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Soda Stereo was an Argentine rock band created in Buenos Aires in 1982, by the power trio made up of Gustavo Cerati (lead vocals, guitars), Héctor "Zeta" Bosio (bass), and Charly Alberti (drums). It achieved international success throughout the 1980s and 1990s, playing a pivotal role in the surfacing, development and dissemination of Latin and Ibero-American rock. They were the first Latin rock group to achieve success throughout Hispanic America.
Soda's early sound was influenced by new wave bands such as Virus, The Police, Elvis Costello and post-punk bands such as Television (this influence particularly demonstrated in Soda's early works, e.g. Soda Stereo (1984), Nada Personal (1985), Signos (1986), and Doble Vida (1988)). The band gradually evolved into a heavier sounding alternative rock band, eventually drawing influences from classic rock, progressive rock, shoegaze, neo-psychedelia, britpop, and electronic music, particularly with the albums Canción Animal (1990), Dynamo (1992), and Sueño Stereo (1995).
Soda Stereo has topped the all-time lists in their native Argentina, becoming one of the best-selling Argentinian bands of all time and setting landmarks in record sales and concert attendances. Throughout their 15-year career, the band sold over 17 million albums in Latin America alone - this number has since continued to rise following the separation of the band.
After the band's separation, all three of its members found separate endeavours - Gustavo Cerati continued a successful solo career after the band's split, releasing four studio albums (most of which achieved Platinum and Gold status in Argentina; see his discography for more information), while Zeta Bosio worked for a time as bassist for several underground groups and is now touring as a DJ; Charly Alberti has also found moderate success, both with the foundation of his CybeRelations company, and his family band MOLE. In 2010, Gustavo Cerati suffered a massive stroke while on tour for his Fuerza natural album and fell into a coma, ultimately dying on September 4, 2014.
Formation and early years: From "Los Estereotipos" to Soda Stereo (1982-1984):
In the summer of 1982 Gustavo Cerati, at 22 years of age, and Hector Zeta Bosio, at 23 years of age, collided at Punta del Este, Uruguay. At the time, both men were part of rock bands, Cerati with his group Sauvage and Bosio with The Morgan, a band he shared with Sandra Baylac, Hugo Dop, Christian Hansen, Pablo Rodriguez,(of Los Auténticos Decadentes), Charly Amato, Osvaldo Kaplan, and Andres Calamaro. Cerati and Bosio, each drawn together by the other's musical tastes, established a friendship and a musical bond that encouraged them to start playing together. Cerati first joined Bosio's group The Morgan, then formed Stress with Charly Amato and drummer Pablo Guadalupe, also working on the project Erekto with bandmate Andres Calamaro. Both projects did not meet Cerati's expectations, however, and both fell through.
At the time, Carlos Ficcichia (who would later become known as Charly Alberti) would incessantly call Cerati's house asking for Maria Laura Cerati, Gustavo's sister. Alberti wanted to ask her out, but she thought he was too "pesado" (stiff) and did not want to go out with him. In one instance when Gustavo answered the phone, he entered a lengthy conservation about music with Alberti, who then mentioned that he was a drummer, and the son of the famous jazz drummer, Tito Alberti, known to many as the songwriter of a well known Argentine children's song, "El Elefante Trompita" (lit. "Little Trunk Elephant"). After hearing Alberti play, Cerati and Bosio asked him to join the band, but first he had to cut his hair.
After a few experiments (Aerosol, Side Car) the three adopted the name Los Estereotipos (The Stereotypes), the name referencing a song by The Specials which they had passionately been listening to for several months. During this time period they would record a demo, with Richard Coleman on guitars. Soda initially recruited Coleman to "beef up" the guitar sound, but Coleman recognized that the band sounded better without him and quit on good terms, leaving the definitive trio of Gustavo Cerati, Zeta Bosio, and Charly Alberti. The songs recorded were, "Porque No Puedo Ser Del Jet Set?" (Why Can't I be Part of the Jet Set?), "Dime Sebastian" (Tell Me Sebastian), and "Debo Soñar" (Must Dream) by Ulises Butrón (es), in which Ulises Butrón played guitars and Daniel Melero (es) played keyboards.
The band, regretting using cliches in their band name (claiming that "Los" in a rock-band name was overused), would often brainstorm random words and write them down, a university pastime for Cerati and Bosio; humorously, the word "soda" was written down, as Cerati would often drink copious amounts of soda during band rehearsals. Eventually, the word "Stereo" was also written down, and the two were joined together to form "Soda Stereo".
Regarding the meaning and use of the word "soda:"
Soda Stereo has said that they make music with bubbles. But instead of referring to luxurious champagne bubbles, they affirm that they assume the representative ordinary and popular Sifón (es), or carbonated soft drinks
The first show under the name "Soda Stereo" occurred on December 1982. The occasion was Alfredo Lois (es) birthday party. Lois was Cerati and Bosio's university classmate. He would go on to become Soda's video director as well as their visual and stylistic guru. Lois was later recognized by Cerati himself as "the fourth Soda".
