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Best of Lydia Mendoza

5.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 15, 2008
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 15, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Arhoolie Records
  • ASIN: B0013XZ49A
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,605 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 16, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Arhoolie Records has long been the curator of the legacy of Texas music legend Lydia Mendoza, one of the most powerful singers to hail from the Tex-Mex border area in the 20th Century. Mendoza passed away in December, 2007, and this collection is a fitting legacy. Culled from the many albums Arhoolie issued over the years, it presents Mendoza's passage from the powerful stylist of her youth (the opening tracks, from the 1930s, evoke the same sort of gravitas and depth as Edith Piaf during the same era) to her more mature years, including live performances in the 1980s that show her still a tremendous singer and interpreter of song. There is musical experimentation along the way, and a variety of styles that always serves to underscore the clarity and beauty of her voice. This is a great single-disc introduction to a highly-revered artist; if you like what you hear on this best-of set, there's plenty more to explore from here. (DJ Joe Sixpack, Slipcue music reviews)
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For the Rio Grande Valley and most of South Texas, Lydia Mendoza is one of the most significant success stories of the early 20th Century. These songs really are her best. The package includes an English translation of the words in her songs. I don't think she could have recorded Mal Hombre in English at the time she recorded it in Spanish. Very strong lyrics!
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I grew up hearing Tejano and mariachi music in Texas, but did not know of Lydia Mendoza until I saw her postage stamp on sale here in our northern Minnesota post office. I bought several sheets of the beautiful stamps to use, then thought to look on Amazon.com for her music. Why not order the best, so I began my acquaintance with Best of Lydia Mendoza, which contains a booklet with photos and biography, plus lyrics in Spanish and their English translation. This CD begins with a recording Mendoza made as a teenager in 1934 and spans her career, so you can hear the development of her voice. There is even a short section of her spoken voice. My husband enjoyed listening to contemporary Tejano music when we lived in Texas for a few years, and at first he missed the other instruments. After listening a couple of times through, he warmed to Lydia and her 12-string guitar. Her story and the songs she made popular have enriched our lives.
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Format: Audio CD
QEPD: Lydia Mendoza (1916-2007)
The first track - "Mal Hombre" - the ultimate Spanish language anthem for every womin who has been hurt by a man. Lydia and her 12 string guitar producing the tango rhythm for the expression of betrayal felt by wimin everywhere, "...eres un canalla, eres un malvado, eres un mal hombre." (my translation, "...you are a swine, you are a villain, you are a wicked, cold-hearted man.") These feelings are still as universal today as in 1934. It's unfortunate that the sample doesn't feature this line of the song because she adds the emphasis "eres un......Mal Hombre."
This collection also has other Tejano music legends. Tracks 7 & 11 feature "El Huracan de Valle," Narciso Martinez(acordión). Track 8 features Enrique Rodriguez(requinto). Track 9 features Tony de la Rosa(acordión). Track 10 features Gilberto Lopez(acordión). You may have difficulty finding these specific tracks somewhere else.
Lydia's own sweet love song ranchera "Amor Bonito" is also in this collection. The last two tracks recorded at UC-Berkeley, Wheeler Auditorium, leave you wanting more Lydia live and in concert. Thank goodness there is - La Alondra de la Frontera: Live!
**the "i" for womin and wimin is intentional, also why not spell words how we pronounce them"**
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