The Argentinean rock band Soda Stereo was the soundtrack for generations in the 80´s and 90´s all throughout Latin America, they were Latin rock´s first mega stars.
Formed by guitarist/vocalist and Argentinean legend Gustavo Cerati (he deserves a solo post at some point), bass player Zeta Bosio and Charly Alberti on drums, the band was founded in 1982 and were clearly influenced by new wave music and bands like The Police, Television, Talking Heads and The Cure. This last band can be seen in their look, heard in their music and some people even considered Soda (as fans affectionately referred to them) a copy of The Cure.
Prófugos – Soda Stereo
Cerati and Bosio met in Punta del Este, Uruguay and became friends thought their love of music. They would start different music projects together, along with other musicians, but none of them were successful. Charly Alberti (Carlos Ficicchia) was after Cerati´s sister, and she constantly rejected his invitations. One day he rang and Cerati answered and they ended up talking about music and Ficicchia mentioned he was a drummer, the son of famous jazz drummer Tito Alberti. Cerati and Bosio would ask him to join if he cut his hair. (Oh! I love them more now after this…!)
In 1984 they would release their debut album Soda Stereo, with songs like ¿Por qué no puedo ser del Jet-Set? , Sobredosis de TV, The hacen falta vitaminas and Trátame Suavemente songs that stand the test of time. By 1985 they were playing stadiums and headlining for bands like INXS also released their second album, Nada Personal.
Nada Personal – Soda Stereo
By then they were touring around Mar de Plata, Villa Gesell and Pinamar and Cordoba, this last festival features Andres Calamaro and Charly García on keyboards. All this happened while Argentina was coming out of a long dictatorship and war, so there was a feeling of something new and excitement which they really connected to. After the tour and last four concerts in Buenos Aires, sales started to increase and with their release of their third album, Signos
Signos (Live) – Soda Stereo
Signos is considered one of their best albums of their career. After reaching Gold sales they went on a tour throughout Latin America which ended up becoming the live album Ruido Blanco . In 1988 they travelled to New York and recorded their fifth album, Doble Vida. The album was produced by Carlos Alomar, David Bowie´s guitarist. The album was another success especially because of songs like La Ciudad de la Furia and Corazón Delator.
Not happy with establishing themselves as Latin American rock gods, they traveled to Miami to record their next album Cancion Animal. Released in 1990, it´s considered one of the albums in Latin rock. It contains their best known song De Música Ligera and almost all the songs in that album are their most popular songs. They went on to do a massive tour around 30 cities in Argentina and other cities around Central and South America. The tour finished with 14 consecutive sold out shows at the Grand Rex Theater in Buenos Aires.
Te para tres – Soda Stereo
The band had a whole MTV show dedicated to them, first time it did not feature an English speaking rock band, and also toured around Spain. In 1992 Cerati and Daniel Melero released the album Colores Santos, first aside musical project that Cerati would have, it was heavily influenced by electronic music. Then, the band released Dynamo which was greeted in shock by the fans because of its distortion and feedback sound. While this happened, Cerati kick started his solo career with the album Amor Amarillo (again, the man deserves a solo post). But despite the mixed reviews and Cerati´s career, the band would tour around Latin America that year. 1994 was a tragic year for Zeta Bosio, his young son was killed in a traffic accident in Argentina. This affected him on a professional and personal level, and the band decided to take a break.
In June 1995 the band released Sueño Stereo, their 7th and final studio album. It reached Platimun and included the popular songs “Zoom” and “Ella usó mi cabeza como un revólver“. They would also tour around Latin America and the United States. The tour ended in 1996 in Santiago de Chile. After that they recorded their MTV Unplugged, they were reluctant and ended up playing “plugged in” and with heavy orchestration and new arrangements.
Soda announced their separation in May 1997. The media and fans were shocked and saddened. They had a farewell tour, and released an album of their final concert in Buenos Aires called El Último Concierto which had part A and B. THe last song played was “De Música Ligera” and Cerati delivered a farewell that everyone in Latin America remembers.
¡No solo no hubiéramos sido nada sin ustedes, sino con toda la gente que estuvo a nuestro alrededor desde el comienzo; algunos siguen hasta hoy! ¡Gracias… totales!“
Exactly 10 years after their last concert, the band had a press conference and announced they were going to tour around Latin America again. Heads exploded, including mine. I celebrated my 30th birthday in their concert in Bogota that same day. Amazing show and memories…
1990 – Soda Stereo
With Cerati´s tragic death there wont be more Soda. Their style which had elements from new wave, to ska, to reggae, soul and electronic. Their image and hair. One of Argentina´s most beloved bands and best selling artists, setting record album sales and concert attendence will live on in their legacy, and they continue to sell albums…their voice will forever live on in the hearts of us fans. We can only say ¡Gracias… totales!
Cae El Sol – Soda Stereo
*Featured image taken from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c2/Soda_Stereo_1984.jpg