In July 1983 the band made their debut at the discothèque Airport in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Belgrano. According to the band:
Our debut was at a fashion show at the Disco Airport, which was close to where we practiced in Buenos Aires. Nobody gave us a nod. The three of us played on a very deficient sound system. But we were happy, even though no one paid attention. We really looked like a punk group, we didn't know how to play and the sound was loud, even though it was just that
Following that gig, Soda Stereo began to play the underground circuit of Buenos Aires, making a name for themselves alongside other emerging bands of the time, such as Sumo, Los Twist, Los Encargados (with Daniel Melero), and other bands. Soda took up residency at the traditional and deteriorated Cabaret Marabú, located at Maipú 359. In those early shows, Soda would play songs like "Héroes de la Serie" (Heroe of the series), "La Vi Parada Alli" (I saw her standing there), and "Vamos a La Playa" (Let's go to the beach), along with other songs that appeared on their second demo. On one occasion at the Café Einstein, Luca Prodan approached Cerati, whom he considered "a chetito," and joined Soda in a cover of a Police song.
The band began to attract a bit of notoriety. One night they were called to a pub to substitute for the group Nylon. There began a period of constant shows which concluded at Bar Zero, a place that excluded the Porteño underground, along with Café Einstein. On their third show, Horacio Martinez, a historic Argentine rock producer and "talent hunter" heard them and quickly took them to record for CBS. This came to fruition in 1984 when Soda signed to the Rodríguez Ares agency.
At the time Soda Stereo was already known as being a band that worked hard on their image and long before the recording of their first album they decided to film a video clip, which they financed with their own money. was in charge of the visuals and the graphic designs featured on the fliers and posters for their live performances. It was Alfredo who decided to edit a video clip before the release of the album, something that is quite common today but totally unusual for the time. The song chosen was "Dietético" (Dietetic). The filming was realized with "borrowed" equipment from Cablevision, where Zeta Bosio worked as a production assistant.
First Album and Chateau Rock '85 (1984-1985):
Soda Stereo recorded their debut during the second half of 1984. The album was produced by Federico Moura (es), vocalist for Virus. By that time, Moura and Cerati had developed a fruitful artistic relationship. The recording took place in the defunct studios of CBS on Paraguay street. The end result was cooler sound than of the live shows, which the bands were pleased with. The trio was aided by Daniel Melero (es) on keys and Gonzo Palacios (es) on sax. Both were listed as "guest musicians," a practice which would become common for Soda throughout their career. Such guest musicians would be recognized by the public as the "fourth Sodas".
The attention garnered by Soda was manifested in their playing of larger and larger venues. First was "La Esquina Del Sol" in Palermo. "El Recital De Los Lagos" on the 1st and 2 December was their first multi-headlining show with top Argentine acts . The show was hosted by Argentinean Television personality Juan Alberto Badía (es).
Soda Stereo presented their debut album at El Teatro Astros on 14 December 1984, it was their first show there. The stage was designed by Alfredo Lois, who for the occasion located 26 television sets in the background. The TV's were turned on and out of sync with each other - the theme of "Sobredosis de TV" (TV Overdose). The TV's, together with a large amount of smoke, created an unusual but captivating visual effect
On 26 January 1985 Soda played the Rock in Bali festival in Argentine port city of Mar del Plata. On the 17th of March they played the Festival Chateu Rock '85 at the Estadio Olímpico Chateau Carreras in Córdoba Province. The official biography of the band attach great importance to this appearance indicating that the band played for 15 thousand people and that they were the revelation of the festival. However, Córdoba media outlets claim that, "only half the number of people actually showed up and that Soda were hardly noticed because their first record had was just released a few months earlier." They also added "Raul Porchetto was the biggest draw of the night". Regardless, their presence at Chateau sparked a personal relationship between the band the youth of Córdoba, it marked the moment that the band began to take flight toward national stardom.
The success of the band began at a very pecuiliar time, related, on the one hand with the return of democracy to Argentina (December 10, 1983), and on the other hand, with increasing notions of postmodernism, particularly in the way the '80s youth created their role in a newly democratic society, one that had just emerged from bloody Dictatorship and War.
Years later, Zeta Bosio would reflect on this juncture:
The democracy produced the adrenalin of something new, something was occurring, I knew I was going to make changes without knowing how. There was more air for us to make things and to wander, and we were a band of kids that wanted to make trouble. Our attention was on punk and on trying to show that there was something else that was more direct
On the 13th of October of that year, Soda played in front of a large audience in Buenos Aires as part of the third night of the Festival of Rock and Pop Held at the José Amalfitani Stadium home of the soccer club Velez Sarsfield . They shared the stage with INXS, Nina Hagen, Charly García, Virus (Argentine band), and Sumo (band), among others. By then Fabian "Vön" Quintero and Gonzo Palacios were "stable guests."
