|This post was written in 5 November 2018, on ocassion of the then recent 16th Anniversary of the release of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (29 October 2002).|
The user wanted to make a homage for the 16th Anniversary of GTA Vice City, by publishing a playlist of 16 songs from his country (Argentina) that could have fitted perfectly in the game, both by being chronologically valid (they were chosen from hundreds of songs ranging from 1980 to 1986) and by being a good reflection of the atmosphere, personality and spirit of GTA Vice City.
Keep reading to discover awesome songs, and enjoy the playlist. It's an Argentine homage to a game loved by millions in all the world.
If you are here reading this, it's maybe because you're wondering who is this user that puts huge chunks of data all of a sudden in the GTA Wiki. Where does this huge willpower to write so much in so many articles come from? Well... things for me go in short bursts. Short, but very intense. Sometimes I don't edit for months, maybe even years, and sometimes I become obsessed and suddenly start writing one article after another. It's like that with me, and I'm pretty comfortable doing it that way.
So how is this user like?
One thing that I think maybe we can all agree is that the GTA series has been an enormous influence to our tastes in music. Since we were very young we were exposed to new songs, new artists, new ways of expressing through music thanks to GTA. What I mean is, the radios in GTA introduced us to many bands and artists that otherwhise we would have never known, or at least it would have been very hard to cross by.
See, the magic thing about GTA is that after some time listening to the same radio you get... I don't know what is the correct word... bored? Well, maybe you don't, but, you start wondering what the other radios air, there's a rising sense of curiosity growing inside you, and you want to know what's beyond the already known set of songs and artists. And thus, you start drifting away, off the beaten path. Suddenly you start knowing about hip hop, soul, funk, electronic music, reggae, and many other genres that you never gave a chance. Never, until you got that copy of that GTA game, and started learning about other ways of expressing through music.
Maybe, that's the true legacy of the GTA series.
And thus, as a way of further making players know more about music and songs that they never knew (just as the GTA approach is), and as a homage to the recent 16th Anniversary of the release of GTA Vice City, I want to publish a playlist of 16 Argentine songs that could have fitted perfectly in the game's soundtrack.
These 16 songs were chosen from hundreds and hundreds of Argentine songs ranging from 1980 to 1986. This was done specifically to be within the valid chronology of the game's setting, and to have a clear '80s sound. This was no easy task, this is a work that I have been developing through many months. Many months of listening to hundreds of Argentine songs, albums, bands and solo artists in my free time.
But, the main point is, these 16 songs could have easily been featured in GTA Vice City. They fit perfectly with the rest of the songs included in the game. You listen to these songs and you can easily imagine them playing at the background at particular missions, scenes, moments or just while driving around Vice City. And, because of that, I made videos where these songs are playing while simultaneous gameplay, missions and scenes are shown.
Below you will see the video with all the 16 songs with simultaneous gameplay, and then individual videos for each of the 16 songs, with the explanation as to why they were chosen. So get comfortable, put on your headphones and enjoy this playlist of awesome Argentine music. It's an Argentine homage to a game loved by millions in the world.
16 Argentine songs that could have easily been featured in GTA Vice City
- "Whatever cruising means to you, here's music to cruise to."
