If I had to say which is the quintessential band of Argentinean Progressive Rock, I would say without doubt EL RELOJ (The Clock), they were the ones who opened the door for the prolific Progressive movement in this South American country despite the fact they were never a pure Symphonic band which was always the preeminent style.
The band, mainly inspired in DEEP PURPLE with a clear Symphonic structure and style was originally formed by Eduardo Frezza and Willy Gardi in 1970 from the ashes of two bands called “LAGRIMA” (Tear) and “LOS ANGELES SALVAJES” (The Wild Angels) from a small city called Rosario, EL RELOJ made their debut in a movie theater called “El Monumental” with the record of 1,100 seats and a lot of people in the street who wasn’t able to reach a ticket.
The original lineup was formed by Luis Valenti (Keyboards and vocals), Willy Gardi (Guitar), Osvaldo Zabala (Guitar), Eduardo Freza (Bass and Vocals) and Juan Espósito (Drums), soon joins Eduardo “Tucata” Suarez as second guitar who leaves the band and is replaced by Gregorio Felipes.
Before a very importants concert in the Olimpia Theater, Gregorio Felipes is killed in a car accident by a drunk policeman officer who escapes, despite their grieve, the band still makes the show as a tribute for their partner before 1,500 souls and abandon the stage for a long period of time.
Is not until 1973 that they release their first single “El Mandato” (The Commandment) and “Vuelve el Día a Reinar” (The Day Reigns Again) which was a moderate success. The next year they release their biggest hit “Alguien en Quien Confiar” (Somebody Else To Trust In) and “Blues del Atardecer” (Sunset Blues) that sold more than 100,000 copies, a record for a native Rock band in those days.
In 1975 they release the first LP called “El Reloj” with clear Deep Purple influence but listening again after some years I noticed they had more of the Uriah Heep’s mystic and proggy sound, even Luis Valenti sounds pretty much like David Byron.
This album contains old and new material by the band but as in most South America it was hard to get sponsored when you were a local band, so that’s the reason it had to wait so much, the budget was so tied that they couldn’t afford the art cover with “The Melted Clocks” by Dali.
Eclectic Prog • Argentina
Studio Album, released in 1975
Songs / Tracks Listing
1. El Reloj
b) EL VIEJO SERAFÍN
2. MAS FUERTE QUE EL HOMBRE
3. HIJO DEL SOL Y LA TIERRA
4. ALGUIEN MAS EN QUIEN CONFIAR
5. BLUES DEL ATARDECER
6. HACIENDO BLUES Y JAZZ
No song lenght or total time availlable.
Line-up / Musicians
- JUAN ESPOSITO / Drums, vocals and Tumabadoras en 3
– OSVALDO ZABALA / Guitar
– WILLY GARDI / Guitar, Vocals
– LUIS ALBERTO VALENTI / Keyboards and Vocals
– EDUARDO FREZZA / Bass, Lead Vocals