I’m not even a month into this project, and already I’m falling behind – not with the listening, but with the writing. I’m hoping to get back on track this week, maybe next at the latest. We’ll see…
I bought my first record when I was 11 years old. That’s as in *I* went into a shop, and with my own money, purchased a piece of music, rather than having something bought on my behalf. I can remember thinking long and hard about what that first record was going to be – I knew that this was a defining moment in life, and didn’t want to be saddled by something lame. It had to be something classic, something that was going to stand the test of time.
I bought La Bamba, by Los Lobos.
Could have been much worse, I guess, not least because I still like it, but it’s not exactly the coolest record of all time.
But that was over 23 years ago, and although I’ve been vaguely aware of Los Lobos’s continued existence, they’re not a band you ever hear played on the radio, and I never felt compelled to seek them out. Until I was checking out Social Distortion, whose current drummer is the David Hildago Jr, the son of Los Lobos singer/guitarist David Hildago.
And so, this week’s “new” artist is actually one whose product I bought 23 years ago!
The band have been releasing music since the 70’s – 19 albums and counting – there was no way I could hope to cover everything in one week, even assuming I could get hold of it. And with no-one to guide me, I opted to start with a compilation album. Wolf Tracks is a 2006 best of album, which was where I began, but with only 20 tracks it didn’t seem comprehensive enough. Having noticed that it only contained 3 tracks beyond 1992’s Kiko album, I quickly replaced Wolf Tracks with 1993’s 2 disc collection Just Another Band From East L.A.
What surprised me was the variety of musical styles the band seem to cover. Old school rock n roll I expected, Spanish/Mexican musical styles I expected. I didn’t expect much blues or country though, but all of these and more were represented.
I realise I need to start taking better notes – relying on which song you’ve loved on last.fm doesn’t really cut it if you don’t love anything! And as I’m falling behind on this little project of mine, I’ve not got the time to go back and re-listen. But I do remember liking Kiko and the Lavender Moon, and thinking I should check out the entire Kiko album. Other than that, though, I wasn’t particularly inspired to delve much deeper into the Los Lobos back catalogue.
I keep threatening to make an effort to learn a foreign language, and Spanish is at the top of my list. One day I’m going to do it, and I think the Los Lobos will sit alongside Shakira in my “learn Spanish” playlist. Until then, even though I quite liked what I heard, I don’t see them being played much.