Luis Alberto Spinetta - Argentine Astronaut

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, September 6, 2007 10:43am | Post a Comment
Every Argentino I’ve ever met has always goes on and on how their country has the best everything. The best beef, the best looking women, the best soccer team and the best music ever created, blah, blah, blah. All I can say about Argentineans is that they talk too much and sound funny when they do! Kidding aside, (It's a rite of passage for the rest of Latin America to make fun of Argentina) Argentina has provided some great music for the rest of the world. One of my favorites is someone who I’ve heard about for years but haven’t discovered until a few years ago. luis alberto spinetta

Luis Alberto Spinetta is a legend in his native Argentina and well respected by rockeros all over Latin America. He is hard to describe. A lazy comparison would be somewhere between Paul McCartney (Wings Era), Frank Zappa (as a musician, not as a satirist) and Andy Partridge from XTC. His lyrics are poetic and one can tell he is someone who is well read. You might not know what he is singing about unless you have read as much as Spinetta has. His career started in the late 60’s with a band called Almendra, who along with Los Gatos and Manal, were the pioneers of the Argentine rock movement. Almendra had a garage-psychedelic sound with some 60’s pop influences. They release three albums before they disbanded. Spinetta then started another group called Pescado Rabioso (Rabid Fish), which had a heavier sound, and lyrics that were influenced by writers such as Artaud, Arthur Rimbaud, Carlos Castaneda and Carl Jung. With his next group, Invisible. (Pronounced en-ve-see-blay) Spinetta developed a progressive rock style yet he wrote some of his best ballads, full of space and sparse notes.

After three albums with Invisible, Spinetta went solo. He dabbled in Jazz Fusion (Spinetta Jade) and made one album in English called, “Only Love Can Sustain” which flopped because it didn’t appeal to the Anglo market nor did it appeal to his fans, who saw it as a sell-out. After that, he continued to make music in Argentina and continued to be an artist to be reckoned with. His son, Dante Spinetta, was in a very popular band in the 90’s called Illya Kuryaki & Los Valderamos, who were legends in their own right.

He still continues to release music to this day, playing with many musicians half his age. Much like Caetano Veloso’s last album, Ce, Spinetta modern day sound is like an alt-rock group that could have come out Silver Lake via Buenos Aires. Many Latin American icons owe their careers to Spinetta. Gustavo Cerati made a career in mimicking Spinetta voice and even scored a hit with Pescado Rabiosos' classic, Bajan

I was fishing around and found this footage of Luis Alberto Spinetta. It looks like it might be from the eighties. He performs his classic, “El Anillo De Capitan Beto” (The Ring Of Captain Beto) from Invisible’s album El Jardín De Los Presentes. Watch how nuts the audience gets when he launches this song, even the suits sitting in the front let loose. In the beginning he says that this is the story of an infamous Argentine Astronaut, and he sounds funny when he says it.

Recommended Listening for Luis Alberto Spinetta:

We have most of these releases in the Latin Rock section at Amoeba Hollywood, btw

Almendra I (1969)
Almendra II (1970)
Retrospectiva 1968-72 (1985) It’s a three CD box set

Pescado Rabioso:
Desatormentándonos (1972)
Pescado 2 (1973)
Artaud (álbum) (1973) Some consider this a solo album, as he played everything on it.

Invisible (1974) 
Durazno Sangrando (1975)
El jardín de los presentes (1976)

Spinettalandia y Sus Amigos (1971)
A 18' Del Sol (1977)

Relevant Tags

Invisible (1), Pescado Rabioso (2), Luis Alberto Spinetta (4), Almendra (1)