Tino Casal

Last updated
Tino Casal
Estatua Tino Casal.jpg
Background information
Birth nameJosé Celestino Casal Álvarez
Born(1950-02-11)11 February 1950
Oviedo, Asturias, Spain
Died(1991-09-22)22 September 1991
Madrid, Spain
Genres Glam rock, Pop, Synth-pop
Years active19631991
Labels EMI
Website Official site

José Celestino Casal Álvarez, more commonly known as Tino Casal, (11 February 1950, in Tudela Veguín, Oviedo, Asturias, Spain 22 September 1991, in Madrid, Spain) was a Spanish singer, songwriter and producer, who was active during La Movida Madrileña (English: The Madrid movement) Tino was one of the most popular singers in the 1980s in Spain. He became one of the most famous performers and his lavish costumes and sets were comparable to Liberace.



Tino Casal (second from the left) while at the Los Zafiros Negros in 1963. Los Zafiros Negros, featuring Tino Casal. Escuela d' Artes y Oficios, Uvieu. 1963 (2882593397).jpg
Tino Casal (second from the left) while at the Los Zafiros Negros in 1963.
Tino Casal (second from the left) while at the Los Archiduques. Los Archiduques. Grau. Featuring Tino Casal (segundo por la izquierda) (2932044089).jpg
Tino Casal (second from the left) while at the Los Archiduques.

Casal began his musical career, aged 13, in a group called "Los Zafiros Negros" (The Black Sapphires). In 1967 he joined "Los Archiduques" (The Archdukes), replacing their lead singer, who had fallen ill. He then left for London, in order to follow one of his other great passions - painting. It was there, that Casal had his first contact with glam-rock, attracted by the stream led by David Bowie, Sweet and T. Rex among others.

In 1977, after a series of trips abroad, Casal returned to Spain, where he signed a recording contract with Philips when Spanish music lovers were looking for a substitute for well-loved crooners Nino Bravo and Bruno Lomas. During the 1970s, he performed at a number of different music festivals, and in 1978 he took part in the Benidorm Festival, where he won "Best Young Singer" and "Best Musical Composition.". [1]

After breaking his recording contract, Casal threw himself into painting until 1980, when he returned to music, producing other artists, such as Goma de Mascar or the Obús, the first heavy metal group in Spain. EMI took a keen interest in Casal's dual-role and offered him a contract in 1981. [2]

With his new recording contract, Casal took major liberties over his working hours, the main reason why he returned to a musical career. In 1981, he released his first solo effort, Neocasal , produced by Julian Ruiz, which contained the hits "Champú de Huevo" (Egg Shampoo) - his first Number 1 - and "Billy Boy". Although the album had been poorly received by critics, Casal began to find followers. He also continued to produce records for groups, such as Azul y Negro and Obús, and collaborated with filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, financing the production of the film Laberinto de pasiones (Labyrinth of Passion) which yielded certain famous elements of Casal's appearance, such as his red jacket, originally worn by Imanol Arias. [3]

In 1983 the release of Etiqueta Negra, consolidated Casal's position as a major player on the Spanish music scene with the success of "Embrujada" ("Bewitched") and "Póker para un perdedor" ("Poker for a Loser"). Despite having seen the album sell exceptionally well, Casal decided to edit and re-release the record with additional tracks. The following year, he released "Hielo Rojo" ("Red Ice"), from which appeared the hit single, "Pánico en el edén" ("Panic in the Garden of Eden"). In 1985 suffered from a heavy ankle sprain, whilst touring in Valencia. He chose to ignore medical advice and toured for two further months, self-medicating with anti-inflammatories and analgesics up until the point where he found himself hospitalised and on the brink of death with necrosis in both hips. As a result, Casal used a wheelchair for several months. [4] He was admitted to hospital in August 1985 and after 19 days in the Intensive Care Unit, without food or water, four litres of infectious fluid was removed from his left leg. The original diagnosis of AIDS, was soon dismissed.


Following a long convalescence, Casal returned in 1987 with a cane and a new album, recorded at Abbey Road Studios. The album, entitled, Lágrimas de cocodrilo (Crocodile Tears), contained his own versions of other artist's songs but also some of his own original recordings. It was produced under the orchestral direction of Julián Ruiz and Andrew Powell, in charge of musical arrangement of Alan Parsons Project. The album's biggest success was the cover of Barry Ryan's "Eloise", which reached number 1 in Los 40 Principales (the Spanish Top 40) and became one of his best-known works. At the time (1988), his was the second biggest-selling album in Spain, behind Descanso Dominical by Mecano.

