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LAGHONIA

Psychedelic/Space Rock • Peru


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Laghonia biography
Few countries in South America had such a fertile Psychedelia/Progressive scenario as Perú with great quality bands like the legendary TRAFFIC SOUND ("Mescalina"), TELEGRAPH AVENUE or EL POLEN, but all this groups had something in common, they all gathered to watch LAGHONIA in concert, not only to listen the only band in Perú and probably the first in South America that used a Hammond B2 back in the 60's, plus the obvious interest on the polyrhythmic songs they used to play.

The band was born on 1965 in the mind of brothers Cornejo (Saul on guitar, Manuel on drums) and Eddy Zaraus (Who made his own bass which he used all along his career in LAGHONIA).

Cornejo Brothers were very much into Classical music especially Tchaikovski, but it's not until they discover THE BEATLES that decided to form a Rock band, blending the previously mentioned influences with THE YARDBIRDS, THE ZOMBIES (With their peculiar Baroque Rock), THE ANIMALS among others and later some clear SANTANA guitar riffs.

But they needed an extra guitar player (Power trios were not popular back in 65) and recruited Alberto Miller and a percussionist named Alex Abad, and they choose the name as The New Jugglers Sound inspired in the British rock invasion.

During the next three years they appear on TV shows, radio programs and even in schools, while writing almost 100 songs.

In 1968 Alberto Miller leaves the band and the rest of the members quickly notice that the musical scenario was rapidly changing, the British invasion was left behind by the USA and British Psychedelia so they start replacing their name for LAGHONIA (A play of words that sounds like The Agony -LA AGONIA- but with an extra h in the middle to join the words, the exact date of this change of name is lost in the mist of time, some say in 1968 others say in 1969).

They started the search of a new guitar player and one day Eddy Zaraus was walking on a park in a small city at the north and listens a kid who had moved from USA to Lima at the age of 16 named David Levene who was on a backpack hitchhiking trip through Perú.

The North American kid was sitting on a bench while playing his guitar, so an impressed Eddy asks this guy if he plays in a band and invites him for an audition, the rest of the band is delighted with his playing that combines Blues and Psychedelia creating a very pleasant atmosphere, so they recruit him.

In 1969 they record a song named "Glue" (in reference to ...
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LAGHONIA Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy LAGHONIA Music


EtceteraEtcetera
World In Sound
Vinyl$99.99
World In Sound Tracks - Episode IWorld In Sound Tracks - Episode I
Audio CD$14.00
Glue plus 4 bonus tracksGlue plus 4 bonus tracks
Audio CD$16.00
$44.00 (used)
UnglueUnglue
2009
Audio CD$2,380.34
EtCetera plus 4 bonus tracksEtCetera plus 4 bonus tracks
Audio CD$16.00
$109.56 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)

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LAGHONIA discography


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LAGHONIA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.09 | 8 ratings
Glue
1971
3.52 | 14 ratings
EtCetera
1971

LAGHONIA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

LAGHONIA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

LAGHONIA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 2 ratings
Unglue
2004

LAGHONIA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

LAGHONIA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 EtCetera by LAGHONIA album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.52 | 14 ratings

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EtCetera
Laghonia Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars The second Laghonia album shows some progress from the first - rather than playing somewhat generic-sounding psychedelic rock with some very minor influences from local musical styles, as they did on their debut, Laghonia strongly emphasise the Beatles influence in their work. And, admitted, at times they do produce songs that approach a decent tribute to the Fab Four, as on the spacey Lonely People or parts of Everybody on Monday.

But personally, I can't get into it - the songs are too long, too repetitive, too drawn-out, with too few ideas stretched over too much time. It doesn't help that the production values aren't too great - at least, on the version I own - an unfortunate consequence of cheap recording practices at the time combined with the fact that the CD was, as I understand it, mastered from one of the last two remaining vinyl copies of the album rather than the now-lost master tapes. Ah well.

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 Glue by LAGHONIA album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.09 | 8 ratings

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Glue
Laghonia Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Comprising material that was put together in the late 1960s but not released until 1971 - due to the political situation in the country making it impossible to release the album! - Laghonia's glue must have seemed like kind of a throwback even when it first came out. Garage psych in a mid-1960s style, it sounds like these guys had managed to listen to some smuggled-in Hendrix or Love albums, since they deploy a similarly guitar-driven, chaotic sound, with just the lead singer's accent and a touch of traditional music here or there (like the backing singing on Bahia) to suggest that this is in fact a Peruvian band, not a second-string Haight-Ashbury group from the hippy era. It's all good enough fun, but it's not first-class stuff, or even especially innovative - then again, even being able to operate as a rock band during the years of a dictatorship was a fine achievement in itself.

