Every week, Spotify creates a playlist for it’s listeners based on it’s listening habits. In other words, it’s trying to figure out our musical algorithm. For a while it had been serving me up a lot of retro sounding songs, so when Babe Ruth’s “The Mexican” came up, I figured it was another newish song paying tribute to the good ol’ days.
There were some hints in here that the song was older though, the 70’s style progressive guitar work and the sound of a keyboard that didn’t sound retro, just old. But it had a lot of funky elements to it, like the bass line, the beat and even the vocals that sounded like something you would hear today.
After hearing it 2-3 times, I finally looked it up. The song is almost 45 years old and I’m wondering how it got by my radar all this time.
Not only that, but the song has been covered and sampled many times in dance and hip hop music, including Wu-Tang Clan, N.E.R.D, and even the metal band Helloween (I think I had to list this one because that is a great retro name for a metal band).
Wikipedia even says that a portion of “Planet Rock” by Afrika Bambaataa uses it, but it doesn’t seem material after listening to it for the umpteenth time. Here is a writeup on the song and those who have used it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mexican_%28song%29
The Mexican is getting at least weekly play on one of our playlists and it is a nice changeup you can throw in with a batch of music.