REVIEW: Caifanes – Caifanes (1988)
In the mid to late ’80s, the insurgency to separate pop and rock so great that culture was formed and even artists branded their albums with the logo for rock music “Rock En Tu Idioma”, and this formed what then and is still today “Rock en Español” and a handful of artists were at the forefront of this movement. Caifanes was one of the pioneers at the time leading a mainstream rock to the masses in Mexico. While there were others in various different countries like Argentina with Soda Stereo and others, Caifanes took Mexico’s rock music to a new level and it all started with this album.
Caifanes was a pioneer for rock music in Mexico in the ’80s
Released in 1988, released a nine-track vinyl record RCA Records in Mexico. RCA supported the Rock En Espanol movement as they were the label for artists such as Mecano and Miguel Mateos, who all sported the “Rock En Tu Idioma” logos on their albums. The first singles “Matenme Porque Me Muero” and “La Bestia Humana” were hits right off the bat and it didn’t take long before the videos and songs were playing right next to Top40 pop artists like Timbiriche and Flans.
The group’s gothic new wave image and sound were similar to the English rock band, The Cure from the early ’80s. Mexico was always behind the times a good 5-10 years on styles and sounds, so while Caifanes was giving Mexico a new dark gothic look; it was already other places around the world. This doesn’t mean that Caifanes wasn’t just another band of followers; they took a sound and style and gave it a Latin influence when presenting it to their country. While the song “La Negra Tomasa” was not originally released on this album, its Latin beats made Caifanes a household name. The group’s anthem was released as a single but was later added to this album during the 1993 CD release, which is why most fans will consider the song as part of the album; though it truly wasn’t.
Musically, the songs are still relevant today and have a sound that fresh and current; so you can either say that Caifanes was ahead of their time or that the musical style has come around 360 as they always do.
I wasn’t a big fan of Rock en Español in the ’80s when it was coming around. I only had a few albums for one song that I might have liked; so Caifanes was not on my radar then and I passed up their album many times; but now that I have expanded a lot of my musical tastes, I can truly appreciate Caifanes for who they were. I picked up this copy of the original vinyl at a record convention in San Antonio and I paid a pretty penny for it, even though the cover is pretty beaten up. Due to the vinyl resurgence happening at the moment, a lot of these rock en Español albums are fetching a lot of eBay.
You can follow Caifanes on Twitter at @CAIFANESMEX
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