When Selena was murdered in 1994, she became the most famous singer in the history of Tejano music (at least outside of the Mexican-American community). But as impressive as she was, Selena was hardly Tejano's only great artist, and many of the other all-time Tejano greats can be heard on Totally Tejano Volumes 1-3. This series, launched in 1997 by DCC Compact Classics, spotlights some of Tejano's finest moments and opens the vaults of Hacienda Records, one of the most important labels in the genre's history. Vol. 1's focus is Tejano at its most romantic. Pearls by La Movida ("Suenos De Amor"), Pio Trevino ("Somebody Loves You," "Quiereme"), Gary Hobbs ("Ahora Que Soy Libre"), Emilio Guerrero ("Vete Conmigo") and other Tejano icons are essentially Latin pop, but with a Mexican polka beat. These sleek, caressing "slow jams," as Chicanos were fond of calling them, aren't hardcore ranchero or banda music, but are rather more like Jose Jose or Julio Iglesias with a Mexican beat. Most of the material is in Spanish, although Trevino's "Once In a Lifetime Dream" and Bobby Naranjo y Direccion's "That's All That Matters" are soulful examples of English-language Tejano ballads. For an introduction to Tejano, this series is one of the best places to start.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson