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  • Writer's pictureKatherine Allvey


El Mexican Rock 'n' Roll by El Toro Records

Released on 23.08.2022

Reviewed on 01.10.2022

Reviewed by Holger E. @radioteddyboys1983

El Toro Records done it again. This is an absolute gem looking back at the times high profile mexican musicians took on Rock 'n' Roll, Rockabilly and Big Band sounds from the holy land of Rock 'n' Roll.

Digging into the archives of RCA-Victor, DIMSA, Peerless, Musart, Columbia, Orfeon and Okeh Records to give us a overview of the amazing sounds of mexican Rock 'n' Roll.


So let's look inside this colorful record:

Track listing:

Side A

1.: La Orqesta De La Puebla: Mexican Rock'N'Roll (1955): The first ever Rock 'n' Roll record out of Mexico.Leaning heavy on the greats like Count Basie, Stan Kenton and Duke Ellington. These guys just incorporated some mexican feeling that gives it another dimension. Full of Swing, Jazzthis track is one for the lovers of Big Bands. For the younger generation it would be the BSO of the 50's.

2.: Daniel Santos Y Sus Rock 'N' Rollers: Baila Conmigo Nera (1957): Slightly more towards the Jazz side but heavily layered with Rock 'n' Roll. Big Band style that get your hip shaking. This wonderful peace is the foundation of Mexican Rock'n'Roll.

3.: Los Supersecos: Rock De La Prision (1957): Taking a slice of Elvis Presley. Cool Guitar solos with driving Drums. Boogie-Woogie piano and harmonic backing vocals makes Jailhouse Rock sound way cooler.

4.: Los Llopis: R-O-C-K (1959): Bill Haley and The Comets(1956) releasing this track and only 3 years later it was one of the top Mexican Rock'n'Roll songs. Played slightly faster and with a more up-beat feeling to give it the latin flair.

5.: La Orquesta De Juan Garcia Esquivel: Goya Universidad Rock and Roll (1956): The King of Space Age Pop. Juan was the brilliant mind behind this Big Band. They combient Rock'n'Roll, Lounge music and Latin and Jazz flavors and established himself in TV and Film music.

6.: Los Black Jeans: La Batalla De Jerico (1959): The orgin of this song goes way back to 1922 and was copied and covered at least 30 or more times over the years. This track here would most like to be picked up from the Delta Rhythm Boys. Beautiful harmonies and latin melodies that is just a bit faster to a better fit for the Mexican and Latin market.

7.: Ricardo 'Rebelde' Lemus Y Sus Rocks: Arroz (1957): I don't think that this a direct conection to Rice(Arroz).This track is a bit more modern to capture the younger audience. At parts sounding like Bill Haley. With all the Brass section beautiful layered behind and sometimes in front of the Guitar and Drums.

8.: The Goyo's Cats: Mezcal (1957): This is an instrumental track lead by a powerful Saxophone. Crazy Guitar playing going on in the background. Cymbal driven Drums for a nice steady early Surf or Beach track. The Slap-Bass is always in the background but gives this track a cool full sound.

Side B

1.: Los Lunaticos Con El Mariachi Perla De Occidente: Elvis Perez (1957): This is one hell of a Mariachi short compilation of Elvis song. Elvis in spanish with so much latin flavor that it sends you rights back to Mexico of the 50's.

2.: Los Xoximilcas: Xoximilcas Rock (1957): Now i know where Dave Del Monte is getting his ideas from. This Combo went from just musicians to a Combo that dessed up in Straw Hats and put on a funny show during their songs. The perfect combination of Rock'n'Roll, Boogie Woogie, Danzon and slapstick. They played from 1948 up until 1987.

3.: Gloria Rios Con Las Estrellas Del Ritmo: Ahi The Veo Cocodrilo (1956): The Mexican Lady of Rock'n'Roll. She was able to get a recording contract with RCA in 1955 and made her the fist Latin female Singer leading a Big Band. She took all her early influences and was able to bring you the full Big Band spectrum with a latin flair.

4.: Los Trincas: Nena (1957): This Trio has so much rhythm that it becomes addictive. To draw you in even more they have beautiful vocal harmonies. You will hear the hip swinging Boogie Woogie woven in. Happy Trumpet that leads the way with Drums and Slap-Bass that are rock solid.

5.: La Orquesta De Pepe Luis: Rock 'N' Roll Universitario (1957): This is arranged, composed by Ramon Reyes Serrano. He is also the man behind this Big Band that gets you going like no other. Glenn Miller style Brass section that is full of harmonies and in combination with Jazz loving Drums and solid Slap-Bass that bring out the Swing. Great Guitar solo to break up the song. Plenty of rhythm and a Piano in the background as well as wonderful backing vocals.

6.: Chilo Moran Y Sus Solistas: Rancho Rock (1957): More modern and light sounding but with way more latin influence. This track is not just Rock'n'Roll. It will captivate the lovers of Jazz, Swing and way more Genres.

7.: Mario Parton Y Su Conjunto: Rock Around The Clock (1957): Boogie-Woogie ? Jazz ? Swing ? Rock'n'Roll ? Well it's all of it and much more. This instrumental version of Bill Haleys Rock Around The Clock is a Masterpiece. The constant up-beat makes your foot tapping all the time.

8.: Las Hermanas Navarro Y La Orquesta De Luis Alcaraz: 16 Toneladas De Carbon (1957): The mexican versin of 16 Tons by Merle Travis from 1947. Over the years it has been performed by over 50 musicans from Folk to Blues and more. This mexican version is sung by the sisters Socorro and Rosina Navarro.

Beautiful combination of rhythm, melodies and harmonies.


This is a great and beautiful collection of old 50's mexican Rock and Roll that should not be missing in your Collection. The love and dedication needed to collect all the songs and information took countless hours, weeks and months, so we could all enjoy this record. Another great record from El Toro Records.

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