1980's Portuguese Rock Bands and Greatest Hits musicThe Portuguese rock scene hit mainstream in 1980 with the release of Ar de Rock by Rui Veloso, which was the first popular Portuguese rock album. Before that, Portugal had a vibrant underground progressive rock scene in the 1970s, which included bands like Tantra, Petrus Castrus (Misterios E Maravilhas), Jose Cid (10,000 Anos Depois Entre Venus E Marte) and Tarantula (Kingdom of Lusitania), the latest being considered by many to be the first metal Portuguese act.
In the 1980s, Veloso's success lead to the creation of several rock and roll bands, which became popular with youths growing up in the post-1974 modernized Portugal. Bands like Táxi, Heróis do Mar and Trabalhadores do Comércio, solidified the need for a solid rock scene, as they were all ephemeral bands. However, other bands would be luckier. Xutos & Pontapés are arguably the biggest success case in the Portuguese rock scene, becoming the first band in the country to celebrate 25 years of career. Their early works had close roots to punk and rockabilly, but later incorporated folk influences into their sound, becoming more diverse. UHF was another band that started in the early 80s. Visually, they resembled the hard rock-playing hair bands that popped up in America and Europe, but, like Xutos, their sound used a lot of folk influences.
Other projects include GNR, Taxi and Peste&Sida, which turned to ska as an inspiration. GNR abandoned ska after two years when they changed vocalists, with more poetic, although nonsensical lyrics, and a bigger use of synth pop sounds.
My favourite 1980's Portuguese Rock Bands:
Herois do Mar
Peste e Sida
Salada de Frutas
Trabalhadores do Comércio
Xutos e Pontapés
Brava Dança dos Heróis --> Heróis do Mar
Chiclete --> Táxi
Cristina --> Rock & Várius
Foram Cardos, Foram Prosas --> Manuela Moura Guedes
Kasbah --> Jáfumega
Lima 5 --> Trabalhadores do Comércio
Patchouly --> Grupo de Baile
Portugal Na CEE --> GNR
Rua do Carmo --> UHF
Sei de Uma Camponesa --> Rui Veloso
During the mid 80s, synth pop became even more prevalent in Portuguese rock. Following the success of Sétima Legião and Heróis do Mar, which were heavily influenced by acts such as Joy Division and Gary Numan. Combining the modern synth sounds with lyrics exalting the virtues of Portuguese history, they attracted controversy by being accused of being political reactionaries and supportive of the extinct dictatorial regime. Heróis do Mar disbanded in 1985, but their momentum was taken by other projects, from Rádio Macau to Mler Ife Dada. With each band having their own signature sound, Portuguese rock became very rich, spanning a wide variety of themes, not reaching the homogenisation seen in most English language international projects. In the end of the 90's, two big bands rose to prominence: Silence 4, a four-act from Leiria, with lyrics in English, and Ornatos Violeta, an alternative rock act from Oporto. Both disbanded after the second album, at the turn of the millennium.
This decade has seen the appearance of some popular groups as Toranja (Lisbon), Wraygunn (Coimbra) and Pluto (considered the follow-up to Ornatos Violeta) or, more recently, Boitezuleika (Oporto), Linda Martini(Lisbon) and Teia (Oporto).
More recently, Punk Rock has also seen a rising popularity in Portugal. In the beginning of the 90's, bands like Censurados, Peste & Sida (swapped between ska and punk) or Mata-Ratos, helped to revive Portuguese Punk, and inspired more underground acts to thrive. As Censurados disbanded in 1995, their lead singer, João Ribas, went to form the more hardcore-oriented Tara Perdida, that has now became a serious case of success among Portuguese youth.
Did you found this guide helpful ? Thank you for your vote.