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Various Artists

Right To Rock - The Mexicano And Chicano Rock'n'Roll Rebellion 1955-1963

Review by Gary Hill

The subtitle on this pretty well tells you what you need to know about the content of the compilation. It comes from Bear Family Records. For those who know about that label, that tells you that it's a cool package. You get the CD in a digipack along with a massive booklet. This is quite an effective set of old-school rock and roll, really.

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This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 1. More information and purchase links can be found at:

Track by Track Review
Freddy Fender - Bailando El Rock & Roll

I dig this energized number. It's bouncy and fun. The guitar solo is classy.

Trini Lopez - The Right To Rock
As cool as the opener was, I like this number more. It's just so entertaining and catchy.
Tony Casanova - Showdown
A meaner and tougher kind of number, this is solid, but not a standout. It's a bit noisy in terms of the recording. It's has its charms, but is definitely not on the same level as the two songs that preceded it.
Eddie Quinteros - Come Dance With Me
A more pop rock (for the time) cut, this is a nice bit of variety. It's entertaining, but suffers a bit in terms of sound quality.
Chan Romero - The Hippy Hippy Shake
This old chestnut is presented in a fun and bouncy arrangement here. It's definitely an entertaining tune.
Arvee Allens (Ritchie Valens) - Fast Freight
This rocking number is so classy. I love the guitar work on the tune. The instrumental number has a lot of drama and power.
Armando Almendarez - Maybelline
A rendition of the Chuck Berry classic, this is functional, but definitely not one of the better tunes here.
Baldemar Huerta con Los Romanceros - No Seas Cruel (Don't Be Cruel)
Hearing this old chestnut done in Spanish is an interesting experience. I'm not crazy about the female backing vocals on the number, but this is classy beyond that.
Los Gibson Boys - Rock De La Noche (Good Rockin' Tonight)
I dig the rocking groove of this number. It's a fun tune that works well.
Lalo Guerrero - Pound Dog (Hound Dog)

This is an intriguing variant on the tune. The saxophone and killer guitar work bring some magic to the piece.

Pico Pete - Chicken Little
Feeling very much like Little Richard, this has a lot of energy and style. It's another fun one.
Tito Guizár & His El Rancho Rocks - La Paloma
This is a fun little romp. It has a lot of jazz in the mix. It brings both variety and style to the set.
Los Xochimilcas - Rock Rollin' Rock
This instrumental has even more jazz in it than the previous tune did. It's a driving little number that's a lot of fun. I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of the accordion, though.
Danny Boy (Chuck Rio) - Don't Go Pretty Baby
Bouncy rock and roll is on the menu here. This is another fun little cut.     
Bob Orrison - Sarah Lee
This is closer to a ballad, but still has plenty of energy and groove on display.     
Eddie Quinteros - Lindy Lou
I love the high energy guitar soloing on this thing. It's a powerhouse old school rocker.
Chan Romero - My Little Ruby
The guitar sound on this is mean. The vocals make me think of something like Wayne Newton. This is another effective piece.
Chris Montez - Rockin' Blues
The organ on this tune really dominates the mix. This is another high-energy old-school rocker. I really dig the organ solo.
Max Uballez - Rock Little Darlin'
Not a big surprise, this rock and roller is pretty standard fare.
Baldemar Huerta (Freddy Fender) - El Rock De La Carcel (Jailhouse Rock)
Hearing this classic in Spanish is a cool twist. This is a fun rendition. I wouldn't consider it a highlight of the set, but it really is strong. I really like the guitar solo on the tune.
Los Gibson Boys - El Vampiro
This instrumental features some killer sounds. The guitar really drives it, but ignoring the bass work would be a mistake. Then there is the piano solo. This tune might be my favorite one of the set.
The Downbeats feat. Johnny Amelio - Juque
This little rock and roller is one of the most entertaining tunes here. It's just so much fun and another highlight. 
Ritchie Valens - Ooh! My Head
This high-energy rock and roller is classy stuff. It's entertaining.
Chuck Rio - Denise
Not a big surprise, this is more effective 50s rock and roll.
The Carlos Brothers - Come On, Let's Dance
A bouncy little number, the doo wop vocals and more pop music oriented style set this number apart.
Ritchie Valens - Dooby-Dooby-Wah
I dig the rhythmic groove on this number. It's another that lands in the middle-of-the-road tune here, not really standing out, but still working reasonably well. I do like the guitar solo quite a bit.
Augie Garcia Quintet - Hi Yo Silver
With a driving bass line and blowing saxophone, the crowd vocal delivery really pushes this tune into the realms of standout, too. A little bit of the "William Tell Overture" is a nice touch, too.         
Johnny Amelio & The Downbeats - Jo Ann, Jo Ann
With a healthy helping of jazz in the mix, this definitely has a lot of Little Richard built into it. It has plenty of energy and works pretty darned well.
Tony Casanova - Yea! Yea! Come Another Day
More old-school rock and roll, this isn't a standout, but is effective.
Eddie Quinteros -- Slow Down Sandy
I dig the guitar fills and (particularly) the guitar solo on this tune a lot, but beyond that this lands in the "also ran" category as another pretty mainstream old-school rock and roller.
Los Teen Tops - La Plaga (Good Golly Miss Molly)
Another one translated in Spanish, this is a lot of fun. Perhaps it doesn't rise to the level of highlight, but it's pretty great nonetheless.
Chan Romero - I Want Some More
This is an energetic rocker that makes me think of The Big Bopper.
Tony Casanova - Boogie Woogie Feeling
There is some high energy guitar work on this rocker. It's not a real highlight, though.      
Los Locos Del Ritmo - La Chica Alborotada (Tallahassee Lassie)
Now, this is a standout. It's just so classy and has some killer guitar work. The energy and groove are strong.
Los Gibson Boys - Be-Bop-A-Lula
This feels a little too slow to me. It's not bad, but not really among the stronger stuff here.          
Mando & The Chili Peppers - South Of The Border
A slower groove, this has a bit more of a balladic approach to it. I like this, and the variety it represents, but it's not what I'd consider a standout.
Unknown Singer - Mexican Rock & Roll
Piano and vocals make up the arrangement of this for the first part of the tune. It works out to more of a full arrangement from there. This definitely brings some variety, and it's one of my favorites here for some reason.
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