Uruguayan rock

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Uruguayan rock first emerged in Uruguay in the 1950s. The real breakthrough for rock in Uruguay, however, as in much of the world, came with the arrival of The Beatles in the early 1960s. Although the country has a small population and is far-removed from the world's cultural centres, rock music from these land, which has always taken on an identity forged from a mix of different cultures (especially, Argentina's and Brazil's, due to proximity) and local peculiarities, crossing different genres and styles, has largely been a well-kept secret outside the region. [1] Thanks to the Internet and easy access to music libraries through streaming services such as Spotify, this is now changing.[ citation needed ]

Uruguay republic in South America

Uruguay, officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, is a country in the southeastern region of South America. It borders Argentina to its west and Brazil to its north and east, with the Río de la Plata to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast. Uruguay is home to an estimated 3.44 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the metropolitan area of its capital and largest city, Montevideo. With an area of approximately 176,000 square kilometres (68,000 sq mi), Uruguay is geographically the second-smallest nation in South America, after Suriname.

The Beatles English rock band

The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. The line-up of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr led the band to be regarded as the foremost and most influential in history. With a sound rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, the group were integral to the evolution of pop music into an art form, and to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s. They often incorporated elements of classical music, older pop forms, and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways, and in later years experimented with a number of musical styles ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As they continued to draw influences from a variety of cultural sources, their musical and lyrical sophistication grew, and they came to be seen as embodying the era's sociocultural movements.

Spotify Music streaming service

Spotify is a Swedish audio streaming platform that provides DRM-protected music and podcasts from record labels and media companies. As a freemium service, basic features are free with advertisements or automatic music videos, while additional features, such as improved streaming quality, are offered via paid subscriptions.


1960s: The Beatles and the Uruguayan Invasion

The Beatles were wildly popular across the world, and many Uruguayan youths began to form their own rock bands. In the mid-1960s, as the British Invasion was peaking in the United States, Canada, Australia and elsewhere, a group of Uruguayan bands broke into the mainstream in Argentina. This cultural phenomenon was called the Uruguayan Invasion, and it continued for several years, as record labels began signing Uruguayan bands to promote them in Argentina. [2]

British Invasion phenomenon when rock and pop music acts from the United Kingdom became popular in the United States

The British Invasion was a cultural phenomenon of the mid 1960s, when rock and pop music acts from the United Kingdom and other aspects of British culture, became popular in the United States and significant to the rising "counterculture" on both sides of the Atlantic. Pop and rock groups such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Kinks, the Dave Clark Five, Herman's Hermits, the Zombies, the Hollies, and the Animals were at the forefront of the "Invasion."

Argentina federal republic in South America

Argentina, officially the Argentine Republic, is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is also bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast, Uruguay and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Drake Passage to the south. With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2 (1,073,500 sq mi), Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the fourth largest in the Americas, and the largest Spanish-speaking nation. The sovereign state is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires, which is the federal capital of the nation as decided by Congress. The provinces and the capital have their own constitutions, but exist under a federal system. Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

The Uruguayan Invasion was a musical phenomenon of the 1960s similar to the British Invasion, with rock bands from Uruguay gaining popularity in Argentina.

Los Shakers were a group formed in the mid-1960s, as a response to The Beatles, after a group of youngsters had seen A Hard Day's Night. Although in essence they started as a carbon copy of the Fab Four, Los Shakers became very popular across Latin America and were a big influence on many musicians that followed them. Their second album, Shakers for You (1966) followed the same trend as the Beatles, moving towards psychedelia, but also with original touches, including nods to Bossa Nova, especially with the song Never, Never, a big hit in Brazil, and "probably an inspiration for the Tropicalia movement that arose in Brazilian music at the time.". [3]

Los Shakers musical ensemble

Los Shakers were a popular rock band in 1960s and was a part of the Uruguayan Invasion in Latin America. They were heavily influenced by the look and sound of the Beatles. In the late 1960s they would broaden and expand their musical direction before breaking up at the end of the decade.