Nada Personal and Obras 1985-1986:
Soda's second álbum Nada Personal was edited on October 1985. During the summer the group toured the touristic centers of Argentina, playing in Mar de Plata, Villa Gesell, and Pinamar. Finalizing the tour with a consecrating concert at the Festival De la Falda in Córdoba, which featured Andres Calamaro and Charly García on keyboards on "Jet Set."
In April the band decided to officially present the album at a concert at the Estadio Obras Sanitarias in Buenos Aires. There they did four shows with a total attendance of 20,000 spectators. Footage from the first show was edited into a long play video, the noted music critic and founder of the groundbreaking Rock & Pop Radio in Buenos Aires, thus ending his chronicle of the concert, had this to say:
"We are facing the most powerful group in the country ... The best parameter to measure this presentation is that it was short, it seemed to have lasted ten minutes or so and people were left wanting more. The outpouring of the stadium was a general murmur of the songs from Soda Stereo. The rain, the traffic on Avenida del Libertador was cluttered by those entering and leaving. The last hot dog of the night and a healthy sense of well being, leave no room for existential questions. I then put my jaw back in place and went singing softly "Estoy Azulado" between the rain on Libertador. "
After these concerts records sales began to increase at an accelerated rate, quickly passing the Gold certification that they had achieved during the summer, platinum certification, and finally double platinum in the following months. Without abandoning the danceable rhythms, the second LP resulted in more depth in the lyrics and a melodical maturity. The album marked the definitive consecration of Soda Stereo to the Argentine public.
Latin American Success (1986-1989):
In 1986 Soda Stereo made their first Latin American tour, called Signos - still touring with the Nada Personal record. The band played in Colombia, Costa Rica Peru, and Chile with considerable success. In Chile they gave four performances in Santiago, on the 21,22,24, and 25 November, and one in Valparaíso on the 22nd of November of 86 In November 1986 Soda arrived in Peru for the first time and revolutionized the market. Their album sales were enormous and their three shows at the Amauta Coliseum were unforgettable.
At that time Latin Rock was not that popular with the youth of Latin America (with the exceptions of Argentina and Uruguay) and bands were not accustomed to international tours.
On 10 November 1986 the band released their third album Signos. Signos with its lead single "Persiana Americana" (es) (American Blinds) was a key step for Soda Stereo who by now had come under a great deal of stress due to ever increasing factors: sales expectations, external pressures, the risk of failure, and internal tensions. The band was joined in the studio by Fabián Vön Quintiero (es) on keys, Richard Coleman on guitar and Celsa Mel Gowland (es) on back up vocals. Signos became the first Argentine Rock album to be released on Compact Disc. It was manufactured in the Netherlands and distributed throughout Latin America.
On the 3rd of December Soda made their first appearance in Ecuador. In early 1987 Soda returned to Chile, this time to the Viña del Mar International Song Festival where they won the prize "Antorcha de Plata" (Silver Torch). The festival was broadcast via television to many Latin American countries, expanding the band's fame throughout the continent. It did not take long to transform itself into a massive unconditional following which was called "Sodamania".
On 23 April 1987, Soda broke records for ticket sales in Paraguay with their show at the Yacht Club. Meanwhile, Signos reached Platinum status in Argentina, triple platinum in Perú and double platinum in Chile. Soda's first show in Mexico occurred on the 4th of August in 1987 at the Magic Circus in Mexico City.
The Signos tour was a milestone for Soda as they played 22 concerts in 17 cities to almost 350,000 fans, in the process opening up the idea that Latin Rock can transcend the nationalities of the bands, something that would come to fruition in the upcoming decade. With live recordings from different shows, a live album Ruido Blanco was compiled in 1987. Mixed in Barbados, it was considered by Rolling Stone (Argentina) to be one of the top 5 live albums of Argentine Rock
In late 1988 Soda Stereo were longer the most important band of Latin American pop/rock. They began to work on a new album alongside Puerto Rican producer Carlos Alomar. Alomar had worked with David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Simple Minds, Iggy Pop, and Paul McCartney, among others. Doble Vida (Double Life) was recorded and mixed in New York City. It was the first record by an Argentine band to be completely recorded abroad.
The album produced four singles, "Picnic en el 4B" (Picnic in Room 4b), "En la Ciudad de la Furia" (In the City of Fury), and "Lo Que Sangra (La Cúpula)" (That Which Bleeds (The Dome), and "Corazon Delator" (Tell-Tale Heart). The video for "En La Ciudad de La Furia" was a finalist for an MTV Video Award in the category of best foreign video (there was no Latin MTV at the time).
