Latin Rock

Whatever happened to Latin rock? The Cuban origins of "Louie Louie" are well known, and of course "Tequila" is a classic mambo riff. Despite the tireless efforts of Perez Prado and others, Latin rock never really took off, in the U.S. at least, the way Latin jazz and Latin soul did. So we are stuck with hearing the same old English versions for the millionth time.

The varieties of Latin rock include Spanish covers of rock oldies, such as "Bule Bule" ("Woolly Bully"); originals; Latin standards arranged as rock ("Tequila"); the fuzztoned psychedelic side of mod, 1960s Mexicali brass; and the heavier, funkier Latin rock of the late 1960s and early 1970s. While overlap with Latin twist, Latin soul, and Latin funk is inevitable, most of the records below are basic rock.

Rock and roll, pure and simple, means the hoary old chestnuts of Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, and others. In the early 1960s, Los Teen Tops made what may be the definitive '50s-rock cover album(s). Several years later an uncredited band on Exitos del Rock repeated many of the titles and added at least one by the Beatles. In both cases justice is done to the originals, even beyond the novelty of Spanish lyrics. Los Toppers, big fans of motor bikes apparently, chose less obvious covers, but their original "Yo la Quiero" cranks.

Among Mexicali brass albums there are plenty of crossovers with rock, and not just the Ventures doing "Lonely Bull." The psychedelic flavor of fuzztoned guitar shows up on pop albums as well as soundtracks for biker movies.

In later, heavier rock, everyone knows about Santana. But there is also Malo, led by Carlos Santana's brother Jorge and featuring the great Francisco Aguabella. Macondo's one-off album from 1972 is one of the very hippest, funkiest, and hardest. Rock was very deliberately incorporated by Latin-soul star Harvey Averne, and there are plenty of more obscure bands such as Black Sugar. Latin-funk stars El Chicano certainly rocked, and their "Tell Her She's Lovely" stands as the greatest Latin funk tune ever to penetrate commercial FM radio.

Buying: Later albums by El Chicano and Macondo are not hard to find, although they should be. For early Latin rock LPs, especially rare imports, cross your fingers that the seller has not bothered to listen. Late-1950s, Champs-like, chicano-rock instrumentals are plentiful.

