The 10 Greatest Latin Rock Albums of All Time - Rolling Stone
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The 10 Greatest Latin Rock Albums of All Time

From Santana to Soda Stereo and beyond, we pick the genre’s high points

latin rock albums

From Santana to Soda Stereo and beyond, we pick the genre’s high points.

This list is from the November 22, 2012 issue of Rolling Stone.


Aterciopelados, ‘Rio’ (2008)

Aterciopelados (the Velvety Ones) began as an irreverent Latin-punk duo. The Colombian act’s most recent LP boasts a more mature sound, heard on the bubbly “Día Paranormal” and the ethereal “Vals.”

Listen to Rio:


Babasónicos, ‘Infame’ (2003)

A perverse blend of Roxy Music glam rock with the torrid balladry of Julio Iglesias, Infame is the highest point in the intriguing discography of this Argentine band.

 Listen to Infame


Soda Stereo, ‘Sueño Stereo’ (1995)

The most exquisite swan song that Latin rock has ever produced, this Buenos Aires band’s final LP is soaked in psychedelia, ambient pop and infinite layers of regret.

 Listen to Sueño Stereo:


Julieta Venegas, ‘Bueninvento’ (2000)

Before she was hailed as a Pan-Latino pop star, the Tijuana-born Venegas was a shy alt-rocker. Her second LP is the blossoming of an idiosyncratic genius. A voracious reader, Venegas adds brain power to the poppiest hooks, and her delivery – all broken syllables and stretched-out vowels – has a haunting quality.

 Listen to Bueninvito:


Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, ‘Fabulosos Calavera’ (1997)

After starting as a ska group in the Eighties, the Argentinean stars reimagined Latin rock by concocting a working-class stew of salsa, Brazilian batucada, thrash metal and morbid tango, anchored on Afro-Caribbean percussion and a punchy brass section. Not for the faint of heart, Fabulosos Calavera found the Cadillacs ignoring expectations in favor of relentless experimentation and joyful mayhem.

 Listen to Fabulosos Calavera


Café Tacuba, ‘Re’ (1994)

Every album that the Mexican quartet released after this one is just as good, but Re was the one that redefined the rules of the game. It was OK to spoof Mexico’s norteño­ roots, provided the nod was as affectionate and inspired as their hit “La Ingrata.” It was valid to embrace the foreign influence of rock & roll and punk, as long as it was blended with authentic Latin sounds. A feeling of reckless enthusiasm permeates Re‘s 20 tracks – the wide-eyed grin of a young band discovering the grand achievements it was capable of.

Listen to Re:

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