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 Glue by LAGHONIA album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.09 | 8 ratings

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Glue
Laghonia Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

4 stars Since 1965 the Peruvian band named The New Jugglers Sound had made a name in our country and wrote almost 100 songs, but it's not until 1968 when their sound takes a definitive form, first they change the name to "Laghonia", they recruit a North American guitar player and vocalist named David Levane and start to take seriously their career.

They release their first single called Glue (Due to a drug that Saul Cornejo had read about in Time Magazine) with a "B" side a single called Billy Morsa (Billy Walrus).

With this singles an some new material that included their first N° 1 hit "Bahia", most of it oriented towards Psychedelia they are ready to release their fist album in 1971 which takes the name of their first single "GLUE".

Don't let the date of release (1971) fool you, because all the material is from the 60's, but when you live in a third world country ruled by a dictator who hates Rock, it is hard to find any label ready to take the risk of promoting Peruvian Rock band who sings in English (Language hated by the same dictator).

The album starts with "Baby, Baby"; beautiful song especially because it's really naďve, this track is clearly influenced by early Beatles, for moments seems that you're listening a weird version of Love Me Do including the "oohs". But that simplicity is the key of its beauty, almost as a baby walking for the first time but holding the hand of an adult.

"I Must Go" starts as a Psychedelic version of Simon and Garfunkel, even the voices are similar, but the song is darker and less friendly, somehow derivative but very good.

It's time for Neighbor and time to get really Psychedelic with a clear Latin sound (Like a mixture of WAR and Grand Funk Railroad but written before any of this bands released their debut albums), the vocal work is very complex, all the members sing different lyrics like a conversation where everybody wants to say his part never caring for the rest. Rhythmic but chaotic, a very interesting experiment and the Hammond B2 sounds better than ever.

"The Sand Man" starts as a ballad with nothing special dreamy but very simple and apparently predictable, but suddenly the voices of the rest of the members join announcing an instrumental section where the repetitive piano creates a very nostalgic effect leaving a very aggressive guitar a la Hendrix to do the work and turns to a very complex and well elaborated track. The highest point of the album up to this point, it's clear that these guys can create 100% original and imaginative stuff.

"Billy Morsa" (Billy Walrus) had already been released in late 1968 as B side for the title song of this album and was well received by the public, rock oriented a bit mysterious and satirical, it's a sound about an ex-convict (Alias Billy Morsa) who appears dead in a garden.

I love the effect created by the vocalist (Who seems to be Dave Levane making it funnier being born in USA) who fakes a very strong Latin accent, that's part of the joke (Sounds like Mexican border English), because if you notice this is the only track with a name partially in Spanish and this guys have proved that their English was very good.

The song ends much more complex than it started, because all the instruments join to create a very pleasant sound, outstanding bass work.

When I believed this was already a very good debut album, comes "Trouble Child" to prove that this guys really had the chance to make excellent stuff. This song has everything, strong vocal work (Chorus), dramatic changes, a killer first guitar and very solid drums, a new peak of the album has been reached, very Progressive and extremely solid. Can they get better? We'll see in the next lines.

"My Love" starts like a Beatlesque ballad in the vein of the early works of the fabulous four, but there's something special, more advanced towards proto Prog with the excellent guitar and the wonderful organ.

It seems clear from the structure of the song that goes in crescendo and keeps adding new instruments that we should expect an explosion of sounds, but it never happens, only keeps getting more dreamy and psychedelic, but who cares, the song is still great.

"And I Saw her Walking" is a song oriented towards Motown, Dave Levane again in the vocals is great playing with a Harlem like accent, solid drumming and at the end an excellent guitar semi solo, interesting track that starts funky and ends clearly Psychedelic, another good one.

"Glue" as I said before was written by Saul Cornejo who was inspired by a drug he read about in Time Magazine and released as a single in 1968 - 1969 before taking the name for their first album

Wonderful song, 100% druggy Psychedelia, distorted guitar, dreamy organ and hallucinating lyrics, describes the genre was as a book, excellent that sounds like if Hendrix meets early Pink Floyd.

