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ARCO IRIS

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Argentina


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Arco Iris biography
A leading band in the developpement of the South America progressive rock scene with Los Jaivas and a few others. Their music is a solid combination of jazz rock, ethnic folk with sometimes subtle "spacey" symphonic arrengements. The initial formation is composed by Altar Tokatlián (winds), Gustavo Santaolalla (voice and guitar), Guillermo Bordarampé. They first formed several bands in the 60s (The Rovers, The Blackbyrds, The Crows) to play covers. They finally recorded their first effort back at the end of the 60´s. It´s an orinal mixture of typical Latin folk, acoustic music and 60´s "acid" rock. After the departure of Alberto Cascino, the drummer Horacio Droopy Gianello integrates the band. They record "Suite numero 1" in 1972 also for RCA. The album "Tiempo de resurrección" published the same year will affirm the own musical identity of the band: an outstanding blend of fusion "folk" music with jazz rock. The double LP "Sudamerica o il regresso a la Aurora" represents the summit of the band in term of orchestral achievement. The music offers an unique multi influences rock universe, made of blues, native music, jazz...Released in 1973 "Inti-Raymi" is a good following to their previous effort but generally seen as less captivating. After the spiritual "Ara Tokatlián & Enrique Villegas : inspiracion" (1975) "Los elementales" (1977) will largely put the stress on freak out jazzy rock improvisations. After this classic period the band has continued to produce records until today, reaching their sound in a more new age and mellow jazz direction.

: : : Philippe Blache, FRANCE : : :

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Sud America -El Regreso A La AuroraSud America -El Regreso A La Aurora
Music Hall 1993
Audio CD$55.59
$94.58 (used)
Los Elementales plus 2 bonus tracksLos Elementales plus 2 bonus tracks
Audio CD$236.61
$19.00 (used)
Peace Will Save the RainbowPeace Will Save the Rainbow
Arco Iris 1998
Audio CD$6.97
$2.64 (used)
Peace PipesPeace Pipes
Arco Iris Records 1999
Audio CD$35.00
$6.99 (used)
Agitor Lucens V By Arco Iris (2012-07-26)Agitor Lucens V By Arco Iris (2012-07-26)
Sunny Pierrot
Audio CD$86.01
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ARCO IRIS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.65 | 24 ratings
Arco Iris
1970
2.11 | 9 ratings
Suite No.1
1971
2.73 | 11 ratings
Tiempo De Resurrección
1972
4.33 | 36 ratings
Sudamérica O El Regreso A La Aurora
1972
3.22 | 13 ratings
Inti Raymi
1973
4.44 | 42 ratings
Agitor Lucens V
1974
4.00 | 2 ratings
Ara Tokatlián & Enrique Villegas: Inspiracion
1975
4.21 | 45 ratings
Los elementales
1977
2.50 | 6 ratings
Mañana Campestre
1979
3.00 | 5 ratings
Faisan Azul
1986
2.20 | 5 ratings
Peace Pipes / Pipas De La paz
1988
2.93 | 8 ratings
Peace Will Save The Rainbow
1996
3.00 | 7 ratings
Desde el Jardin
2012

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

3.17 | 6 ratings
En Vivo Hoy
2000

ARCO IRIS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

2.25 | 4 ratings
Blues de Dana/ Quién es la chica
1970

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

ARCO IRIS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Sudamérica O El Regreso A La Aurora by ARCO IRIS album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.33 | 36 ratings

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Sudamérica O El Regreso A La Aurora
Arco Iris Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja

5 stars How an album this incredible can be so largely under the radar on this site is a bit perplexing. What Arco Iris produced with this album is nothing short of astounding; 100 minutes of intricately woven, diverse, moving music that shapes a cohesive and adventurous narrative, and in 1972 in Argentina, no less!

"Sudamerica" is a rock opera telling the mythological tale of a young man named Nahuel, who is commissioned by divinity to travel around the continent with various companions, and all of the adventures that ensue. But what makes the album so effective is that, unlike many of the rock operas and concept albums being made back in the UK at the time, the album doesn't lose any of its power when you don't follow the lyrics. As a non-Spanish speaker, all that I know about the narrative comes from reading synopses online. What I do know, though, is that this album is every bit of an instrumental marvel as it is a lyrical one. An eclectic brew of jazz, psychedelic rock, Andean folk and other ethnic South American musical styles, "Sudamerica" offers a unique, transporting listening experience that stays fresh, dynamic, engaging and vibrant the whole way through to the final notes.

Certainly an album to be on the lookout for, a timeless, progressive gem. The fact that this kind of album, so very unique and full of identity, exists is what makes me love prog. 5 stars.

