calibre 50 mejor

The hyper-abundant compilation album is one of the more bewildering aspects of the Regional Mexican music industry. There are a LOT of them — witness this Allmusic list of more than 50 Conjunto Primavera comps since 1995, released on eight different record labels. Lately some music-writer friends and acquaintances have observed a dearth of compilation albums in recent years, given listeners’ ability to cherrypick their own songs on streaming sites. NorteñoBlog does not dispute this observation; I’ll only add that the compilation market in Regional Mexican is still going strong. This year saw four new Primavera comps, on two different labels. Who’s buying these things? Don’t they already own all these songs?

Without answering these questions, NorteñoBlog presents this list of 100 single- (or, in the case of Sony’s Frente a Frente series, double-) artist comps released on CD in 2015. It doesn’t include multi-artist comps like Fonovisa’s annual Radio Éxitos: Discos Del Año series. This list is incomplete; I’m pretty sure I could find more by scouring the catalogs of indie labels Select-O-Hits and D&O.

Some items of interest:

Joan Sebastian, who died in 2015, wins today’s sweepstakes with six comps. However, I cheated slightly with him — the three Esencial volumes are also available as a single set, and I included one multi-artist comp that includes Sebastian himself and other people covering his songs. Besides Primavera, Chalino Sanchez and the duo Luis y Julián released four apiece. (Chalino and Julián have both died; I think Luis is still alive?)

Sony dominates the compilation market with its series Frente a Frente (two classic artists go head to head!), Dos Clasicos (two original classic albums on one CD!), Personalidad (solo singers bare their souls!), and Onda Grupera Flashback, devoted to romantic synth-cumbia gruperas like Bronco, a major gap in NorteñoBlog’s historical knowledge. Fonovisa and Disa, both distributed by Universal, also have reissue series like Lo Mejor De… and La Historia de los Éxitos. Usually a label dumps a whole bunch of volumes in one series on a single release day. As alluded to above, both Fonovisa and Sony released Primavera comps this year; I’m not sure how that works legally.

As you might expect — or maybe not — compilation albums are far more prevalent among older and retired/deceased artists than they are among acts who are still active hitmakers. I’m guessing this is because the audience for older artists is also older and less inclined to cherrypick the streaming services. But still, somebody’s buying comps of recent music by Julión Álvarez, Calibre 50, Marco Flores, and Banda Los Recoditos, all of whom attract young audiences. Billboard’s current Top 25 Latin Albums chart includes comps by Álvarez and Selena. It also has comps by Marco Antonio Solis and Juan Gabriel, both of whom sometimes belong here, and a couple live albums that function as Exitos albums, especially in the case of Banda MS. Given the low sales numbers required to crash this chart, I’d be surprised if more than a couple of those sold over a thousand copies last week.

The list is alphabetized according to artist’s last name or band’s first distinguishing name. That is, Conjunto Primavera falls under “P” and Banda el Recodo falls under “R,” rather than “C” or “B.” I do not expect to change record store shelving policies with this practice, but it’s my list and that’s how they make the most sense. (Actually, I haven’t been to a discoteca in a while — maybe they follow this practice?)

I’ve heard very few of these albums, but I can vouch for the ones by Marco Flores and Banda Cohuich, as well as Joan Sebastian y Sus Amigos. I also enjoyed Los Rehenes’ La Historia de los Éxitos, and Primavera’s album of the same title a little less.

Favorite discovery based on album cover and band name: Internacional Carro Show.

julion leccionesAntonio Aguilar – 15 Exitos: Corridos Famosos (Sony)
Antonio Aguilar – Personalidad (Sony)
Antonio Aguilar/Joan Sebastian – Frente a Frente (Sony)
Antonio Aguilar/Pepe Aguilar – Frente a Frente (Sony)
Pepe Aguilar – Personalidad (Sony)
Pepe Aguilar – Dos Clasicos (Sony)
Los Alegres de Terán – Canciones y Corridos: 20 Exitos (AJR Discos/Select-O-Hits)
Los Alegres de Terán – 15 Exitos de Los Alegres de Terán (Discos Roble)
Julión Álvarez y su Norteño Banda – Lecciones Para El Corazón (Disa)
Ramón Ayala – 20 Exitos (Select-O-Hits)

carlos y jose exitosRamón Ayala y Sus Bravos Del Norte – Antologia (import)
Los Baturys de Sinaloa – 20 Grandes Exitos (Discos Linda/D&O)
Bronco – Onda Grupera Flashback (Sony)
Grupo Bryndis – 20 Kilates Románticos
Grupo Bryndis – La Historia de los Éxitos (Disa)
Los Bukis – 20 Kilates Románticos
Calibre 50 – Lo Mejor De (Disa)
Los Caminantes – Onda Grupera Flashback (Sony)
Cardenales de Nuevo Leon – 45 Exitos (Versiones Originales) (Disa)
Carlos y José – 20 Grandes Exitos: Corridos y Canciones (AJR Discos/Select-O-Hits)

mercedes castro cheloVicki Carr – Intimamente (Sony)
Mercedes Castro/Chelo – Frente a Frente (Sony)
El Chapo de Sinaloa – 20 Exitos: Las Mas Grandes Exitos (D&O)
El Chapo de Sinaloa/Roberto Tapia – Frente a Frente (Sony)
Chelo – 15 Exitos Rancheros (Sony)
Banda Cohuich – No Te Equivoques (Pegasus)
Duelo – Lo Mejor De… (Fonovisa)
Los Ermitaños – 15 Exitos de Los Ermitaños (Discos Roble)
Los Felinos/Grupo Libra – Frente a Frente (Sony)
Pedro Fernandez – Lo Mejor de Pedro Fernandez (Fonovisa)

