Los Lobos

La Bamba

Composed by Traditional

Song Review by

Unquestionably the most definitive example of Mexican-based rock & roll, "La Bamba" is actually based on a traditional Spanish folk song, which is where Richie Valens first heard it. To be sure, his 1958 hit version is probably the most definitive, but this version by Los Lobos (arguably heirs to Valens' throne) is equally effective. Cut for the biopic of the same name, the band did the nearly impossible by both staying true to the original and resuscitating new life into it at the same time. The walking, three-chord melody and Valens' frantic guitar solo is virtually Xeroxed, but the inclusion of a sweet accordion and a great, acoustic mariachi coda take the song to new areas.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
La Bamba [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] 1987
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
London / Warner Bros. 2:55
Maxi Power: Best from Miami 1987
Various Artists
Polystar 2:51
Greatest Hits of the Eighties 1989
Various Artists
Telstar
Now: 1987 [40 Tracks] 1993
Various Artists
Virgin/EMI
Just Another Band from East L.A. 1993 Warner Bros. 2:52
100% Summer 1994
Various Artists
Telstar
Heartbreakers [Stardust] 1994
Various Artists
Stardust Records 2:51
The Greatest Hits of the '80s, Vol. 6 1994
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:53
Mundo Latino 1995
Various Artists
MSI Music Distribution / Sony Music Distribution
Only Rock 'N Roll 1985-1989: #1 Radio Hits [1998] 1996
Various Artists
Rhino / Essex 2:17
25 Years of Number 1 Hits, Vol. 8 1996
Various Artists
Connoisseur
No Image 1997
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 2:50
Now: 1987 [36 Tracks] 1998
Various Artists
Virgin/EMI 2:48
The Greatest Hits of the 80s [Box Set #2] 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:53
Bikini.Com: More Summer Groovin' 1999
Various Artists
Madacy 2:52
It's Only Rock & Roll [Rhino] 1999
Original TV Soundtrack
Rhino 2:56
Best Latino Carnival Album in the World Ever 2000
Various Artists
Virgin 2:51
No Image 2000
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
El Cancionero: Mas y Mas 2000 Warner Archives / Rhino/Warner Bros. 2:55
Classic Rock 80's 2000
Various Artists
Trans World 2:52
Latin Fever [Goldies] 2001
Various Artists
Polygram 2:50
Ultimate Summer Party 2001
Various Artists
Global TV 2:42
Instant Party: Blow-Out! 2001
Various Artists
Rhino 2:53
Brown Girl in the Ring: A World Music Collection 2001
Various Artists
Music for Little People / Rhino 3:00
Like, Omigod! The '80s Pop Culture Box (Totally) 2002
Various Artists
Rhino 2:54
Sunsplashin 2002
Various Artists
Madacy 2:53
Party Animal 2002
Various Artists
Warner Elektra Atlantic Corp.
Latin Classics [Sony] 2003
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 2:49
All the 80's 2003
Various Artists
Warner Music
Billboard #1 Hits of the '80s 2003
Various Artists
Rhino Flashback 2:55
The Ultimate Cheese Party Album 2003
Various Artists
WSM
No Image 2003
Various Artists
Telstar TV Records 2:48
No Image 2003
Various Artists
Billboard #1s: The '80s 2004
Various Artists
Rhino 2:55
Viva Mexico [Warner] 2004
Various Artists
Warner Bros. / Dro East West 2:49
20 Great Kid Songs: Mflp's 20th Anniversary Col 2005
Various Artists
Music for Little People 2:55
Sing-A-Long Summer 2005
Various Artists
WEA/Warner Special Marketing 2:54
Latino Mix 2005
Various Artists
Universal International 2:45
Rhino Hi-Five: Los Lobos 2005 Slash 2:53
Ultimate 16: Retro Rock Let the Good Times Roll 2005
Various Artists
Madacy 2:55
All the Beer Songs 2005
Various Artists
Warner Bros.
Dancin' on Sunshine: All Time Greatest Summertime Hits 2006
Various Artists
American Beat Records 2:54
Wolf Tracks: The Best of Los Lobos 2006 Rhino 2:55
Ultimate Summer Hits: Hits of the Summer 2006
Various Artists
Collectables 2:54
R35: Rock & Pops Super Hits 2006
Various Artists
WEA 2:53
The Greatest 80's Hits of All Time 2006
Various Artists
Rhino 2:54
100 Hits: 80s 2007
Various Artists
Demon Records / 100 Hits / DMG TV
#1 Classic Hits of the 80s 2007
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:54
The New Year's Eve Party Album 2007
Various Artists
Crimson / Crimson Productions
Top Hits of the 80s: Biggest Hits 2007
Various Artists
Collectables 2:54
The Very Best of Latin Jazz [Universal #2] 2007
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
Ultimate Holiday Party 2008
Various Artists
Sony BMG / Sony Music 2:53
15 of the Best: The 80's 2008
Various Artists
Warner Music 2:57
Celebration of Stars: Children's Music by Grammy Celebrated 2009
Various Artists
Music For Little People 2:57
Smash Hits Years: 1987 2009
Various Artists
Rhino 2:53
100 Essential Tracks: No. 1 Hits 2009
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:49
Latino Party [Sony] 2009
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:53
100 Hits: Summer 2010
Various Artists
Demon Music Group / DMG 100 2:53
Love & Peace: Greatest Hits for Kids 2010
Various Artists
Music for Little People / Rhino 2:56
Latino Summer 2011
Various Artists
Universal 2:51
100 Tubes 2012 2011
Various Artists
Warner Music / WEA 2:52
100 Tubes Rentrée 2011 2011
Various Artists
Warner Music 2:52
Kiko Live 2012 Floating World
'80s: The Collection 2012
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Music / WSM 2:57
Office Party [2014] 2014
Various Artists
Rhino
Latino Summer [2016] 2016
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 2:57
80 Hits of the '80s
Various Artists
Rhino 2:55
80's Top 40 Hits
Various Artists
Warner Music 2:57
Best of the 80's [Polygram]
Various Artists
Polygram 2:52
Classic No.1s [Rhino]
Various Artists
Rhino
Fiesta [Sony]
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution
For My Mum [Rhino]
Various Artists
Rhino 2:54
Grandes Canções Do Cinema
Various Artists
Farol Música
Greatest Movie Songs
Various Artists
Warner Bros. 2:57
Happy Birthday Dad
Various Artists
Rhino 2:57
Just Can't Get Enough: Movie Hits of the '80s
Various Artists
Rhino 2:54
No1s: The Collection
Various Artists
Rhino
Party Time! 50 Classic Party Tracks
Various Artists
Rhino / WSM 2:52
Pop Decades: '80s
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Music 2:57
Sinfonía Del Rock
Various Artists
Warner Music 2:57
Smash Hits: No.1s
Various Artists
Rhino
Sunbada: De 20 Heetste Zomerhits Uit de Top 40
Various Artists
Magnum
Take Me On: 80s, The Collection
Various Artists
Rhino 2:52
The Eighties Album
Various Artists
Rhino 2:46
Top 100 80s
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Music 2:57
blue highlight denotes editor's pick