After more than a year without playing in Buenos Aires, Soda showcased Doble Vida at the hockey field at Obras in front of 25,000 fans. To top of a stellar year, Soda headlined the Three Days for Democracy Festival, which took place in Buenos Aires on the intersection of Avenida del Libertador and 9 de Julio. The show was attended by 150,000 people and Soda shared the stage with Luis Alberto Spinetta Fito Páez, Los Ratones Paranoicos, Man Ray, and others.
With sales of a million copies of Doble Vida under their belt, Soda began a massive tour in early 1989. The tour began with 30 shows in Argentina, covering most of the country, which were attended by nearly 270,000 fans. These shows were followed by a new Latin American tour (their third), which cemented a massive following in Mexico.
Near the end of 1989 Soda records a new version of "Languis" (from Doble Vida) and a new song titled "Mundo de Quimeras" (World of Chimeras). Both songs were released in the EP Languis (1989) along with remixes of "En El Borde" and "Lo Que Sangra (La Cúpula)". Following the release of Languis Soda played two sold out shows at The Palace in Los Angeles, becoming the second Rock en Español to play in the United States, following Miguel Mateos.
The Consecration: Canción animal (1990-1991):
In early 1990 the band co-headlined a show for 32,000 people with British new wave band Tears for Fears at the Jose Amalfitani Stadium in Buenos Aires.
Soda Stereo then traveled to Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida to begin work on their fifth album. They would enlist the help of Daniel Melero (es), Andrea Álvarez (es), and Tweety González (all very important figures in the Argentine rock scene of the time.
The resulting album Canción Animal (1990) is considered to be one of the best albums in the history of Latin rock. It contains their best known song "De Música Ligera" (Of Light Music), as well as other classics such as "Canción Animal" (Animal Song), "Un Million de Años Luz" (A Million Light Years), "En el Septimo Dia" (On the Seventh Day), and "Te Para Tres" (Tea For Three). These songs are considered to be the band's strongest and at the same time are their most popular. Overall, the album is considered as the most consistent work by the band, along with Signos.
Their Massive Tour Animal (1990-1991) included 30 Argentine cities, many which had not been visited by a band with the reach of Soda Stereo. The cities visited in Argentina were: San Juan, Santa Fe de la Vera Cruz, Junín, Clorinda, Puerto Iguazú, Trelew, Neuquén, Santa Rosa, Trenque Lauquen Mendoza, Córdoba, Río Cuarto, Santiago del Estero, San Miguel de Tucumán, Salta, Rosario, Buenos Aires, Olavarria, Pergamino. International cities included: Santiago de Chile, Asunción, Punta del Este, Barquisimeto, Caracas, Valencia, Mérida, San Cristóbal, Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Mexicali, and Tijuana.
The Tour Animal finished with 14 consecutive shows at the Grand Rex Theater in Buenos Aires. With a 3,300 person capacity, this was a noticeable achievement at the time. Some of the Grand Rex shows would appear on the live EP Rex Mix (1991), which included remixed versions of a new song, "No Necesito Verte (Para Saberlo)" (I don't Need to See You - To Know).
By late 1991 Soda's continental success brought the band to the attention of MTV News Europe who began to take notice of what was taking place in Latin America, particularly with Rock en Español. MTV unconditionally dedicated a whole show to Soda - a first for non English singing band.
In May 1992 Soda embarked on a tour of Spain with shows in Madrid, Oviedo, Sevilla, Valencia, and Barcelona.The lackluster results of the Spanish tour, compared to the fervor they were accustomed to in Latin America, left a sour taste in their mouths. Nevertheless, it did serve as a valid experience, specifically in bringing the band back to earth. To put it bluntly: Spain was in no way a failure, but was far from the success that Soda had been used to in Latin America, in the end it was a good learning experience.
Experimentation and change in style: Dynamo, Cerati's solo career, and musical hiatus (1992-1994):
Dynamo, related tours and Cerati's solo career (1992-1993):
In March 1992, Argentinian producer and musician Daniel Melero and Gustavo Cerati released an album titled Colores Santos, Cerati's first musical venture away from the band. Heavily influenced by Melero's experimentation with electronic music, it was stylistically not indicative of Cerati's "rock-centered" works, instead choosing to follow a drastically different pattern containing elements from neo-psychedelia and dream pop. Cerati would depart to Spain immediately following the album's release for touring with Soda Stereo - upon returning that May, the band immediately began work on new music.
Nearing the end of 1992 Soda began showcasing their sixth studio album Dynamo, first introduced to the public with six concerts at Obras. The band also showcased the album in its entirety in a local talk-show, Fax, famous for being the first stereophonic TV transmission in Argentinian history. The album, eventually released near the end of 1992, is stylistically a shoegazing album, and was met with alienation and shock from many fans of the band, who found its radical shift in style from Canción Animal discomforting and challenging to cope with. Surrounding the band's rushed decision to change record companies from BMG to Sony immediately before the disc's release, Dynamo failed to sell as expected, and remains the lowest-selling album of Soda's career today. Despite these challenges, Soda began their sixth tour of Latin America to begin 1993, during which time Cerati officially kickstarted his solo career with the release of Amor Amarillo, his debut album.