Latin Rock LPs

8Los Adolescentes: Instrumentales par los Adolescentes--Los Sonidos de FM Mexico '68; RCA Victor MKS-1757; 1967 (mod)
8Julio Angel/Tammy: 2 a Go Go; Hit Parade HPLP-004 (Puerto Rico; con los Diamantes)
Harvey Averne -- see Latin Soul
6Azteca; CBS/Columbia KC-31776; 1972 (Coke Escovedo-led Santana spin-off)
6Los Babys: Sensacion en Ritmo; Peerless/ECO ECO-717 (guitar/organ instrumentals)
Los Boppers: Session de Rock con; Peerless/ECO ECO-84
6Cafe; Vaya VS-28; 1974 (prod. Ray Barretto)
7Los Camisas Negras; Musart D-596 (Mexico)
6Cannibal & the Headhunters: Land of 1000 Dances; Date TES-4001/TEM-3001 (remake of the hit; covers James Brown's "Out of Sight")
6Los Hermanos Castro: Yo sin ti...y otros exitos; RCA Victor Mexicana MKS-1676
7Los Hermanos Castro: Estan!; RCA Victor Mexicana MKS-1714
7Los Hermanos Castro: En la Onda de Los Hnos. Castro; RCA Victor Mexicana MKS-1743; 1967 (mod Latin/Latin rock)
8Cesar: Cesar 830; Flying Dutchman BDL1-0830; 1975 (w/Aguabella)
6Chango; ABC ABCX-872; 1975 (funky Latin rock like Macondo)
6Chango: Honey is Sweeter than Blood; Mercury SRM-1-1103; 1976
El Chicano -- see Latin Soul/Latin Funk
8Coke; Sound Triangle ST-7773
Los Crazy Kings: No Me Ni Eques Amor; Peerless/ECO ECO-864
The Fevers; Luso LP-1018 (Brasilian or Portuguese)
The Fevers: A explosao musical dos Fevers; Luso LP-1019
5The Fevers; Luso LP-1044
[Frankie Dante &] Orchestra Flamboyan -- see Latin Soul
8Flash & the Dynamics; Tico SLP-1233
6Gonzalez: Our Only Weapon is Our Music; EMI/Capitol ST-6443; 1975 (Latin funk/rock/jazz from Ontario)
7Enrique Guzman y el grupo Nahuatl: Los Grandes Anos del Rock and Roll; RAFF 9001 (Latin rock with Moog)
4Los Iruna'ko: El Amor es un Festival; Rhumba RLP-55573 (partly Latin twist/Latin rock)
7Los Loud Jets: Homenage a Elvis Presley; Fono-Rex FRS-26; 1978
5Malo; Warner Bros. BS-2584; 1972
5Malo: Dos; Warner Bros.; 1972
9Malon--Juan Carlos Caceres: "El Camino" "Dale Negro"; London/Fontana 6444-505; 1972
Malon: [Brasilian LP & 1 other]
7Malon: Rebellion; Philips 6397032; 1976
6Massada: Astaganaga; Kendari KIL-21006-KL; 1978 (Latin rock/Latin funk/Brasil like Santana, El Chicano, etc. by Dutch Indonesians)
8Tadaki Misago & his Tokyo Cuban Boys: La Macarena--Cuban Rock Sounds; Denon SX-7002; 1977 (This is Cuban Rock Sounds; Denon NCB-8015)
7Palito Ortega: "El Mapa"; RCA Victor
6Palito Ortega: Boogaloo (Nashville Style); RCA Victor FSP-1967 (Caytronics/Carino)
6Palito Ortega: Mas exitos de; RCA Victor FSP-218; 1968
8La Playa Sextet: Papas Fritas; Musicor MS-3103
8Perez Prado's Rockambo; RCA Victor LSP-2308; 1961 (and others with Latin rock; see Perez Prado page)
7Felix Randolph: Spanish Spy; REP LP-104 (Latin-rock guitar on Hollywood label by composer of "Caramba"--hit for the Champs; whistling)
7Los Rogers: Noches y Dias Perdidos; Dimsa DML-8879 (Mexico; oldies/twist)
7Pablo Beltran Ruíz: Go-Go Internacional; RCA Victor MKL-1671
Seguida; Fania; 1972
6Seguida: Love Is...; Fania SLP-478; 1974 (prod. Larry Harlow)
6The Sunglows [The Original Peanuts]; Sunglow SLP-103 (Latin rock/mod soul "Happy Hippo")
8Los Teen Tops: Rock en Español; Columbia EX-5031; 1961
8Los Teen Tops; Columbia /CBS LP3-37; 1974/1961-? (3-LP box compilation incl. 11 of the 12 cuts on Rock en Español & 19 more)
7Los Toppers: Juventud; Discos Columbia MDC-1055
8Toro; Coco CLP-106; 1975 (prod. Harvey Averne; w/Larry Harlow)
7Orquesta Los Van Van; Egrem/Arieto LD-3615 (Cuba)
9Uncredited: Exitos del Rock; Popular 169
8Various: Exitos A Go Go--60s Teenbeat from South of the Border; Archive International Productions AIP-1061; 1998/[1960s] (Latin rock/psyche)
8Various: La gran epoca del Rock en Espanol; Columbia Special Products/Caliente CLT-7112; 1975 (compilation; Hermanos Carrion, Los Teen Tops, Los Hooligans, Los Loud Jets, Los Salvajes..)
8Various: Look Who's Surfing Now; King 882; 1964 (rare!; James Brown instrumental "Surfin' Along" otherwise unavailable!; surf/mod soul/drums/Latin rock "Surfin' in the Far East")
Various: Rock '61-'62; Musart D-678
7Various: Rock Rock; Cisne SP-100 (Hermanos Carrion, Los Rippers, Los Juniors)
7Various: Rock'n Roll; Columbia Argentina 8280; 1961 (The Sparks, The Hooligans, The Blue-Caps, The Loud Jets, The Spitfires)

