Riff (Argentine band)

Riff was a heavy metal/hard rock band formed in 1980 in Argentina.[1][2] After separation of Pappo's Blues and Aeroblus, Norberto Napolitano formed in 1980 a new band called Riff. Influenced by AC/DC, Motörhead, Saxon and Black Sabbath imposed the heavy metal music in the 1980s in Argentina.

Riff in 1986. Left to right: Oscar Moro, Vitico, JAF, Pappo
Background information
OriginBuenos Aires, Argentina
GenresHard rock, heavy metal
Years active1981–1986
(hiatus: 1984)
LabelsTonodisc, CBS, DBN
Associated actsJAF, Pappo's Blues, V8, Viticus, Serú Girán
Past membersPappo
Héctor Serafine
Michel Peyronel
Danny Peyronel
Oscar Moro
Jota Morelli

In 2007, the Argentine edition of Rolling Stone ranked their album Contenidos number 58 on its list of "The 100 Greatest Albums of National Rock".[3]


1981–1983: Early shows, success and peak

On November 14, 1980, Pappo organised a recital named "Adiós Pappo's Blues, Bienvenido Riff" (Goodbye Pappo's Blues, Welcome Riff). This band emerged as successor of the Pappo's former group, who would change the Argentine rock scene. Riff debut album Ruedas De Metal was released in 1981, widely distributed, not only in radio, but also by ATC. Although they had played with Plus (another band), their first show itself in works took place in December 1981 at the launch of Macadam ...3, 2, 1, the second album. By then long hair, leather clothes and strikeouts were hallmarks of the band, and aggression toward other musicians. There began the violence that characterized this group.

The increasing success and great scenic display went accentuating in 1982 appeared again at the Obras Sanitarias stadium, attended the B.A. Rock Festival registered there. Then, the band released their new LP Contenidos, with popular songs as "Susy Cadillac" and "La pantalla del mundo nuevo". By 1983, in La Falda Festival '83 made one of his best shows, according to the chronicles of the time, where Riff was one great on stage act. In March, joined Danny Peyronel (Michel's brother) on keyboards, who came from USA. The first performance as a quartet took place in April, at the stadium Obras Sanitarias, which was used to record a double live album titled En acción. In these concerts were one of the most violent incidents in the Argentine rock remember: the newspapers called it a "scandal" and detainees exceeded 150. There began to be referred to as Riff "damn band", and all the heavy-metal is considered violent by nature given the situation arising in the recitals.

Trying to change his image, a concert was held at the Ferrocarril Oeste Stadium, with Los Violadores as support, called "Riff termina el año sin cadenas". That December 17, incidents were also reported, forcing even finish the show ahead of schedule. Reviews increased again, to the point of making impossible any presentation of the band without associating it with violence. Danny Peyronel returned to the U.S., Boff started rehearsing with the group Boxer and Pappo resumed his solo career, like Michel Peyronel. Officially unannounced, Riff was virtually dissolved.

1984: Temporal hiatus and solo projects

By 1984, after the band break-up, Pappo released his first solo album, En Concierto recorded alive with Enrique "Avellaneda" Diaz (former Vox Dei) on bass, Juan "Locomotora" Espósito on drums and Boff Serafine on rhythm guitar. Michel Peyronel recorded and published A Toda Makina, with Stuka (guitarist from Los Violadores), Alex "Le Noir" Oucinde on bass and his brother Danny on keyboards, and Vitico too releaded his first solo LP Ha Llegado El Momento in 1985. Meanwhile, Boff Serafine formed Boxer, with former Pappo's backing band members Enrique "Avellaneda" Diaz, Juan Espósito and Ruben Ramirez, recording an only album: Vivir, Crear, Crecer... published by CBS Records, with the track "Buscar la Luz", which appears also on the FM RA album, along with Sumo, La Sobrecarga, Virus and Soda Stereo, etc.

1985–1986: Comeback, period of decline and break-up

In 1985, was completed the return of the band, with Pappo, Vitico, Juan Antonio Ferreira and Oscar Moro (former Pappo bandmate during their days with Los Gatos). Without changing his signature style, recorded Riff VII and presented at Obras Stadium again, without the impact of the past gigs. Performed a series of shows in pubs and clubs, and with Jota Morelli on drums, to enter a period of infighting that culminated in a new dissolution of the group in 1986. JAF and Vitico began as solo acts, and Pappo and Boff create a new band: Hoy No Es Hoy, releasing an only album: Plan diabólico in 1987. After this, Pappo travel to United States to make a new project: Pappo & The Widowmakers, and in 1989 returns to Argentine to come back his solo career.

1990–2005: Reunions and Pappo's death

Pappo, Vitico, Boff and Michel reunited for some performances in Argentina in the new decade, with presentations to be the Black Sabbath and Motörhead opening act and in 1996, as support to AC/DC at the River Plate Stadium. The reunion ends in 1998, after their new album Que sea Rock released one year before and the support local tour.

In mid-2004, prior to a show in Cordoba, Pappo, Michel Vitico and hinted that they would continue with these meetings, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the band. On 25 February 2005, Pappo Napolitano died in a motorcycle accident in Lujan, ended any possibility of a full reunion. The municipality of the City of Buenos Aires dedicated a monument in his honor.



Studio albums
  • Ruedas de metal (1981)
  • Macadam 3...2...1...0 (1983)
  • Contenidos (1982)
  • Riff VII (1985)
  • Zona de nadie (1992)
  • Que sea Rock (1997)
Live albums
  • En acción (1983)
  • Riff'n Roll (1987)
  • En vivo en Obras (1995)
  • Palladium 86 (1996)
  • En La Plata (1996)
  • Década (1990) (compilation)
  • Épico (1984) (compilation)
  • Clásico (1995) (compilation)
  • Riff/La Historia vol.1 - Riff/La Historia vol.2, 2005 (DVD)


  1. Riff's biography at Allmusic.com
  2. Riff at Rock.com.ar
  3. "Los 100 mejores discos del rock nacional". Rolling Stone Argentina (in Spanish). Publirevistas S. A. April 2007.
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