El Último de la Fila was perhaps the most influential Spanish rock group of the 80s and 90s. Although they released just 7 albums, their cult status was established through their extensive touring and undeniable musical genius. The duo of vocalist Manolo Garcia and guitarist Quimi Portet were master craftsmen with an impeccable command of the pop song. Here are 5 of their very best songs.
From their debut album, Querida Milagros tells the story of a dead soldier in whose pocket is found a letter to his loved Milagros. Written with irony by Quimi Portet,the song is considered an authentic antiwar hymn. Sweet guitar lines accentuate the sarcasm in the chorus line “Por ahora la suerte me ha sonreído”- for the moment luck is smiling at me.
No revolt song sounded this sweet. This timeless put-down song which would make the likes of Lennon and Dylan proud, all of 2 minutes or so long is incredible in the emotions that it incites. From their second album Enemigos de lo ajeno, it is a delicious mix of melancholy and vitality. Years later Manolo when talking about this song said that it was written when they had absolutely no money and lived of just bocadillos while our recording company was making away with whatever earnings they had. Hence the burning Dylanesque question thrown at the suits- dónde estabas entonces!
Ya no danzo al son de los tambores
The song that rocketed the group to super stardom. From their album Como la cabeza al sombrero. Typical of the band-the lyrics, the melody and the cadence are crafted to perfection. A jewel of a song interpreted beautifully by Manolo Garcia, the song remains one of the band’s most loved songs.
For their final album El Ultimo de la fila opted for a simple sound, abandoning the pop, keyboard sounds of their intermediate albums. The result was pure magic. La rebelión de los hombres rana, is an absolute fan favorite. Pure poetry combined with simple but delicious music, made ethereal by the combination of Portet’s guitar and Manolo’s unmistakable voice Sin Llaves is an ode of peace and harmony that is unforgettable.
Llanto de Pasión
From their hit album Como la cabeza al sombrero, this version from 2015 gives a completely different dimension to the nostalgia that the song is filled with Sung by the band, it becomes a moving hymn to the nostalgia of the rock era and all that has been left behind. An absolute essential in every concert given by Manolo Garcia this is surely one of the band’s greatest songs.