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At the crossroads of tradition and modernity: raphael and the cultural politics of popular music in Spain

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In the first academic article on Raphael, I attempt to counteract the Anglo-centric bias still prominent in much popular music studies by focusing on one of Spain’s most commercially successful music stars whose recording and touring career is now in its sixth decade. I begin by examining how, in both musical and celebrity terms, Raphael came to simultaneously embody tradition and modernity in 1960s Spain. Then, in the second part, I explore his durability as a global superstar and locate his music and performance style within broader national and international trends. This analysis is deployed to sketch an objective aesthetic and culturally sensitive response to a very subjective question: does Raphael warrant the veneration and/or contempt in which he has often been held?
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Keywords: Cultural Studies in Spain; Joan Manuel Serrat; Julio Iglesias; Meat Loaf; Raphael; Spanish popular music

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Leeds

Publication date: 01 April 2013

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  • The Journal of European Popular Culture investigates the creative cultures of Europe, present and past. Exploring European popular imagery, media, new media, film, music, art and design, architecture, drama and dance, fine art, literature and the writing arts, and more, the journal is also of interest to those considering the influence of European creativity and European creative artefacts worldwide.
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