Luis Alberto Spinetta, Argentine musician (Almendra, Pescado Rabioso, Invisible), died from lung cancer he was 62
Luis Alberto “El Flaco” Spinetta was an Argentine musician died from lung cancer he was 62. One of the most influential rock musicians of South America, together with Charly García he is considered the father of Argentine rock. He was born in Buenos Aires in the residential neighbourhood of Bajo Belgrano. During his early childhood he was already listening to all kinds of music: folklore, tango, and a little bit later, rock. In 1967, amidst the repressive political climate, he formed a band called Almendra with his schoolmates.
(23 January 1950 – 8 February 2012)
Contrasting with the backwards and authoritarian government of General Juan Carlos Onganía, Buenos Aires was undergoing a cultural blossoming based on new art expressions; the new generation, among sons of the middle class,
were immersed in an effervescence that would not reappear in Argentina
until 1983. Spinetta devoted himself fully to his own music. In his
lyrics, there are influences of multiple writers, poets and artists like
Arthur Rimbaud, Vincent van Gogh, Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Nietzsche, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Carlos Castaneda and Antonin Artaud, who has his name in the album Artaud.
On 23 December 2011 he published on the Twitter account of his son Dante that he was facing lung cancer. He died on February 8, 2012 in his native Argentina, at the age of 62. His ashes were scattered in the waters of the Río de la Plata, according to his last wish, next to the Memory Park built to remember the desaparecidos of the National Reorganization Process.
In 1969, Spinetta’s band, Almendra,
recorded their first album. They started recording and playing
intensively and later it became successful almost overnight. Almendra
composed its own songs and their lyrics were written in Spanish,
something which was radically new for Argentina’s music history. After
two albums that were received with critical acclaim and continuous radio
diffusion, the band split.
After a lengthy stay in Europe, Spinetta returned to Argentina and afterwards formed a new band: Pescado Rabioso.
With a far more powerful sound and expressing through their songs and
lyrics the tension of the streets in an increasingly violent Argentina,
Pescado made their album debut in 1972. It was both a continuation of
the creative stream of Spinetta and a drastic change in the style of his
own music and lyrics. Later, the band recorded a second album. Although
a third album, released in 1973 and called Artaud,
it carried the band’s name when there were actually already dissolved.
Therefore, it was mostly a solo album by Spinetta himself. Partly based
on the writings of Antonin Artaud,
Spinetta exorcised many of the demons of his past in this album. This
process would open the door to a new era in his music. In 1974 he formed
a new band, Invisible. With his new band he recorded three albums: Invisible, Durazno Sangrando and El Jardín De Los Presentes. With Invisible, the new tunes were more harmonic.
After recording and editing a failed album in the United States in 1979, with lyrics in English and destined to the U.S. market,
Spinetta returned to Argentina to record two albums with a short-lived
Almendra Revival (one with original songs and the other live), and
embarked on a new project: Spinetta Jade.
The 1980s and beyond
would prove to be a successful and innovative band; Spinetta was joined
by some of the greatest Argentinan musicians of those and all times to
help him build the new sound he was building since Invisible. The
product: a blend of jazz and rock that was unseen in Argentina and that
escaped the boom of symphonic rock that reached both the world and Argentina in the early 1980s. These four albums, Alma de Diamante (1980), Los Niños que Escriben en el Cielo (1981), Bajo Belgrano (1983) and Madre en Años Luz (1984), represent a defined style as well as the footprints of Spinetta’s evolution. Spinetta and Charly García (with their respective bands at the moment, Jade and Serú Giran)
joined efforts and gave what was probably the most important show in
the history of Argentine Rock. After dissolving Spinetta Jade in 1984,
Spinetta worked on an album with Charly, but eventually they abandoned
their efforts. Only two songs remain of the ill-fated effort, “Rezo por
Vos” and “Total Interferencia”.
By 1982, Spinetta had restarted his solo projects, and from then on would never leave them. Kamikaze
(1982) puts together a number of previously unreleased songs (one gem
is an early song he composed in 1965 called “Barro Tal Vez”). In Mondo Di Cromo (1983) Spinetta’s new production, from 1986 to 1993, would include four solo albums (Privé, 1986), Téster de Violencia (1988), Don Lucero (1989), Pelusón of Milk (1991), a joint album with Fito Páez, another Argentine great (La La La, 1986), and the soundtrack of the movie Fuego Gris (named after the film, 1993).
After a long hiatus, largely due to Spinetta’s conflicts with
recording companies, he finally opened a new period in his music with
his new band: Spinetta y los Socios del Desierto.
Three years (1997–1999) and four albums later, Spinetta had created yet
another legend in Argentinian rock. Two studio albums, the double Socios del Desierto (1997) and Los Ojos (1999) would bring along a new sound. The band made an MTV Unplugged, Estrelicia (1998), which, because of its soft acoustics, contrasts with their live album, San Cristóforo
(1998). As Spinetta said at the beginning of the first concert, “Fans
de lo acústico, abstenerse” (“Fans of acoustic music, refrain”). In
1998, he selected the featured songs and artwork of a Greatest Hits
album called Elija y Gane, which was edited the same year.
The band dissolved quietly towards the end of 1999. Spinetta started a solo career, including Silver Sorgo (2001), Obras en Vivo (2002), a live album, Para Los Árboles (2003), Camalotus (2004), a single of three unreleased songs and one remix, Pan (2005) and Un Mañana (2008). In 2005, he received the Platinum Konex Award
for best rock soloist of the 1995–2005 decade. A number of books and TV
documentaries have been devoted to him. Argentinian writer Eduardo Berti published a book about Spinetta, which includes a long conversation with Spinetta.
- Almendra (1969)
- Almendra II (1970)
- El Valle Interior (1980)
- Almendra en Obras I/II (1980, live)
- Desatormentándonos (1972)
- Pescado II (1973)
- Artaud (1973)
- Estado de coma (1974, SP)
- Invisible (1974)
- La llave de Mandala (1974, SP)
- Viejos ratones del tiempo (1974, SP)
- Durazno Sangrando (1975)
- El Jardín de los Presentes (1976)
- Alma de Diamante (1980)
- Los Niños Que Escriben En El Cielo (1981)
- Bajo Belgrano (1983)
- Madre en Años Luz (1984)
Spinetta y los Socios del Desierto
- Socios del Desierto (1996)
- San Cristóforo (1998, live)
- Los Ojos (1999)
- Spinettalandia y Sus Amigos – La Búsqueda de la Estrella (1971)
- Artaud (1973, released as an album of Pescado Rabioso)
- A 18´ del Sol (1977)
- Only Love Can Sustain (1979)
- Kamikaze (1982)
- Mondo Di Cromo (1982)
- Privé (1986)
- La La La (1986, with Fito Páez)
- Téster de Violencia (1988)
- Don Lucero (1989)
- Exactas (1990, live)
- Pelusón Of Milk (1991)
- Fuego Gris (1993, soundtrack)
- Estrelicia (1997, MTV Unplugged)
- San Cristóforo: Un Sauna de Lava Eléctrico (1998, Live)
- Elija y Gane (1999, greatest hits)
- Silver Sorgo (2001)
- Argentina Sorgo Films Presenta: Spinetta Obras (2002)
- Para los Árboles (2003)
- Camalotus (2004)
- Pan (2005)
- Un Mañana (2008)
- Spinetta y las Bandas Eternas (2010, Live)
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