- ―Emotion 98.3
The video's playlist:
- 00:00 - Fabiana Cantilo - Detectives (1985)
- 04:36 - Raúl Porchetto - La Llama De Tu Amor (1986)
- 08:25 - Pasaporte - Carta En Do Mayor (1986)
- 11:47 - Celeste Carballo - Me Vuelvo Cada Día Más Loca (1982)
- 15:24 - V8 - Ideando La Fuga (1984)
- 18:22 - Alejandro Lerner - Todas Esas Cosas Sin Respuesta (1983)
- 23:38 - Identi-Kit - Yo Sé Que Se Puede (1986)
- 29:52 - La Torre - Confusa Confusión (1984)
- 32:36 - Púrpura - Estoy Sentado Y Miro (1983)
- 37:16 - Virus - Pecados Para Dos (1985)
- 41:15 - Los Encargados - Ni Un Minuto Más (1986)
- 45:45 - Virgem - Bailaré Sobre Una Melodía (1983)
- 49:04 - Fricción - Perdiendo El Contacto (1986)
- 53:15 - Mordaz - Libertad Condicional (1986)
- 58:13 - Sumo - Mejor No Hablar De Ciertas Cosas (1985)
- 1:03:04 - Hellion - Explotado (1984)
01 - Fabiana Cantilo - Detectives (1985)
The synthesizer at the front and strident, the drums with reverb in that so cool mechanic that is the "gated reverb", the basslines slipping off, the guitar with power but also with style. Everything in this song screams '80s, anyway you look at it. Furthermore, the lyrics talk about a fugitive woman that is running away from detectives, although the lyrics make it clear that this is a woman that doesn't shy away from using guns: "I got a revolver in my purse and I plan to use it". There's too many coincidences, this song seems to have been taylor-made for GTA Vice City, 17 years in advance. The move to imagine the police chases in GTA Vice City happens logically, and so in the video I posted above, this song plays with the side-mission Vigilante.
Fabiana Cantilo is a singer that started her career in the early '80s with funny and theatrical pop bands like Las Bay Biscuits and Los Twist, she also did chorus for Charly García. Later she became a solo artist and became famous doing covers of several artists, however in this album (her first) she sang original songs. She is one of the most notable women in the history of Argentine rock.
02 - Raúl Porchetto - La Llama De Tu Amor (1986)
The pop ballads from Emotion 98.3 had always a protagonist role in the series, there's a reason why the songs that play at the background in the first scenes of both GTA Vice City and GTA Vice City Stories are precisely from that radio. The softness of Porchetto's voice fits well with the song's style, and it isn't hard to imagine it playing in a sunny day while cruising Washington Beach or at the party at Colonel Cortez's yacht. Mission: The Party.
Raúl Porchetto is a musician from Mercedes with a longrunning career in Argentine rock, he started in the early '70s and although he was in the notable band Porsuigieco, his career has been almost completely as a solo artist. He rose to stardom with a socially commited style, advocating peace and denouncing injustice and militarism. Furthermore, his acoustic musical style fitted well with his soft voice. However, in the mid '80s he made a drastic turn in his career, turning to a dance-pop style in his album "Noche Y Día" (which featured this song). Porchetto's soft voice fitted perfectly with the light and happy-go-lucky pop style, and the change was a total success. Overnight, Porchetto's music moved from hippie campfires to being danced to in discos.
03 - Pasaporte - Carta En Do Mayor (1986)
There are synthesizers that carry a whole song, and then there's this. Like in the well-known "Gloria" by Laura Branigan, here the synthesizer sets the dancing rhythm, showing up everywhere and sounding at the forefront. The electronic drums also set a feeling of party and dancing, with sharp beats and sealing every step. A cheerful song for a carefree mission, like going on a boat on a sunny day through Vice City's waters, jumping ramps to the rhythm of music. Mission: Stunt Boat Challenge.
Pasaporte is a band from Córdoba that, although it didn't achieve much success in Buenos Aires, it is beloved in the interior provinces, especially the Northern provinces, where the band plays recurrently at festivals like the one on Student's Day.
04 - Celeste Carballo - Me Vuelvo Cada Día Más Loca (1982)
Vice City can be a nice place but it can also turn wild, and that's when this song comes in, sliding with an unrestrained and charged rhythm. A right song that appeared at the right moment, when the population started to dare challenging the decadent dictatorship, and when the Argentine rock was experimenting the necessary transition from a late hippiesm with acoustic and progressive styles, to the new wave style that defined the whole decade. And a song to which scenes of chases and frenzied speed through the city sit well. Mission: The Chase.
Celeste Carballo is a musician among the most notable in Argentine rock. In her beginnings she did chorus for several artists, later she started her solo career doing a folk style, probably inspired by her childhood at Coronel Pringles, a city at southern Buenos Aires province surrounded by fields. Later she adopted a more sanguine and rocker style, and won acclaim with songs like this, although over the decades she zigzagged between many genres.
