Charly García is a singer, songwriter, musician and record producer from Spain. He has been nominated for 10 Latin Grammy Awards and earned 3 wins for Album of the Year at the 1st Annual Latin American Music Awards in 2000. These successes quickly led to his international breakthrough with The Tango Project compilation albums released by Sony Music Entertainment España that sold more than one million copies internationally.
Charly García is a Chilean singer-songwriter, actor, and poet. He has released 6 albums, 2 of which are certified gold in Chile. His most recent album was released in 2018.
Charly Garca is one of Argentina’s and Latin America’s most accomplished and influential musicians. He wrote numerous generational songs and was concerned with pushing the limits of pop music as well as the job of the artist. In the early 1970s, he and Nito Mestre created Sui Generis, which released three studio albums. Garca went on to perform in the PorSuiGieco music collective and La Máquina de Hacer Pájaros after the group dissolved. Between 1978 to 1982, Garca was a member of Ser Girán, one of the most important bands in Argentina’s rock movement, which rose to prominence under the military dictatorship. In 1982, he wrote the music for the film Pubis Angelical, which he recorded with his own album Yendo de la Cama al Living. The double album received rave reviews upon its debut, propelling Garca into a successful solo career. From the tight pop of Parte de la Religión in 1987 and La Hija de la Lágrima in 1994, to the experimental indie rock of Say No More in 1996 and the midnight electronic soundscapes of Cronicas in 2007, he produced dozens of albums in an amazing diversity of genres. Kill Gil was released in 2010, and 60 X 60, a triple-disc live compilation, was released in 2012. Garca returned to the studio in 2017 and released Random.
In 1951, Charly Garca was born in Buenos Aires. He started to demonstrate musical ability at a young age. He was given a toy piano when he was three years old, and he quickly astonished his mother with his ability to create and play cohesive tunes. When he reached school age, she enrolled him at the Thibaud Piazzini Conservatory. He became a Music Professor at the age of twelve. As a youngster, Garca acquired absolute pitch. He met Carlos Alberto “Nito” Mestre, a guitarist and bandleader, while he was in high school in the early 1970s. Sui Generis was formed when the two bands merged to become Sui Generis, which released three critically praised albums. They disbanded in 1975 after performing in front of 20,000 fans at Luna Park Stadium. Garca founded the symphonic rock band La Máquina de Hacer the same year and released two albums, a self-titled debut in 1976 and Pelculas the following year. Their records were unofficially concealed due of their especially critical stance against the military dictatorship. After the band disbanded in 1977, Garca and his fiancée moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil, to live off the grid. He returned to Buenos Aires to create a band with David Lebón, a fellow Argentine guitarist and composer, Pedro Aznar, a bassist/keyboardist, and Oscar Moro, drummer from La Máquina de Hacer Pájaros. They recorded their self-titled debut as Ser Girán. They released a number of albums (including Bicicleta and Peperina) and a slew of singles for Columbia between 1978 and 1982.
Garcia produced Los Twist’s first album La Dicha en Movimiento in 1983 and recorded Clics Modernos, his follow-up solo album, in New York’s Electric Ladyland studios. Clics Modernos was more straightforward than his earlier compositions, with a pop/rock structure. The album was a huge success, but the abrupt shift in style caused considerable debate among reviewers. On this album, though, he started working with producer Joe Blaney for the first time. He was embroiled in his most well-known controversy at the end of that year, when he pulled down his pants in front of a hostile crowd. This was the start of a series of scandals that helped him become a prominent public personality outside of the music industry.
Piano Bar, released at the end of 1984, concluded an important triptych. It was recorded by one of his finest touring ensembles, which included GIT members and keyboardist Fito Paéz. The CD, which included songs like “Demoliendo Hoteles” and “Raros Peinados Nuevos,” was well received by both the audience and reviewers.
In 1985, he attempted to work with Luis Alberto Spinetta, another local rock star. The duo didn’t go very far, recording just the song “Rezo por Vos.” That year, he performed at the Rock & Pop Festival with Nina Hagen, INXS, and John Mayall, among others.
In 1986, he recorded Tango with Pedro Aznar (also a former member of Seru Girán), a six-song maxi-single with technical aspects. Parte de la Religión, Garca’s 1987 album, was nearly completely recorded by him. “Rap de las Hormigas,” in which the Brazilian group Os Paralams do Succeso participated, was an exception. The album was undeniably a masterpiece, and it reflected Prince’s impact. Top ten hits were “No Voy en Tren,” “Buscando un Smbolo de Paz,” and “En la Ruta del Tentempié.”
