King Changó – The Return of El Santo: #923 of best 1,000 albums ever!

King Chango - The Return of El Santo

Why is King Changó’s The Return of El Santo on my best 1,000 albums ever list?

“Latin ska” is only the beginning: it’s an exuberant and energy-packed record that also incorporates hip hop, punk, hard rock, dub, and trip hop.

What does King Changó’s The Return of El Santo mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?

This is a difficult album to quantify, and that’s one of its strengths. “Latin ska” is probably the closest thing to a simple description, but really one quickly add that its an exuberant and energy-packed record that also incorporates hip hop, punk, hard rock, dub, trip hop, and all kinds of other sounds to form a really unique overall sound. I tend to like their faster paced songs, which I’ll focus on here, though the entire album is a really fine overall listen.

Ironically, “Finalmente” is the first song on the album and likely its best. It’s lightspeed Latin music with great harmonies and hooks, with hip-hop elements tossed in for good measure.

“El Santo” has a more traditional Latin music sound at first before morphing into Latin ska that also reminds a bit of the best of Manu Chao’s trippy world music sound.

“Full Time Business” has a classic third wave ska sound a la The Toasters, which means I’m gonna be a sucker for “Full Time Business.” It’s really fun and really good.

This album also sounds like

As mentioned above, Manu Chao and The Toasters. You can also throw in the Voodoo Glow Skulls as a band that’s also hard to quantify (though much more in the ska hardcore to ska punk part of the musical map).

I vaguely recall purchasing this album on CD, either from the Amoeba Records in Berkeley, California right before I moved to Southern California, or somewhere in Pasadena. In any event, the upbeat sound of the album reminds me of my early days in SoCal and sunny weather.

Some stats & info about King Changó – The Return of El Santo

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Latin Music, Ska, Latin Ska, Dub, Third Wave Ska Revival
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating3 out of 5 stars
  • When was The Return of El Santo released? 2000
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #923 out of 1,000

King Changó’s The Return of El Santo on Spotify

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.