05 - V8 - Ideando La Fuga (1984)
Overwhelming. Crushing. Fast. Brutal. There are missions that ask for heavy songs, and there are heavy songs to which certain missions sit well, especially those where you got to drive at top speed to the other side of the city to rescue your friend (in a timed mission where every second he loses a bit of life), trespassing a barricade, get in a gunfight with a whole group of gangsters that guard the place where they have him kidnapped, release him, and then drive at full speed to the hospital all while a whole group of sportcars chase you. For all this, this very good heavy metal song features in the mission Death Row.
V8 was a pioneer band in Argentine heavy metal, it forged its path by virtue of its overwhelming music and its crude lyrics that denounced injustice, falseness and repression, but that also encouraged an active and even aggresive attitude. The first fans of the band took this last premise accurately and made several disturbances where V8 played, and thus the band's area of operations narrowed increasingly down, causing eventually the band's breakup. But maybe V8 was like a cradle, because all of its members (like Ricardo Iorio) were later notable personalities in other bands.
06 - Alejandro Lerner - Todas Esas Cosas Sin Respuesta (1983)
A breather. A break. A moment to take the pedal off the metal. After the last mission's madness, it's time to cool down and enjoy the moment. And just watch the cutscenes. The intimate ambience is well defined: the reverberated drums, the sax shaking off to the rhythm, the minimalist piano and this song's big star: the stealthy and elegant bass with a killer funky groove. Now it's time to stop the vertigo. And think. Recall. Tommy Vercetty at a certain moment in the game reveals that he was going to work in the printworks like his father did, but that life's roads converted him into a criminal. He has just exited prison after 15 years and the first thing that happens to him is being face to face with death, which he narrowly escaped. Now he is alone, without money and in a city he doesn't know. How many things would have been different if he followed his father's steps and worked in the printworks. How many things would have been different if he didn't went 15 years before to that fatal ambush. Todas esas cosas sin respuesta (all those things without an answer).
Missions: In The Beginning and An Old Friend.
Alejandro Lerner is a musician among the most acclaimed in Argentine rock and pop, with his voice and piano he made many songs that are now legendary like "Volver A Empezar" and "Campeones De La Vida". Frequently he appears at events, homages and productions with other artists. He has won several awards through his career and his songs have been chosen as openings for TV shows. He made his big jump with the album "Todo A Pulmón" (which featured this song), which hit a nerve in an Argentine population that identified itself with its message, an Argentine population susceptible by the recent war and tired of the dictatorship.
07 - Identi-Kit - Yo Sé Que Se Puede (1986)
This song could easily by the opening of a GTA-style game with setting in Mar del Plata in 1986. Everything in this song is sublime: the reverberated drums, the bass paused and sliding, the synthesizer doing "call and response" with the voice, the ethereal and even dreamlike atmosphere that takes place at the chorus between the voices and the instruments. The lyrics, sadly, speak with a currentness that hurts: "vida, cuántos chicos están durmiendo mal" (honey, how many kids are sleeping bad). References to inequality and injustice are repeated: "no tiren por favor" (please don't shoot). But also a hope that things can get better: "yo sé que se puede" (I know it can be made). The song plays along 3 side-missions: the Chopper Checkpoint from Little Haiti, RC Raider Pickup (brief part) and RC Baron Race.
Identi-Kit is a band from Rosario that pulled off a notable achievement very rare in bands in the whole world: they created songs that were socially committed, but that also musically invited to dance and could play in discos. Using metaphores and poetic phrases like those from their Rosario neighbor, Fito Páez, they developed a sophisticated style that gave them success in this album, their debut. Later there were unsatisfactory results in their following albums and the band broke up, some time later the drummer became the singer of Vilma Palma E Vampiros. Since 2012, Identi-Kit has been playing again.
08 - La Torre - Confusa Confusión (1984)
Time to charge again. Time to return to hard and rocker songs. The guitar shreds a riff that incites going to the front, the drums push and the voice of the wildest and most rocker Patricia Sosa encourages diving in. The guitar threads and unstitches at top speed, and the synthesizer underlines in its riffs what Patricia Sosa shouts. The drums keep their smashing rhythm, so as to go at full speed towards the port, enter a depot chock-full of women armed to the teeth and may God's will be done. Mission: Hit The Courier.
