Category Archives: Uruguay

Ovni 87

This is the first single by the Uruguay group Ovni 87, released in 1969 on a local RCA subsidiary, Vik Records #31-UZ-1007.It came with an oversize sleeve of about 7 1/2 inches, which guarantees most of them have since been lost, tattered or bent, and mine is no exception, having been stuck to some other record on the reverse.

The back sleeve gives some info on the band:

Gabriel Gomez – lead guitar
Alvaro Rosas – rhythm guitar
Alvaro Galante – bass guitar
Mario Talento – drums
Ruben A. Melogño – vocals

“Algo fugaz” (literally “Something Fleeting”) is a fine dreamy pop song with good harmony vocals. The flip Sueño un camino” (“Dream a Way”) is something else altogether, a unique rhythmic background for what is essentially a ballad.

Ruben Melogno wrote “Sueño un camino”, while Alvaro Rosas wrote “Algo fugaz”. Production by Carlos Piriz, and illustration by Nebur Oñgolem. Odd notes (mostly obliterated on my sleeve) by Leirbag Zemog (read it backwards) tie in with the group’s name, which translates to UFO 87.

Ovni 87 has at least one other single, with the excellent psychedelic pop song, “Siento”, and a song I haven’t heard yet, “No tengo valor”

The original group was together from 1966-68. In 1969 all the band left except Melogño who formed an entirely new group, including Freddy Anzorena (guitar), Atilio Fonseca (organ), Miguel Dodera (bass) and Hermes Calabria (drums). Later additions included Leonardo Goldberg on bass and Omar Picún on percussion.

The group dissolved in 1971 and Ruben Melogño joined the prog group Psiglo as their lead singer.

Information on the band from Cualquier cosa menos sordo.


Cold Coffee

Leito of Puro Rock Latino! turns us on to another band from Montevideo, Uruguay.

The all-female group Mother’s Worries featured the two Paglia sisters, Lelé and Helena. They had been together from 1967 until 1969 but as far as I can tell they never recorded. After breaking up they formed Cold Coffee with Ernesto Soca from Los Malditos to pursue a ‘West Coast’ sound.

Members changed over the life of the band but included Ernesto Soca (guitar), Pippo Spera (guitar), Quique Cano (bass), Ricky Levy (drums), Daniel Amaro (vocals and guitar), Lelé Paglia (vocals and guitar) and Helena “Pip” Paglia (vocals).

They recorded very few songs, most notably this fine single released in 1970 on the Sondor label (# 50,117). On the A-side they cover the Shocking Blue’s “Venus”, an obvious choice and a great version, with the Paglia sisters’ dual vocals a nice contrast to Mariska Veres’ huskier voice on the original. They chose a more obscure song for the flip, Country Joe and the Fish’s Flying High, which they titled “Volando Alto”. Interestingly their take on the heavy Dutch freakbeat “Venus” has a lighter West Coast sound than their version of Country Joe’s song. Ernesto Soca noodles through the whole second half of Volando Alto with a sick guitar tone similar to Ron Ashton’s on the Stooges’ Fun House sessions.

After Cold Coffee split in 1972, Helena Paglia recorded an LP ‘Magica Luna’ with a band that included Ernesto Soca.

The Blizzards


Playing live on ‘Canal 4’ (Channel 4)

Leito alerted me to this great 45 by a band from Uruguay, the Blizzards.

According to the article in the Uruguayan magazine Hit, “Blizzards Soplando Fuerte” (Blizzards Blowing Wildly) the band began in 1965, choosing their name from a Spanish-English dictionary.

After some personnel changes, they arrived at the lineup on this record: Leonardo Ferreira lead guitar, Ariel Burgueño on rhythm guitar, Héctor ‘Bocha’ Marrone on organ, Juan Roberto Agrello Gravestijin (from Holland) on bass, and Carlos Saco Fernández (from Spain) on drums.

An early broadcast on a radio program ‘Caverna Uno’ of the newspaper El Espectador led to bookings at dances and then regular appearances on two popular music shows, the ‘Discodramo Show’ and ‘Gente Joven’ (Young People). Leito tells me “They were seen as an ‘underground band’ [‘onda subterránea’], but nevertheless had two major performances in their career, one on the Canal 4 (Channel 4) and another La Liguria.”

A producer named Barros was looking for a group to record a song he had for his brand new label, Prodisa. Somewhat mysteriously this song, I Know You’re Cryin’ (Sé que estás llorando) is described as Canadian but I haven’t been able to find the source for it yet. The band performs it well, but at points they sound more than ready to cut loose.

They backed the top side with an original composition, Looking Through (Mirando a través). On this song they create an original, distinctly South American sound, opening with a very funky drum and bass combo then adding buzzing guitar and splashes of organ. Continuing for almost five minutes, the song alternates verses with organ and guitar solos. ‘Bocha’ Marrone occasionally uses a wah-wah pedal, and a droning guitar answers each wash of organ.

They sang in English because it was a ‘tougher’ language than Spanish, which, being ‘sweeter’, was “less adaptive for the type of music we make” (“se adapta mucho más al estilo porque es una lengua más dura que el castellano; éste en cambio es más dulce y por eso menos adecuado para el tipo de musica que nosotros hacemos”).

When asked to sum up how they felt about their first record, the band gave this half-hearted statement:

Considering the technical limitations we faced, we think it went rather well. It’s one thing to record with eight tracks in Argentina, and another to do it in Montevideo with only two tracks. All in all, we were satisfied with it.

(Dentro de las limitaciones técnicas del medio, creemos que salió bastante bien. Por supuesto que una cosa es grabar en la Argentina, con ocho pistas, y otra distinta es hacerlo en Montevideo, donde sólo se dispone de dos pistas. Asi y todo, quedamos bastante satisfechos.)

Their recording career was short-lived, with just one other single, Tell Mama / Endless Road, released in 1972 on the relatively large label Clave. The Hit article mentions plans to record a full album, and also that the Blizzards would contribute to an album featuring stars of Gente Joven, but I don’t know if any of these were ever done.

Thank you to Leito for sending the photos, scans and songs of the Blizzards.

Click for larger view


Appearing live on ‘La Liguria’ show