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Los Lobos' 'Kiko': The making of a Chicano masterpiece

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

East LA heroes: Louie Pérez, David Hidalgo, César Rosas, Conrad Lozano, and Steve Berlin today.


The album didn't take Los Lobos back to the number one spot (in fact, it only peaked at 143 in the Billboard 200 charts), but it solidified and augmented the band's reputation as a rockin', grooving, and experimenting band. "The creative success of Kiko carried on with Los Lobos into the work they did afterward," said Froom on the new edition's liner notes.

It's hard to argue with the fact that Kiko has been, until now, their finest hour. "I didn't want to say 'peak' because whenever you think of reaching a peak the only place after the peak is down," said Pérez. "As an artist, it's very difficult to accept that." But it is a damn good album, isn't it?

"No shit," he laughs.

sa_20120822_kiko20

Kiko (20th Anniversary Edition) / (Shout! Factory) /
★★★★★
The original classic, remastered and with demos for "Whiskey Trail" and "Río de Tenampa" and live versions of "Peace," "Arizona Skies/Borinquen Patria Mía," and "Kiko and the Lavender Moon."

 

Kiko Live / (Shout! Factory) /
★★★★
A raw rendition of Kiko without the studio gimmicks. "When you put the original and Kiko Live together you really see how all the songs were really there," said Pérez. "That's what I'm really proud of."

 

Kiko Live (DVD/Blu-Ray) / (Shout! Factory) / ★★★★
A two-disc collector's item that includes the full show at San Diego's House of Blues in 2006 and interviews with the band and those close to the making of Kiko. Nothing fancy — just a serious rock band still superbly rockin' after all these years.

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