Great Rock Albums of 1985: Los Lobos- How Will the Wolf Survive

I think this is another case of my Swiss cheese memory. I could have sworn that my first encounter with Los Lobos was in 1985 but Wikipedia claims their first full album came out in 1984. It probably did and I didn’t actually hear of it until early 85. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it. It doesn’t matter either way because Los Lobos was my first encounter with a style of rock some people called Tex-Mex. This is a infusion of country music from Texas and Mexican music. All I thought at the time was this is a nice piece of rock and roll.

My belief it’s rock and roll comes from the opening track, “Don’t Worry Baby.” This track sound very 1950s and I envision kids dancing around to it in Happy Days fashion. Still, it’s a good way to open the album. The second track, “A Matter of Time” is certainly more soft rock although I wouldn’t say it’s a ballad but it keeps things ticking over nicely. Los Lobos’s Mexican influence definitely shines through on the third track, “Corrido #1.” Again, it is very catchy and though I’ve never done it, it is an amusing song to play at parties. One could definitely dance along and shout “Ole!” with this one.

While the third track brought the Mex, the very next track brings forth the Tex. “Our Last Night” sounds classic country  and visions of people four-stepping and shouting “Yee-ha!” fill my mind here. The lead guitar sounds very country western. Things swing back to the Mex with “The Breakdown” but the 50s sound from the opening track is present too. The combination works and smoothly takes you to the drinking track on the album, “I Got Loaded.” Singing about getting drunk to a catchy 50s melody makes me want to bob along while taking swigs from a bottle. Can’t do it this time, I’m still on the wagon from Bloodstock. I love the sax solo at the end.

Mexico can certainly be felt with “Serenata Norteno.” This sounds like a fiesta and it is sung in Spanish but it’s a nice catchy little tune. A cool 50s sounding guitar solo opens the next track, “Evangeline” and sets the tone for the rest of it. The track cooks all the way through with another cool guitar solo in the middle. “I Got to Let You Know” is in the same 50s vibe but faster. Once I joked that the song was 50s thrash, though not quite that fast and the vocals are cleaner. Plus there’s a sax solo in the middle so you really can’t call it thrash. After the short instrumental, “Lil’ King of Everything,” Los Lobos save the best for last. Closing the album is the title track and first single. While all the mentioned influences are compacted into the song, it totally rocks! It has always been my all time favourite Los Lobos song. Like I said, it’s a great way to end an album.

Track Listing:

  1. Don’t Worry Baby
  2. A Matter of Time
  3. Corrido#1
  4. Our Last Night
  5. The Breakdown
  6. I Got Loaded
  7. Serenata Norteno
  8. Evangeline
  9. I Got to Let You Know
  10. Lil’ King of Everything
  11. How Will the Wolf Survive

Los Lobos

Steve Berlin- saxophones, percussion

David Hildalgo- lead vocals, guitar, steel trap, accordion, percussion

Conrad Lozano- bass, backing vocals, guitarron

Louie Perez- drums, backing vocals, bajo quinto

Caesar Rosas- lead vocals, guitar, mandolin, bajo sexto

Thirty-three and a half years ago, I very much enjoyed my introduction into Tex-Mex. Los Lobos put out a grand debut album.

Next post: The Hooters- Nervous Night

Note: I’m going away for five days on a much needed vacation so the post won’t be for about a week.

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to:












19 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1985: Los Lobos- How Will the Wolf Survive”

  1. This one looks really interesting too! Have a great vacation. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. hanspostcard Says:

    I loved this album- and the band- saw them a few times in concert- outstanding.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lucky you, I never got to see them live.

      Liked by 1 person

      • hanspostcard Says:

        I saw them not long after they had the hit with La Bamba- and they played everything that night but La Bamba. My friend who wasn’t that familiar with the band-only knowing that cover was disappointed they didn’t play that- I told her before not to expect them to play it. Saw them open once for John Prine- I didn’t know who the opener was going to be and out they walked- what a great surprise.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That is a great surprise. La Bamba will probably be the song they’ll be best known for but it still sounds like a great show. Out of curiosity, did they play How Will the Wolf Survive that night?

        Liked by 2 people

      • hanspostcard Says:

        Yes they played How Will The Wolf Survive.. I think they were kind of rebelling against the success La Bamba bought them- since it was a cover. The show where they were the headliner- they played a lot from their spanish language album.

        Liked by 1 person

      • If I had been there, I would have been the one who sulked if they hadn’t played that one. I bet they were still good when they sang in Spanish. It proves my point that if the music is good, it doesn’t matter what language it’s sung in.

        Liked by 2 people

      • hanspostcard Says:

        Yes I didn’t understand what they were singing but they were still terrific. Small venue. Great band.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sounds brill. Personally, I would like to listen to a band who sang in either Orc or Klingon.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Good review – I like this LP too. have a nice holiday.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great write-up… I’m awfy fond of this album. A friend of mine actually gave me a copy a few years ago that he’d liberated from a charity shop… it was the first time I’d heard it!! Safe to say it’s remained in fairly heavy rotation since then.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. […] Source: Great Rock Albums of 1985: Los Lobos- How Will the Wolf Survive | 80smetalman’s Blog […]

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