Placer Culpable: Shame and Nostalgia in the Chilean 1990s Balada Revival

March 2009
Latin American Music Review;Spring/Summer2009, Vol. 30 Issue 1, p69
Academic Journal
This article explores the revival of 1970s and early 1980s balada among middle-class vicenarians in 1990s Chile. In the first section I analyze the stigmas attached to classic balada. While previous studies have tried to explain balada's bad reputation by considering individual prejudices--aesthetic, political, or socio-economic--in isolation, I propose here that they must be considered together in order to provide more satisfactory answers. In the second half of the essay I study the ways in which two groups of core revivalists, namely radio DJs and rock musicians, grappled with the problem of balada as guilty pleasure. I focus on two radio shows that were instrumental in defining the limits of the revival and framing it as a guilty pleasure, and I analyze a popular 2001 rock cover of the classic balada song "Maldita primavera" that illustrates what made the genre simultaneously attractive and repellent for local artists.


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