In October 1989, he released his last album, Histeria , which revisited the main themes of his musical career during the 1970s. After this release, Casal dedicated his latter years to painting and sculpting, in addition to collaborations with other artists. In May, Casal released a compilation album of his greatest hits, Etiqueta Negra, grandes éxitos , and had begun preparations to release another album in 1992, with the intention of recording in Tokyo.


Tino Casal died on 22 September 1991 in a car accident, aged 41. Casal and other three people were at a nightclub after they have had a dinner and went to Tino's house in order to bring microphones with them to a recording studio they wished to visit in Pozuelo, when, due to the rain, the driver of the Opel Corsa lost control of the car and crashed violently into a lamp post after sliding down through muddy soil. Casal was sitting in the passenger seat without fastening his seatbelt and was the only fatality. He died while flying on the emergency helicopter which had been sent to the scene. [5] Unsurprisingly, the news was a huge shock to the Spanish music industry. [2] A year later, EMI paid a posthumous tribute to Casal, by re-releasing the compilation album. Etiqueta Negra. Other artists, such as Alaska, Marta Sánchez and Stravaganzza have since covered and sampled his songs.



Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hombres G</span> Spanish rock band

Hombres G is a Spanish pop rock band, formed in Madrid in 1983. They are widely considered one of Spain's most prominent pop groups of the 1980s and early 1990s. The band consists of David Summers, Rafael Gutierrez (guitar), Dani Mezquita (guitar), and Javi Molina (drums).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ska-P</span> Spanish ska punk band

Ska-P is a Spanish ska punk band formed in 1994 in Vallecas, a district of Madrid, by a group of friends from Madrid, Navarre and Euskadi.

New flamenco or flamenco fusion is a musical genre that was born in Spain, starting in the 1980s. It combines flamenco guitar virtuosity and traditional flamenco music with musical fusion.

Spanish rock is the term used for the variety of rock music produced in Spain. Most bands formed in Spain have sung in Spanish, but many others have sung in English, French and Italian, in addition to the other languages spoken in Spain, such as Catalan, Galician, Basque, Aragonese, and Asturian.

The Benidorm International Song Festival, until 2004 simply Benidorm Song Festival, was an annual song contest held in the city of Benidorm, Spain. The contest, based on the Italian Sanremo Music Festival, was created to promote Benidorm and Spanish music.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jorge Drexler</span> Uruguayan musician

Jorge Abner Drexler Prada is a Uruguayan musician, actor and doctor specializing in otolaryngology.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Diego el Cigala</span>

Diego Ramón Jiménez Salazar, known as El Cigala, is a famous Romani Flamenco gypsy singer. As he himself has said, the nickname was given to him by three guitar players, Los Losada, for his powerful voice, not by Camarón de la Isla as commonly believed.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Eloise (Paul Ryan song)</span> 1968 single by Barry Ryan

"Eloise" is a song first released in 1968 on the MGM label. It was sung by Barry Ryan, and written by his twin brother Paul Ryan. Running for over five minutes, it features strong orchestration, melodramatic vocals, and a brief slow interlude. It sold three million copies worldwide, and reached No. 2 in the UK Singles Chart as published by Record Retailer, but hit No. 1 in the NME and Melody Maker charts. It topped the chart in 17 countries, including Italy, the Netherlands and Australia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bebo Valdés</span> Cuban pianist, bandleader, composer and arranger

Dionisio Ramón Emilio Valdés Amaro, better known as Bebo Valdés, was a Cuban pianist, bandleader, composer and arranger. He was a central figure in the golden age of Cuban music, especially due to his big band arrangements and compositions of mambo, chachachá and batanga, a genre he created in 1952.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Avalanch</span> Spanish heavy metal band

Avalanch is a Spanish heavy metal band formed in Asturias in 1993.

Radio Futura was a Spanish pop rock group. They rose to become one of the most popular bands in Spain during the 1980s and early 1990s. In 1989 they were voted the best Spanish act of the 1980s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">David Summers Rodríguez</span> Musical artist

David Summers Rodríguez is a Spanish musician, singer-songwriter, and bassist. He is best known as the lead vocalist of the Spanish pop rock band Hombres G.

