Bolero Falaz (1995) – Aterciopelados

AterciopeladosThis song by Aterciopelados (The Velvet Ones) topped the 1000 most important songs of Colombian rock, but I would class Bolero Falaz more as alternative rock. It’s extremely groovy and bohemian in character and beholds a catchy melody that should titillate the ears of most music enthusiasts. It is said, Bolero Falaz has since the 1990’s represented Colombia in the history of Latin rock. It was the band’s first big hit and soaked the radio waves in México, España, Venezuela, Argentina and Chile. What even makes it more special to me is the band are from my adopted home city – Bogotá.

Wikipedia: Their music fuses rock with a variety of Colombian and Latin American musical traditions. Time magazine wrote that “Aterciopelados’s true skill lies in its ability to take north-of-the-border musical styles…and breathe new life into them, all while giving them a distinctly Colombian sheen.” 

Bolero Falaz is a story of disappointment, but with touches of humor that comes the band’s second studio album, El Dorado, which consecrated the sound of the Bogota people with their mixture of traditional rhythms, national folklore and 90’s rock. This album earned them their first gold record, in 1996. Andrea Echeverri and Héctor Buitrago, the duet who formed Aterciopelados, opened one of Bogotá’s only rock clubs, and their relationship is one of Latin rock’s most successful artistic partnerships. They said that nothing was planned when Bolera Falaz was released. There were no communication or marketing strategies; things were just done in the moment.

Below is a loose English translation of the first segment of the song:

Bolero Falaz (Bolero Fallacious)

And it goes…

You search in my pocket proof of another love
Hairs on the lapel, this smile gives me away
Lipstick on the shirt, my alibi is thrashed
I’m in evidence, cheating has its science

I have it up to here
You’re not my other rib
Nor the eight wonder

Damned if I do, Damned if I don’t, don’t even ask
I’m not me anymore, you’ve got me outside of character

The video below is shot on one of the most emblematic routes of Bogotá, ‘the Caracas’ and is a faithful portrait of Bogota in the 90s.

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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14 comments on “Bolero Falaz (1995) – Aterciopelados
  1. I always enjoy these introductions to areas of music I don’t even know existed! In this case I think I enjoyed the video more than the song, but your introductions to Latin American stuff is always an eye opener, as apart from Argentinian rugby, it seems to be a forgotten continent here in little NZ.!

    • Oh what ashame you didn’t like the song. It’s like the unofficial rock anthem of Bogotá. Everyone I have met here loves it here and so do I.

      I’m glad you enjoy reading the Latin American content on my blog. It feels nice to write a little bit about the culture of where I live. Cheers Bruce.

  2. Not bad at all Matthew. I might explore more of their tunes just to mix things up a bit.

  3. badfinger20 says:

    It’s an interesting mixture of styles Matt. I can hear the western and the Latin influence. Its a fun video also.

    • Someone called them the ‘Cranberries’ of Colombia haha. I’m not sure about that, but this song really does it for me. That’s cool you liked the styles and videos Max. Thanks for chiming in as usual. Cheers.

  4. macalder02 says:

    Sin lugar a dudas que Los Aterciopelados mancaron el inicio de rock en América Latina con estilo propio y con reconocimiento mundial. Eran asiduos visitantes en Venezuela (por la cercanía) y porque pegó mucho sus canciones. Andrea, la cantante también tuvo éxito como solista logrando Grammys en varias ocasiones. Saludos.

  5. Thom Hickey says:

    Thanks. Opens up new territory.

    Regards Thom

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