Arco Iris ‎– Sudamerica O El Regreso A La Aurora

Music Hall ‎– 2.395/96
2 × Vinyl, LP, Album


Acto Primero
A1 Obertura 12:00
A2 La Canción De Nahuel 5:57
A3 Canto Del Págaro Dorado 3:32
A4 Viaje Astral 2:23
B1 Tema Del Maestro 2:55
B2 Iluminación 2:00
B3 Hoy He Visto Al Rey 3:29
B4 Si Libre Quieres Ser, Sigueme 1:47
B5 Tema De Negro 1:58
B6 Los Campesinos Y El Viajero 2:20
B7 El Estudioso 2:25
B8 Oración De La Partida 2:53
B9 Epilogo: Salvense Ya 3:02
Acto Segundo
C1 Recuerdo De Mi Ser 3:40
C2 Los Siete Perigrinos 2:33
C3 Tema De Amancay 2:09
C4 Busco A Dios En Mi Y En El Sol 16:20
Deserción Del Viajero / La Duda De Los Campesinos / El Aliento De Dios
D1 Deserción Del Viajero
D2 La Duda De Los Campesinos
D3 El Aliento De Dios 6:18
D4 El Viajero Delata A Los Peregrinos 2:18
D5 Persecución De Los Peregrinos 6:58
D6 Viaje Por Las Galerias Subterraneas
D7 Salida Al Inmenso Lago-Iluminación 4:15
D8 Reencuentro Con Amancay-Oremos 2:30
D9 Las Colinas Y El Maestro 0:45
D10 Epilogo: Sudamerica O El Regreso A La Aurora 3:31



Released in a fold-out cover.
Tracks D1, D2 and D6 have no stated running time.

Early release of this was in a boxset edition. 2-LP. Same catalogue number.

Other Versions (4 of 4) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
MH 10076/7-2, MH 10076-2, MH 10077-2 Arco Iris Sudamerica O El Regreso A La Aurora(2xCD, Album, RE) Music Hall, Music Hall, Music Hall MH 10076/7-2, MH 10076-2, MH 10077-2 US 1992 Sell This Version
2.395/96 Arco Iris Sudamerica O El Regreso A La Aurora(2xLP, Album, Box) Music Hall 2.395/96 Argentina 1972 Sell This Version
AVR 1415227/37 Arco Iris Sudamerica O El Regreso A La Aurora (2xCD, Album, RE) Aroma Vinyl Records AVR 1415227/37 Mexico 2013 Sell This Version
NPS 801/802/803/804 Arco Iris Sudamerica O El Regreso A La Aurora(2xLP, Album) Music Hall NPS 801/802/803/804 Uruguay 1972 Sell This Version


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November 12, 2011
"A 1970s psych-prog take on ancient Mexican music", this album has been described. Sounds good to me; it's a sort of unique fusion of psychedelic and progressive music with native folk music. The music here is very diverse, ranging from wistful flute solos to fast-paced, sax-led Latin folk music. In between, there is plenty of great South American psychedelic proggishness to be found in this nearly 100 minutes of prime music. Great instrumental work and good singing round off this release; it's a wonder it isn't better known within the prog community.
The back cover of this 1993 re-release indicates that this is an "opera in two acts". As such, I found that my enjoyment of the music increased greatly with an understanding of the underlying story, which I finally got around to decoding - the story is told in the liner notes, but it's in Spanish. Once I figured out the narrative, the music seemed much more cohesive and logical, whereas before it seemed eclectic for the sake of eclecticism (which isn't necessarily bad, but it did seem kind of disjointed). Even the extended percussion workout in the 17-minute "Hombre" doesn't seem too out of place. I think the story is important enough to justify relating here before I attempt to further comment on the album as a whole. (This doesn't, of course, mean the story is any good, just that it's relevant to the music.)

My conception of the story is still sketchy, but here's what I understand of it: the setting is a South American nation in a "total state of decadence". The main character, Nahuel, is a young native captured in one of said nation's conquests. He receives a spiritual message ("his soul began to float over a sea of moonlight") and is told to find six friends to prepare for a nebulous but major, presumably revolutionary, future event. Promising freedom, peace, and a "spiritual treasure", Nahuel gathers up six companions and begins the journey. Thus ends the first "act" (disc). The second act is less clear to me, but from what I gather, one of Nahuel's friends deserts him and reports his plans to the emperor/dictator of the nation, who sends out an army of mercenaries that results in a battle in which two of Nahuel's companions die and one is captured. Nahuel and his remaining friends escape with the help of the bird that brought him the original message. From here it gets really confusing, but somehow a happy ending gets pulled off.

Unfortunately there is no transcription of the lyrics in the liner notes, so I don't know exactly how the music follows the story, but the general moods seem appropriate. Oddly enough, the first track - a twelve-minute psych-prog workout with the best of them - is a mere introduction, and has nothing to do with the story (though the liner notes claim that it is a sort of preamble as well as a musical overview of the events). When the story begins, though, the music remains in a vaguely psychedelic mode (I am reminded of early Pink Floyd at various times throughout), though with very diverse influences - folk, jazz, and a mysterious feel of the ancient that might be due to the "dirty" production or something. It's pretty impressive how much these guys can pack into little three-minute songs: very cool to hear how grand brass themes are juxtaposed effectively next to folky acoustic-guitar-led ballads. One moment you're in an Aztec welcoming chamber, the next you're in a mud-and-straw peasant's hut.

Vocals are great - clean and clear, all in Spanish. They really add to the story for me, though my Spanish isn't strong enough to tell if they're clever or insipid. Individual performances are solid, not flashy, with few solos. Flute and sax are used to great effect, as are acoustic guitars and unobtrusive keyboards. Everything seems quite tasteful - I recall one section in which the keys get a little dated-sounding (out of context of the nicely dated feel of the whole album, I mean), but aside from one or two moments like that it's all great. Some people might object to the bouncier pieces like "Sigueme", but what the hell.

Unsurprisingly, I find the first disc to be stronger than the second, but unlike many double albums I feel that the whole thing is worth listening to each time I put it on. I rarely put on one disc and not the other, which is quite unusual as double albums go. Perhaps the album could have been cut down to a single, lengthy CD, but it's not as if half the material here is throwaway filler; far from it.

If you couldn't tell yet, I'm fond of this album. It took a while to grow on me, but it was well worth continued listening. As it stands now, I recommend this album to all. It's a sort of well-kept secret in the prog world, and anyone interested in South American prog or folky progressive music in general should definitely check it out.