Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Animal Kingdom: Will the Wolf Survive?

Los Lobos: Will the Wolf Survive?


Time flies. Los Lobos -- "The Wolves" -- formed in 1976. For a band that's been together for more than 35 years, Los Lobos has aged incredibly well: Los Lobos' founding members (David Hilgado, Conrad Lozano, Louie Perez, and Cesar Rosas) remain, and the new kid (Steve Berlin, who joined in 1983) is still there too. Members even work together on side projects (For example, Hildago and Perez collaborated on the Latin Playboys, as well a wonderful duet album quietly released in 2010). Not only do the band members seem to genuinely like each other, they are also committed to their craft. The breadth of material Los Lobos has recorded is impressive, and each of their 16 full-length albums has something to recommend.

Among mainstream listeners Los Lobos may be best known for two cover songs -- "La Bamba," which appeared in the film of the same name; and a rollicking cover of "I Wanna to Be Like You (The Monkey Song)" from the movie The Jungle Book. Their signature song really is "Will the Wolf Survive?," which echoes both the name of their first full-length English-language album (How Will the Wolf Survive?) and the translation of the band's name. Recorded in 1984, the song seems to sense the challenges the band would face during its long career. Looking back at over three decades as one of America's premiere roots rock bands, the answer to the question "Will the Wolf Survive?" is a resounding "Yes."

Bonus Track: Since it fits in with our animal kingdom theme, here's Los Lobos's fun cover of "I Wanna Be Like You (The Monkey Song)" from the Disney soundtrack tribute album, Stay Awake.

Los Lobos: I Wan'na Be Like You (The Monkey Song)


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