Before becoming known as a singer of melodic pop, Patricia Sosa was rocking hard with a very good hard rock band from the '80s, La Torre. This band won great acclaim in its time due to the very good quality of its musicians and due to the powerful voice of Patricia Sosa, and won polls in categories like best female singer. This song features in the album "Sólo Quiero Rock And Roll", which gave La Torre an enormous presige in the scene, to the extent that they were one of the first Western bands that played in the Soviet Union when that country decided to open itself to the West in the second half of the '80s. Later, Patricia Sosa decided to become a solo artist and La Torre broke up, but their good songs of hard and steady rock will always be remembered.
09 - Púrpura - Estoy Sentado Y Miro (1983)
From the very first notes you got the feeling that this will be a hard, complicated task. In one of Vice City's secluded corners, in the middle of vacant lots, lies a track for off-road challenges. With curves, jumps, drops and pits, the player will have to navigate all these obstacles if the mission passed's screen is wanted. And it will be necessary to do it twice: once with a dirtbike and another with a SUV. If all goes well, the screaming voice of Leonor Marchesi will sound strident in the middle of victory. Side-missions: Trial By Dirt and Test Track.
Heavy band with a female singer. Now that's a combination that gave good results to Argentine rock. Very good indeed. Púrpura was a very good hard rock band from the '80s that had Leonor Marchesi at its front, another of the great female singers in Argentine rock. But if Patricia Sosa won by power, Leonor Marchesi won by height, by her ability to reach high marks with screams and howls. Púrpura had a good response in their debut album (which featured this song) but just when it seemed they were going to become a strong number, they became a victim of their producer and an instability of members ensued, which eventually would lead to the breakup. Years later, Leonor Marchesi would be the singer of Santa, the legendary Spanish heavy metal band.
10 - Virus - Pecados Para Dos (1985)
There are songs that are sophisticated, sensual, glamourous, elegant, daring. And then there's this, which has all of the previous and adds that it was made by one of the best Argentine bands in history: Virus. Right from the start the mechanic but ethereal riff of the synthesizer, that will be repeated from the start until the end of the song like a spectral mantra, marks a surrounding line together with the tireless drums and the plucking bass. The result: an ambience of intimacy and secret, seduction, something hidden under the dead of night, "crímenes en la intimidad, cositas fuera de lugar" (crimes in privacy, spicy things). Mission: G-Spotlight.
Virus is a band from La Plata that is in the Olympus of the best bands in Argentine history. With their modern, transgressive and daring style they changed the face of an Argentine rock of the early '80s that was still stuck in a late hippiesm, and that have turned its back on the new wave sounds that the modernity was bringing. Things for Virus weren't easy and in their early years they had to withstand the public's resistance, which battered them with everything (literally). But with their album "Agujero Interior", rocker and stronger (it was crucial its musical production by the Peyronel brothers, members of Riff, the band of Pappo), Virus rose to stardom. Their album "Locura" (which features this song), with a more electronic and sophisticated song, was the most sensual and daring, and also the favorite personally of the singer and leader of Virus, Federico Moura. The band broke up in 1989 after Federico Moura's death, being him one of the first AIDS victims in Argentina. However, years later Virus reunited now with Marcelo Moura (Federico's brother) as lead singer, and in this manner they are playing until this day.
11 - Los Encargados - Ni Un Minuto Más (1986)
The synthesizer howls and thunders stridently through all the arena. Supported by electronic drums with reverb and a guitar and bass that interweave over a main pillar, the synthesizer repeats high and loud the electronic commandment. "Ni un minuto más" (not a minute more). In this dark arena full of obstacles and narrow catwalks, it will be necessary to collect all the checkpoints using a dirtbike. Those that pass it will have to do another challenge collecting all the checkpoints in a parking lot without breaking a single traffic cone. The commandment of the techno synthesizer will be present again: ni un minuto más. Side-missions: Dirtring and Cone Crazy.
