Sunday, June 29, 2008

Yolanda del Rio - Se Me Olvido Otra Vez - 1975

I got this record mainly because of the cover. I was fascinated by the fairly unpleasant looking Yolanda del Rio. I apologize if I have offended any Yolanda del Rio fans out there, but I want to be honest. I was fascinated because I thought obviously this lady's singing career doesn't rest on her looks, so it must be based on the music. Maybe she was a great singer. Maybe she sang famous folk songs. I didn't know.

When I put on the record I was taken back. Here was this lady singing in Spanish and sounding like she was crying through every song. I didn't know what to make of it. I had never heard anything like it. I kind of wanted to laugh, but I was also caught up in the emotion and passion in her voice even if I didn't understand a word of what she was saying.

Then by some chance I played the record for a friend who has spent some time in Mexico and he immediately identified the music. He said it was a very common genre. If you asked me what the genre was that he told me, I'd have to say that I forgot. However in doing research for this blog I would think that he told me that it was ranchera.

As it turns out Yolanda del Rio was and is one of the most successful Ranchera singers of all time. She was part of a second wave of ranchera singers in the 70's and she sold over 20 million records. Yolanda is still around today. She has continued to record. She has a web site. You can find the here. You can read more about her on Allmusic or on Wikipedia. And I even found some clips of her on Youtube. Actually there are a lot of them. There are even people lip syncing to her songs.

The weird sort of irony of all this is that I bought the record because I thought she was ugly. Little did I know that I would look her up on the internet some day and find that she has just gotten worse. It seems that with all her success and money she has tried to correct her looks with plastic surgery and the result is that she looks like a complete freak of nature. I'm talking Joan Rivers territory. Anyways you can see for yourself on the Youtube clip of from the photos on her website.

After you've had your fun looking at her, erase that image from your mind and go back to the music. That is after all why she is famous. It is why I liked the record the first time I listened to it, not knowing any of this context. She sings with gut wrenching emotion that strikes a deep chord even through language barriers.


01 Si Me Olvido Otra Vez.m4a
02 No Me Olvides Amor.m4a
03 Cuando Todo Se Acabe.m4a
04 Nos Vemos Manana.m4a
05 Ya No Me Vuelvo A Enamorar.m4a
06 Por Orgullo.m4a
07 El Cantar Del Pastor.m4a
08 Llorar, Llorar, Llorar.m4a
09 Si Dios Me Ayuda.m4a
10 Esta Noche Voy a Verlo.m4a

Yolanda del

Here's a slide show set to the opening track.


Anonymous said...

My spanish is very rusty, but the passion in her voice DOES communicate more than the lyrics for me. End result- very beautiful art, ironically!

Also, I LOVE watching the "Cowboys from Mexico" & thier women dance to the peppier Ranchera music. It's a quasi-Lambada, quickly alternate your feet, jump & down kind of thing.

Continue the great posts.

Spencer said...

I'm glad you liked it. Of course I will keep up the good work as long as I get a little feedback every once in a while.


Taniia said...

ok. im a soso fan of hers. its true in a way. but she has a good voice. i got some news of hers up in my blog. turns out shes recording another cd. u.u

John said...

This lady sings from her heart and
touches mine. Thank you, Yolanda.
A fan forever,
An old hippie Scotsman

BongoPedro said...

Like most people she hasn't aged too well but I don't think she's ugly on the cover of this album. She may not be typical "pretty" girl but I find it odd that you choose to flag her looks as a key point in your text. Also, what passes as attractive here and now would not necessarily mean anything in 70's Latin America. Look at La Lupe or Elza Soares. And then see what happens to them when they sing. A huge part of their attractiveness is directly linked to how they express themselves.

Spencer said...

All good points. I'm not exactly sure why I focused on her looks. I just was being honest about how I reacted to her photo. It may be lame and shallow or whatever, but at least I was being honest.

Thanks for your comments.

Que Fregados said...

I know I am responding to an old post but I surfed on to your page because I was actually looking for Yolanda Del Rio photos. I grew up loving her songs and with the old photo so when someone posted up a video on my FB page with the "new" Yolanda del Rio, I was... uh... taken aback. I still love her voice and her songs, though, but she did take on that Michael Jackson quality with the chin and nose. "La Hija de Nadie" always touched me as a kid - I dont know why bc I dont know anyone in that situation.

According to the song, she fell in love with her brother and they both committed suicide but... the song says "It is the fault of the most cruel of fathers who never deserved to be men because they deny their name to their bastard children." (loose translation) So it is a twisted love story with a sad ending. Thanks for the post, the pictures and videos.

Anonymous said...

I am Mexican and born in the States. I grew up with Rancheras, they are one of my favorite types of music because of the feeling behind the songs, but sometimes I feel they are a little too depressing for the mind.

I heard one of Yolanda's songs many years ago, today during a restless mind and the time-wasting youtube browsing, I came across her video in which she is singing, I recalled the voice, and was shocked at what she looked.

Anyway, she was not happy with her appearance and so altered it. But I guess her discontent (which I assume is part of her nature) is what makes her music as touching as it is.

BTW, interesting approach to choosing a record.