A Hard Days Night (song) original song written and composed by Lennon-McCartney

"A Hard Day's Night" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles. Credited to Lennon–McCartney, it was written by John Lennon, with some collaboration from Paul McCartney. It was released on the film soundtrack of the same name in 1964. It was also released in the UK as a single, with "Things We Said Today" as its B-side.

Latin America Region of the Americas where Romance languages are primarily spoken

Latin America is a group of countries and dependencies in the Western Hemisphere where Romance languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, and French are predominantly spoken; it is broader than the terms Ibero-America or Hispanic America. The term "Latin America" was first used in an 1856 conference with the title "Initiative of the America. Idea for a Federal Congress of the Republics", by the Chilean politician Francisco Bilbao. The term was used also by Napoleon III's French government in the 1860s as Amérique latine to consider French-speaking territories in the Americas, along with the larger group of countries where Spanish and Portuguese languages prevailed, including the Spanish-speaking portions of the United States Today, areas of Canada and the United States where Spanish, Portuguese and French are predominant are typically not included in definitions of Latin America.

Los Mockers Los Mockers

Los Mockers were a popular 1960s rock band in Latin America that was part of the Uruguayan Invasion. They were heavily influenced by Rolling Stones and covered many of their songs. The band was formed in 1963 on Montevideo, Uruguay but moved to Argentina in 1966 after winning a contract with EMI Argentina. The original lineup disbanded in 1967. They briefly re-united in 2006.

Los Iracundos Uruguayan popular band

Los Iracundos are a popular band from Uruguay from the city of Paysandú, They have been active since the 60s. Their music can be classified as Rock and Roll, as well Ballads.

Like Los Shakers, the other bands that emerged in Uruguay at this time, did not want to just sound like their British counterparts, but to create a more original sound. Examples include Los Iracundos, Kano y Los Bulldogs, and Los Malditos. Los Mockers are not an example of this, however. Deeply influenced by The Rolling Stones, there "was no trace of any local or regional personality" in their work, although its members where considered talented performers and arrangers. [4]

The Rolling Stones English rock band

The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. The first stable line-up consisted of bandleader Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman (bass), Charlie Watts (drums), and Ian Stewart (piano). Stewart was removed from the official line-up in 1963 but continued to work with the band as a contracted musician until his death in 1985. The band's primary songwriters, Jagger and Richards, assumed leadership after Andrew Loog Oldham became the group's manager. Jones left the band less than a month before his death in 1969, having already been replaced by Mick Taylor, who remained until 1974. After Taylor left the band, Ronnie Wood took his place in 1975 and continues on guitar in tandem with Richards. Since Wyman's departure in 1993, Darryl Jones has served as touring bassist. The Stones have not had an official keyboardist since 1963, but have employed several musicians in that role, including Jack Nitzsche (1965–1971), Nicky Hopkins (1967–1982), Billy Preston (1971–1981), Ian McLagan (1978–1981), and Chuck Leavell (1982–present).

1970-1973 Uruguayan Rock Boom

With the Uruguayan Invasion of Argentina dying down, a new wave of rock musicians arose, including members of El Kinto, Tótem, Psiglo, Génesis, Opus Alfa, Eduardo Mateo, Jesus Figueroa and Días de Blues, promoted by radio and television shows like Constelacion and Discodromo Show .

Tótem organization

Tótem was an Uruguayan Rock band formed in the early 1970s. One of the most important massive phenomena of Uruguayan music and represented the height of the Candombe beat.

Génesis was a Colombian folk-rock band, very popular during the 1970s. They are regarded as a significant part of the Colombian social progressive and hippy movements of the time. Génesis is considered a pioneer in fusing rock music with the native folk music of Colombia. Colombian icon Humberto Monroy of Los Speakers was a founding member and driving force behind the band.