Challenges and eventual musical hiatus (1994):
1994 met with fresh challenges to the band and its stability. On 4 July 1994, Zeta Bosio's young son was killed in a freak transit accident in Argentina. This event would deeply affect Zeta on both a personal and professional level, and surrounding his inability to work and growing dysfunction within the band, Soda unanimously decided to take a hiatus to possibly mediate the decision of separating permanently.
During this hiatus, the band's members would explore other personal endeavors. Cerati explored his solo career, Zeta dedicating himself to the production of other bands (Peligrosos Gorriones and Aguirre), while Alberti disappeared from the music scene to focus on personal projects.
At the end of 1994 Zona de Promesas, a compilation of remixes and classic Soda songs, including the unreleased song that gave the album its name, was released.
Sueño Stereo (1995-1997):
After a three-year absence, on 29 June 1995, Soda released Sueño Stereo, their 7th and final studio album. The album was an instant hit, quickly reaching platinum status in Argentina 15 days after its release. The album was powered by the radio hit "Zoom" and the promotional video for "Ella usó mi cabeza como un revólver", which in 1996 won the Viewer's Choice Award presented by MTV Latin America.
According to Cerati, the album was retroactively a source of pride for him and his band:
Sueño Stereo took two years to conceive. It would be illogical to say that this was our masterpiece, but it was the most emotional work we had done at the time, because we were stripped of the need of having competition in the future, or of being the best for another ten years. We had already made it through a lot of things and the band itself felt classic. On the other hand, we were very proud of what Dynamo had promoted and how it was subsequently interpreted... The band had to deliver something important; it couldn't just be "any" record. We had to find ourselves again after a while and allow the music to flow, without thinking too much about taking huge steps or anything like that. All-in-all, Sueño Stereo is one of the most innovative records of our career, without us trying to make it so - because of its sonic combinations, its lyrics, and because of its sound.
The record became the catalyst for the extensive Gira Sueño Stereo (Sueño Stereo Tour), which began on September 8 in Buenos Aires, at the Grand Rex Theater - it spanned Venezuela, Colombia, Perú, Panama, México and the United States (Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Miami). The tour ended on 24 April 1996 at the Teatro Teletón in Santiago de Chile.
In mid 1996 Soda was invited to Miami by MTV to record a session for MTV's acoustic show, MTV Unplugged. Soda, initially reluctant to play, was finally able to negotiate with the network to play with a unique setup: the band would play "plugged in", but with modifications such as heavy orchestration, including brand-new arrangements of some of their classic songs. The result was an eclectic mix of music, an acoustic-electric hybrid. A highlight of the album was a soaring rendition of "En La Ciudad De La Furia", where the chorus was sung by Andrea Echeverri of the Colombian Rock en Español band Aterciopelados. Other songs recorded included "Un Misil en Mi Placard" (re-arranged in a style that directly plagiarised the 1992 track Chrome Waves by English band Ride), "Entre Canibales", "Cuando pase el temblor", Té Para Tres","Angel Electrico", "Terapia de Amor Intensiva", "Disco Eterno", "Ella usó mi cabeza como un revólver", "Paseando Por Roma" and "Génesis" (a cover of Vox Dei). The recording of the MTV show would be partially released on the album Comfort y Música Para Volar in 1996, and in its entirety in a new version of Comfort released in 2007. The album contained 4 new tracks from the Sueño Stereo sessions, as well as an interactive CD-ROM with pictures and videos from the show.
On 30 October 1996 Soda Stereo became the first Latin American band to transmit a live concert via the Internet, through the Argentine radio program Cuál Es? (Which Is It?). The show was conducted by Mario Pergolini on Argentina Rock & Pop radio. The band played live from the music store Promúsica in Buenos Aires.
Band breakup and El Último Concierto (1997):
Times were silent preceding the separation of the band, except for the band's participation on a Rock En Español Tribute album, Tribute a Queen: Los Grandes del Rock en Español (es), in which Soda covered "Someday One Day," from Queen's 1974 album, Queen II, and sung it in Spanish, as "Algun Dia."
