Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

The Friday mix CD is hits and deeper cuts from Los Lobos

I love it when there is a band I want to check out and I have a friend who is a big fan. He can tell me which albums to get, which singles to get, maybe even put together a mix for me. Well, today the band you want to check out is Los Lobos and I am your friend.

Los Lobos alla por la dia

Los Lobos alla por la dia (Image Rolling Stone)

Los Lobos started in East L.A. in 1976. You might remember their 1984 radio hit ‘Will the Wolf Survive?’ Everyone remembers their #1 hit from 1988, a cover of the Ritchie Valens song ‘La Bamba’ for the movie of the same name. Since that time, they’ve toured with Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews, and others, worked with the likes of Elvis Costello and Tom Waits, scored a movie, and won three Grammys, but only cracked the U.S. Top 40 twice.

Their songs are sung in English or Spanish and sometimes a combination of both. They are very comfortable with the straight ahead Pop song, but after Kiko in 1992 they really started taking chances. The result has been some very cool music that is unlike anything else I’ve heard. When you listen to any of these, pay special attention to the percussion. They almost always have something funky going on behind the melodic instruments.

These guys are Top 5 material for me. I have 47 of their songs on my iPod and I’m going to recommend almost half of them to you today. Trust me on this: you will listen to this mix over and over again.

If you’re interested in creating this mix and use iTunes, I’ve tried to make it a little easier for you by creating an iMix in the iTunes Store.

  1. Go to the iTunes Store
  2. In the top left box of the center pane, select “Music.”
  3. Once the page renders, the box below it will have a link to iMix.
  4. Search for “missed music lobos” and you’ll find it.

Unfortunately, only 17 of the 21 tracks in this mix are listed, but this will get you a good start.

  1. Revolution (Colossal Head)
    An immediate attack from the percussion, and then it settles down into a nice smooth groove.
  2. Wicked Rain (Kiko)
    I love the drum intro, but listen to the guitar work. Very strange and atmospheric, but it makes the feel of the song.
  3. Angel Dance (Los Lobos: Just Another Band from East L.A.)
    Here’s a nice fat pop hook for you. Great song.
  4. Maricela (Colossal Head)
    This is my wife’s favorite by them.
  5. I Got Loaded (How Will the Wolf Survive?)
    “Last night I got loaded on a bottle of gin. But I feel alright. Night before last I got loaded on a bottle of whiskey. But I feel alright. Tonight I might get loaded on a bottle of wine. Gonna feel alright…” That’s your song.
  6. Wake Up Dolores (Kiko)
    Again from the amazing Kiko. Nobody sounds like this. If the saxes were any fatter, they couldn’t get through the studio door.
  7. Oh Yeah (This Time)
    It’s a cool history, but for me it’s all about the percussion.
  8. Angels with Dirty Faces (Kiko)
    Another beautiful song backed by percussion no one else would have thought of.
  9. Corazon (This Time)
    Here’s a traditional sounding Latin song. I had to get a couple on here.
  10. Colossal Head (Colossal Head)
    “What big eyes you have. What big lips you have. What a nice head. I love you.” These guys are the coolest.
  11. Two Dogs and a Bone (The Town & The City)
    This is just a sick guitar hook. So catchy.
  12. Good Morning Aztlan (Good Morning Aztlan)
    Here’s a high energy rocker from 2002. They’ve still got it.
  13. Will the Wolf Survive? (How Will the Wolf Survive?)
    The message is near despair, but the music is so hopeful. I still love this song.
  14. Guantanamera (Del Este De Los Angeles)
    They do a fantastic job with this traditional Cuban song. My daughter loves this song.
  15. La Venganza De Los Pelados (The Ride)
    Café Tacuba lends a hand and they achieve a neat 50/50 blend of their styles.
  16. The City (The Town & The City)
    I love the instrumental “chorus.” Their ability to craft ethereal soundscapes that still rock amazes me.
  17. Can’t Stop the Rain (Colossal Head)
    Here’s a minimal but funky mix of instruments. Steve Berlin (woodwinds) picks the flute for this one.
  18. Turn Around (This Time)
    Another cool song with great big stomping saxophones.
  19. This Time (This Time)
    This is a pleasant little tune that feels like Sunday morning to me.
  20. What in the World (Good Morning Aztlan)
    Oh yeah. They also do Motown and they do it well.
  21. Peace (Kiko)
    You need a strong closer for any mix and I had to go with this one.

I was lucky enough to see them again a couple weeks ago. I mentioned above that they’ve toured with Dave Matthews. In 1994, I actually saw Dave Matthews opening for Los Lobos opening for Big Head Todd and the Monsters at Red Rocks in Colorado. Man, that ticket was standing on its head. If you ever have a chance to see Los Lobos, jump at it. They play an amazing show.

Enjoy with a margarita or two. Have a good weekend.


April 10, 2009 - Posted by | Classic Rock, Mix CD, Popular, Rock, World Music

1 Comment »

  1. […] They are very comfortable with the straight ahead Pop song , but after Kiko in 1992 they really started taking chances. The result has been some very cool music that is unlike anything else I’ve heard. … Go here to read the rest: The Friday mix CD is hits and deeper cuts from Los Lobos « Missed … […]

    Pingback by Global Color » The Friday mix CD is hits and deeper cuts from Los Lobos « Missed … | April 10, 2009 | Reply

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