From The Vault: Latin Rock From The '60s And '70s

Los Dug Dugs. i i

Los Dug Dugs. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist
Los Dug Dugs.

Los Dug Dugs.

Courtesy of the artist

The doors to this hell will close, and perhaps I will want to leave.

That's a line from the 1973 song "Confesiones de invierno" ("Winter confessions") by Argentine band Sui Generis. At first listen, it's a song about heartbreak — specifically a guy who gets dumped by his girlfriend for not having a job. But buried in that mundane story a storm is brewing. A few lines later, the singer laments having drowned his sorrows in alcohol, and gotten a beating by the police.

That's because the '60s and '70s were a time of political turmoil in Latin America. By the 1970s most Latin American nations were ruled by brutal dictatorships. The ominous line from Sui Generis' "Confesiones" had become a reality. Much of Latin America turned into a true hell for those unable to leave.

Music can reflect tectonic shifts in society. Despite efforts by government censors in Latin America, rock and roll music was increasingly seeping into the mainstream, challenging everything from cultural values to sexual norms and the political status quo. In many cases, it was nothing short of heroic: After a concert in 1969, the police tortured members of the Guatemalan rock band S.O.S. they considered subversive. A year later, Brazilian musician Chico Buarque had to leave Brazil after threats from that country's military dictatorship.

On Alt.Latino this week we pay tribute to some of our favorite artists of the '60s and '70s — the pioneers of Latin rock who paved the way for artists we love today. The psychedelia of bands like Kaleidoscope and La Revolucion de Emiliano Zapata was indeed revolutionary.

We're joined by Franklin & Marshall College Associate Professor of History Eric Zolov, author of the books Rockin' Las Americas and Refried Elvis: The Rise of the Mexican Counterculture. Prof. Zolov also writes a bimonthly column on our Alt.Latino blog called "From The Vault," in which he explores Latin rock's history.

And for those of you who like me are of a younger generation, take my advice and tune into this week's show. It's not only about reminiscing. It's also about discovering an amazing musical past.

We want to hear from you: What are your favorite bands from this era? What was it like discovering this music for the first time? Share your stories with us!

From The Vault: Latin Rock From The 60's and 70's

Cover for Kaleidoscope

Colours

  • Artist: Kaleidoscope
  • Album: Kaleidoscope

Sounds like: Austin Powers fights space zombies. Credence Clearwater Revival is playing in the background.

Year: 1967

Coming At You From: Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Spain.

Cover for Impactos No. 1: Amarillo A-Go-Go

Hanky Panky

  • Artist: Los Dug Dugs
  • Album: Impactos No. 1: Amarillo A-Go-Go

Sounds like: Tommy James and the Shondells, in Spanish, a little faster and rougher. Which is how we like our hanky panky.

Year: 1966

Coming At You From: Mexico

Cover for Al Final De Este Viaje

Aunque No Este de Moda

  • Artist: Silvio Rodriguez
  • Album: Al Final De Este Viaje

Sounds like: A bitingly sarcastic commentary on censorship.

Year: 1968

Coming At You From: Cuba

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Song
Aunque No Este de Moda
Album
Al Final De Este Viaje
Artist
Silvio Rodriguez
Label
Fonomusic (spain)
Released
1995

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Cover for Tropicalia: Ou Panis Et Circencis

Batmacumba

  • Artist: Various Artists
  • Album: Tropicalia: Ou Panis Et Circencis

Sounds like: How funky do you like your samba? If you answered very, listen to this.

Year: 1969

Coming at you from: Brazil

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Song
Batmacumba
Album
Tropicalia: Ou Panis Et Circencis
Artist
Various Artists

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Cover for Revolucion De Emiliano Zapata

Nasty Sex

  • Artist: La Revolucion de Emiliano Zapata
  • Album: Revolucion De Emiliano Zapata

Sounds like: Three Dog Night Doing "Mama Told Me Not To Come"

Year: 1971

Coming at you from: Mexico

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Nasty Sex
Album
Revolucion De Emiliano Zapata
Artist
La Revolucion de Emiliano Zapata
Label
EMI Music Distribution
Released
1992

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Cover for Embrujo

Voy Hacia El Sol

  • Artist: Embrujo
  • Album: Embrujo

Sounds like: We're pretty sure Fat Boy Slim's "Praise You" is buried in there somewhere.

Year: 1971

Coming At You From: Chile

Cover for Caetano e Chico: Ao Vivo na Bahia

Você Não Entende Nada/Cotidiano

  • Artist: Caetano Veloso e Chico Buarque
  • Album: Caetano e Chico: Ao Vivo na Bahia

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Song
Você Não Entende Nada/Cotidiano
Album
Caetano e Chico: Ao Vivo na Bahia
Artist
Caetano Veloso e Chico Buarque
Label
Universal Distribution
Released
1972

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Cover for Confesiones de Invierno

Confesiones de Invierno

  • Artist: Sui Generis
  • Album: Confesiones de Invierno

Sounds like: A melancholy love song, with ominous political undertones buried in the lead.

Year: 1973

Coming at you from: Argentina

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Song
Confesiones de Invierno
Album
Confesiones de Invierno
Artist
Sui Generis
Label
Pampa
Released
1991

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Cover for Spiteri

Campesina

  • Artist: Spiteri
  • Album: Spiteri

Sounds like: Venezuela's response to Santana

Year: 1973

Coming at you from: Venezuela

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Song
Campesina
Album
Spiteri
Artist
Spiteri

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Cover for Cantar, Cantar

Barato Total

  • Artist: Gal Costa
  • Album: Cantar, Cantar

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Barato Total
Album
Cantar, Cantar
Artist
Gal Costa
Label
Universal Distribution
Released
1974

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