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Los Lobos

One of the most acclaimed American bands of the 1980s and '90s, Los Lobos were seasoned musical veterans with nearly 15 years of experience under their belts when they scored their first hit in 1987 with a cover of Richie Valens' "La Bamba." Though their time as pop stars was short, the group -- who enjoyed calling themselves "just another band from East L.A." -- won over critics and a legion of loyal fans with their bracing mixture of rock, blues, Tex-Mex, country, R&B, and Mexican folk sounds, with the band's sound ranging from gentle acoustic ballads to the outer limits of experimental rock. While often cited as one of the great bands of Latino Rock, Los Lobos' eclectic sound in fact defined them as a vital example of America's cultural melting pot.

Los Lobos were formed in 1973 by guitarist/accordionist David Hidalgo and percussionist Louie Perez, two students at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles who discovered they shared eclectic tastes in music. Recruiting two other Garfield students -- guitarist Cesar Rosas and bassist Conrad Lozano -- they put together a band which they dubbed Los Lobos del Este (de Los Angeles), a take-off on the celebrated Norteño band Los Lobos del Norte. While their interests ranged from hard rock to free jazz, the new group began exploring the Mexican folk music they grew up with, and they soon found themselves regularly playing weddings, parties, and Mexican restaurants in East Los Angeles.

As an acoustic folk group, Los Lobos cut a self-released album in 1978, Del Este de Los Angeles (Just Another Band from East L.A.), but they had greater stylistic ambitions, and were eager to embrace newer sounds and a larger audience, especially as they discovered the energy and stylistic freedom of the L.A. punk scene. Los Lobos struck up a friendship with fellow punk-influenced roots rockers the Blasters, and after opening some shows for them, Los Lobos developed their own following on the Hollywood club scene. They also won new fans through their presence on the soundtrack of the cult comedy Eating Raoul.

In 1983, Slash Records, a powerful L.A. indie label distributed by Warner Bros., signed Los Lobos, and the group cut a seven-song EP, ... And a Time to Dance, that showcased the force and wide-ranging influences of their music. Producer T-Bone Burnett also brought in local sax player Steve Berlin to play on the sessions, and he would soon become a full member of the group. Los Lobos began touring the country in support of the EP, and an even more ambitious full-length album, How Will the Wolf Survive?, followed in 1984. After extensive road work, the band recorded their third album, 1987's By the Light of the Moon, with an eye toward breaking the band out to a larger audience. Sales were not as good as hoped, but Los Lobos did land a major chart hit that year -- they recorded a handful of songs for the soundtrack of a film about pioneering Latino rocker Richie Valens, and their version of Valens' biggest hit, "La Bamba," became the movie's title song and a hit single that topped the pop charts.

For the follow-up to La Bamba, Los Lobos returned to their first love, Mexican folk, on the 1988 album La Pistola y el Corazón. The album was a modest success, but their next effort, the fine and stylistically rich 1990 album The Neighborhood, sold poorly, and the band was looking for a new direction when they returned to the studio in 1992. Producer Mitchell Froom encouraged the band to explore unusual sounds and arrangement ideas, and combined with an outstanding set of songs, Kiko was hailed as the band's masterpiece, wowing critics and fans alike.

In 1993, Los Lobos celebrated 20 years together with the retrospective set Just Another Band from East L.A., which included rare tracks and live performances alongside the band's best known numbers. However, while they recorded a children's album with Lalo Guerrero, 1995's Papa's Dream, and scored the Robert Rodriguez film Desperado, a proper follow-up to Kiko didn't arrive until 1996, and Colossal Head didn't click with audiences like Kiko.

For several years, Los Lobos maintained a low profile as Rosas cut a solo album, Soul Disguise, and Hildago worked on side projects with Mike Halby (Houndog) and his Los Lobos bandmate Perez (Latin Playboys). Los Lobos returned in 1999 with This Time, their first release for the Disney-affiliated Hollywood Records label, who also reissued the band's 1978 Del Este de Los Angeles in 2000. (2000 was a good year for Los Lobos archivists; it also saw the release of a four-disc retrospective box set from Rhino Records, El Cancionero: Mas y Mas).They shifted to the Hollywood-owned Mammoth Records imprint for 2002's outstanding Good Morning Aztlan. Always a favorite with fellow musicians, Los Lobos collaborated with a number of their favorite artists on 2004's The Ride, including Mavis Staples, Dave Alvin, Richard Thompson, Elvis Costello, and Ruben Blades. The Ride spun off an EP of covers, Ride This, and while touring behind the album, Los Lobos cut their first-ever live album, 2005's Live at the Filmore. A second live set devoted to acoustic performances, Acoustic en Vivo, appeared a few months later.

