Whilst the mainstream of the Filipino music scene continued to suck throughout the 90’s, an innovation called Rivermaya was happening. Speaking as someone who just got to know them by hearing a few tracks, I’m not qualified to describe the complex changing of members. Over the years they have had more ins and outs than the pre-season transfer market in the premier league.
However, the information is out there so you can keep track of the comings and goings if you care enough. I tried to follow it; I had to lie down after as it appears that they have kept going in various formats to the extent that many believe it’s time to stop. Later day Rivermaya sadly seem to be as much a tribute to the name Rivermaya but the substance has gone long before.
However, their most formative years were the earlier days. I’m here to introduce to outsiders another side of the Philippines which of course includes Filipino music and I really can’t be bothered to be a rock journalist.
I will just leave it to other sources to map out the history of Rivermaya for you. Discover them for yourselves with a few suggestions from a time when they had Rico Blanco, who was the chief composer and possibly the most relevant member.
I think of all the Filipino bands I’ve come to hear in my time exploring local music in this country, Rivermaya has caught my ear as among the most original. I hear the British influence very clearly but I always found they had enough of themselves in the music to still call it unique.
The brilliance of Rico Blanco is obvious and I shall be featuring his marvelous solo work in another piece.
The musical revolution is still slowly moving forward. Bands like Rivermaya helped to set it on course. Of all the bands I’ve heard here, Rivermaya is among my favourites.
Many say that without Rico Blanco or Bamboo Mañalac, it isn’t Rivermaya anymore. They are nothing like as big now as they were in the mid 90’s up to mid 2000’s. Maybe it is time to stop now as the era highlighted here has left its stamp as being Rivermaya and no later line up using the name was ever going to make much of an impression following them.
Photo Credit: Rogue.ph
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