In the city of fury

In the city of the fury ” is a song and simple of the Argentine rock band Soda Stereo , written and composed by Gustavo Cerati .

It is one of the classic themes of the group and one of its massive successes. It was released on the album Double Life , in 1988 , in the second cut. The “city of fury” is Buenos Aires , which is expressly identified in the letter.

It has been ranked No. 48 among the 100 best Argentine rock songs in the ranking by MTV and Rolling Stone magazine . 2 The video was a finalist for the MTV awards .


It is one of the darkest letters ( Gothic ) 3 and intriguing Cerati, in which a kind of mythical story unfolds: a young man (winged), only with himself, flying at night over buildings, falling “like a bird Of prey “, united” with the city of fury “ , among many other solitaries like him ( ” I am part of all “ ), susceptible, with their faces marked by a ” destiny of fury “ .

The refrain refers to the arrival of the day and the rest of the winged man, when the city of fury lets him sleep between his legs (a powerfully sensual image) and conceals it in the fog .

The author also includes elements of the myth of Icarus when he says “with the light of the sun, my wings melt” , to indicate the weakness of the winged man during the day. Cerati recurs again to the myth in Tu cicatriz en mi (“Cook me slow like Icarus in the sun”) of 2002. 4

The final phrase of the chorus with which the song closes, changes slightly in each of the two opportunities in which it is sung. Both phrases are related to each other: winged men (like Cerati, like Soda Stereo, like their followers, like the young Latin Americans who were preparing to enter the 90s ) miss the land, but prefer the night .

The letter is built in a fragmentary style, so that the subject is constantly displaced to talk and talk: sometimes the city, sometimes people, sometimes their equal, another young man like him flying over the city Of fury .

In the city of fury Cerati paints a nocturnal and sinister Buenos Aires , of “blue streets” , inhabited by winged beings that fly at night and fall on it “like birds of prey” .

Also included in this song is the phrase “me verás volver” , used by the group to name the American tour of its historic return in 2007 . (See: “You Will See Me” Tour 2007 )

Cerati has referred to the letter of the topic in the following terms:

What we did later, when transformed into a Soda song , was to write a letter taking ideas of characters that I also drew as a boy. One of them was Argos, sort of a medieval superhero, a kind of terrestrial Icarus , so to speak. The song was composed in another very tremendous time of Argentina, in 1988 , in full hyperinflation and unleashed fury, so it was not difficult at all to write about a city of fury. 2

Beyond the letter of the theme, the expression “the city of the fury” became a common phrase to denominate the urban unrest in all Latin America . 5


The theme starts and is built around a guitar riff that Cerati composed when he was 14 years old.

The fundamental riff of “In the City of Fury” I must have done it on guitar when I was 13 or 14 years old. It will have been for some ex girlfriend …. This aspect I have very present, although I do not know what the original song was talking about. 2

The melody is built on two sections that feed emotionally and a suspended end that prevents closing the subject. The first section, mounted on a sequence Mi minor – Major Sun – The greater , establishes a dense and oppressive basic climate, that never reaches to become depressive, thanks to the second melodic section, that agrees with the refrain , constructed to From a major escalation, from the major one with which the first section closes, towards an initial minor S ( “you will let me sleep at dawn” ) followed by a new escalation, Sol major – D major ( “between your legs” ), , Which is repeated once, with a slight assertive modulation, of strong emotional impact. The closure ( “a winged man misses the earth / prefers the night” ) is a complete melodic and emotional break with a combination C major (novena) – Major sun (ninth), which ends up resting, though insufficiently, on the The biggest final.

The result is a melody in permanent tension, about to fall constantly in depression and all the time rescued from it, but without giving way to an exit. The general climate thus is strange and contradictorily oppressive and calm.

The melodic lines of electric guitar are powerfully evocative and atmospheric, establishing a marvelous autumnal tone very sinister. Cerati sings a soft and subtle melody while the arrangements of keyboards and the guitar in the background (Courtesy of Carlos Alomar) further enhance the sadness of the subject. 6

Although the overall sound of the song is more independent of the British sound of the first albums of Soda Stereo , it is impossible not to associate In the city of fury with gothic rock 3 and especially with The Cure , that the previous year had gone For a single time to Argentina 7 and was preparing to release his fabulous album Disintegration (May 1989 ), sublime point of the sinister and depressing sound that characterizes the English band.

“You will see me fly through the city of fury .” The aerial images of the video correspond to the North Diagonal of Buenos Aires . In the image you can see one of the domes of the Bencich Hnos Building, which appear at the beginning of the video.

Music video

In 1989 Soda Stereo released the music video “In the city of the fury”, directed by Alfredo Lois , companion of studies in the University of the Salvador of Gustavo Cerati and Zeta Bosio . Made in black and white, with close-ups of large geometric buildings and streets full of people and cars, prison bars, shadows and a half-naked man on the floor, trying uselessly to get up, it conveys a claustrophobic and distressing climate. The video was a finalist for the MTV awards .

