For this installment of Hispanic musician profiles we are taking a break from salsa music to take a look at the important Argentine Latin rock band, Soda Stereo. Starting up in 1982 out of Buenos Aires, Argentina, the band is considered to be pioneers of what would become a blossoming Latin rock genre.
Soda Stereo formed as a power trio comprised of singer-songwriter and guitarist Gustavo Cerati, bassist Héctor “Zeta” Bosio, and drummer Carlos Alberto Ficicchia (Charly Alberti). Their sound was reminiscent of bands like The Cure, Talking Heads, Television, The Police, and other bands of that era. They played a wide variety of genres ranging from new wave and rock, to ska, reggae, soul, to even electronica.
They were really the first South American Latin rock band to reach commercial success throughout all Central and South America, playing large venues across the continent. Soda Stereo racked up millions of album sales.
Soda Stereo paid their dues, playing in the local scene for several years before releasing their first album in 1984 self titled “Soda Stereo”. This brought them into the national spotlight. The next year, they released the album “Nada Personal” which pushed their popularity to new heights with the hits “Nada Personal” and “Cuando Pase el Temblor”. They kept pumping out the music, and in 1986, they came out with “Signos” which many feel is the best album of their career.
By this time, Soda Stereo’s sound had spread throughout Latin America which opened the door for them to tour South America. During the tour, they recorded a live album “Ruido Blanco” that was released in 1987. “Doble Vida”, produced by David Bowie’s guitar player Carlos Alomar followed in 1988. After this, they continued to grow their fan base with a tour in the United States. In 1990, the band shifted their sound with the addition of Daniel Melero.
Soon afterward they were to play in the streets of Buenos Aires to a crowd of 250,000 people. They continued to experiment with their sound releasing albums including an MTV Unplugged album in 1996 “Comfort y Música Para Volar” that well, wasn’t completely “unplugged” at all.
Soda Stereo was to disband in 1997, but not before establishing themselves as one of the greatest Latin rock bands of all time. Ten years later, to the excitement of their fans, they put together one last reunion tour playing a final 22 shows. Today, the band’s members work on various solo projects.