You might be surprised, that considering it’s population, Argentina has been mrst likely the biggest influence on the Spanish music scene. The first fully fledged Spanish language singing rock’n’roll scene developed in Argentina.
Spain at the time of the early development of rock’n’roll was locked down in dictatorship, and the other Spanish speaking countries, were still mostly interested in the more traditional types of music.
Traditionally Argentina was listening and dancing to tango music, and also developed it’s own type of Cumbia music which made it’s way gradually to Argentina through immigration. This has been infused into the modern rock’n’roll of Argentina, which can sometimes give that unique sound of Argentine music.
The first music scene writing music and singing in Spanish was influenced primarily by the Brit Pop sound that came through in the 60’s. Rock’n’roll sang in Spanish was not popular until the band Los Gatos had a hit with it’s very Brit Pop sounding song “La Balsa”. From then on it was game on for Spanish rock’n’roll and the Argentinian scene.
By the early 70’s the sounds had gone towards hard rock and a musical genius called Charly Garcia headed the biggest band of their time Sui Generis. Charly formed his 3rd band by the late 70’s called Seru Giran which were hugely popular.
It wasn’t until the 80’s that the most popular sounds of Argentine rock came into being. Soda Estereo which at the time were the biggest band by far in the Spanish music scene formed. Other big bands were Patricio Rey y sus Redonditos de Ricota, Sumo, and the first signs of a great Argentine singer Andres Calamaro appeared in a popular band called Los Abuelos de la Nada.
The mid 80’s brought on new groups with sounds that are still popular to this day. Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, won a Latin muisc MTV grammy with their song Matador, and also penned a hugely popular hit “Vasos Vacios” sung with salsa star Celia Cruz. The Cadillacs are one of two big Argentinian bands to mix ska punk with other Latin themes, like salsa and cumbia. Los Enanitos Verdes also wrote some successful songs. Their song “Lamento Boliviano” being one of Spanish musics biggest hits. The sound of this song combined Andean pan-flute type music with early 90’s rock.
In the 90’s success came to groups like Vilma Palma e Vampiros. Their sound is like typical 80’s new wave pop. The self title first album was a great success and had many hits. It’s one of those that even after many years you can still listen to it, end to end. Many of the songs on the album had laughable themes, like Travestis which translate to transvestite, and sings about the surprise of meeting someone who was a transvestite.
Another great Argentine band but not so popular but one who’s sound I like a lot is “La Mosca”. Formed in the mid 90’s they had a string of hits. Like Los Fabulosos Cadillacs the basis of their sound is ska punk, to which they have infused tango, tropical style Cumbia, and other Latin themes. Similar to Vilma Palma a lot of their songs are funny lyrics, and range from hey boys, tonight I’m going to get very drunk, to forget about my love for her “Muchachos, Esta Noche Me Emborracho Bien, to everyone has a love that complicates your life and breaks your heart “Todos Tenemos Un Amor” and I’m going to rip up and burn my photos of you to forget about our love, so as not to see you anymore “Para No Verte Mas”, while “A Pesar de las Heridas” has a great upbeat Ska cross cumbia sound.
These days while Argentinian music doesn’t dominate the Spanish music scene as much, some great names from the past are:- Fito Paez, Diego Torres, Mercedes Sosa, Los Piojos and Attaque 77, Andres Calamaro.
Currently:- El Otro Yo, Vaqueros Paganos
To keep up to date with what’s going on in the Argentinian indie music scene is this great site called Zona Indie, which has videos of current indie artists, groups visiting Argentina, and free music downloads of new indie music.
Street Talks Best Ten Songs of Argentinian Rock
1. Todos Tenemos Un Amor- La Mosca
2. Calaveras y Diablitos- Los Fabulosos Cadillacs (great video)
3. Auto Rojo- Vilma Palma e Vampiros
4. Lamento Boliviano- Los Enanitos Verdes
5. Matador- Los Fabulosos Cadillacs
6. Muchachos Esta Me Emborracho Bien- La Mosca
7. Flaca- Andres Calamaro
8. De Musica Ligera- Soda Estereo
9. Loco (tu forma de ser)- Los Autenticos Decadentes
10. Sindrome de Amor- Vilma Palma e Vampiros