200 Greatest Latin Rock Songs

Los Fabulosos Cadillacs and Manu Chao record covers
Criteria: "The Greatest Latin Rock Songs" were chosen from the list
"Las 120 mejores canciones del rock hispanoamericano" published by
Rock en las Americas blog. 

This top songs list contains songs from Hispanic America, U.S and Spain that became part of Rock & Latin Alternative Culture based on initial and lasting popularity as well as influence and international impact in Latin rock music.


Last Updated: 2012-05-16

Greatest Latin Rock Songs
Background: At the end of the 1950's, the boom of rock 'n' roll dominated over Latin American traditional music and was easily received by the youth in the Latin American countries."An important landmark was the version of the traditional song "La Bamba" that Ritchie Valens recorded, which became the first Spanish-Language hit in Rock music. In Latin America, rock 'n' roll music started to be known because of adaptations of American hits in Spanish-language songs made by mexicans bands. Although in the beginning rock was related with popular music, it would later become a part of the counterculture movement and would be used as a special form of political manifestation. In the United States in the 70's, Chicano rock created a fusion of rock, funk and R&B, whereas in the 80's the spirit of punk music would allow bands in Latin America to fuse with the salsa, ska and reggae. A new wave of rock bands acquired greater popularity than before and the industry started to call it 'Rock en español'" 

In the 90's, diverse styles were interpreted by diverse bands throughout Latin America and Spain and were embraced by different urban sub-cultures. Also in this decade, many rock bands became part of the international crossover scene at the same time as they formed a particular identity in the Latin American culture.    