The album ends with "Bahia" a song that was inspired by a Brazilian calendar that the guys found and where impressed with the girl that represented the city of the same name. The song is another Psychedelic track but in this case with a touch of Tropical sound that clearly sends us to an imaginary voyage to Brazil.

If you want to know how music evolved from the British invasion to Proto Prog', you have to options, buy a book that describes this phenomenon or get this album that contains naďve songs inspired in early Beatles like "Baby, Baby", aggressive and druggy Psychedelic tracks as "Glue" and Proto Prog material like "Trouble Child" (Remember that the tracks have been written during a period of three years between 1967 to 1970 and recoded since 1969) so this album is almost as a biography of the early evolution of Laghonia and South American music.

Not as solid as their second release (Etcetera) but still worth 3.5 stars, so I'll rate it with four because it's a great effort for a Peruvian band that was clearly ahead of their time and IMO ahead most South America.

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 EtCetera by LAGHONIA album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.52 | 14 ratings

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EtCetera
Laghonia Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

5 stars It's always a pleasure for a Peruvian to see one of our bands in Prog Archives (Well I had to add LAGHONIA because is not well known), but in this case is a mixture of happiness and pride because "Etcetera" is so well written that I'm 100% sure that if they would have been born in UK or USA by this moment they would be legends.

Let's remember that in the early 70's a Communist Military ultra Nationalist dictator had almost banned Rock because he considered it a Yankee form of imperialism (Well, we can find lunatics everywhere), so the achievement of this guys is double, because they managed to stay ahead of the Latin American Prog' movement despite having everything against them.

Normally the problem with foreign bands singing in English is the strong accent of the vocalists, this is not the case of LAGHONIA because one of the vocalists (David Levane) was from USA and Saul Cornejo had an almost perfect pronunciation of the language (Something very usual in Peruvian bands being that most singers come from Catholic American Schools so they learned English since very young).

By 1971 the band was passing through a crisis because two of their members (Alex Abab and Eddy Zaraus) were leaving for personal reasons (I believe they wanted to make a spiritual journey to Cuzco), but still they managed to create an outstanding album with the help of Ernesto Samamé on Bass (In some covers I read the name of Eddy Zaraus and Alex Abad).

The songs have strong influence from various bands, and are extremely well crafted, but the ones that impressed me more are:

"Someday" incredibly the guys don't hide anything for the end as most bands, they start with La Piece de Resistance", a 100% Progressive/Psychedelic track that begins with a wonderful and strong Hammond solo soon joined by an extremely beautiful guitar that gently flows and blends with the philosophical lyrics, outstanding song that describes early Prog as in a text book.

Mary Ann is a very heavy song, I would describe it as a very early power ballad, the rhythm guitar marks perfectly the song while the lead guitar creates occasional distorted explosions and the complex vocal chorus is perfect, but everything leads to a Latin Rock explosion a la Santana and a dramatic ending with violin. Another masterpiece.

"Lonely People" starts with a dramatic organ sound that suddenly vanishes to leave the lead to one of the most absolutely beautiful guitar sections that take us back to the late 60's (Electric guitar played in an acoustic style). Even though it's clearly a Psychedelic track, there's something that reminds me of early Beatles despite there's no musical relation, but after listening over and over I believe that Carlos Guerrero takes the lead vocals at some moments (for the first time) and this guy has a very similar vocal range to John Lennon, so possibly that's the reason.

But the song continues developing with extremely powerful organ sections, heavy distorted wah-wah guitars, radical changes and complex arrangements until the powerful ending that according to some stories made the people who had smoked funny stuff to almost introduce their heads in the loudspeakers, a 100% Progressive track.

"It's Marvelous" seems like a ballad (And as a fact it is), but the subtle psychedelic background organ and delicate guitar gives a special taste to this track, not a masterpiece but the delicate background work is impressive.

The rest of the songs is almost in the same vein, some strong others weaker, but the whole, the album is worth buying and an essential addition for anybody who wants to understand the development of Progressive Rock in the southern hemisphere.

Due to the fact that "Etcetera" marks the peak of a band and Peruvian Proto Prog /Psychedelia but not wanting to be extremely partial towards my country I had decided to play safe this time and give them only 4 stars, but you'll rarely see such good album by an almost unknown band, so I'll dare to give 5 stars

Hard to find, but worth the effort.

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