Eduardo Mateo Uruguayan musician

Eduardo Mateo (1940–1990) was a Uruguayan singer, songwriter, guitarist, and arranger. He played an important role in the development of modern Uruguayan music that combines beat, jazz, bossa nova and local rhythms like candombe in a way similar to Brazilian Tropicalismo. Academy Award-winner Jorge Drexler cited Mateo as a big influence.

Gastón Ciarlo (aka Dino) was a rock music pioneer in Uruguay, playing electric blues before the Beatles revolution, and blending pop music and local rhythms and themes. He dabbled in candombe like Eduardo Mateo and El Kinto, adopting a rock attitude on the 1970 release Underground and mixing styles such as milonga. The songs are introduced by enigmatic words and the sound of casual conversation can be heard in the background. 1970 also saw Eduardo Mateo dissolve El Kinto and two of its members, guitarist Walter Cambón and drummer Luis Sosa, formed LimoNada  [ es ], a short-lived project that was rediscovered in the 1990s thanks to its extremely unconventional sound, boasting songs "clustered by strange voices, incidental music noises and effects that sometimes unite the songs and other times cut the tunes in half". [5]

The emerging Uruguayan rock scene showed musicians searching for a new Latin American cultural identity at the beginning of the 1970s. Tótem, founded by Ruben Rada and Eduardo Useta was an attempt to establish this, and their 1971 self-titled debut showed songwriting talent and vocal virtuosity and helped make the band become one of the most successful Uruguayan bands, leaving an enormous legacy for the future of Uruguayan music. [6]

Apart from Tótem, the Uruguayan hard rock band Psiglo was able to cross over from the underground and reach a large audience. Inspired by Deep Purple and Uriah Heep, Psiglo was formed in 1971 and reached their height with their debut album Ideación, released in 1973. Unfortunately, their leftish politics and rebellious attitude meant it was impossible for them to continue after the 1973 military coup, and their second album did not see the light of day until 1981, because the military authorities threatened to close the record company down if it was released at the time. [7]

1973-1979: Uruguayan Rock Bottom

In 1973 the military dictatorship came to rule Uruguay, and the rock boom ended. In 1975, popular music came to be dominated by canto popular, a genre that was against and openly dismissed electric instrumentations and foreign rhythm and styles.

1980-1984: Breaking the status quo of the dictatorship

Jorge Galemire´s first solo album (1981) Presentación, combining acoustic ballads with groovy candombe jazz arrangements along with new pop readings of the Uruguayan murga was a big influence on many artists, although it did not reach a wide public. [8] Galemire emerged from the 1970s Uruguayan rock scene, previously playing with El Syndikato, Carlos Canzani, Eduardo Darnauchans and Eduardo Rivera, playing an important role in breaking the cultural status quo imposed by the dictatorship. [9]

Another influential album, Aquello by Jaime Roos was released in 1981. Moving away from his previous Beatles influenced music, Aquello was recorded in France with a multinational group of musicians, from Uruguay, Argentina, France and the US, and with this recording, Roos began to "bear no resemblance to anybody else but himself" and with a pervading atmosphere of strangeness and diversity, along with "almost perfect songs with incredible melody lines". [10] These followed traditional song formats, but with bolero and Latin American inspired arrangements and the start of Roos's definitive personality. A year later (1982), Roos followed with Siempre son las cuatro, with a rougher and darker quality of tone .

1985-1989: The new Uruguayan rock

After 1985, with the restoration of democracy, after 11 years of dictatorship, Uruguayan rock was reborn. The new scene was perhaps best represented by Los Estómagos, whose 1985 debut album, Tango que me hiciste mal (1985) "is considered the kick-off of the new Uruguayan rock". [11] Although usually labelled a punk band, the dark tone and minimalist music of Los Estómagos mean they are closer to new wave bands such as Bauhaus and Joy Division, rather than Sex Pistols. The album's particular sound was also due to the use of outdated and poorly equipped Uruguayan recording studios.

In 1985 also the Uruguayan Heavy Metal scene was born with bands like Acido and Alvacast, being Alvacast the first Heavy Metal band to get a record deal in Uruguay. Alvacast recorded their first LP in 1987 called "Al Borde Del Abismo".