The concept of video is as enigmatic as the song itself. It begins with an image from the air of Buenos Aires ( Diagonal Norte ), and immediately appears an old man who seems to remember or dream. In that dream-memory are the images of a half-naked young man locked up in his cell in a prison, alternated with images of the same young man walking in the city, among buildings, vehicles and anonymous crowds. The images of the band playing are also recorded inside a prison cell. In his cell, the man opens his arms and the camera records the shadow of a pair of wings as the band sings “a winged man misses the earth .”

The video closes with the image of Gustavo Cerati’s guitar while he plays and in the background the shadow of two men climbing a spiral staircase (remembering “I know the spiral staircase to the dome” ). 8 Then, after a brief image of the city from the air, Cerati appears again alone, in the cell, shouting twice “you will see me back” and then ends up saying “to the city of fury”, followed by The shadow of the winged man. Mysteriously in the last painting, almost invisible, appears a face of stone, of Indian features , that allude to constructions of some pre-Columbian civilization . [ Citation needed ]

Related terms

  • The video starts and has several images of Buenos Aires. In general they correspond to the North Diagonal . In the initial images you can clearly see the two domes of the Bencich Hnos Building, on the corner of Diagonal Norte and Florida Street , the work of the architect Eduardo Le Monnier and the huge door of the Bank of Boston . It began filming on May 9, with movie teams on the terrace of the Hotel Sheraton Buenos Aires . It cost over $ 15,000 and lasts for 5 minutes and 40 seconds. Referring to Fig.
  • The interior scenes of the video (the jail) are filmed in the premises of the Club Museum, located in Peru 535 San Telmo district , a building designed at the beginning of the 20th century by the famous French engineer Gustave Eiffel , builder of the tower that leads Your name . The building was ordered to be built by the company El Forjador to install a factory of windmills and rural tools. Today it is a gastronomic and dance trade. In that place, on September 20, 2007, Soda Stereo held the press conference announcing his return for the tour Me Verás Volver . Also the song was performed live only with the participation of the three members of the band, without any additional musicians. 10 11
  • The Argentine writer Pablo Zuppi published in 2007 a novel called precisely “The city of the fury”, inspired in the subject of Soda Stereo. It is a black policeman who runs in a Buenos Aires “with dark streets and winged beings who love the night and see the world pass from the domes of Avenida de Mayo, the statues of the Cementerio de la Recoleta, on the wet cobbles Of a black Palermo, in mythological beings, angels and demons, plagued with religious mysteries, martyrs, victims and perpetrators, deaths … » . 12


“In the City of Fury”, probably one of Gustavo Cerati’s own favorite songs, has been interpreted through a large number of versions , of which three basic ones can be mentioned:

  • The classic version, recorded in the album Doble vida .
  • The version for MTV unplugged , recorded in the album Comfort and Music to Fly ( 1996 ), where the band completely modifies the song, giving a sound close to the blues with psychedelic touches. In this version Cerati sings a duet with Colombian Andrea Echeverri , leader of the band Aterciopelados . This version is distinguished by a particular riff, also present in the song “Chrome Waves” (1992) by the English band Ride . 13
  • The version The last concert in 1997, closer to the classical one, but with arrangements like the violin or the accordion, a longer introduction, a slower and more sentimental rhythm (related to being his “Last Concert”), and A powerful guitar solo that gives start to the concert (First theme of the concert).
  • The Dance Mix version of the album compilation Zone of Promises , where the song undergoes a great transformation completely.
  • The version of the live album You’ll see me back in 2007, with slight variations regarding the overall elaboration and with a powerful guitar solo.
  • The version for the concert of ALAS in which Shakira invited Gustavo Cerati to the stage to interpret it, with which closed its participation in that concert.


  1. Back to top↑ In the City of Fury by Soda Stereo – Rate Your Music
  2. ↑ Jump to:a b c «Soda Stereo and Gustavo Cerati among the 100 Hits of Argentine Rock. The songs that made history told by its protagonists. ” . Zone of promises . Archived from the original on December 16, 2007.
  3. ↑ Jump to:a b In the Gothic one also speaks Spanish! , Goth Latin American Movement
  4. Back to top↑ Your scar in me (letra), Gustavo Cerati, Album It is always today (2002),
  5. Back to top↑ The making of an enemy. The City of Fury , The Citizen of Chile, May 10, 2007
  6. Back to top↑ Stereo Soda , Disc Review, Kamx
  7. Back to top↑ The Cure performed in Argentina two recitals on May 17 and 18, 1987 at the Oeste Ferrocarril de Buenos Aires stadium . The Cure in Argentina, 17 and 18.03.1987 Estadio Ferro Carril Oeste, Buenos Aires
  8. Back to top↑ What bleeds (The dome) , Soda Stereo, Lyrics,
  9. Back to top↑ Soda Stereo: 1982 – 2007, You’ll See Me Back
  10. Back to top↑ German Arrascaeta. «Total holas» . The Voice of the Interior, September 22, 2007 . Accessed December 11, 2007 .
  11. Back to top↑ Club Musseum. Club Musseum . Musseum Club Official Site. Archived from the original on November 26, 2015 . Accessed December 11, 2007 .
  12. Back to top↑ Message from the author to “Gothic Landscape”, March 26, 2007; The City of the Fury , Clarín, March 10, 2006
  13. Back to top↑ Ride – “Chrome Waves” – Going Blank Again (1992)