Lo Esencial de Caifanes

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Comprised of three CDs and one DVD, Lo Esencial de Caifanes is a comprehensive compilation that covers all of the influential rock en español band's album output. Though active for a relatively short period, from 1987 to 1995, Caifanes made a major impact on the burgeoning rock en español scene of the era. Indeed, they were among the first rock en español bands from Mexico to break into the Latin pop mainstream with the late-'80s hit singles "Mátenme Porque Me Muero," "Viento," and "La Negra Tomasa." The band released four albums during its existence: Caifanes (1988), El Diablito (1990), El Silencio (1992), and El Nervio del Volcán (1994), the highlights of which are compiled on the double-disc compilation La Historia (1997). Lo Esencial de Caifanes includes all 47 songs from the band's four albums, plus an extra version of "La Negra Tomasa." Unlike La Historia, however, Lo Esencial de Caifanes isn't sequenced chronologically. Though it starts well enough with "Mátenme Porque Me Muero," its sequencing then jumps around randomly from album to album. It's really quite maddening, especially for those already acquainted with the individual albums and their respective sequencing. Consequently, La Historia remains thepreferableepreferables compilation. It includes only about half of the material that Lo Esencial de Caifanes does, but it distinguishes the singles from the album tracks and it's sequenced in chronological order. Moreover, it includes a couple MTV Unplugged recordings, and is better packaged. On the other hand, if it's sheer economy that you're looking for, you can't beat Lo Esencial de Caifanes. Not only does it include all of the band's album output, it also includes a DVD with five videos ("No Dejes Que...," "Nubes," "La Celula Que Explota," "Viento," "La Negra Tomasa").

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