Live records are a rarity nowadays. There was a time not too long ago (it seems) when Live albums were a constant thing, even bootleg live recordings were a thing, but recently live albums are on the brink of extinction.
Lately, I have been going out of my way to acquire as many live records as I possibly can, or at least I am trying to. Admittedly, my LP vinyl collection is still in its infancy, so I do not have an in-depth collection of live records as I would like to have, but I do have some pretty cool ones so far.
However, when it comes to Rock en Español, there seems to be a more significant demand for live albums, and interestingly enough, this particular market has kept the MTV Unplugged brand alive and relevant for the last twenty years. It is refreshing to think about, and it gives me hope that there is still a chance for good and real instrument-based albums and non-digital music to resurge.
It is safe to say that Bunbury is currently sitting at the very top of the entire Rock en Español Mundo. There is absolutely nobody out there close enough to challenge his place in the scene, he is clearly leaps and bounds ahead of everybody else, and after listening to Bunbury’s latest album: California Live, his home in the Mount Rushmore of Rock en Español is now fully established right at the very top.
California Live is more than just a live album; it is also a journey through Bunbury’s musical career. The record includes songs from his days with HEROES DEL SILENCIO and pieces from many of his solo albums. My only issue is that he did not include any songs from the album Flamingos, 2003, which is probably my favorite Bunbury album of all time. Still, I enjoyed this excellent live album, and I think it definitely is one of the best Rock en Español live records in recent memory.
The first five tracks are straight from his latest studio release (Expectativas,2017), 01. LA CEREMONIA DE LA CONFUSION, 02.LA ACTITUD CORRECTA, 03.CUNA DE CAIN, 04.EN BANDEJA DE PLATA, 05. PARECEMOS TONTOS. All these songs are now considered hits and very radio-friendly, these live versions show Bunbury on tip-top Rockero form. Most of the remaining tracks have a solid dose of saxophone infused in them. Previous Bunbury live albums did not include this particular musical ingredient, and the result is very satisfying.
06.EL ANZUELO– From the album, El Viaje a Ninguna Parte, 2004. This track, like many others in this album, is given a new life and sound, especially with the addition of the Saxophone as one of the main instruments.
07.El MAR NO CESA– This track is only available in the LP version.
08.EL RESCATE– From the album, El Viaje a Ninguna Parte, 2004. Once again, the Sax becomes the perfect companion to this track.
09.TESORO-From the album, El espíritu del vino, 1993 (Heroes del Silencio). This track is given a new feel, a new vibe, and a new life. The sax shines through once again giving it a modern feel.
10.DESPIERTA– From the album, Palosanto, 2013. This live version has a bigger rock anthem feel than the album version, especially when the audience gets involved singing along.
11.HAY MUY POCA GENTE-From the album, Hellville de Luxe, 2008. The only differences from the album version and the live version are the audience participation and a few sax cameos here and there.
12.HEROE DE LEYENDA-From the album, Heroe de Leyenda, 1987 (Heroes del Silencio). This version is an excellent new take on one of the great rock en Español classic anthems of all time.
13.MAS ALTO QUE NOSOTROS SOLO EL CIELO– From the album, Palosanto, 2013. The balance between the tempo and harmony is one of the high points of this entire album.
14.MAR ADENTRO– From the album, El Mar no Cesa, 1988 (Heroes del Silencio). This version feels like it belongs in one of Bunbury’s more recent albums, it has an updated feel to it when compared to the original 1988 version.
15.DE TODO EL MUNDO– From the album, Las Consecuencias, 2010. A gorgeous rendition, this is one of my all-time favorite Bunbury songs. The live version is a joy to listen to.
16.MALDITO DUENDE– From the album, Senderos de traición,1990 (Heroes del Silencio). The crowd participation is what makes this live version feel very special like you are right there with them, and you cannot help but sing along with them.
17.LA CONSTANTE– From the album, Expectativas, 2017. An excellent choice to bring this live album to an end with a beautiful romantic rock ballad. This song has become a favorite amongst Bunbury fanatics.
BUNBURY — CALIFORNIA LIVE (2019)