Los Lobos regrouped in 2006 to record The Town and the City, a return to the themes of The Neighborhood, and they cut a second children's album in 2009, Los Lobos Goes Disney, featuring tunes from classic Disney films. (For the album, the group revived their cover of "I Wanna Be Like You" from The Jungle Book, which they first cut for Hal Willner's 1989 Disney tribute Stay Awake). Los Lobos cut ties with Hollywood Records and signed with Shout! Factory, who issued the streetwise Tin Can Trust in 2010, while the group reworked their most celebrated album with the 2012 release Kiko Live. As Los Lobos celebrated their fourth decade together, they looked back at their roots in acoustic music with 2013's Disconnected in New York City, recorded during shows at the Big Apple venue the City Winery; it was also the band's first release for the independent 429 Records label. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Burn It Down (CD Single)

Comments

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gigid78
Say IPhone 5 times
pick a color
post this on 5 songs
look under your pillow
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From east los
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1) kiss your left hand
2) say your crush's name
3) say your name
Post this on 15 songs
Your crush will ask you out in 2 days
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gigid78
Who knows what year he was BORN... I do put in you bets it was year 1940
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First time I saw los lobos they opened for X at the whiskey. It was around easter in 80-81 just amazing .. The last time I SSW them with my son at Grand Targhee music festival. Even more impressive! As were every time in between ....
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Ritchieeeeee e . . . . still love to hear the music, it steers the heart
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Los adoroooo!!!
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imo2869n.54
I don't want
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dragonlady60 8 8
Rip. Ritchie vallens
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they suck
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Great recorded band, great live band, simply put LOS LOBOS is just a great, if not the best band around at this time it just doesn't get any better. Not bad for just another band from east los angeles. Much respect homies.
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Like to play y the record
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bobnox2
I wish these guys would come to the East Coast once in a while. I'd love to see 'em... but in the meantime, I'll just keep listening to their GREAT albums!
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This band is great
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There music doesn't sound cool
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The problem is: I DON'T hear Los Lobos being played on Pandora Radio at all! Lots of comments but NO music like for instance 1984 How Will The Wolf Survive?or 1987 By Thee Light Of The Moon those are great albums so PLEASE let's get it on!! Let's play some REAL music!
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saw them live last year, what a great show! they did almost the whole kiko album
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one of the most underappreci a t e d bands around.
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pnotchr73
Makes me feel like getting up and dancing!
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This song make me feel good.lol
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Halloween. Nite. Its a scary thought for YOU be like. YOU ..Ya ha ha
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Haha this song was on the chihuahua movie
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Good !
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Wow I'm is gringo as they come but this song sends me to another state of mind south of the border and I really liked it
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This song is bad a**
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Cambio. Mio. Si. ......
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amye45
Ringo!
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I remember when my jefeito use to play this rola to me when I was young back in the day.
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Please follow me! I like this song. With Los Lobos
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I like this song. With Los Lobos
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paula.ybarra 1
just saw them over the weekend in WinnaVegas Casino, they truely get better with age. Loved it!
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Can't wait to see them at The Kate Wolf Festival this summer!
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The tune of this kind of reminds me of TLC's "Unpretty".
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naress2007
Love them and been listening to their music for 40+ years. Attending their concert is indeed a treat! Greatest band in America!
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Let the little dance
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One of the best bands around....
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Mas Y Mas Y Mas Y Mas!!!!! Waaaahoooo
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excellent memories.... p l e a s e keep it up
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come on lets go.. love it! :)
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Se me acabo El amore great song love it!
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Because, buddy-ok, the task of analysis often involves comparison as a means (among other, of course) of elucidation.
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Why do people always feel the need say THIS BAND.... sounds like......TH A T BAND? Why can't Los Lobos sound like.....umm m m . , , , , , Los Lobos? A very rare, unique & WONDERFUL blend of musical eras, styles and genres. There is no need to compare them to The Band or The Dead or WILCO? ??? That's like comparing Santana and REM! Sometimes a super talented athlete, actor, or band comes along and is truly one of a kind. Not like any other. Los Lobos is one of those cases!
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Love his music.
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reminds me of the gratefull dead
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Amazing. They are always pushing ahead. Name a better band over the last thirty years.. I didn't think so...Gracias
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La bamba movie<3 one of my favorites!!!
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timoteonicho l s
OK I can dig that.
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Name another band with the confidence to follow up s number one hit with an acoustic album in another language. Talented brave and very good friends so I'm a little jaded
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denevanp
The similar artists list is too long by five or too short by 20.
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one of my favorite bands ^-^
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