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Chilean rock music comes from many decades of evolving musical styles, many of the later conceived artists in the 80's and 90's are highly influenced by artists such as Victor Jara and Violeta Parra. Some of the most recognizable bands that came from Chile and penetrated the international market with commercial success were Los Jaivas, Los Prisioneros, Los Tres, and La Ley.

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Chilean New Wave 1950-1965

The roots of Chilean rock go back to La Nueva Ola Chilena (or Chilean New Wave), which refers to the 1950s and 1960s. These included Peter Rock, Alan y sus Bates, Los Rockets, Buddy Richard, Jose Alfredo Fuentes, Los Ramblers, Antonio Prieto, Antonio Zabaleta, Cecilia Pantoja, Germán Casas, Ginette Acevedo, Gloria Benavides, Jorge Pedreros, Luis Dimas, Maitén Montenegro, Marcelo, Mirella Gilbert, Osvaldo Díaz, Paolo Salvatore, Pat Henry, and Roberto Vicking Valdés among many others.

Progressive rock and folk rock 1965-1973

During the 1970s, Chile had a thriving progressive rock scene that includes such bands as Congreso, Aguaturbia and Los Jaivas. Folk music by such artists as Victor Jara and Violeta Parra were also quite prominent during this time. The Chilean coup d'état of 1973 strictly banned music from any kind of artists who spoke out, or seemed against the military regime of Augusto Pinochet after his successful coup d'état, especially rock and folk.

Chilean rock bands' fan bases expanded away from the country, such as Los Angeles Negros who found newfound fame across Latin America in the late 1960s/early 1970s. The band's songs often consist of dark, macabre or melancholy lyrics with organ-grinds. It is a unique blend of Latin Bolero and 1970s psychedelic funk sounds.

Chilean rock in late dictatorship 1980-1990

Jorge González, ex leader of Los Prisioneros.

After this period, Chilean rock declined until the 1980s, when the scene became more closely associated with politics, especially opposition to Augusto Pinochet and his then ongoing military regime. One of the most well-known and influential bands from this period was Los Prisioneros, especially due to their outspoken leader, composer and vocalist, Jorge González. The progressive rock branch was taken by the band Fulano. They made a jazz-rock fusion with great virtuosity and innovation that went beyond the local public, playing in many countries around the world.

Others groups of the decade, heavily influenced by electronic music and Argentine rock escene, includes Aparato Raro, Upa! and Electrodomesticos. In the Late 1980s and Early 1990s an underground Punk rock scene began showing up with bands like Fiskales Ad-Hok, Los Miserables and BBs Paranoicos. Around this time, with the dictatorship coming to an end, thrash metal bands such as Squad, Massakre, Necrosis, and the most well known from Chile, Pentagram and Criminal become well known in Chile and also managed to reach international levels. Throughout the nineties many death metal bands appeared from the end of the thrash metal scene.

Los Tres, the most important band of the 1990s.

Rock in transition to democracy 1990-2000

In the 90' several bands and new styles became part of Chilean music identity. Groups like Joe Vasconcellos, Los Tetas, Tiro de Gracia, Chancho en Piedra, Javiera y Los Imposibles, Gondwana, Lucybell, Makiza, Nicole, Santo Barrio made Chilean rock fully diverse. Internationally Los Tres and La Ley were the most important groups of the decade. Both bands made very successful MTV Unplugged concerts and records, and La Ley won a Grammy Award and a Latin Grammy Award twice.

Rock in the 21st century

Bands that have had bigger success due to the 21st century are, Papanegro, Sinergia, Difuntos Correa, Los Bunkers, Dracma, Mamma Soul, Saiko, Gepe, Francisca Valenzuela, De Saloon, Cuchufleta and many others.

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