Raúl Alberto Antonio Gieco, better known as León Gieco (born on November 20, 1951 in a farm near Cañada Rosquín on northern Santa Fe, Argentina) is a pop-folk music composer and interpreter. He characterises for mixing popular folkloric genres with so-called Argentine rock, and for lyrics with social and political connotations.
Gieco started working at the early age of 8. With his own money he bought a guitar, and soon started playing at school at patriotic holiday commemorations, and with Los Nocheros folkloric music group. He also played with a rock band called Los Moscos, that soon gained some popularity within the neighbouring towns. They played songs of The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Spencer Davis Group, when they won a concourse to play at Channel 5 of Rosario in 1965.
When he was 18 he went to Buenos Aires to try his luck. There he became acquainted with Litto Nebbia, and specially with Gustavo Santaolalla, who fixed him some chances to play in opening acts for better known musicians.
He got to play with different people, including David Lebón, and in the Buenos Aires Rock Festival in 1971, 1972, and 1973. That year his first album was released, recorded independently with Santaolalla during the previous two years. Its main song was En el país de la libertad ("In the country of freedom"), and the record acquired certain recognition; he is called "the Argentine Bob Dylan".
A year later, the second LP La Banda de los Caballos Cansados, followed the same style of trying to "understand the destiny of the peoples, the reason of injustice" (entender el destino de los pueblos, el por qué de las injusticias).
León had a series of concerts with a stable group of musicians, as well as other presentations with the Porsuigieco supergroup formed with Raúl Porchetto, Charly García, Nito Mestre and María Rosa Yorio. They had a relative success and released an eponymous record in 1976.
At the same time, he continued to play with his other group, and had a contract for two shows, but the breakup of the band forced him to make those shows all by himself. The audience seemed to like the one-man show, and Gieco decided to continue his path alone. In 1976 he released El Fantasma de Canterville. The record suffered a great deal of censorship from the military government; he had to change the lyrics of six songs and remove other three altogether. Nevertheless, the record was a success and he had concerts not only around Argentina but also on other countries of South America. Two years later he edited IV LP, with one of his most famous songs: Sólo le pido a Dios ("I only ask of God"). Because of the political situation in Argentina, he moved to Los Angeles for a year.
In 1981 he had a concert in Buenos Aires alone on stage, with a guitar, harmonic, and charango. He then released Pensar en nada ("To think about nothing"). That same year he started a 3-year, 110,000-kilometre-long series of independent concerts all over Argentina, playing for a total of 420,000 people.
In 1985 he went to Moscow for the 12th World Youth and Students' Festival alongside Juan Carlos Baglietto and Litto Nebbia representing Argentina.
He gathered material from the different places he visited in Argentina during the 1981-1983 tour, and recorded in Buenos Aires with various autochthonous musicians the first volume of De Ushuaia a La Quiaca ("From Ushuaia to La Quiaca") in 1985. The following De Ushuaia a La Quiaca 2 and De Ushuaia a La Quiaca 3 where recorded in a mobile studio in different locations of the country.
He had concerts in Germany with good friend Mercedes Sosa, and upon his return to Argentina he had another tour around the country during 1986. In 1987 he returned to Germany for seven concerts, including that of Berlin's Political Song Festival.
When he returned, he performed for free in two concerts: for 40,000 spectators at the National Flag Memorial in Rosario, and for 35,000 in Buenos Aires. At Boca Juniors Stadium he did a concert with Pablo Milanés and Chico Buarque, and guest musicians Mercedes Sosa, Fito Páez, Nito Mestre, Juan carlos Baglietto and Sixto Palavecino. At the end of the year he went on a World Tour that included countries such as Mexico, Peru, Brasil, Sweden, Germany and Denmark.
Again, in 1988, he performed in Germany and Austria. Back in Argentina he participated in the final concert of the Amnesty International tour at River Plate Stadium, with Charly García, Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, and others.
After eight years of touring, Semillas del corazón of 1989 marked his return to the studio. That same year he performed at the Teatro Ópera in Buenos Aires with United States' folk legend Pete Seeger, material that was edited in the 1990 Concierto en vivo. The following year, Seeger asked him to joint a tour that took him to Washington, Boston and New York City. There he played with David Byrne, whom he had already known in Buenos Aires shortly before.
In 1992 he played with Milton Nascimento, Mercedes Sosa, Os Paralamas do Sucesso, Gilberto Gil and Rubén Rada at the inauguration of the Latin American Parliament in São Paulo. He also released Mensajes del Alma ("Messages of the Soul").
In 1994 he edited Desenchufado ("Unplugged"), an ironic name mocking the popular MTV unplugged concerts, with a recompilation of old songs. Even though the 1997 Los Orozcos had a few songs that did not follow Gieco's folkloric past, the rest of the disc had his style, and many guest musicians participated in the recording, among them Mercedes Sosa, Ricardo Mollo (Divididos), Santaolalla and Ricardo Iorio.
Also in 1997 he participated in the 20 year memorial concert for the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, with bands such as Divididos, Las Pelotas, La Renga, Los Piojos, and Attaque 77.
* León Gieco (1973)
* La Banda de los Caballos Cansados (1974)
* El fantasma de Canterville (1976)
* IV LP (1978)
* Siete años (1980)
* Pensar en nada (1981)
* Corazón americano / El gran concierto (1985)
* De Ushuaia a La Quiaca 1 (1985)
* De Ushuaia a La Quiaca 2 (1985)
* De Ushuaia a La Quiaca 3 (1985)
* Semillas del corazón (1989)
* Ayer y hoy (1989)
* Concierto en vivo con Pete Seeger (1990)
* Mensajes del alma (1992)
* Desenchufado (1994)
* Orozco (1997)
* En el país de la libertad (1999)
* De Ushuaia a La Quiaca 4 (1999)
* 40 obras fundamentales (2000)
* Bandidos rurales (2001)
* Por partida doble (2001)
* El vivo de León (2003)
* De Ushuaia a La Quiaca (re-edition) (2005)
* Por favor, perdón y gracias (2005) Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.