Partly Latin-Rock LPs

8Joe Bataan: Call My Name; Distrolux/Vampisoul Vampi-065; 2005 (Latin funk/Latin rock; no US distribution, Bataan not compensated?)
61970 Cerritos Jazz-Rock Ensemble; Custom Fidelity CFS-2247; 1970 ("Evil Ways"; dir. Jack Wharton; Cerritos College)
7Ray Anthony: Like Wild!; Capitol ST-1304 ("Rock-Umba")
4Bill Black's Combo: Sensational Sounds of the '50's; Mega MLPS-600; 1973 ("Tequila"--Latin rock, breakbeat)
7Blues Magoos: Never Goin' Back to Georgia; ABC ABCS-697; 1969 (rock; "El Pito--I'll Never Go Back to Georgia")
7Owen Bradley: The Big Guitar; Decca DL-78868 ("Chinchilla")
8René Bloch: Mucho Rock with Rene Bloch; Andex S-4002 (Latin, Latin jazz, & Latin rock w/Willie Bobo, Mongo Santamaria, Modesta Duran..)
8Willie Bobo: Let's Go Bobo!; Roulette SR-25272 (mod Latin twist/Latin rock/Latin soul)
7The John Buzon Trio: Inferno!; Liberty LST-7108 ("Mambo Rock")
7Eddie Cano & his Quintet: Brought Back Live from P.J.'s; ABC/Dunhill DS-50018 (Latin jazz w/Latin soul & rock covers)
6Carlos Campos: Danzon y Boogaloo; Muzart DM-1320 (Mexico; mod boogaloo/Latin-rock like Prado)
5Hermanos Carrion: Los Romanticos Hermanos Carrion; Orfeon LP-12-590
8Nilton Castro: Rhythm & Soul; Vedette Phase 6 VPAS-904; 1972 (Italy; Latin rock/funk)
8The Champs: Go Champs Go; Ace/Challenge; 1960 (London HA-H-2152)
8The Champs: Everybody's Rockin'; Ace/Challenge CH-2500/CHL-605; 1961
8The Champs: Great Dance Hits; Ace/Challenge CHL-613 (mono); 1962
6The Champs Play Joshua Logan's "All American"; Ace/Challenge CH-2514; 1962
7The Champs & the Fabulous Cyclones: Spotlight On; Pickwick/Design DLP-159
9The Champs: Tequila; Ace/Challenge CH-227; 1987/1957-62 (compilation)
7Comparsa Universitaria de la Laguna: Magic Trumpet; RCA Victor Mexicana MKS-1634/MKL-1634; 1965 (Latin rock/Latin twist/Mexicali/mod/exotic rock)
7Comparsa Universitaria de la Laguna: On la Onda de la Comparsa Universitaria de la Laguna; RCA Victor Mexicana MKS-3004/MKL-3004 (Latin/Latin rock/Latin soul/mod)
7Jack Costanzo: Learn--Play Bongos; Liberty LST-7177 (instruction/bongo-rock/Latin)
7La Crema: El Party Con Le Crema; United Artists UA Latino LT-LA138-D; 1973 ("Cisco Kid"; Bobby Marin, Louie Ramirez)
6Bobby Cruz con Ricardo Ray: Amor en La Escuela; Vaya VS-25; 1974 (2 funky Latin-rock songs, rest ballads)
5The Dave Clark Five: Glad All Over; Columbia/Epic BN-26093 ("Chaquita")
5The Dave Clark Five/Ricky Astor & the Switchers; Cortleigh 1073 (Latin rock/hot rod/rock; "Chaquita" & "Rock, Chiquita, Rock")
6Claude Cloud & his Orchestra: Rock and Roll Music; MGM E3466 ("Beginner's Mambo")
8Calvin Cool [& the Surf-Knobs]: The Surfer's Beat; MGM/CRC/Charter CLS-103; 1963 ("El Tecolote")
7Duane Eddy: $1,000,000 Worth of Twang, Vol. 2; Jamie JLP-70-3021 ("Pepe")
