Los Bukis

Lo Mejor de Nosotros 1972-1986

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Before Marco Antonio Solís became a full-time solo artist, he was a main ingredient of los Bukis -- the highly influential outfit that wrote the book on what we now call grupero music. What is grupero? In a nutshell, grupero is (much like Tejano) sleek Latin pop with Mexican overtones (as opposed to hardcore Mexican music such as mariachi, norteño, ranchera or banda). A grupero act may incorporate some norteño accordion, ranchera guitar or mariachi trumpet, but when all is said and done, grupero is straight-up Latin pop -- and this best-of collection boasts some of the most influential grupero and Latin pop of the '70s and '80s. Spanning 14 years, Mejor de Nosotros 1972-1986 underscores just how important Solís was to los Bukis; the Mexican superstar wrote 18 of the 20 songs on this CD, and that includes major hits like "Como Me Haces Falta," "Te Tuve y Te Perdí," "Necesito una Compañera," "Mi Fantasía" and the doo wop-influenced "Yo Te Necesito." Mejor de Nosotros is full of romantic ballads and slow jams (Latin adult contemporary, essentially) that not only laid the groundwork for Solís' solo career -- but also helped pave the way for los Temerarios, Conjunto Primavera, Mojado and many other grupero stars of today. Unfortunately, several songs are plagued by scratchy sound quality, especially "Illusion Pasajera," "Una Noche Como Esta" and "Falso Amor." And one has to wonder: were those tunes' master tapes lost or damaged, or is Fonovisa's digital remastering less than it should have been? After all, this is an album of stereo recordings from the '70s and '80s, not songs that originally came out on 78s in the '20s or '30s. But while the sound quality is mildly inconsistent, the material is of a consistently high quality. Mejor de Nosotros 1972-1986 isn't the last word on los Bukis in the '70s and '80s, but for novices, it can be a rewarding place to begin exploring their grupero legacy.

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