Soy tan vulnerable a su amor
Today I have to tip my hat to the first band I ever geeked out over, Soda Stereo. Who dat? Soda Huh? Soda Stereo was a new wave trio from Argentina and they sang in Spanish. While Rock en Español was not a new thing (the 60's British Invasion affected everyone apparently) they were revolutionary in that they were not presented as novelty, they were sold as rock superstars. Lead singer and main songwriter, Gustavo Cerati, aped the signature styles of the top new wave stars of the time (Robert Smith - hair and make-up, Michael Hutchence - overt sexuality, Morrissey - rampant self-absorption and flowery shirts) and made the translated combination his own. Musically, at the start, they were a little bit The Police, a little bit The Cure. I was too young to get any of the references but what I did get was that it sounded just like the music on the radio but sung in the first language I ever learned.
Please understand, this was a big deal. When you grow up listening to radio in other countries where English is a foreign language, most of the pop songs played on the air are in GIBBERISH. This strange language made up of "uashashahsha" type sounds and one recurring word - YEAH. You learn to sing along to your favorite songs but it's phonetic and never quite right. You learn what the lyrics mean but you never really understand the subtleties. Of course, by the time I heard Soda Stereo, my English was fine but rock in Spanish still blew my mind. Those songs were on the radio. I could go home on holidays and hear them on several Santiago stations, tucked in between the yeahs.
Sobredosis De TV is an early one and very much of its time (80's synthezised cowbell! Too loud slap bass!) but boy, do I still love it. What you're hearing is that universal story; boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy finds that living alone again is making him a little insane. The simple things, like turning on the light, turning off the light carry new menace. Her absence is his new roommate. Not so foreign, eh?
Sobredosis De TV/Soda Stereo (mp3)
Buy Me Verás Volver by Soda Stereo.
Chances are, if you're not Latin, you have no idea how HUGE this band was. For a little bit of history and perspective, go HERE. Currently, Soda Stereo is touring Latin America and playing three stadium dates in the U.S. of A. The L.A. date is already sold out.
PS Here's a video for La Ciudad de la Furia from their MTV Unplugged appearance in 1996 featuring guest vocals from the singular Andrea Echeverri from Aterciopelados.