Ana Gabriel brought songs like “Simply Friends” or “Simplemente Amigos” and “Who Like You” or “Quién Como Tú” that have the lyrics and meaning of a love song, but the same element you feel when listening to pop.

For the Mariachi element, Spanish singer Rocio Durcal has ballads that were very successful as “Eternal Love” or “Amor Eterno” and “The Cat Under the Rain” or “La Gata Bajo la Lluvia.” These songs speak of love but the trumpets and violin that are characteristic of mariachi music are still heard.

There are thousands of songs from the 80s; this is only a vision of the ballads that dominated the period. The artists who sing these songs interacted, and shared styles with each other and as a result there was a great mix of ballads and different styles as such was the case between Juan Gabriel, Ana Gabriel and Rocio Durcal.

Today the definition and the meaning of a ballad has changed a lot, but it will always be a pleasure to look back and listen to these songs again.

Lee este artículo en español aquí:

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