7The Fireballs: Here are the Fireballs; Warwick W-2042 (guitar/Latin rock)
7The Fireballs: Vaquéro; Top Rank RS-643 (guitar/Latin rock; one side duplicates one side of Warwick)
8The Fireballs: Sensational Jimmy Gilmer & the Fireballs; Crown CLP-5387 (guitar/Latin rock/psyche-blues "Good Soul"/surf "Let It All Out")
8The Fireballs: Torquay; Dot DLP-25512/3512 (guitar/Latin rock)
4Bill Haley & his Comets: Rockin'; MCA/Coral CB-20015 ("El Rocko")
9Dickie Harrell: Drums and More Drums; Capitol ST-1502 ("Rock-Rock-Cha-Cha")
6The Hi-Notes Live at the Winners Circle Lounge, Laurel, Maryland; NR-2729 (lounge act; live; 2 guys named Bob--funky drums & organ--do Santana, CCR, Bill Withers..)
7Los Iruna'ko: El Amor es un Festival; Rumba RLP-55573
8The New & Exciting Eloise [Lewis] Trio; Caribe LP-2029-S ("La Chita")
4Joe Loco: Pachanga Twist(?) (Joe Loco & his Pachanga Band: Dance!; Liberty/Sunset SUS-5133; "Splish Splash")
7La Lupe: The Queen Does her Own Thing; Roulette SR-42024 (prod. Harvey Averne; rock covers)
7Elena Madera; Decca DL-8976 (w/Johnny Conquet)
6Noro Morales: Coma Esta; Tico SLP-1068; 1961
6Claus Ogerman: Latin Rock; RCA Victor LSP-3813; 1967
7Armando Peraza: Wild Thing; Skye SK-5D; 1968 (w/Cal Tjader, Pacheco..; Gryphon G-923)
6Pancho Purcell & his Bambuco Players: Bambuco Moves In; Columbia CS-9343
6Ricardo Ray: Let's Get Down to the Real Nitty Gritty: Alegre SLP-8730 (rock & soul oldies)
9The Revels: Intoxica!--The Best of the Revels; Sundazed LP_5010; 1994/1959-62 (surf/guitar/exotic rock/Latin rock "{Like} Tequila")
6Hermanos Rigual: Los Internacionales; Musart DM-1408 (covers "Light My Fire")
8Milton Rogers: The Jet Set--Ports of Call; Time S-2202 ("Chunga Au Go Go, Chunga")
8The Tornadoes: Bustin' Surfboards; Jay Gee/Josie JM-4005 (surf/Latin rock)
8Ozzie Torrens & his Exciting Orchestra: Boogaloo in Apartment 41; Decca DL-74830 (w/Louie Ramirez, Manny Duran, Charlie Palmieri, Manny Corchado..)
6Luis Varona, his Piano & Orchestra: The Moods of Miami '68; CBS/Epic BN-26379; 1968 (Latin soul/Latin rock; Varona formerly w/Machito & Tito Puente)
7The Wild Cats featuring Billy Mure: Bandstand Record Hop; United Artists UAS/UAL-3031; 1959 (dance rock/Latin rock)
7Various: Hot Rod Drag Races; Almor AS-109/A-109 (hot rod/Latin rock/bongos/mod soul twist/guitar; Dick Dale, Surfaris, Fireballs)
6Various: Latin Golden Oldies for Dancing Vol. 1; Tico SLP-1097; 1959 (Machito, "Twist Changa")
8Various: Look Who's Surfing Now; King 882; 1964 (rare!; The King Surfers: "Surfin' in the Far East" is really the Champs' "Caramba"; also: super-rare James Brown instrumental)
7Various: The Most of the Twist; Roulette SR-25176; (Machito, "Twist Changa")
9Various: Original Surfin' Hits; GNP Crescendo GNP-84