Other bands influenced by punk rock and new wave included Traidores, Neoh-23, Zero (Uruguayan band), and La Chancha Francisca. The scene was alive and well, with shows at underground venues or the series of big concerts known as Montevideo Rock, (where participated the most popular Heavy Metal band called Alvacast) that also included foreign bands. The gloomy sound of this era (post-punk guitars, grim lyrics) found little support in mainstream media. This eighties rock movement slowly weakened and practically vanished. It is generally considered that this period symbolically came to an end in 1989, with the split of Los Estómagos. [12]

Corrección: la banda que edito dentro de la categoría HEAVY METAL en Uruguay. Fué ACIDO. Fonográficamente ese es el 1er. registro.


The mid-nineties, with the popularization of compact discs, cable TV and the beginning of the internet saw another generation of Uruguayan bands coming to the surface. El Cuarteto de Nos broke records with their album Otra Navidad en las Trincheras, while Buitres despues de la una (with former Estomagos members) reached a creative peak with Maraviya. A compilation album called Perdidos, released in 2000, documented the whole 1990s underground scene, with songs by bands like Loop Lascano, Kato, Camote, Gnomos, Samurai Porno, Sordromo and Elefante.

Trotsky Vengaran is a very well known band in the inner culture, with nearly 20 years of career and eleven studio albums they directly compete with Buitres for the audience. Formed in 1991, they published their first album, "Salud, dinero y dinero" (Health, money and more money) in 1994, since then, they have published albums almost once every two years.

In 1995, a band called El Peyote Asesino revitalized the whole scene with their self-titled album and their powerful underground shows. Their music was a mix of hip-hop and hard rock, with influences from Red Hot Chili Peppers and Beastie Boys. Bands like Platano Macho, La Teja Pride, La Abuela Coca (a band inspired by Manu Chao and Mano Negra) and the then beginners La Vela Puerca gave the scene a variety that was unheard of. Deals with big record labels also helped the bands get better sound in their albums, which was a long-time debt of the local scene. Meanwhile, La Trampa gained popularity as their blend of traditional Uruguayan folk and obscure post-punk rock reached airplay and edited well-sold albums like Caída libre.


Emiliano Brancciari, from No Te Va Gustar in concert in Montevideo. Emilianobrancciari.jpg
Emiliano Brancciari, from No Te Va Gustar in concert in Montevideo.

In 2001, Buenos Muchachos, a band that started in the 90's in Montevideo's underground rock scene, alongside Chicos Electricos, La Hermana Menor and The Supersonicos, reached maturity with their third album Dendritas contra el bicho feo, with references to bands such as The Velvet Underground and The Stooges as well as borrowing accents from the milonga and tango. [13]

El Peyote Asesino split after their second album, Terraja, while La Vela Puerca's popularity grew as they matured musically from a ska-punk sound to their own identity, blending local sounds as well. In 2003 a band named Astroboy, inspired by Oasis, came out. From 2005, La Vela Puerca and No Te Va Gustar (NTVG) emerged as two of the most popular bands in Uruguay. El Cuarteto de Nos, No Te Va Gustar and La Vela Puerca were also very popular in Argentina, touring throughout the country and playing in local festivals, such as Cosquín Rock, Pepsi Music, etc.


Nicolas Molina of Molina y los Cosmicos playing live. Nicolas Molina por Kvkfotos.jpg
Nicolas Molina of Molina y los Cósmicos playing live.

In general, the most popular bands from previous decades, such as El Cuarteto de Nos, La Vela Puerca, No Te Va Gustar (NTVG), Buenos Muchachos and Buitres continue to be popular, releasing records and playing live regularly.