internacional carro showMarco Flores y La Banda Jerez – 20 Exitos a… Mi Estilo (Garmex)
Lalo “El Piporro” González – Lo Mejor de El Piporro (Sony)
Los Hermanos Banda de Salmanaca – 30 Exitos, Vol. 1 (Cadena)
Los Hermanos Mier – Onda Grupera Flashback (Sony)
Los Humildes – Onda Grupera Flashback (Sony)
Los Humildes – 20 Grandes Exitos (Discos Linda/D&O)
Los Indomables de Cedral – 24 Kilates de Exitos, Vol. 1 (Frontera)
Internacional Carro Show – 20 Grandes Exitos (Discos Celeste)
Los Invasores de Nuevo Leon – Canciones y Corridos: 20 Exitos (AJR Discos/Select-O-Hits)
Flaco Jiménez – The Complete Arista Recordings (Real Gone)

luis y julianLaberinto – Caminos de la Vida (Sony)
Liberación – La Historia de los Éxitos (Disa)
Luis y Julian – 16 Exitos De… Vol. 1-3 (Discos Roble)
Luis y Julian – Coleccion Suprema: 20 Exitos Clasicos (Select-O-Hits)
Luis y Julian – Los Pistoleros Famosos (Discos Linda/D&O)
Luis y Julian – “El Desquite”… y 11 Exitos Más! (NVO)
Los Madrugadores del Bajío – 15 Exitos de Los Madrugadores del Bajío (Discos Roble)
Conjunto Michoacan – 20 Puro Exitos Con Violin (Discos Linda/D&O)
José María Napoleón – 20 Kilates Románticos
Estela Nuñez – Personalidad (Sony)

el potroLos Originales de San Juan/Los Razos – Frente a Frente (Sony)
Paquita la del Barrio – Dos Clasicos (Sony)
Paquita la del Barrio – Personalidad (Sony)
Paquita la del Barrio – Esencial de Paquita la del Barrio (Sony)
Los Pasteles Verdes/Los Terricolas – Solo Para Enamoradas (AJR Discos/Select-O-Hits)
El Periquito de Sinaloa – 30 Grandes Exitos (Discos Linda/D&O)
Guadalupe Pineda – Personalidad (Sony)
El Potro de Sinaloa – Serie de Exitos Linda Joven Agustin Felix (Discos Linda/D&O)
Conjunto Primavera – +Historia (Fonovisa)
Conjunto Primavera – La Historia de los Éxitos (Fonovisa)

cojunto-primavera-20-kilates-romanticos-flowactivoConjunto Primavera – 20 Exitos Clasicos (Sony)
Conjunto Primavera – 20 Kilates Románticos (Fonovisa)
Ruben Ramos and the Texas Revolution – 20 Exitos (Select-O-Hits)
Los Rancheritos del Topochico – 15 Exitos de Los Rancheritos (Discos Roble)
Banda Los Recoditos – Lo Mejor De (Disa)
Banda El Recodo – 20 Kilates Románticos (Fonovisa)
Banda El Recodo – 15 Instrumentales Con La Banda el Recodo (BMC)
Los Rehenes – La Historia de los Éxitos (Disa)
Gerardo Reyes – Coleccion Extrema (AJR Discos/Select-O-Hits)
Gerardo Reyes – Tomando y Llorando: Más Exitos (Discos Linda/D&O)

cuco sanchezCornelio Reyna – 15 Exitazos (Sony)
Cornelio Reyna – Personalidad (Sony)
Cornelio Reyna/Chalino Sanchez – Frente a Frente (Sony)
Chalino Sanchez – Coleccion De Oro: Con Mariachi Conjunto (Sony)
Chalino Sanchez – Personalidad (Sony)
Chalino Sanchez – Dos Clasicos (Sony)
Chalino Sanchez – Puros Exitos de Colección (D&O)
Cuco Sanchez – Sentimiento Mexicano (Aires de Mexico)
Joan Sebastián – Dos Clasicos (Sony)
Joan Sebastian – Personalidad (Sony)

temerariosJoan Sebastian – Esencial: Hasta Que Hamanezca (Sony)
Joan Sebastian – Esencial: Secreto de Amor (Sony)
Joan Sebastian – Esencial: Sentimental (Sony)
Joan Sebastian y Sus Amigos (Fonovisa)
Flor Silvestre – 15 Exitos (Sony)
Javier Solís – He Sabido Que Te Amaba (RHI)
Javier Solís – La Voz del Bolero (Seamusic)
Los Temerarios – Onda Grupera Flashback (Sony)
Grupo Tentación/Los Fugitivos – Frente a Frente (Sony)
Los Terrícolas – Grandes Exitos de Los Terrícolas (NVO)

toppazLos Terricolas – 20 Grandes Exitos (Discos Linda/D&O)
Toppaz – 16 Exitos: Historia Musical (Frontera)
Juan Torres y Su Organo Melodico – 15 Exitos: Al Estilo Ranchero (Sony)
Los Traileros – La Historia de los Éxitos (Disa)
Chayito Valdéz – 20 Grandes Exitos (AJR Discos/Select-O-Hits)
Lucha Villa – Personalidad (Sony)
Nick Villarreal – 20 Exitos (Select-O-Hits)
Voz de Mando – Lo Mejor De…
Grupo Yndio – La Historia de los Éxitos (Fonovisa)
Grupo Yndio – 20 Grandes Exitos Versiones Remasterizados (Discos Linda/D&O)