Latin-Rock 45s

6Sonny Ace & the Twisters: Chili Peppers/Wooleh Booleh (Wooly Bully); Atlantic 45-2364
7Mario Allison y su Combo: Bamba Cure/Louie Louie; J&G 8063 (guaracha/boogaloo; Peru)
5Caceres: Contigo mi Vida/Rompe con Todo; Philips 60.09.319; 1973 (B-side funky Latin rock from Spain)
9The Champs: Train to Nowhere/Tequila; Challenge 1016
9The Champs: El Rancho Rock/Midnighter; Challenge 59007
9The Champs: Chariot Rock/Subway; Challenge 59018
8The Champs: Rockin' Mary/Turnpike; Challenge 59026 (both on CHL-605)
The Champs: Beatnik/Gone Train; Challenge 59035
7The Champs: Caramba/Moonlight Bay; Challenge 59043
8The Champs: Night Train/Rattler; Challenge 59049
5The Champs: Sky High/Double Eagle Rock; Challenge 59053
8The Champs: Twenty Thousand Leagues/Too Much Tequila; Challenge 59063
8The Champs: The Little Matador/Red Eye; Challenge 59076
7The Champs: Tough Train/The Face; Challenge 59097
7The Champs: Hokey Pokey/Jumping Bean; Challenge 59103
9The Champs: Shoddy Shoddy/Sombrero; Challenge [5]9113
The Champs: Limbo Rock/Tequila Twist; Challenge [5]9131
3The Champs: I've Just Seen Her/What a Country; Challenge [5]9143
The Champs: Latin Limbo/Limbo Dance; Challenge [5]9162
6The Champs: That Did It/Varsity Rock; Challenge [5]9174
7The Champs: 3/4 Mash/Mr. Cool; Warner Bros./Challenge #9180
6The Champs: Nik Nak/Shades; Challenge [5]9189
The Champs: Roots/Cactus Juice; Challenge [5]9199
6The Champs: Only the Young/Switzerland; Challenge [5]9236
6The Champs: Buckaroo/Anna; Challenge [5]9322; 1965
7The Champs: Limbo Rock/Mama Nice; Hi-Oldies 455
6The Chiefs: Moments to Remember/Enchiladas!; Greenwich GR-410; 1958 (directed by Sid Bass)
6George Dogias: Wooly Bully/Real George; MGM K-13480
8The Dum Dums: Somethin' Stupid/Tortilla; Yorkshire YO-105
7The Embers: Peter Gunn Cha Cha/Chiny-Chin Chin Cha Cha (sic); Wynne 101 (crime/Latin rock; w/Candido!)
6The Exceptions: Down By the Ocean/Pancho's Villa; Cameo C-378
5Felix & his Guitar: Chili Beans/Puerto Rican Riot; AUT 45-1
7Fireballs: Torquay/Cry Baby; Top Rank RA-2008 (vocal B-side)
8The Johnny Frigo Sextet: Cast Your Fate to the Wind/Alan Swan Orchestra: Don't Stop; Orion 1043 (B-side mambo-rock)
7Gringos: The Life I Lead/Funky Lady; Leer 26128 (B-side funky Chicano rock)
7Al Hurricane & his Night Rockers: South Bend/Burrito; Am-Par/APT 25049
9Los Johnny Jets: Dracula A Go Go/Eternamente; Discos Columbia 9885 (horror Latin mod rock-soul)
7Roland Kave & his Fabulous Los Diablos: The Casbah Sanova/The Boss Bossa Nova; The Casbah 105 (flutey, mod, Latin-rock mambos like "Tequila")
6Lebron Bros.: Proud Mary/Don't Be Afraid; Cotique C-219 (A-side non-LP; B-side on LP 1039)
6Claus Ogerman: Yambo/Lotar's Theme; RCA Victor 47-9064; 1967 (from "Latin Rock" sessions; B-side w/ondioline not on LP)
8Mike Pedicin Quintette: Mambo Rock/D-E-V-I-L; RCA Victor 47-6051
5Tortilla Pete: Corrido Rock Parts 1 & 2; Imperial X-5502
7Leo Quica w/Earl Hagen Orchestra: Caliente/Oh Leola; Liberty F-55150
6Royaltones: Flamingo Express/Tacos; Goldisc 3011
7Lalo [Schifrin]: Latin Soul/mono; Verve VK-10705 (Latin funky rock)
8Len Stuart Trio: Caravan/Moonlight Mambo; Rivoli R-8 (exotic/Mid-East/organ/Latin rock, like John Buzon Trio)
8Ivan Ward & the Swingsters: 66 Rock/Congo Glide; Savoy 1591
8Noble "Thin Man" Watts: Flap Jack/Hot Tamales; Baton 266; 1959
6The Wild-Cats: Gazachstahagen/Billy's Cha-Cha; United Artists UA-154 (w/Billy Mure)
7The X-Rays: Chinchilla/Out of Control; Kapp K-241-X

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