"Latin rock" used to apply abroad to rock fused with afro-caribbean rhythms or other latin american genres, but "latin rock" is a term that applies to a very complex rock culture formed by bands of different styles and they have become part of a Contemporary tradition in Latin music. Another terms used in spanish are "rock hispanoamericano" (hispanic-american rock) or "rock iberoamericano" (ibero-american rock including Brazilian scene)
1. Matador - Los Fabulosos Cadillacs
2. De Música Ligera - Soda Stereo
3. Clandestino - Manu Chao
4. Entre dos tierras - Héroes del Silencio
5. Gimme tha power - Molotov
6. Persiana americana - Soda Stereo
7. Bolero falaz - Aterciopelados
8. Oye como va - Santana
9. Déjate caer - Los Tres
10. Afuera - Caifanes
11. Sin documentos - Los Rodriguez
12. Sr. Cobranza - Bersuit Vergarabat
13. Cuando pase el temblor - Soda Stereo
14. Las flores - Café Tacuba
15. Señor Matanza - Mano Negra
16. Mala vida - Mano Negra
17. We are south american rockers - Los Prisioneros
18. Florecita rockera - Aterciopelados
19. Triste canción de amor - El Tri
20. La ingrata - Café Tacuba
21. El duelo - La Ley
22. En la ciudad de la furia - Soda Stereo
23. El baile de los que sobran - Los Prisioneros
24. La chispa adecuada - Héroes del Silencio
25. Vasos vacíos - Los Fabulosos Cadillacs feat. Celia Cruz
26. La celula que explota - Caifanes
27. La leyenda del hada y el mago - Rata Blanca
28. Muchacha ojos de papel - Almendra
29. Nos siguen pegando abajo - Charly García
30. La balsa - Los Gatos
31. Frijolero - Molotov
32. Lucha de gigantes - Nacha Pop
33. Puto - Molotov
34. La bamba - Los Lobos
35. Pachuco - Maldita Vecindad y los Hijos del Quinto Patio
36. Lobo hombre en París - La Unión
37. Mil horas - Los Abuelos de la Nada
38. Mariposa technicolor - Fito Páez
39. Maldito duende - Héroes del Silencio
40. Ni tú ni nadie - Alaska y Dinarama
41. Ji ji ji - Patricio Rey y sus Redonditos de Ricota
42. Primavera 0 - Soda Stereo
43. Lamento boliviano - Enanitos Verdes
44. Black is black - Los Bravos
45. La locomotora - Café Tacuba
46. Cuando seas grande - Miguel Mateos
47. La bamba - Ritchie Valens
48. Puente - Gustavo Cerati
49. Vagabundo - Robi Draco Rosa
50. El loco - Babasónicos
51. El amor después del amor - Fito Páez
52. Los dinosaurios - Charly García
53. Rasguña las piedras - Sui Generis
54. No dejes que.. - Caifanes
55. Flaca - Andrés Calamaro
56. Demoliendo hoteles - Charly García
57. Nubes - Caifanes
58. ¿Qué ves? - Divididos
59. Bienvenidos - Miguel Ríos
60. Desaparecido - Manu Chao
61. En algun lugar - Duncan Dhu
62. Maldito sea tu nombre - Angeles del Infierno
63. Espiral - Porter
64. Abre la puerta - Triana
65. Para no olvidar - Los Rodriguez
66. El baile y el salón - Café Tacuba
67. Salve - La Polla Records
68. El metro Balderas - Rockdrigo Gonzáles
69. Mejor no hablar de ciertas cosas - Sumo
70. La flaca - Jarabe de Palo
71. Tren al sur - Los Prisioneros
72. De mis pasos - Julieta Venegas
73. Devuéveme a mi chica - Hombres G
74. Resistiré - Barón Rojo
75. Viento - Caifanes
76. Voto latino - Molotov
77. Y lo que quiero es que pises sin el suelo - Catupecu Machu
78. Detrás de los cerros - Jaguares
79. La plaga - Los Teen Tops
80. A quien le importa - Alaska y Dinarama
81. Mr. P Mosh - Plastilina Mosh
82. Lady blue - Enrique Bunbury
83. Avalancha - Héroes del Silencio
84. Comprendes Mendez - Control Machete
85. Todos juntos - Los Jaivas
86. Veneno en la piel - Radio Futura
87. Insurrección - El Último de la Fila
88. Irresponsables - Babasónicos
89. Yo no soy un rebelde - Los Locos del Ritmo
90. Mal bicho - Los Fabulosos Cadillacs
91. Día cero - La Ley
92. No voy en tren - Charly García
93. Ella usó mi cabeza como un révolver - Soda Stereo
94. Oasis - Puya
95. La muralla verde - Enanitos Verdes
96. Los rockeros van al infierno - Barón Rojo
97. Soun da mi primer amor - Kinky
98. Me vuelve loco (tu forma de ser) - Los Auntenticos Decadentes
99. Mentira - La Ley
100. El son del dolor - La Cuca