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 Agitor Lucens V by ARCO IRIS album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.44 | 42 ratings

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Agitor Lucens V
Arco Iris Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Awaken 6am

5 stars At 53 years old, I have been a long time prog music listener and collector since last 40 , a huge amount of prog, psych, folk reached my heart and ears, that being said I want to tell you Agitor Lucens V is one of my top ten all time favourite albums. I Will let others make cerebral descriptions, if possible, of the music herein. this review of mine is almost just to recommend you to get this double album and have a close checking at it, listen to this masterpice with attention, this is not the king of work you can listen to doing something else. Most likely you will stay still in front of your audio system all along its 95 minutes running time. Amazingly, you will find Jazz, rock, some blues, psychedelic, typical southamerican folklore rithms and all that sounds coherent and cohesive. You will find Freaky free jazz passages with the most beautiful musical rendition to Jesus you can find on a rock recording. ("Salmo a Cristo") Sadly enough yet there is no Agitor Lucens on CD, so you will have to acquire one of both double vinyl releases, first pressing from MH label from 1975, and the better sound quality MH re-release of 1982. Do not miss it.

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 Arco Iris by ARCO IRIS album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.65 | 24 ratings

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Arco Iris
Arco Iris Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

4 stars Usually, late 60's/early 70's albums are not my favorites. It's just not my favorite kind of sound, simple as that. In addition, Psychedelic Rock in general is not my favorite genre as well. However, every now and then we find pearls. And this is one of them! Arco Iris (Rainbow) is a band from Argentina that recorded many records throughout the 70's. Their self-titled debut album is a great album that I can barely say it's Psychedelic. Sure, there are many elements of Psychedelic music here, but I would say that they play a strong Proto- Prog kind of sound. The Prog elements are all here but not quite matured yet.

In addition, the Pop flavor is all around, you can sing along with half of tunes and the other half are more experimental in a way.

I would expect this kind of album from any English band from late 60's, that's where the sound came from anyway. But as I mentioned, every now and then we have some bands like Arco Iris or Os Mutantes (from Brazil) that defies all the major league countries and record true great albums.

Arco Iris (1970) was re-released a couple of times in Argentina, including a 2004 version (with Bonus tracks) and a recent re-edition in Cardboard Sleeve. If you find it? buy it. It'll be worthy!

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 Los elementales by ARCO IRIS album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.21 | 45 ratings

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Los elementales
Arco Iris Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Music By Mail

4 stars If you're a REAL fan of jazz-rock made at the right time (mid 70's) with the right people, then chances are you'll be havin' a treat with this album from 1977. Based on the *so many times approached* concept of the four elements, it nevertheless includes everything you'd wish to get from a production of that time: expressive Moog, burning guitars, wailing saxes, solid deep bass and a healthy dose of ethnicity (though much discrete). Starting at full speed already on track one, a joyful percussive feast, the album moves on a more melodic path with flutes and this irresistible South-American perfume, sustained by a soft singing and lovely Moog lines peaking up here and there, strongly reminding of early Return to Forever. And so you'll keep travelling through the entire album, from cool to wild, from guitar to sax solo, from melodic riffs to pushing rhythms, everything played with competence and great control. Two bonus tracks are added, the last one being maybe the most ethnic piece of the album. It seems there exists at least two CD releases, both with the same content (also the bonus tracks); one has the reference LM 605457 9122 2 9, coming from Leader Music, a Chilean distribution company. This release is a digipack and includes in the booklet an interview (in Spanish) of Ara Tokatlian as well as the reproduction of the cover of the single made in 76, which is the basis of the two bonus tracks. The other one, referenced SC 9013 and coming from a label (?) called Derie Collector (no infos available on the net), has instead a booklet with a colour photo of two of the musicians and a short bio in Spanish and English. Both booklets include the same layout and content as regards the description of the tracks (text written in a circle probably supposed to figure the Earth, assorted with B&W drawings of the four elements).

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 Sudamérica O El Regreso A La Aurora by ARCO IRIS album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.33 | 36 ratings

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Sudamérica O El Regreso A La Aurora
Arco Iris Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by crimson87
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This record is a milestone in South American progressive rock. Being probable among the finest and most complete concept albums ever made. Sudamerica tells the story of six men going on a mystical trip around the subcontinent. They will eventually reach the hills and find the way to salvation. But the music here it's the most important aspect of the record. Mixing psychedelia , jazz , rock and argentinean folk music this is a record that becomes a must if you are into progressive rock!

There are 26 songs in total and doing a song by song review will be pointless with this album but the highlights of the record are the longest tracks Obertura (13 min) and Hombre (17 min) those tracks are surrounded by loads of little tunes ranging from one minute to five minutes in length that are wonderfully produced and arranged

The musicianship and versatility shown by the members of the band here is amazing and the vocal harmonies are lovely. This is a record that must be heard at least once to have a taste of the finest South American prog- I consider this record to be a MASTERPIECE from the beggining to the end.

