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Rock en Espanol - Essential Artists

A List of The Top 10 Most Influential Latin Rock Artists in History


Rock en Espanol, also known as Latin Rock or Spanish Rock, is one of the most popular genres in Latin music. The following list includes some of the most influential names in the history of Rock en Espanol. From legendary artists like Andres Calamaro and Soda Stereo to contemporary Latin Rock bands like Mana and Aterciopelados, this is a list of the artists that shaped the sounds of Rock en Espanol.

10. Los Prisioneros

Photo Courtesy EMI Latin
Photo Courtesy EMI Latin

This Chilean band played a big role in the construction of the identity that Rock en Espanol was building during the 1980s. Thanks to the band's simple music and powerful lyrics, this group was able to capture Rock fans all over Latin America.

Perhaps the band's most famous single is "Por Que No Se Van," a powerful song that questioned the lack of pride of those in Latin America who always looked outside the region for inspiration. Because of this, "Por Que No Se Van" became one of the most influential Rock en Espanol hits ever produced.

9. Caifanes/Jaguares

Photo Courtesy Frazer Harrison / Getty Images
Photo Courtesy Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

An authentic pioneer of Mexican Rock, Caifanes was the name of the original band formed during the late 1980s in Mexico City. Even though the band enjoyed popularity during its early years, the original group fell apart in 1995 due to internal tensions between some of its members.

Nevertheless, the music project did not die and the original lead singer Saul Hernandez created a new band named Jaguares, which consolidated the sound Caifanes had incorporated into Latin Rock scene. Some of the most famous Rock en Espanol hits produced by the Caifanes/Jaguares project included "La Negra Tomasa," "Afuera," "Viento" and "Te Lo Pido Por Favor."

8. Hombres G

Photo Courtesy Carlos Muina / Getty Images
Photo Courtesy Carlos Muina / Getty Images

Back in the 1980s, Hombres G was one of the biggest names of the still fresh Rock en Espanol movement. Spain and Argentina were leading the construction of Latin Rock and Hombres G was joined in that process by other local bands like Los Toreros Muertos and Mecano.

Big part of the appeal Hombres G was able to created around its music was due to its lead singer and bass player David Summer. Besides his good looks, Summer brought a refreshing voice that fit perfectly the simple and irreverent style of the band. Everyone who grew up with the Rock en Espanol wave will never forget that "Sufre Mamon" catchphrase from the hit song "Devuelveme A Mi Chica."

7. Enanitos Verdes

Photo Courtesy Polygram Records
Photo Courtesy Polygram Records

Another Rock en Espanol legend, Enanitos Verdes was one of the most important Argentinian bands of the 1980s. The popularity of the group was consolidated with its second album Contrarreloj thanks in big part to the enormous success enjoyed by the single "La Muralla Verde," which is still to date one of the best songs of the original Rock en Espanol movement.

After Contrarreloj, the band continued to produce several outstanding albums and Rock en Espanol hits such as "Lamento Boliviano" and "El Extrano Del Pelo Largo."

6. Fito Paez

Photo Courtesy Wea International
Photo Courtesy Wea International

Fito Paez is one of the most influential Rock en Espanol artists in history. A talented songwriter and pianist, Fito Paez has developed an enormous music career where he has never renounced to the original flavor that marked the essence of Rock en Espanol.

Another pioneer of the Argentinian Rock scene, Fito Paez has produced a rich repertoire that includes some of the most well known Rock en Espanol hits like "Mariposa Teknicolor," "Dar Es Dar" and "11 y 6."

5. Cafe Tacvba

Photo Courtesy Kevin Winter / Getty Images
Photo Courtesy Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Cafe Tacvba or Cafe Tacuba (better for pronunciation) is one of the most important pioneer bands of Rock en Espanol. Its music flourished during the 90s thanks to a very interesting fusion that combined Punk, Rock and Ska with traditional Mexican music including Ranchera and Bolero.

Cafe Tacvba has been one of the most vibrant actors of the Latin Rock scene bringing to it popular albums like Re and Sino. Hit songs from the Mexican band include tracks like "La Ingrata," "Las Flores" and "Las Persianas."

4. Andres Calamaro

Photo Courtesy Cristina Candel / Getty Images
Photo Courtesy Cristina Candel / Getty Images

One of the most prolific Rock en Espanol artists is Andres Calamaro. This Argentinian musician and songwriter is a central piece of the Latin Rock puzzle. His career took off in the early 1980s when he joined the band Los Abuelos de la Nada. Later on, he moved to Spain and became part of the band Los Rodriguez before moving into a solo career.

He has written some of the most popular Rock en Espanol hits in history including "Mil Horas," a song that probably captures better than any other the essence of Rock en Espanol. Andres Calamaro is without any doubt one of the most important points of reference in the making of modern Latin Rock.

3. Aterciopelados

Photo Courtesy Noel Vasquez / Getty Images
Photo Courtesy Noel Vasquez / Getty Images

Aterciopelados is Colombia's best Rock band and one of the most innovative names of the Rock en Espanol movement. Its music is nurtured by traditional Colombian sounds that have marked the band with a distinctive crossover style. Its 1995 album El Dorado is considered one of the best Latin Rock albums in history and top songs like "Bolero Falaz," "Florecita Rockera," and "Mujer Gala" are among the most popular Rock en Espanol hits ever produced.

After El Dorado, the band has produced several outstanding works like La Pipa De La Paz, Caribe Atomico and Oye. The band's lead singer Andrea Echeverri is one of the most popular faces of modern Latin Rock.

2. Mana

Photo Courtesy Scott Gries / Getty Images
Photo Courtesy Scott Gries / Getty Images

Mana is the most popular Rock band coming from Mexico. Even though its origins go back to the late 1970s, the band needed to wait almost a full decade before becoming popular. The 1991 release of the album Donde Jugaran Los Ninos changed everything for Mana thanks to an outstanding production that included legendary songs like "Vivir Sin Aire," "De Pies A Cabeza," "Oye Mi Amor" and "Donde Jugaran Los Ninos."

Since then, Mana has grown as a music phenomenon capturing audiences all over the world. This Mexican group, which was one of the first bands willing to enter the Rock en Espanol movement, is probably the most popular Latin Rock band today.

1. Soda Stereo

Photo Courtesy Sony/Columbia
Photo Courtesy Sony/Columbia

This Argentinian band may be the most influential group in the history of Rock en Espanol. Its lead singer and songwriter Gustavo Cerati is considered by many one of the most influential Latin music artists in history. Along with Cerati, the other two members of the band included bass player Zeta Bosio and Charly Alberti in the drums.

It was during the 80s that Soda Stereo reached its highest levels of popularity thanks to some of the most enduring Rock en Espanol hits like "Nada Personal," "Cuando Pase El Temblor," "Persiana Americana," and "De Musica Ligera." Soda Stereo was an innovative band that totally changed the approach to Rock music in Latin America.

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