101. Chica de ayer - Nacha Pop
102. Cruz de navajas - Mecano
103. Alármala de tos - Botellita de Jerez
104. El genio del dub - Los Fabulosos Cadillacs
105. Peces e iguanas - Bohemia Suburbana
106. Viva Satana - Babasónicos
107. Eres - Café Tacuba
108. Azul casi morado - Santa Sabina
109. No me importa morir - El Otro Yo
110. Luna de miel en la mano - Virus
111. Imágenes paganas - Virus
112. El lado oscuro - Jarabe de Palo
113. Héroe de leyenda - Héroes del Silencio
114. Molinos de viento - Mago de Oz
115. Gente que no - Los Auntenticos Decadentes feat. Todos Tus Muertos
116. Love - Zoé
117. Demolición - Los Saicos
118. Baracunatana - Aterciopelados
119. Putita - Babasónicos
120. Nasty Sex - La Revolución de Emiliano Zapata
121. Todas las hojas son del viento - Pescado Rabioso
122. Las piedras rodantes - El Tri
123. Abarajame - Illya Kuryaki & The Valderramas
124. Ya no sé que hacer conmigo - El Cuarteto de Nos
125. Bajan - Pescado Rabioso
126. Canción para mi muerte - Sui Generis
127. Fotografía - Jumbo
128. María - Café Tacuba
129. Zoom - Soda Stereo
130. Uno..dos.. ultraviolento - Los Violadores
131. Crimen - Gustavo Cerati
132. Bailaré sobre tu tumba - Siniestro Total
133. Iberia sumergida - Héroes del Silencio
134. Veneno vil - Fobia
135. Seminare - Serú Girán
136. Infinito - Enrique Bunbury
137. El anillo del capitán Beto - Invisible
138. Barro tal vez - Luis Alberto Spinetta
139. Oye cantinero - Three Souls in My Mind
140. Bailando - Alaska y los Pegamoides
141. Bestia - Hello Seahorse!
142. Kumbala - Maldita Vecindad y los Hijos del Quinto Patio
143. Dime que me quieres - Tequila
144. Yo no quiero volverme tan loco - Charly García
145. Rezo por vos - Charly García
146. Flamenco - Los Brincos
147. No me destruyas - Zoé
148. Llueve sobre la ciudad - Los Bunkers
149. Dormir soñando - El Gran Silencio
150. Escuela de calor - Radio Futura
151. Pobre de ti - Tijuana No!
152. Jugo de tomate - Manal
153. Sube a nacer conmigo hermano - Los Jaivas
154. Signos - Soda Stereo
155. Mujer amante - Rata Blanca
156. Playa azul - Los Amigos Invisibles
157. La playa - Los Planetas
158. La mataré - Loquillo y Trogloditas
159. El oso - Moris
160. Cabeza - Sentimiento Muerto
161. El ratón - Fania All Stars
162. Beber de tu sangre - Los Amantes de Lola
163. Hácelo por mi - Attaque 77
164. Ponerte en cuatro - Los Amigos Invisibles
165. La guitarra - Los Auténticos Decadentes
166. Avenida Larco - Frágil
167. A lo cubano - Orishas
168. ¿Qué hace una chica como tú en un sitio como este? - Burning
169. Guitarras blancas - Enanitos Verdes
170. La carencia - Panteón Rococó
171. Los momentos - Los Blops
172. Como mata el viento norte - La Máquina de Hacer Pájaros
173. Juegos de seducción - Soda Stereo
174. Latinoamérica - Calle 13 feat. Totó La Momposina, María Rita & Susana Baca
175. Un amor violento - Los Tres
176. Té para tres - Soda Stereo
177. Cumbia de los muertos - Ozomatli
178. Azul - Natalia Lafourcade
179. Seguir viviendo sin tu amor - Luis Alberto Spinetta
180. Estrechez del corazón - Los Prisioneros
181. Pupilas lejanas - Los Pericos
182. Yendo de la cama al living - Charly García
183. So payaso - Extremoduro
184. Meshkalina - Traffic Sound
185. Manuel Santillán, El León - Los Fabulosos Cadillacs
186. El aparato - Café Tacuba
187. El revelde - La Renga
188. La rubia tarada - Sumo
189. Bombay - El Guincho
190. Londres - Hora Local
191. Día negro - La Barranca
192. Rompan todo (Break it all) - Los Shakers
193. Corazón gris - Dermis Tatú
194. Allá cayó - Desorden Público
195. Vuelta por el universo - Gustavo Cerati feat. Daniel Melero
196. El tren de las 16 - Pappo's Blues
197. Sexo - Los Prisioneros
198. El vals del obrero - Ska-P
199. Peligro - Ely Guerra
200. A la orilla de la carretera - Jaime López
1. Oye como va - Santana (1970)
2. La bamba - Ritchie Valens (1958)
3. Muchacha ojos de papel - Almendra (1969)
4. Rasguña las piedras - Sui Generis (1973)
5. La bals - Los Gatos (1967)
1. Matador - Los Fabulosos Cadillacs (1993)
2. Persiana americana - Soda Stereo (1986)
3. La ingrata - Café Tacuba (1994)
4. Bolero falaz - Aterciopelados (1995)
5. De música ligera - Soda Stereo (1990)
6. Entres dos tierras - Héroes del Silencio (1990)
7. Cuando pase el temblor - Soda Stereo (1985)
8. La célula que explota - Caifanes (1990)
9. Las flores - Café Tacuba (1994)
10. Gimme tha power - Molotov (1997)
1. Clandestino - Manu Chao (1998)
2. Eres - Café Tacuba (2003)
3. Sr. Cobranza - Bersuit Vergarabat (1998)
4. Espiral - Porter (2004)
5. Puente - Gustavo Cerati (1999)
Latin Rock in the U.S.
Latin Rock in the United States includes a variety of bands and sounds, creating a diverse and innovative music scene. In the earliest rock and roll styles of the late 1940s and early 1950s, the piano or saxophone was often the lead instrument, but the guitar replaced or supplemented these instruments in the middle to late 1950s. After World War II, many Chicano bandleaders and musicians like Don Tosti and Lalo Guerrero stepped onto the stage, forging a sound and culture that reflected their desire to be "American."