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 Los elementales by ARCO IRIS album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.21 | 45 ratings

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Los elementales
Arco Iris Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I'm not sure when this Argentinian band changed their style but this sounds nothing like their debut from 8 years earlier. What I loved about the debut was that mood, an almost romantic RPI flavour. What I love about this one is the "lights out" instrumental work that is very much a Jazz Rock / Fusion style. Man these guys can play though. I'm not going to use the complete titles of each track because they are all so long.

"Gob..." is a top three for me.The drumming is so impressive here as it's intricate and crisp throughout and the sax plays over top. Flute joins in then the song kicks in just before a minute. So good. Some nice chunky bass here and excellent guitar work too. Sax and electric piano come to the fore after 2 1/2 minute. Killer stuff. "Destilando..." opens with laid back piano as flute then reserved vocals join in. A fuller sound before 2 minutes. It settles back again and the vocals stop.The tempo continues to shift though. "Cristalizando..." reminds me of the first track, this is such an impressive instrumental display to say the least.Vocals just before 2 minutes as it settles back some.Great track !

"Djin..." is a short uptempo piece with guitar, bass, drums and everyone else putting on a show.Too bad it's so short. "Despertar..." opens with some relaxed piano but a fuller sound arrives quickly.The sax sounds amazing here. Cool tune. "Necksa..." is a top three for me. I love how heavy the rhythm section is on this one as the sax plays over top. Just a pleasure. It turns brighter before 5 minutes then settles down a minute later and vocals join in. "Los Nacidos..." opens with acoustic guitar, synths and bass as reserved vocals join in.

"Paralda..." is my other top three.The wind is blowing and so is the sax as bass and drums help out. It reminds me of NUCLEUS when it gets fuller. It picks up 1 1/2 minutes in. Great sound ! Killer drumming too. Just some incredible instrumental work from 6 minutes to the end. The two bonus tracks are excellent as well.

4.5 stars and a must for fans of ICEBERG and the like.

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 Arco Iris by ARCO IRIS album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.65 | 24 ratings

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Arco Iris
Arco Iris Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I've been enjoying this cd this past week and decided to listen to it on my way into work today on this beautiful sunny Saturday. And it was a pleasure listening to this romantic, innocent and almost naive recording from 1969.This band is from Argentina and this is their debut which is very much a Pyche / Folk flavoured album that reminded me constantly of the RPI genre. It's not all laid back but that is the predominant feature of this album. Some nice flute, guitar and sax excursions as well, and I like the Spanish vocals.

"Quiero Llegar" has a relaxing mood to it with reserved vocals.The flute replaces the vocals briefly and I really like the instrumental section that starts before 2 minutes. Lots of bass, percussion and drums.The guitar comes in a minute later sounding quite raw. How cool is this ! "Hoy Te Mire" features fragile vocals in a pastoral setting. It does pick up some before a minute but not for long. "Camino" is a top four track for me. It opens with guitar, flute, vocals and a light beat. Beautiful stuff. It kicks in briefly and the contrasts will continue. I love both the mellow and more aggressive sections.

"Coral" is a short piece with vocal harmonies. "Te Quiero,Te Espero" is mellow with tender vocals.Gorgeous. Piano after 1 1/2 minutes to the end. "Luli" is a short (thankfully) male and female vocal piece totalling 39 seconds. "Cancion De Cuna Para El Nino Astronauta" is another top four track.This is laid back and melancholic with vocals and strummed guitar. Flute joins in too and i'm reminded of LANDBERK especially the acid guitar. Check it out 2 1/2 minutes in. A definite psychedelic flavour to this one. "Y Una Flor (El Pastito)" is mellow with vocals and flute. A strong Folk flavour here.

"Tiempo" opens with sax and drums. I like the beat here with guitar.The vocals here are the most aggressive on the album. It settles back as the sax leads and we get some nice bass too before 3 minutes. Now it's the guitar's turn as they jam. This is great ! A calm with piano and flute ends it. A top four. "Y Ahora Soy" is my final top four and the longest track at almost 12 minutes.This is surprisingly dark with sax to start.That changes when the tempo picks up. It settles back again with sax but it's brighter than the intro. Flute and acoustic guitar come in before vocals and a fuller sound takes over. A change before 7 1/2 minutes then we get this cool sounding beat with sax and guitar before 10 minutes.

A special album that hits that emotional cord.

