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100 Greatest Latin Rock Songs

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.

Edited By:

Last Updated:
2012-05-16

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

101. Nacha Pop - Chica de ayer
102. Mecano - Cruz de navajas
103. Botellita de Jerez - Alármala de tos
104. Los Fabulosos Cadillacs - El genio del dub
105. Bohemia Suburbana - Peces e iguanas
106. Babasónicos - Viva Satana
107. Café Tacuba - Eres
108. Santa Sabina - Azul casi morado
109. El Otro Yo - No me importa morir
110. Virus - Luna de miel en la mano
111. Virus - Imágenes paganas
112. Jarabe de Palo - El lado oscuro
113. Héroes del Silencio - Héroe de leyenda
114. Mago de Oz - Molinos de viento
115. Los Auntenticos Decadentes feat. Todos Tus Muertos - Gente que no
116. Zoé - Love
117. Los Saicos - Demolición
118. Aterciopelados - Baracunatana
119. Babasónicos - Putita
120. La Revolución de Emiliano Zapata - Nasty Sex
121. Pescado Rabioso - Todas las hojas son del viento
122. El Tri - Las piedras rodantes
123. Illya Kuryaki & The Valderramas - Abarajame
124. El Cuarteto de Nos - Ya no sé que hacer conmigo
125. Pescado Rabioso - Bajan
126. Sui Generis - Canción para mi muerte
127. Jumbo - Fotografía
128. Café Tacuba - María
129. Soda Stereo - Zoom
130. Los Violadores - Uno..dos.. ultraviolento
131. Gustavo Cerati - Crimen
132. Siniestro Total - Bailaré sobre tu tumba
133. Héroes del Silencio - Iberia sumergida
134. Fobia - Veneno vil
135. Serú Girán - Seminare
136. Enrique Bunbury - Infinito
137. Invisible - El anillo del capitán Beto
138. Luis Alberto Spinetta - Barro tal vez
139. Three Souls in My Mind - Oye cantinero
140. Alaska y los Pegamoides - Bailando
141. Hello Seahorse! - Bestia
142. Maldita Vecindad y los Hijos del Quinto Patio - Kumbala
143. Tequila - Dime que me quieres
144. Charly García - Yo no quiero volverme tan loco
145. Charly García - Rezo por vos
146. Los Brincos - Flamenco
147. Zoé - No me destruyas
148. Los Bunkers - Llueve sobre la ciudad
149. El Gran Silencio - Dormir soñando
150. Radio Futura - Escuela de calor
151. Tijuana No! - Pobre de ti
152. Manal - Jugo de tomate
153. Los Jaivas - Sube a nacer conmigo hermano
154. Soda Stereo - Signos
155. Rata Blanca - Mujer amante
156. Los Amigos Invisibles - Playa azul
157. Los Planetas - La playa
158. Loquillo y Trogloditas - La mataré
159. Moris - El oso
160. Sentimiento Muerto - Cabeza
161. Fania All Stars - El ratón
162. Los Amantes de Lola - Beber de tu sangre
163. Attaque 77 - Hácelo por mi
164. Los Amigos Invisibles - Ponerte en cuatro
165. Los Auténticos Decadentes - La guitarra
166. Frágil - Avenida Larco
167. Orishas - A lo cubano
168. Burning - ¿Qué hace una chica como tú en un sitio como este?
169. Enanitos Verdes - Guitarras blancas
170. Panteón Rococó - La carencia
171. Los Blops - Los momentos
172. La Máquina de Hacer Pájaros - Como mata el viento norte
173. Soda Stereo - Juegos de seducción
174. Calle 13 feat. Totó La Momposina, María Rita & Susana Baca - Latinoamérica
175. Los Tres - Un amor violento
176. Soda Stereo - Té para tres
177. Ozomatli - Cumbia de los muertos
178. Natalia Lafourcade - Azul
179. Luis Alberto Spinetta - Seguir viviendo sin tu amor
180. Los Prisioneros - Estrechez del corazón
181. Los Pericos - Pupilas lejanas
182. Charly García - Yendo de la cama al living
183. Extremoduro - So payaso
184. Traffic Sound - Meshkalina
185. Los Fabulosos Cadillacs - Manuel Santillán, El León
186. Café Tacuba - El aparato
187. La Renga - El revelde
188. Sumo - La rubia tarada
189. El Guincho - Bombay
190. Hora Local - Londres
191. La Barranca - Día negro
192. Los Shakers - Rompan todo (Break it all)
193. Dermis Tatú - Corazón gris
194. Desorden Público - Allá cayó
195. Gustavo Cerati feat. Daniel Melero - Vuelta por el universo
196. Pappo's Blues - El tren de las 16
197. Los Prisioneros - Sexo
198. Ska-P - El vals del obrero
199. Ely Guerra - Peligro
200. Jaime López - A la orilla de la carretera

Blog


Best Songs of First Age of Latin Rock (1958-1982). See more, click here
  1. Santana - Oye como va (1970)
  2. Ritchie Valens - La bamba (1958)
  3. Almendra - Muchacha ojos de papel (1969)
  4. Sui Generis - Rasguña las piedras (1973)
  5. Los Gatos - La balsa (1967)

Best Songs of the Golden Age of Rock en Español (1983-1997). See more, click here
  1. Los Fabulosos Cadillacs - Matador (1993)
  2. Soda Stereo - Persiana americana (1986)
  3. Café Tacuba - La ingrata (1994)
  4. Aterciopelados - Bolero falaz (1995)
  5. Soda Stereo - De música ligera (1990)
  6. Héroes del Silencio - Entres dos tierras (1990)
  7. Soda Stereo - Cuando pase el temblor (1985)
  8. Caifanes - La célula que explota (1990)
  9. Café Tacuba - Las flores (1994)
10. Molotov - Gimme tha power (1997)
Best Songs of the Latin Alternative Era (1998- ). See more, click here
  1. Manu Chao - Clandestino (1998)
  2. Café Tacuba - Eres (2003)
  3. Bersuit Vergarabat - Sr. Cobranza (1998)
  4. Porter - Espiral (2004)
  5. Gustavo Cerati - Puente (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 song 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
The Bags (1978) - Survive

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
Días 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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