International Rock Day is on 13 July, and as a way of paying tribute to such a historic musical genre which continues to be as relevant as it ever was, we have selected some of the most noteworthy, successful and talented exponents of the genre from Britain and Brazil. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of hearing any of those on our list, now’s your chance!
Originating in Brasília in 1982, Legião Urbana were a band who had massive success all over Brazil, and even after the tragic death of their singer Renato Russo, their popularity continued. The band was a central cog in the highpoint of Brazilian Rock during the 80s and 90s, with songs about love & politics, whose lyrics remain as potent and relevant today.
Tempo Perdido (Lost Time) – Legião Urbana: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OJ25tcmXC4
Paralamas do Sucesso
Paralamas are a Brazilian Rock Band who take their influences from a wide variety of sources, including Reggae and Latin rhythms. The band was created in Rio in 1977, and achieved success thanks to hit singles like “Óculos” (Glasses), “Meu erro” (My mistake) and “Lanterna dos afogados” (Torch for the drowned). With a career spanning over 30 years (so far), Paralamas are a constant presence on ‘best-ever’ lists.
Óculos (Glasses) – Paralamas do Sucesso: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IltVPNqYybw
Raul was a pioneering Brazilian Rock singer-songwriter. His mix of Rock with Baião (a traditional north-eastern Brazilian music style) won legions of fans, principally during the 80s. Born in the state of Bahia in 1945, Raul sadly passed away at a young age, but his musical legacy lives on today.
Metamorfose ambulante (Walking metamorphosis) – Raul Seixas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VE6PNwmr9g
The band was founded in 1981, in Rio, at pretty much the same time as Legião and Paralamas. Inspired by a Queen concert, the group’s members decided to create a Rock Band. The singer went by the stage name of Cazuza, and is one of Brazilian Rock’s all-time legends. Barão Vermelho’s hits are still played on the radio today in Brazil.
Bete Balanço (Beth Swing) – Barão Vermelho: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xek9E76GRkM&list=PLOEKHMMBu1hQvJiInWeu0GFC-FMiXs_mq
We couldn’t talk about rock without mentioning them. The Beatles conquered the world with their ground-breaking sound. Formed in Liverpool in 1960, the Beatles brought together diverse musical genres in their songs, from folk rock to psychedelic and classic rock. They undoubtedly represent rock on a worldwide scale.
Don’t Let Me Down – The Beatles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCtzkaL2t_Y
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are among the most significant examples of what was known as the ‘British Invasion’, during the 60s. Along with the Beatles, the Stones shaped the history of rock, and have become one of the most successful groups of all time. Their concerts fill stadiums to this day.
Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrIPxlFzDi0
The band got together in 1964 and are pioneers of opera rock. They gained fame for their on-stage antics (guitar abuse etc.), as well as their dynamism and irreverence. Their distinctive blend of style and substance quickly brought international fame, and earnt them their place among the rock greats.
My generation – The Who: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=594WLzzb3JI
Queen first appeared on the scene in mid-1970 and, at their peak, they were the biggest glam rock act in the world. Spurred on by Freddy Mercury’s charisma and indomitable stage presence, Queen were able to skip around numerous eclectic styles, not just over the course of an album, but all in a single song. The band is revered the world over and definitely worthy of a place on our list.
I Want to Break Free – Queen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4Mc-NYPHaQ