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 Los elementales by ARCO IRIS album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.21 | 45 ratings

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Los elementales
Arco Iris Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by João Paulo

5 stars A Jazz Fusion band from seventies very powerful. The first track has a style Soft Machine, with sax and a powerful drums work. Second track a calm context with piano and voice (lirycs in spanish), but with some hard parts. This album has many different styles and sound environments,with all the instruments very well integrated, giving lots of musical maturity. Argentina in the seventies, gave us a lot of bands with quality which is not usual in other countries of South America, with very different musical styles of Brasilian progressive rock . Jazz Rock Fusion was not a commercial style for this decade but really, we can listen a masterpiece in this album. It is a work that unfolds with the hearings continued and that is never boring. High maturity, very good sound and very balanced. I like very much this album and it's a very good adiction of Jazz Rock Fusion collector of seventies. A masterpiece? yes absolutely I give 5 stars

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 Sudamérica O El Regreso A La Aurora by ARCO IRIS album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.33 | 36 ratings

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Sudamérica O El Regreso A La Aurora
Arco Iris Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars OK, double album was born deep ago in time of 40min LP's. So then double is now one full CD. But then it was something unique.

But I'm afraid that I don't see much more than bunch of noises in "Obertura". It really disappointed me so much that I though that this album will get well deserved 3 star rating. But tracks 2 and 3 have changed my mind. Then it's easy, no conflict. If things will go this way, 4 star rating.

(after minutes of listening) and it goes. Fine introduction to jazz rock with terrible intro track. Quite a irony. Even it's not my cup of tea, I was enjoying this and can't do else than give it 4 stars. It would be unfair for such talented band.

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 Suite No.1 by ARCO IRIS album cover Studio Album, 1971
2.11 | 9 ratings

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Suite No.1
Arco Iris Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Rainbow? No, Arco Iris!

Lately i´ve been digging more and more the exquisite music that comes from Argentina, which happens to be my favourite SouthAmerican country talking about progressive rock of course, the 70s especially was a decade that brough a lot of wonderful bands and the birht of promising musicians, some of those bands released one or two albums and dismembered, some others changed their musical style, in this case Arco Iris kept a similar line in that decade, a Jazz/Fusion style with a folkish touch, if im not wrong their self-titled album (first) was released in 1969, so we can say that Arco iris was one of the pioneers of progressive rock in Argentina, which is a relevant note in my opinion.

When i discovered the band i was surprised because i found that a man called Gustavo Santaolalla was a member of the band, in my country (México) he is a very known musician because he has done music for soundtracks of popular (and unpopular) movies, actually i think he has been nominated for the Oscar, yes do you recognize him? is the same guy who did the music of Babel last year, so that was actually something that caugh more my attention and wanted to listen to this band more.

This album Suite No 1 was the first of Arco Iris i listened and was released in 1971, they later released in 1974 their most succesful album in Argentina called Agitor Lucens V whch is highly recommendable, bu now i will talk about Suite No. 1, a rock fusion album which features 4 songs and a total time of 35 minutes of very nice music.

It kicks off with Suite No. 1 the longest song of the album and starts with a very soft sound of acoustic guitar and later on a delicate flute sound appears, after a short pause, the music begins again but this time with spoken words (in English), then the song presents some time changes but all in a nice soft line accompanied with vocals, the same Gustavo Santaolalla is the man who sings, at the final minutes of the song it becomes just a little bit stronger, but then it returns to the nice and soft flute - acoustic guitar music, in my opinion the song may have been shorter and the result would have been the same, you may get bored after 6 or 7 minutes.

Solo Tengo Amor shows a different face of the music, i dont know you but like in Italian prog scene, in the Argentinian in specific the 70s i find the vocals pretty alike with a characteristic style, you will hear it in this song, which may be considered as a poppish song due to the lyrics, but in the middle you will find a good guitar solo and nice harmonization, the song is kind of happy and the shorter of them all.

Una Tarde Mas continues with the style of the previous song, for me its a nice listening but actually i believe you may be bored with it, it is very calm and i think in the beginning it lacks of something, maybe lacks of strenght but then after a couple of minutes the show their jazzy influence and orientation that is very enjoyable, you will notice it when the drumming appears.

Y Yo Quiero is the last song of this album and the stronger, first of all you will hear a kind of dramatic starting, then the song itself becomes more and more interesting, keeping the jazz influences but in the lightier side of it (to give it a label), in the middle of the song the vocals appear again but stronger, then a sax and percussion along with bass appear and its what make this song different to the previous ones (and more interesting), then a killer guitar solo puts a different taste to the song

This album is by no means their best, it is just a regular album that i can enjoy if i listen to it once in a while, not that recommendable, but not bad either, i will give it 2 stars but i assure you that in this case a 2-star rating doesn´t mean the album is bad, i just think that fans and people who like to discover new bands may like it.

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