Jéronimo Tristante is a Spanish novelist and mystery writer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Javier Limón</span> Musical artist

Javier Limón is a record producer, singer and songwriter born and raised in Madrid, Spain. Limón has worked with several artists, mainly from Spain, since he incorporates elements of flamenco rhythm to his work. Besides his work as producer has also dabbled as an interpreter and has released three studio albums, Limón, Son de Limón and Mujeres de Agua. Since 2003, Limón has done recordings in Israel, Bogotá, Bristol, Paris, Bahía Blanca, Buenos Aires, New York City and Morocco. In 2004, Limón was awarded the Latin Grammy Award for Producer of the Year for his work on Lágrimas Negras by Diego El Cigala and Bebo Valdés, Cositas Buenas by Paco de Lucía, El Cantante by Andrés Calamaro, El Pequeño Reloj by Enrique Morente, Niño Josele by Niño Josele and Tributo Flamenco A Don Juan Valderrama by Various Artists. Javier Limón serves as the Artistic Director of the Berklee College of Music's Mediterranean Music Institute, which operates in Valencia, Spain as well as Boston, Massachusetts.

Lágrimas Negras is a 2003 album by Cuban pianist, bandleader, composer and arranger Bebo Valdés and Spanish flamenco singer Diego el Cigala. Lágrimas Negras is a fusion of Cuban rhythms and flamenco vocals, produced by Spanish composer, producer and guitarist Javier Limón and book editor, screenwriter, film director and producer Fernando Trueba and released by Calle 54 Records and BMG Music Spain.

Obús is a Spanish heavy metal band founded in Madrid, Spain in 1980. They stood out because they took the risk of making a big spectacle in their concerts, to reach to the level of other international heavy metal bands. In addition, the lyrics they write and the feelings they transmit connect with the people that follow them. As they said in an interview: "All our songs, some more and some less, have a meaning". Far away from renouncing to their genre, they have always claimed that they were a heavy metal band, and they wrote a song about this genre in their first album called, "Dosis de Heavy Metal". In 2012, because of their 30th anniversary, they did a tour around Spain.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mario Vaquerizo</span> Musical artist

Mario Vaquerizo Caro is a Spanish singer-songwriter, journalist, writer, manager and occasional radio and television personality. He became famous with the Spanish reality show Alaska y Mario on MTV Spain. The reality show depicted his life with his wife, the singer Alaska, whom he married in Las Vegas. He is also known for his appearances on different Spanish radio and TV shows such as El Hormiguero, El programa de Ana Rosa, and yu: No te pierdas nada. Vaquerizo was also the voice of Frankenstein in the Spanish language version of the animated film Hotel Transylvania.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Los Secretos</span> Spanish rock band

Los Secretos are a Spanish rock band founded in Madrid in 1978 and often associated with the movida madrileña movement.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pelo Madueño</span> Musical artist

Jorge Enrique Madueño Vizurraga, better known by his stage name Pelo Madueño, is a Peruvian singer-songwriter, producer, actor, and broadcaster. He was the drummer of the rock subterráneo bands Narcosis (1984–1986) and Eructo Maldonado (1986–1988). In 1988 he joined the Miki González band as a drummer, with which he moved away from punk and ventured into pop rock. In 1992 he formed the band La Liga del Sueño as a vocalist, guitarist, and percussionist, releasing three studio albums and achieving fame at a national level. He has been a producer for bands such as Madre Matilda, Camarón Jackson, and Ves Tal Vez. After the dissolution of La Liga del Sueño in 2000, he embarked on a solo career.

Black Tears is a 1998 Spanish romantic drama film directed by Ricardo Franco and Fernando Bauluz. Ricardo Franco's swan song, filming was unfinished upon Franco's death and then completed under assistant director Fernando Bauluz. It stars Ariadna Gil and Fele Martínez alongside Elena Anaya, Ana Risueño and Elvira Mínguez.


  1. "Entrevista a Tino Casal en Benidorm" (in Spanish). Video on YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-15. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  2. 1 2 "El cantante Tino Casal muere en un accidente de tráfico". La Revista Musical (in Spanish). 23 September 1991. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  3. Urrero, Guzmán. "Movida, carnaval y cultura de masas". Cine y Letras (in Spanish). Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  4. Alsedo, Quico (3 December 2003). "Los pechos de Tino Casal colmados en nitroglicerina". El Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  5. Tino Casal: secretos de vida y muerte del artista excesivo, El País (28 November 2020) https://elpais.com/cultura/2020-11-28/tino-casal-secretos-de-vida-y-muerte-del-artista-excesivo.html