Ladies and gentlemen, stand up. The father of Argentine electronic music is here: mister Daniel Melero. With his band, Los Encargados, he gave start in the '80s to a thriving scene that continues to this day. Like Virus, Los Encargados had to resist a conservative public stuck in time, with the addition of certain difficulties in recording an album (which came after several attempts of promoting via demos). The band broke up some time later owing to so many complications, but their only album was enough to win polls in best album and song of 1986. Daniel Melero continued as a solo artist and today is one of the most respected personalities in the national scene.
12 - Virgem - Bailaré Sobre Una Melodía (1983)
Dreamlike and ethereal, this song starts with an intimist ambience between the elegant keyboards and a spectral guitar distorted to the point of mirage. But what truly ends up being the protagonist is the bass, with that funky and killer groove that goes sliding through the full song. Shadows. Darkness. Under the shelter of the night, grabbing the steering wheel and going out driving under the moonlight... or under the neon lights of Vice City. Mission: Bar Brawl.
Virgem was a band from Santa Fe that had a longer career than what their only album would imply. They started in the early '80s and from the start they tried to accomplish an ambitious work, nothing less than recording an opera-rock, called "Indio". Luck was elusive and in the middle there were many setbacks and changes of members. In the early '80s they achieved at last the objective so sought of reaching Buenos Aires and recording a debut album, but there wasn't the necessary promotion and that maybe affected Virgem, which broke up some time later. But the story maybe had a happy ending: the opera-rock "Indio" was finally recorded in 2013 by the ex-members of Virgem, ending a story of 40 years of fighting in the darkness.
13 - Fricción - Perdiendo El Contacto (1986)
The guitar's echo. The tireless and steady rhythm of the bass along with the reverberated drums. The sax adding its class. This is another song that screams '80s everywhere. "¡Consumación o consumo!" (consummation or consumption) repeats like an absolute mantra, like a rotund verdict in this wild and hedonist Vice City where one consumes or is consumed. A song for charging in an agitated moment, but keeping the class. Like for a naval battle on board of Coronel Cortez's yacht. Mission: All Hands On Deck.
Fricción was a superband with members of the caliber of Richard Coleman, Gustavo Cerati, Celsa Mel Gowland and El Gonzo Palacios. They didn't last much, probably because they always saw it as a side-project to what everyone did with their main bands, and because the bands' schedules overlapped, which conspired against doing gigs where all played together. Even so, the short time they were together was enough for Fricción to win awards in polls, and to stay forever in the memories of Argentine rock fans.
14 - Mordaz - Libertad Condicional (1986)
After an almost ecclesiastical intro with keyboards and psalm voice, the song is a steamroller that runs over you. The double bass drums with gated reverb (a rarity in the early Argentine heavy metal years of poorly-sounding drum beats), together with the wrapping riff of the guitar, falls upon you like a waterfall. A heavy metal waterfall. The very good voice of Petty Guelache is another highlighted point, his high timbre makes him like a pegasus that neighs to the sky. But what's most notable are the lyrics, clearly socially denouncing against oppression and abuse of power. "Cambian las piezas de forma y de lugar, pero el juego es siempre igual" (the pieces change their form and place, but the game is always the same). A song to rebel and finish the established. Missions: Vigilante (brief part) and Rub Out.
Mordaz was a heavy metal band that lasted little and maybe that's a pity, for in their only album they had a sound of a level which is what every Argentine heavy metal band should reach as a minimum. This specially taking into account the precarious records that many of the first Argentine heavy metal bands published. By the way, as a coincidence the ex guitarist of this band, Daniel Tellis, died a month ago, which provoked consternation in the national metal scene. Mordaz had Petty Guelache as the vocalist, with a high timbre and a career that dated back to 15 years in different bands. However, it seems this good singer decided to abandon music after this band's breakup. Luck was elusive for Mordaz and their only album didn't have the success wanted, which provoked said breakup. A pity, because they had exactly the same sound that a few years later would be a rotund success in all Latin America, with Rata Blanca.