An Amnesty International Tour concluded in Buenos Aires in October of 1988. The performance was attended by around 80,000 people. Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Tracy Chapman, and Youssou N’Dour were among the performers, while Argentina was represented by León Gieco and Charly Garca.
Garca worked on a solo album, Cómo Conseguir Chicas, in 1988, after creating the music for the film Lo Que Vendrá (in which he also played a nurse). The album was mainly composed of old, previously unheard songs. The 1990 compilation Filosofa Barata y Zapatos de Goma was an excellent one, including the Spanish rendition of the Byrds’ classic “I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better.” However, another controversy was on the horizon: Garcia was charged with using nationalistic symbols since the album featured a rendition of the Argentine national song.
He reconnected with Pedro Aznar in 1991 to record Tango 4. The plan was to make an album with Gustavo Cerati, the vocalist and songwriter for Soda Stereo. They never completed the album, despite working on a few tracks. No explanations were given. Rumors circulated in the middle of the year that Garca had overdosed, which was subsequently verified when he joined a drug recovery facility.
Garca returned with Ser Girán in 1992 to record Ser Giran ’92, a compilation of all-new songs, and play a series of performances in Cordoba, Rosario, and Buenos Aires. Garca returned to his solo career after releasing a live double-album that failed to chart.
He published the rock opera La Hija de la Lágrima in July of 1994. Many instrumental sections and guest musicians were featured. The public reacted well to the record, particularly when it was performed live.
From 1995 until 2001, Garca pursued a more abstract and avant-garde area via his alter persona, Say No More. Despite the fact that his concerts were usually packed out, his albums did not sell well and were badly reviewed by reviewers. The album Estaba en Llamas Cuando Me Acosté, published in 1995, was mostly made up of covers. In the same year, he recorded and published MTV Unplugged, which was a brief return to a more traditional format. In 1996, he released the tumultuous Say No More, and the following year, on the album Alta Fidelidad, he rewrote several of his songs with Latin folk singer Mercedes Sosa. Garca seemed to be totally out of control and befuddled. Some of his long-time fans abandoned him, but he acquired a new adolescent audience during the height of his own turmoil.
All of that appeared to change in the summer of 1999, when he played a free performance in front of more than 150,000 people, to universal acclaim. The performance was recorded on his best-selling album from the Say No More period, Demasiado Ego, which was released that year. In the same year, he stirred up further controversy by performing for Argentinian President Carlos Menem. The concert was recorded as Charly & Charly, and a limited-edition CD was produced, but it was never released to the general public.
He was again on the front pages of newspapers in March of 2000, this time for non-musical reasons. He’d leapt from the ninth story of a hotel in Mendoza into a swimming pool. He rejoined Sui Generis that year. They published a new album, Sinfona para Adolescentes, as well as a return performance, which was recorded and released as a double-CD with extensive studio modifications and rework.
With the release of Influencia in 2002, he reverted to a more traditional song-oriented approach, abandoning all mixing and sound experimentation. This was unmistakably the end of the Say No More era.
Maria Gabriela Epumer, a veteran guitarist, died of a heart attack the following year, just before entering the studio. Garcia struggled to finish Rock and Roll, Yo, an album known as much for its covers (including “Pretty Ballerina” and Stevie Wonder’s “Love’s in Need of Love”) as for its originals, but his heart wasn’t in it. Epumer’s death created a huge hole in Garcia’s live performances, which the audience could sense. He didn’t release another album for six years, and only played publicly twice during that time, unsure whether he would — or could — continue. But he wasn’t sitting around doing nothing. In 2006, a demo named Kill Gil started to spread on the internet. EMI declined to release the music as a consequence of the breach, although this was likely due to its raw, uncommercial presentation as much as the leak. In 2011, a much slicker completed film, coupled with a live DVD, was submitted and released. The next year, Garcia edited and produced the live 60×60 box set, as well as the book Parallel Lines: Artificio Imposible, to celebrate his 60th birthday. Garcia’s return to Sony was marked with the release of Random in 2017. In Argentina, the album was certified gold, and “La Máquina de Ser Feliz” was a Top Three hit. At the end of 2019, EMI released 60 X 60 in a variety of formats.
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