A number of new bands have started to attract critical attention including ET y Los Problems and Molina y los Cosmicos, whose independent folk rock with touches of "spaghetti western" and Calexico influences [14] have attracted attention outside the country, partly thanks to tours in Brasil and the USA. Other bands have started to come of age, such as Boomerang (Uruguay rock band), the band that started in 2000 as a Uruguayan Oasis clone, but who have now discovered a mature sound with the release of Engañamundos, recorded in the studio of Argentine band Babasónicos [15]

Bands and solo performers

La vela puerca, Abuela Coca, Alvacast, Amables Donantes, Astroboy, Bufón, Buenos Muchachos Buitres Despues de la Una, Claudio Taddei, Cursi, Doberman(P E R R O S), El Cuarteto de Nos, El Peyote Asesino, La Chancha Francisca, La Saga, La Teja Pride, La Trampa, La Vela Puerca, Los Estomagos, Los Traidores, Níquel, No Te Va Gustar, Platano Macho, Psiglo, Rey Toro, Trotsky Vengaran, Vinilo, Zero (Uruguayan band)

Related Research Articles

The most distinctive music of Uruguay is to be found in the RAP and candombe; both genres have been recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Uruguayan music includes a number of local musical forms such as murga, a form of musical theatre, and milonga, a folk guitar and song form deriving from Spanish traditions and related to similar forms found in many Hispanic-American countries.

The music of Argentina includes a variety of traditional, classical and popular genres. One of the country's most significant cultural contributions is the tango, which originated in Buenos Aires and its surroundings during the end of the 19th century and underwent profound changes throughout the 20th century. Folk music was particularly popular during the 20th century, experiencing a "boom" in popularity during the 1950s and 1960s thanks to artists such as Atahualpa Yupanqui and Mercedes Sosa, prominent figures of the Nuevo cancionero movement. In the mid-to-late 1960s, the countercultural scene of Buenos Aires originated Argentine rock, considered the earliest incarnation of Spanish-language rock for having an autochthonous identity that differed from that of England or the United States. It was widely embraced by the youth and since then has become part of the country's musical identity as much as traditional music. According to the Harvard Dictionary of Music, Argentina also "has one of the richest art music traditions and perhaps the most active contemporary musical life.

Argentine rock is rock music composed or performed by Argentine bands or artists mostly in Spanish.

Juan Campodónico Uruguayan musician

Juan Campodónico, sometimes working under his stage name Campo, is an Uruguayan musician, producer, composer, creator and former member of El Peyote Asesino, Bajofondo and Campo. He produced albums by Jorge Drexler, Luciano Supervielle, Bajofondo, El Cuarteto de Nos, La Vela Puerca, OMAR, Sordromo, No Te Va Gustar, Santullo and Ximena Sariñana among others. He created the Bajofondo project alongside iconic producer and two-time Academy Award winner for Best Original Score Gustavo Santaolalla. He has been awarded with various Latin Grammy, Premios Gardel and Graffiti awards for his work as a producer, as well as with many golden records.

Rock en español is a term used widely in the English-speaking world to refer any kind of rock music featuring Spanish vocals. Unlike English-speaking bands, very few acts reached worldwide success and often not even between different Spanish-speaking countries due to a lack of promotion. Despite rock en español 's origins in the late 1950s, many rock acts achieved at best nationwide fame until the Internet consolidated the listeners. However, some rock en español artists did become internationally popular with the help of a promotional campaign from the mid 1980s to the mid 1990s called "Rock en tu idioma". Some specific rock-based styles influenced by folkloric rhythms have also developed in these regions. Some of the more prominent styles are Latin rock, a fusion of rock music with Latin American and Caribbean folkloric sounds developed in Latino communities; Latin alternative, an alternative rock scene which blended a Latin sound with other genres like Caribbean ska, reggae, and soca; or Andalusian rock, a flamenco-influenced style that emerged in Spain.

La Trampa

La Trampa was an Uruguayan rock band. It was conformed by Garo Arakelián (guitar), Alejandro Spuntone (vocals), Irvin Carballo (drums) and Carlos Ráfols (bass).