Unexpectedly, Soda officially announced their separation in May 1997, through a press release. The following day, Argentinian newspapers echoed the news, in the case of Argentine paper Clarín devoting an entire front page entirely to the breakup. The following day, Gustavo Cerati's farewell note was published on the Clarín kids' edition. The farewell letter read:
This letter has been inspired from what I have seen on the street these days: fans who have approached me, the people around me, and from my own personal experiences. I share the sadness that has been created in many by our separation. I, myself, am immersed in that state because few things have been so important to me in my life as Soda Stereo. Everyone knows that it is impossible to lead a band without a certain level of conflict. It is a fragile equilibrium in the war of ideas that very few are able to handle for fifteen years, as we proudly did and maintained. But, ultimately, different personal and musical misunderstandings began to compromise that equilibrium... excuses were generated for not confronting ourselves, excuses for a future group that we no longer believed in as we did in the past. To end for the sake of the band is, in its redundancy, to give importance to our mental health, and above all to show respect for all of our fans who have followed us for such a long time. Goodbye.
The band would carry on with a farewell tour, making stops in Mexico, Venezuela, Chile and their native Argentina. Their final concert took place on 20 September at the River Plate Stadium in Buenos Aires, and was recorded and released in two parts, El Último Concierto A and B. The show ended with the song "De Musica Ligera" and a memorable farewell by Cerati:
"(Original, Spanish) ¡No solo no hubiéramos sido nada sin ustedes, sino con toda la gente que estuvo a nuestro alrededor desde el comienzo; algunos siguen hasta hoy! ¡Gracias... totales!"
(English translation) "We would not have been anything without you all, but also without everybody that supported us since the very beginning; some still do till this day! A huge... thank you!"
A DVD of the farewell show was released in 2005. A compilation CD was released later that year titled Chau Soda (es) ("Bye Soda").
Despite the constant rumors of a reunion, which ironically started shortly after the breakup, little was heard regarding Soda, except for a TV special on "El Ultimo Concierto" (The Last Concert) produced by HBO and an MTV documentary titled Soda Stereo: La Leyenda (Soda Stereo: The Legend). Finally, in 2002 the trio was reunited at the MTV Latin Music Video Awards where they were awarded the Legend award in honor of their musical and visual trajectory.
Seven years after the breakup and the absence of any new official releases seemed odd. Near the end of 2003 Sony Music announced the release of the first DVD by Soda Stereo, on that contained much unreleased material from compiled by Gustavo, Zeta, Charly, and people close to the band.
The finished product arrived on the streets on November 2004. It was titled, Soda Stereo: Una Parte de La Euforia (1983-1997) (Soda Stereo: A Part of the Euphoria (1983-1997)). On September 20, 2005 an Argentine DVD of Soda's last concert, which took place exactly 8 years before at River Plate stadium was released. It was titled El Ultimo Concierto (En Vivo) (The Last Concert - Live). The DVD, in contrast to the HBO production, featured a 5.1 audio and included two songs that were not aired on the HBO concert, "Juego de Seduccion" and "Sobredosis de TV." It also included a multi camera option for a soundcheck of "Primavera 0" and a 25-minute documentary about the tour featuring footage of sound checks and concerts in Mexico, Venezuela, and Argentina. It also featured an interview with the long lost "fourth Soda" Alfredo Lois (es), the director of the DVD, one his last works before his death.
Me Verás Volver (2007):
The reunification of Soda stereo was a mandatory topic for journalists whenever faced with a former member. So much so, that Zeta Bosio once declared:
One day I dreamed that I was not going to be asked about a Soda reunion!.
In 2007, ten years after the breakup, the band decides to reunite for one time with the goal of accomplishing a grand continental tour. On 6 June 2007, the official news came out: Soda Stereo will return to the stage with a sole American tour called Me Veras Volver (You Will See Me Return), a phrase that's emblematic of their song "En La Ciudad de la Furia"
In early July Sony/BMG released a new compilation album titled Me Verás Volver (Hits & +). The CD contained 18 studio recordings remastered in 2007. The CD did not contain any new material but it did contain a code to receive exclusive web footage such as live versions. The album reached number one in Argentina and Chile.
On the September 20, 2007, exactly 10 years since their final concert, Soda Stereo gave a long awaited press conference at the Club Museum in Peru St., Buenos Aires, in a historical building designed at the turn of the century by the famous French architect and structural engineer Gustave Eiffel. This was the same building which years before was used as the location for their video of "En La Ciudad De La Furia". They surprised those there with a mini concert of two songs, "Sobredosis de TV" and "En La Ciudad de La Furia," played in their original form. The song were played solely by the three of them. During the press conference the trio clarified that after the tour they intend on resuming their individual pursuits.
The tour was scheduled to begin on October 19 at River Plate Stadium in Buenos Aires, and originally only two concerts were scheduled as well as performances in several American countries. However, from the time the tickets went on sale it became apparent that the original program would be completely overwhelmed and that the band was faced with a huge continent-wide cultural event. The first two shows sold out in only 24 hours (a total of 90,000 tickets). The band quickly added one more show to the schedule, and after three days, the tickets for the first three shows were sold out, so two more shows were added.
