alt.obituaries Memorial Deadpool
Buenos Aires in the 1980s was a fertile
climate for commercial rock music. The Argentine military dictatorship had
killed, stifled, or exiled many of the country's rebellious youth, and many who
outlasted it adopted a pointedly apolitical stance. Led by charismatic singer/guitarist
Gustavo Cerati, a former advertising student, Soda Stereo was a perfect band
for the leftovers: glossy, poppy, danceable, media-centric, unashamedly
commercial. Heavily indebted to the Police (the band), but even less political,
their sound largely conformed to the jangly, atmospheric sonic template of '80s
Anglo-American alternapop, but added hints of electronica and Argentine folk
instruments as the band's popularity grew.
Though other South American bands
had sung primarily in Spanish, had toured across the continent, or had shot
videos, Soda Stereo was the first to do all of these with wide success. The
results persuaded skittish record companies that there was a large, worldwide market
for rock en Espaņol, and Cerati in particular became a teen idol. Over a
fifteen-year career, Soda Stereo sold millions of albums across the Western
Hemisphere before breaking up in 1997.
Cerati's critically and commercially
successful solo career was more eclectic than his work with Soda Stereo,
focusing on electronic sounds and including some of the classic career moves of
aging Anglo pop stars, such as the roots-folk record, the
orchestral-rearrangements-of-past-hits record, and, in 2007, the inevitable and
lucrative reunion of his old band. He also moved into music production, including
work with the callipygian Venezuelan singer Shakira.
Gustavo Cerati's career ended
abruptly when he suffered a stroke after a concert in Venezuela in May 2010. He
never regained consciousness, dying four years later, at 55, in Buenos Aires. Ed
V gets 19 points for the hit (14 for hit + 5 for solo).
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