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Numbered, Limited Edition! Half-Speed
Mastered from the Original Master Tapes Pressed at RTI!
Mellowed-Out 1987 Album Showcases Band’s Contemplative Side and Virtuosic
Los Lobos’ Sophomore LP Established Group as World’s Most Diversified, Capable
Ensemble: A Perfect Record
Soulful Ballads, Roots R&B, Fiery Funk, Spiritual Folk Pepper Phenomenal LP
Los Lobos might have touted themselves as “just another band from East L.A.,”
but it’s quite likely that even the group’s humble members recognized that few —
if any — other artists in the late 1980s rivaled their soulful music, rousing
performances, and eclectically blended arrangements. While lacking the
commercial status of the quintet’s subsequent La Bamba release, By the Light of
the Moon stands as the band’s most enjoyable excursion into American-hued soul,
penetratingly reflective lyrics, and earnest roots rock. The music making is
Mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelity’s numbered limited
edition 180g LP brings these 11 songs to life and out of the clouded, foggy
sonic environment in which they’ve remained for more than two decades. For the
first time, T Bone Burnett’s stripped-back production functions as it should.
Namely, Los Lobos sound as if they’re playing at a small, sweaty neighborhood
joint late on a Sunday night for an audience of locals, friends, and family.
The group’s uncanny ability to switch between instruments and effortlessly play
each as if it’s their innate right — listen to the seamless fashion in which
electric and acoustic guitars, marimbas, organs, saxophones, harmonicas, and
percussion create strikingly memorable soundscapes — comes to light amidst a
warmer, airier, more organic and deep-black background. David Hidalgo’s sweet,
honeysuckle timbre, he and Cesar Rosas’ overlapping tremolo guitars, and stacks
of interwoven rhythms jump with vibrant electricity.
Shifting into storytelling mode, Los Lobos use By the Light of the Moon as an
opportunity to meditate on everyday America and channel the fate of normal
communities. Issues of faith, mortality, love, disillusionment, and melancholy
inform narratives that are on the same socially conscious level as those of
period-era Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp. As for the songs, they
crackle, waltz, shuffle, dance, tremble, and kick. The band almost dares
listeners not to care.
Whether leaning into twangy two-step country-rock (“One Night In America”),
dual-guitar shootout rockabilly (“Shakin’ Shakin’ Shakes”), swinging jump R&B
(“Is This All There Is?”), tequila-spiked East Los Angeles-style rock (“Set Me
Free (Rosa Lee)”), searing Latin-tinged blues (“My Baby’s Gone”), or poignant
gospel-lined folk (“River of Fools”), Los Lobos’ Tex-Mex gumbo continually
impresses and delights.
Don’t pass up one of the best releases of the 1980s and one of Los Lobos’
definitive statements. You’ll never hear a better pressing. Boleros, rancheros,
and more await!
• Numbered, Limited Edition
• Half-Speed Production and Mastering by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab
• Specially Plated and Pressed on 180 grams of High Definition Vinyl
• Special Static Free - Dust Free Inner Sleeve
• Heavy Duty Protective Packaging
• Mastered from the Original Master Tapes
• Pressed at RTI
1. One Time One Night
2. Shakin' Shakin' Shakes
3. Is This All There Is?
4. Prenda Del Alma
5. All I Wanted To Do Was Dance
6. Set Me Free (Rosa Lee)
7. The Hardest Time
8. My Baby's Gone
9. River of Fools
10. The Mess We're In
11. Tears of God