Finally on 19 October 2007, the time came for the triumphant return of Soda Stereo at the River Plate Stadium in Argentina. A massive banner that contained a large sentence with the name of their songs intertwined was unveiled.
The band was accompanied by one of the main "fourth Soda's" Tweety Gonzalez (keyboards), as well as Leandro Fresco (keyboards, percussion, and backing vocals), and Leo Garcia on guitars and backing vocals. The concert lasted more than three hours. Soda played a total of 28 songs. The show opened with a recording of "Algun Dia" their cover of Queen's "Someday One Day" meanwhile images of the history of Soda Stereo appeared in the background.
The expected amount of fans attending the five shows was more than 300,000, making Soda Stereo one of the most watched public events in the history of Argentina. Soda became the only band to play more than five times in the Estadio Monumental in Argentina in a single tour. Me Verás Volver featured 22 concerts throughout America including three shows in the US -all but two were sold out42.
In October 2007 Sony/BMG released Comfort Y Música Para Volar on DVD. The DVD included all of the songs recorded for the MTV unplugged session.
On 21 December 2007 the last concert was held at the River Plate Stadium in Buenos Aires. Three extra songs were played for this show, "Si No Fuera Por," "Terapia de Amor Intensiva," and "Lo Que Sangra (La Cúpula)." The band was joined by Andrea Álvarez for "Picnic en el 4B", Richard Coleman for "No Existes", Fabián "Zorrito Vön" Quintiero for "Danza Rota" and "Profugos", Carlos Alomar for "Lo Que Sangra (La Cúpula)" and "Terapia de Amor Intensiva," and Gillespie for "Signos" and "Fue." Cerati returned to use his famous expression "gracias totales," and after playing "De Musica Ligera." Finally, Cerati played the riff of "Sueles Dejarme Solo" and smashed his guitar.
The main influence that Soda Stereo received during their career was of British rock. Among the most influential artists for the band sound are The Beatles and solo careers of George Harrison, Paul McCartney and John Lennon; The Police, The Cure, Television, Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, David Bowie, Virus, XTC, The Specials, Squeeze, Pink Floyd, Luis Alberto Spinetta, Queen (in 1997 band recorded tribute song "Algún día"), My Bloody Valentine and Cocteau Twins.
Soda Stereo has been considered a pioneering Latin rock band. It was the first band to come out strongly in the local limits of their country of origin and to consider Latin America as a unified cultural space for the language, including the U.S.. The result was a popular and widespread identification of Latino youth, above countries, which was made for the Anglo-Saxon rock, but not for the Latin rock, rock in Spanish and Latin American rock, different variants the same cultural-musical phenomenon.
Soda Stereo was the beginning of a globalization that incorporated local musicians in a great continental power rock up point lead to local analysts to wonder whether "Does it make sense to keep talking about "rock nacional"?". In many parts of Latin America, including Colombia, "Soda Stereo said musicality and poise of a new generation, sought to differentiate themselves from the 'thirties eighties' who liked the Dominican merengue, to begin to listen and sing rock in Spanish." In Chile, Soda not only marked a whole generation with his look, his lyrics and music but the intense emotional relationship developed between the band and its fans, was a decisive factor for "de-nationalize" the group and make it an expression, and not only young people in a particular country, but youth as a sector uniform social issues and common languages, something that rock and roll had not been achieved so far in the Spanish-speaking countries due to language barrier.
Of course the musical-cultural phenomenon that expressed Soda Stereo in Latin America exceeds the band and is inserted into the underlying reasons related to youth identity, that have made rock and roll a global cultural movement, as well as conditions Latin American cultural youth from the decade of the 80's (out of dictatorships, globalization, postmodernism, information society, exacerbating social inequalities.) When Soda Stereo starred in continental Latin rock explosion, every country in Latin America was a breeding ground, made of a new movement of bands ", as it is called in Venezuela.
The decisive influence of Soda Stereo Latin rock music of the 90's and early twenty-first century has been reflected in the opinion of the leading musicians of the continent:
I have been a Cerati fan all my life when he was part of Soda Stereo and before I met him I had already gone to three of his concerts. Both Gustavo Cerati and Santana have enriched me, they are my little wonders.
Soda Stereo is one of the most emblematic bands in Latin America.
-- Gustavo Santaolalla
"El temblor" was the first song of theirs that I heard, it was the first one to be heard in Colombia. I really dig the reunion. Why not, if they are alive? They are totally a legend. They have made history for all Latin American youths, and to see them together again, well, will be a great, great event.
Soda Stereo is a wonderful group. I'm very happy for the 2007 reunion tour. They are one of the best Latin rock groups.
