Luis Alberto Spinetta 1950-2012

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, February 8, 2012 04:33pm | Post a Comment
One of my greatest joys when I was picked to write a blog for Amoeba was that I was able to write about music that I truly loved. It was within my first few blogs that I wrote about my love for the music of Luis Alberto Spinetta. Sadly, Spinetta passed away today. A few months back he was diagnosed with lung cancer and died with pulmonary cancer complications. He had just turned 62.

My love for Spinetta’s music grew with my relationships with customers and some fellow employees who encouraged me to delve deeper into his music. Once I did, I found myself doing the same with others. Although a legend in Argentina and for that matter, with most Latin American rockers, he was still a bit of an unknown in mainstream society. I often wondered why other Latin American rock & psychedelic artists got more hipster cred when Spinetta’s volume of work was far superior to others.

His early groups, Almendra, Pescado Rabioso, Invisible and Spinetta Jade where some of the best rock, psyche, progressive rock and folk ever to come out of Latin America. As a solo artist, he released over twenty albums, all of them relevant to the time it was released. To be fair, not all of the solo albums were great but he never wallowed in nostalgia. He attempted to be contemporary without sounding like a dinosaur. If anything, sometimes he was too far ahead of the pack and people needed time to catch up to him.

As a well-read musician, his lyrics were both profound and abstract. I imagine even the most literary Spanish language types needed time to stop and analyze his lyrics. He was inspired by the works of Arthur Rimbaud, Carl Jung, Freud, Nietzsche, Carlos Castaneda and Antonin Artaud, which inspired his greatest album in my opinion, Artaud. Fellow music enthusiast, Gustavo Delanuca, described Spinetta as, “Hip, ahead of his time and never an old man trying be young”

In 2009, Spinetta celebrated his 40th anniversary of the release of Almendra’s first release by playing a five-hour show in Buenos Aires. He reformed his past groups in various configurations as well as played his solo work. He was the father of Dante Spinetta, co-founder of the legendary rock-funk band Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas, who recently reformed after a several year hiatus.

Former Soda Stereo front man Gustavo Cerati’s had a monster with a cover of Spinetta’s song, "Bajan", which is off of Artaud. Spinetta's music can be heard on such movies as Fuego Gris and Valentin

Also, if you find the movie, Rock Hasta Que Se Ponga El Sol, which has concert footage from Pescado Rabioso as well as other Argentinean bands from the 70’s, it’s well worth watching.

Here is a list of albums by Luis Alberto Spinetta that is mandatory for your appreciation of his work:

Almendra (1969)
Almendra II (1970)
Spinettalandia y Sus Amigos - La Búsqueda de la Estrella (1971)
Desatormentándonos (1972)
Pescado II (1973)
Artaud (1973)
Invisible (1974)
Durazno Sangrando (1975)
El Jardín de los Presentes (1976)
A 18´ del Sol (1977)
Pan (2006)

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Luis Alberto Spinetta (4), Argentina (5), World Music (146)