50 Years in Latin Music: 1993

Albina Cabrera

Welcome to the music of Ibero-America of 1993! It may help to locate ourselves temporarily: The rise of neoliberalism deepened the gap between rich and poor. That social complexity was seen in solidifying hard rock, punk rock, and metal scenes in South America with songs that denounced poverty and the political system such as Extremo Duro, Attaque 77, 1280 Almas, and ANIMAL.

But at the same time, the Latin music industry continued to have key figures such as Selena, Celia Cruz, and Jonny Ventura, for example, who released albums that year. In 1993, Billboard established the Top Latin Albums chart, which ranks the bestselling Latin albums in the United States. Rather than rely on retailers for sales reports as previously done on its sub-charts, Billboard compiles the chart by obtaining sales data from Nielsen SoundScan. Mi Tierra by Gloria Estefan becomes the first number-one album on the chart. Although if we talk about Rock en Español in 1993, without a doubt, we must highlight the release of Amor Amarillo by Gustavo Cerati (one of my favorite albums of all time) and the song “Matador” by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs. The mixture of rock with ska would be the key to those times in alternative music and the prelude to the "sonic" era that would identify the second half of the decade.