-- Juan Luis Guerra
Records and achievements:
The First Latin American artist to use the compact disc format (CD) in the album Signos.,
The First Latin American group to have a TV broadcast with stereo sound during the presentation of their album Dynamo in the program "Fax en Concierto", in 1992.,
The first Spanish-language band to play in the United States as the main event.,
The first Spanish-language band to tour Latin America. Formerly the Spanish rock groups rarely left their home country and if they did not obtain much success. Soda Stereo was the first group to exploit the idea of expansion across the region.,
The First Ibero-American band to include an interactive track in an album, in this case with his MTV Unplugged album, Comfort y Música Para Volar, in 1996.,
In his tour "Me Verás Volver 2007" reached record for perform six concerts in the Estadio Monumental de River Plate on the same tour, beating the previous mark of five concerts of The Rolling Stones.,
Before the tour Me Verás Volver, Robbie Williams held the record for most tickets sold in less time in Argentina (River Plate stadium sold out in five days), but the record was broken by Soda Stereo in 2007 to sell two concerts in the River Plate Stadium in less than a day.,
In Chile is the band that with more people have filled the Estadio Nacional de Chile, surpassing to Los Prisioneros, who held the record with two presentations in 2001.,
Greater attendance at a pay concert in Venezuela. more than 55,000 fans gather at the Hippodrome de la Rinconada in Caracas in 2007, during the tour Me Verás Volver.,
Greater attendance at a pay concert in Colombia. 52,000 people gather Simón Bolívar Park Bogotá, in 2007, during the tour Me Verás Volver.,
Greater attendance at a pay concert at the National Stadium, Panama, with 22,000 spectators, the November 27, 2007.,
Greater attendance at a concert at Estadio Chateau Carreras Córdoba, with 48,000 spectators, the December 15, 2007. With this fact the band snatched los Redondos the record he had gotten years ago at the Córdoba stadium.,
Cerati worked with Daniel Melero in the 1992 album Colores Santos, he co-wrote and produced most of the songs and although the album was never formally presented, two singles were released, "Vuelta por el Universo" and "Hoy Ya No Soy Yo". Cerati's second solo album was Amor Amarillo (1993), it contained collaborations by Zeta Bosio and Cerati's (then) wife Cecilia Amenábar.
After Soda's separation, Cerati released the studio albums Amor Amarillo (1993), Bocanada (1999), +Bien (2001) and Siempre Es Hoy (2002). In 2002 he released 11 Episodios Sinfónicos that contained some Soda Stereo and solo songs played live with a symphony orchestra. Cerati also released electronic music as Plan V, and other projects. Ahí Vamos! (2006), is considered as a back-to-basics return. His last album to date is Fuerza Natural (2009), which changes several things about his previous albums and has been very well received by fans and critics.
He also produced albums for other artists, such as Nicole, Leo García and Altocamet, as well as for the band Friccion, in which he was a guitarist in the 1980s.
On May 15, 2010, Cerati suffered an aneurysm/brain damage after a concert held in Caracas, Venezuela; subsequently after four years in a coma, at 9 am on September 4, 2014, Gustavo Cerati, the lead singer of Soda Stereo died of respiratory arrest at Clínica Alcla in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Bosio has had a low profile over the years. He is working with Proyecto Under, an online portal for musicians, and performing as a DJ. He also produced albums with many bands, such as Aguirre and Peligrosos Gorriones. In a recent interview, he declared that he has no interest to play in a band. He is also the artistic director of an independent label, Alerta Records. In 1997 he produced Nacion Hip Hop, a CD compilation of local underground rap artists that is considered the founding stone of Argentine's hip hop scene. He also worked closely with hip hop act Tumbas (who opened for Soda Stereo in their last concert) and DJ Tortuga, who later became part of the experimental hip hop trio Koxmoz.
Alberti released one studio album without Soda Stereo in 1994, Plum, along with his then girlfriend, supermodel Deborah de Corral, and since 1997 Alberti became interested in informatics, he was involved in running his company Cybrel Digital Entertainment, that aimed at generating and implementing content based technologies. He was named an Applemaster for his contributions to the music world.
In 1998, he started two new projects, URL Magazine, a culture magazine, and URL Records, a discographic label. He is also the founder of YeYeYe and Musike, two portals about music and entertainment.
Alberti recently formed another rock band with his brother, Andrés Alberti, and recorded their first album named as the band, MOLE. Alberti stated that he does not want Mole's sound to sound like Soda Stereo, he wants "Mole to live by itself."
Gustavo Cerati - lead vocals, guitars, samplers, synthesizers, MPC60, effects, percussion, fretless bass guitar, keyboards, Rhodes piano (1982 - 1997) (2007, on tour; died 2014),
Zeta Bosio - bass guitar, backing vocals, samplers, synthesizers, percussion, Chapman Stick, contrabass, guitar (1982 - 1997) (2007, on tour),
Charly Alberti - drums, percussion (1982 - 1997) (2007, on tour),
One of the collaborating musicians that has been most prominent and have long worked with the band is the keyboardist Tweety González, who accompanied the band on most of his career.