La Colección del Rock: Los Lobos - La Pistola Y El Corazón (1988)

2021 Song Draft- Round 4 Pick 12- Aphoristical selects- . Los Lobos – La Pistola y El Corazón

It’s perhaps a little counterintuitive to include a band from the USA in my draft of non-English songs, but Los Lobos qualify. “The Wolves” always feel perpetually under-rated – despite having a richer back-catalogue than almost any other American band, they’re basically one-hit wonders to many, remembered for their cover of Ritchie Valens’ ‘La Bamba’. Formed in east L.A. in the early 1970s, they represent a cross-pollination of cultures, singing in both English and Spanish, and dabbling in a wide range of American music traditions.

‘La Pistola y El Corazón’ is the title track of their 1988 EP, Spanish for “The Pistol and the Heart”. The record’s notable for its cover painting; in 1999 it placed in a Rolling Stone list of 100 best album covers, while the original painting was owned by Madonna before it was lost in a house fire. La Pistola y El Corazón focuses on one aspect of the group’s sound: Tejano/Mariachi folk music.

While the album is mostly covers, including traditional songs, ‘La Pistola’ is an original, with David Hidalgo on lead vocals. Hidalgo is also on accordion, while Cesar Rosas plays the huapanguera, an eight-stringed Mexican instrument that’s like a larger acoustic guitar. Conrad Lozano is on guitarron, a large acoustic guitar instrument for bass, while Louie Pérez is on jarana.

Los Lobos’ catalogue is full of delights – 1992’s Kiko is a terrific album – it’s worth exploring, and this traditional-style Mexican song just shows one of their many facets.


  1. I could actually understand some of what was being sung as I’m a daily duolingo student. It’s a sad song. The music is beautiful. Nice choice, and I agree the band is underrated.

  2. Love the sound of this music Aph. Amazing (not really) that this moves you enough to include it as one of your picks. I think you know how I feel about this band and music. They are a treasure of riches. Wonderful choice.
    (I actually have this on vinyl)

  3. I love the mariachi guitar style beginning to it. There’s some Mexican in my sweetie’s family background so she tends to like most things related to their culture, Los Lobos being one of them, but lately it’s her daughter who’s really gotten into them. A lot of talent in the band, I like listening to almost anything by them in smallish doses…. wouldn’t want to listen to their entire discography start to finish but they’re always a welcome new vibe when I hear a song or two by them mixed in.

  4. They are really authentic. I’ve always liked them and have followed them from a distance through friends. Incredible musicians in this band.

  5. Another fine example of why I am loving this song draft so much! Los Lobos will forever be remembered for the La Bamba soundtrack (I loved their version of Come on Let’s Go), however, their music is just wonderful to listen to. This is where I wish I spoke another language. There are so many wonderful songs that I have no idea what they are singing about (Andre’ Bocelli, Petrizo Buanne, etc…)

    When my wife and I got married, we did it in Florida. While in Florida, we ate at a tiny Mexican restaurant where they had a mariachi band that played and walked among the patrons. It was so fun to listen to. This song reminds me of that night. Beautiful!

  6. I’ve seen them in concert a few times- once they mostly played Spanish songs- I liked it but my date didn’t. Oh well.

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