15 - Sumo - Mejor No Hablar De Ciertas Cosas (1985)
"¡Un torrrrrrrrrrrrnado!" How can somebody resist to shout it at full lungs while facing the wind. The first thing heard in this song is the best bass in Argentine history, Diego Arnedo, who unstitches everything with a quick and killer plucking that repeats tirelessly from the start until the end of the song. Then what take protagonism are the hurricane sax of Roberto Pettinato, and of course, the wild exclamations of a genius Luca Prodan. But in fact all of the instruments form a tornado, a new wave post-punk sportbike that flies fired through the streets. Mission: Autocide.
Sumo was another great band that belongs to the Olympus of the best Argentine bands in history. Supported by a charismatic leader in Luca Prodan, who left Italy escaping his internal demons, the band was revolutionary publishing modern sounds which were unknown in Argentina. Everybody coincides that Sumo's mixture of new wave, reggae, ska, post-punk, funk and electronic music was something like an UFO in the national panorama of the early '80s. Furthermore, Luca Prodan sharply potentiated the other members, promoting their participation and giving them space to grow, to the extent that later they were notable personalities in their later bands. But Sumo broke up in 1988 after Luca Prodan's death, victim of cirrhosis. Sumo's ex-members then formed 2 bands that are also in the Olympus of the best Argentine bands in history: Divididos and Las Pelotas.
16 - Hellion - Explotado (1984)
Difficult as hell choosing what song to put for the end. It had to be a strong, powerful song, that gave the sensation of reaching a climax. A song with personality, attitude. After many months of backs and forths (which even lasted until just a few days ago!) I finally chose this. In fact, I took out "Panzer" to replace it with this: "Panzer" was originally what I considered was the best song from Hellion (and thus the one that originally competed in the evaluation of what 16 songs would I choose for this list); by the way, "Panzer" wasn't good enough to be in this list of 16. The thing is, after thinking it over and meditating, I realized "Explotado" is an all-around complete song. It has everything: power, toughness, sensation of climax, killer riffs, a howling voice of a young Mario Ian, and lyrics that exclaim against oppression and explotation. The perfect song to play while you get in a gunfight with a swarm of gangsters. The perfect song to play when you at last release yourself of the Forelli's mafia. The perfect song to end the list, and the perfect song to end the game. Mission: Keep Your Friends Close.
Hellion is notable because it was the first Argentine heavy metal band that achieved popularity with the mainstream public. Due to the very good quality of its musicians and its singer, a young Mario Ian that could reach very difficult highs with an outstanding power and energy, Hellion sold many albums and achieved records of assistance in shows for Argentine heavy metal bands until that moment. Furthermore, they were pioneers in promoting heavy metal to people that listened to other genres, playing in discos and in this way bringing the world of metal to people that didn't know it. However, the exhaustion due to this very vertiginous disco schedule, together with changes in members provoked by internal differences, made Hellion break up in 1985. Thus it ended the first experience of an Argentine heavy metal band that achieved being mainstream, 6 years before Rata Blanca. It ended the story of Hellion, a band that was 6 years ahead of its time.
Some final words
Hope you enjoyed this special commemorative playlist! This was a work that took me many months refining and polishing so I hope you enjoyed it!
If you are interested in more music that you never heard of in your country's radios, visit the Youtube channel and check out the rest of the videos, to know more Argentine songs from all genres and decades!: MusicaArgentina - Youtube channel.
¡Chau, que la pasen bárbaro! Good bye, have a wonderful day!
- "Hoy hagamos la excepción, de romper las reglas, tanto hambre sin satisfacción, satisfacción. Hoy hagamos la excepción, de estirar la cuerda, y que durar sea mejor que arder, mejor que arder.
Today let's make the exception, of breaking the laws, so much hunger without satisfaction, satisfaction. Today let's make the exception, of stretching the string, and let lasting be better than burning out, better than burning out."
- ―Gustavo Cerati - "La Excepción"
My favorite GTA pages
- Radio Stations in GTA Vice City
- Radio Stations in GTA Vice City Stories
- Radio Stations in GTA San Andreas