The Mexican American sound they created was characterized by a fusion of African American musical communities south of downtown, English language lyrics and Latin American musical traditions. The most famous pioneer of the genre is Ritchie Valens, the first Mexican-American music star and one of The Beatles' major influences. In the early 1960's, producer Eddie Davis dreamed of creating a Latino-flavored Motown on his Rampart Record label (Brown Eyed Soul), noting the unique Latino feel in the way these bands played R&B. This unique flavor can be seen in "Whittier Boulevard" by Thee Midniters, which influenced garage bands around the country and popularized the inexpensive farfisa organ.

The definitive Latin rock group was Santana, whose combination of bluesy electric guitar, Latin percussion and organ caught the imagination of national and international audiences, beginning with their break-out performance at the 1969 Woodstock festival. Santana had hits both with original compositions and with rock-flavored covers of Latin dance numbers, including Oye Como Va, first recorded by Tito Puente in 1963. The success of the band Santana in the late 1960s led numerous young musicians in California to experiment with combining elements of rock, blues, funk, soul, latin jazz and Afro-Caribbean rhythms. Chicano rock adopted the rhythm and blues-based style of African American music and utilized the electric guitar.  It also melded influences from Latin American music and included themes of the Chicano culture of the southwest.

The vigorous R&B, rock and roll, punk scenes of L.A.'s Chicano Eastside helped shape American popular music, even as the constant infusion of immigrant laborers from Mexico and Central America continued to provide new musical ideas and identities. Since the 80's, bands like Los Lobos embraced American roots music, while infusing plenty of their own cultural perspective into the mix. Puerto Ricans and Caribbean Latinos also participated in the development of those styles and, by the mid-20th century, their population grew not only in numbers, but in the music industry. Boogaloo became the first response of Caribbean music that tuned with the sound of rock n' roll. 

The Golden Age of Rock en Español in Latin America and the proliferation of Spanish-language media in the United States during the 80's and 90's facilitated communication between the artists in the US and artists across the border. Latin alternative music, a term used in recent years, has current demographics in its favor, as the Hispanic minority in the United States grows and extends beyond the established urban centers. This population shift brings the promise of a public that will increasingly embrace bilingual music as a reflection of their own experiences in the United States.


Criteria: The next list ranked the 10 most important songs that made a contribution to Latin Rock and US Contemporary music but also become part of the music history of American music. After this, the songs are listed chronologically according to cultural and musical Impact at the time since Proto-Rock N Roll until Latin Alternative.
  
