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La Bamba & Other Hits

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Album Review

Ritchie Valens was only 17 when he died in 1959. His musical legacy rests on about an album and a half of completed studio material, a poorly recorded high-school concert, and a handful of demos and rehearsal tapes, all of which actually makes this extremely brief ten-song set a decent purchase, since the longer compilations are forced to include a lot of filler. In the case of Valens, who had no real time to refine or develop his obvious talents, less is quite likely best. Valens' big hit, "La Bamba," is here, along with its flip side, "Donna" (which was actually the A-side, but "La Bamba" has emerged over time as Valens' signature tune), and they are probably the two tracks most casual listeners will want. Collectors and serious fans should definitely pick up one of the longer anthologies, since the demos and unfinished tracks most of them feature are certainly interesting, if hardly essential.


Born: May 13, 1941 in Pacoima, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s

The first Hispanic rock star, Ritchie Valens will forever be known as one of the two musicians (along with the Big Bopper) who perished with Buddy Holly in 1959, when their private plane crashed in the midst of a Midwest tour. At the time, Valens had only recently established himself as one of the most promising young talents in rock & roll, just barely missing the top of the charts with "Donna," a number two hit, and pioneering a blend of rock and Latin music with the single's almost equally popular...
Full bio
La Bamba & Other Hits, Ritchie Valens
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  • $9.90
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Rock & Roll
  • Released: Apr 06, 2004

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