Part 1: The Uruguayan Invasion

This blog started out looking at music from Spain, but has increasingly spread the net to look farther afield. The second most featured country has been Argentina, so I think it’s time to look at the scene in that country more closely.

As in Spain, rock got off to a slow start in the early 1960s, with many bands playing covers and/or singing in English. The scene got a massive kick up the ass from their neighbours Uruguay, in what is affectionately known as the Uruguayan Invasion. Uruguay’s Los Shakers were expert Beatles copyists, and the audience in Argentina embraced them as if they were the real thing. Here is one of their most well known songs ‘Break It All’ (they sang almost exclusively in English).

They and Los Mockers (the Rolling Stones equivalent) galvanised the scene, and the stage was set for local bands to raise their game and break through.

Documentaries are often easier to follow than drama, and watching them can be a good way to practice your Spanish. Below is my brief episode guide to a very good documentary series (sponsored by Pepsi) about the history of rock in Argentina. At the time of writing it is available on YouTube. My first few entries in this series will follow roughly the order of the episodes.
01) Mid 60s. The influence of Los Shakers (from Uruguay).
02) Los Gatos and ‘La Balsa’ (1967). Los Abuelos de la Nada, Tanguito, Moris
03) Late 60s Psych: Almendra, La Cofradia, Arco Iris. Blues rock: Manal
04) Early 70s acoustic rock: Gabriela, Pedro y Pablo. Blues rock: Pappo’s Blues
05) La Pesada, Sui Generis, Pescado Rabioso. Rock & Religon: Vox Dei, Raul Porchetto
06) Prog Rock: Aquelarre, Invisible, Crucis. Adiós Sui Generis (1975) – the end of an era?
07) Early 80s. Serú Girán, León Gieco. The Falklands war (1982). Metal: Riff. Punk: Violadores
08) Early 80s / New Wave: Los Abuelos de la Nada, Virus, Zas, Los Twist. Metal: La Torre
09) 80s: Charly García, Sumo, Soda Stereo. Ska: Los Fabulosos Cadillacs
10) 90s: Luis Alberto Spineta, Fito Páez. Metal: Hermética. Blues rock revival.
11) 90s: Rock in decline? Los Brujos, El Otro Yo, Babasónicos. Homegrown Reggae.
12) 90s: After Sumo: Divididos, Las Pelotas. Los Piojos. ‘Rock Barrial’
13) 00s: The Cromañón nightclub fire (2004). Has rock lost its direction and importance?

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