La Vela Puerca is a Uruguayan rock band formed in Montevideo, Uruguay in December 1995. Its founders and current members are Sebastián Teysera, Nicolás Lieutier and Santiago Butler (guitar). The band's first appearance under the name La Vela Puerca was at a street party in Montevideo on December 24th, 1995. Since then several new members had joined.

Pepsi Music Festival

The Pepsi Music Festival is a major Argentine music festival, held annually since 2003. Since 2005 it has been named after its main sponsor, Pepsi; before it was named after its previous sponsor Quilmes, and it was known as "Quilmes Rock". It was held in several places in Buenos Aires, including the Ferro Stadium and River Plate Stadium. Since 2005 it has been held at Obras Stadium. It's the largest and longest music festival in the country, with more than 200,000 people attending in 2006, during 10 days.

<i>El Impulso</i> 2007 studio album by La Vela Puerca

El Impulso is the fourth studio album by Uruguayan rock/ska band La Vela Puerca. It was released in April, 2007. The album was recorded and mixed by Julio Berta in the period November/December, 2006. The recording took place in three different studios: Panda Studios in Buenos Aires, Argentina, IFU in Montevideo, Uruguay, and Casa Blanca in Atlántida, Uruguay. However, the mixing occurred during February, 2007. El Impulso was mastered in Los Angeles, California, USA by Tom Baker. It was artistically produced by Juan Campodónico. The song "Frágil", was released as a single on Thursday, March 29, 2007. "El "Señor"" is the second single and music video, released in early 2008.

El Cuarteto de Nos rock group from Uruguay

El Cuarteto de Nos is a Latin Grammy Award-winning rock group formed in 1984 in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Los Premios MTV Latinoamérica 2007

The annual Premios MTV Latinoamérica 2007 took place on 18 October 2007 in Mexico City at the Palacio de los Deportes for the second time in a row.

Bajofondo Río de la Plata-based music band

Bajofondo is a Río de la Plata-based music band consisting of eight musicians from Argentina and Uruguay, which aims to create a more contemporary version of tango and other musical styles of the Río de la Plata region. It was founded in the early 2000s as a studio experiment, which culminated into the successful album Bajofondo Tango Club. This led to touring and eventually to the current lineup. Bajofondo calls itself a collaborative as all members have solo careers as well. The group has toured around the world, particularly in Latin America, the United States, Europe and parts of Asia. Their music is known to a wider audience than those who know their name as their music has been used in film and television.

No Te Va Gustar rock band from Uruguay

No Te Va Gustar, also known by their initials NTVG, are a rock band from Uruguay. The members are: Emiliano Brancciari, Guzmán Silveira, Diego Bartaburu (drums), Gonzalo Castex (percussion), Martín Gil, Denis Ramos (trombone), Mauricio Ortiz, Marcel Curuchet (keyboards) and Pablo Coniberti (guitar).

Traidores is a Uruguayan punk rock band founded during the post-dictatorship disarray of mid-1980s Uruguay.

Southern Cone music, includes the music of Argentina and Uruguay. It comes in many varieties. From the Argentine tango, to the Electro music, from the cuarteto to Rock.

Buitres Despues de la Una is an Uruguayan rock band formed in 1989.

Los Estómagos was a Uruguayan punk rock band formed in Pando, Uruguay in 1983, is considered one of the most important in the history of Uruguayan rock since they were key figures in the development of the 1980s punk scene along with Los Traidores.

<i>Almendra</i> (Almendra album) 1969 studio album by Almendra

Almendra is the self-titled debut studio album by Argentine rock band Almendra which was released in 1969 on Vik, a subsidiary of RCA Victor. To distinguish it from the band's next release, Almendra II, it is also known as Almendra I. The album represented the first full-length musical endeavour of nineteen-year-old Luis Alberto Spinetta, having formed the band in the mid 1960s along with Emilio del Guercio, Edelmiro Molinari and Rodolfo García. The famous artwork, showing a crying man with a toy arrow stuck on his head, was designed by Spinetta to embody the different lyrical themes of the album.