1. La bamba - Ritchie Valens
2. Soul Sacrifice (Woodstock version) - Santana
3. Suavecito - Malo
4. La Bamba - Los Lobos
5. Insane In The Brain - Cypress Hill
6. Viva Tirado! - El Chicano
7. Heaven - Los Lonely Boys
8. El Ratón - Fania All Stars
9. Low Rider - War
10. Oye Como Va - Santana

1940s
Pachuco Boogie - (1948) - Don Tosti
Marijuana Boogie - (1949) - Lalo Guerrero
1950s
Tequila - (1958) - The Champs
C'mon, Let's Go - (1958) - Ritchie Valens
Donna - (1958) - Ritchie Valens
Hippy Hippy Shake - (1959) - Chan Romero
1960s
Charlena - (1960) - The Sevilles
Angel Baby - (1961) - Rosie & The Originals
Let's Dance - (1962) - Chriz Montez
If I Had a Hammer - (1963) - Trini Lopez
Talk To Me - (1963) - Sunny & The Sunglows
Farmer John - (1964) - The Premiers
La La La La La - (1965) - The Blendells
I Who Had Nothing - (1965) - Little Ray
Wooly Bully - (1965) - Sam The Sham & the Pharaohs
Land of 1000 Dances - (1965) - Cannibal & the Headhunters
Whittier Blvd - (1965) - Thee Midniters
Jump, Jive and Harmonize - (1966) - Thee Midniters
96 Tears - (1966) - Question Mark & The Mysterians
The Party's Over - (1967) - The Latin Souls
Bang Bang - (1967) - Joe Cuba 
Hector - (1968) - The Village Callers 
Cruise - (1968) - The Ambertones 
Mendocino - (1968) - Sir Douglas Quintet
A Deeper Shade of Soul - (1968) - Ray Barretto
Light My Fire - (1968) - José Feliciano
Crazy Baby - (1969) - Little Joe & The Latinaires
Jingo - (1969) - Santana
Evil Ways - (1969) - Santana
1970s
Idle Hands - (1971) - Harlem River Driver
Do What You Want To Do? - (1971) - Willie Bobo and The Bo-Gents
Ghtetto Brothers Power - (1971) - Ghetto Brothers
Cucara Macara - (1972) - Harvey Averne Barrio Band
What is Hip? - (1973) - Power of Tower
The Bottle - (1973) - Joe Bataan
The Ghetto - (1973) - La Clave
Show Me the Way to Your Heart - (1973) - Ruben and the Jets 
Whatcha Gonna Do - (1973) - Azteca
Been Had - (1974) - Sapo
Wasted Days & Wasted Nights - (1974) - Freddy Fender
Barrio Suite - (1975) - Tierra
Fencewalk - (1975) - Mandrill
Mira Pa'ca - (1975) - Chango
Don't Push Me Around - (1977) - The Zeros
Survive - (1978) - The Bags
1980s
Attitude - (1980) - The Brat
El Lay - (1982) - Los Illegals
S/F - (1983) - Con Safos
Hombre Secreto - (1984) - The Plugz
Don't Worry Baby - (1984) - Los Lobos
Flor de Mal - (1985) - Cruzados
1990s
Adios Mexico - (1990) - The Texas Tornados
Kiko And The Lavender Moon - (1992) - Los Lobos
It's Now or Never - (1994) - El Vez
Manifold De Amour - (1994) - Latin Playboys
Portate Mal - (1994) - María Fatal
Camino A Casa - (1995) - Ley de Hielo
El Coo Cooi - (1995) - Voodoo Glow Skulls
Cumbia Del Sol - (1995) - The Blazers 
La Migra - (1995) - Brujeria
Asesinos - (1997) - Los Crudos
Revolution - (1998) - Aztlan Underground
Cumbia De Los Muertos - (1998) - Ozomatli
El Canoero - (1998) - Los Super Seven
2000s
ías De Los Angeles - (2001) - Del Castillo
Jarocho Elegua - (2002) - Quetzal
Guajira (I Love U 2 Much) - (2003) - Yerba Buena
L'Via Viaquez - (2005) - The Mars Volta
Van Nuys (Es Very Nice) - (2006) - Los Abandoned









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