Alaska Y Los Pegamoides – “Grandes Exitos” (1982)

I don’t think there was anything quite like Alaska Y Los Pegamoides in Latin pop music in any country in the 80’s and I actually missed it by just a few years. I found out about Alaska Y Dinarama in 1984 when they hit it big in Mexico with their hit, “Ni Tu Ni Nadie.” But it didn’t stop me from having a copy of this album as soon as I got into Latin music and if there was only one reason to own this album it was for the group’s biggest hit, “Bailando.”

Any fan of Fangoria has gone back to the roots of where the band originated from, which is right here. While the album is entitled, “Grandes Exitos” (Greatest Hits), this is the band’s only officially named studio album. The band consisted of Alaska, Nacho Canut, Carlos Berlanga, Ana Curra and Eduardo Benavente. While Alaska was the main singer, backup singer Ana can be heard as the lead in a few tracks from the album. The group embraced the 80’s punk/new wave era, especially the group Siouxsie And The Banshees. This is not even where Alaska and her gang began either. You can take the initial musical collaborations to 1977 with the band, Kaka de Luxe. But it wasn’t until Pegamoides did the group get noticed with the hit, “Bailando.” With all the movement of members and other bands, it becomes way too incestuous to even begin to discuss how the groups all got formed.

But, back to the album…You really have to love Alaska to stay involved with album through all fourteen tracks on the album. I get to about track eight and I hit the song, “Redrum,” which is the backward spelling of ‘murder’ which was made popular in the movie, “The Shining.” The first seven tracks on the album are good pop/new wave tracks that make you either appreciate the 80’s or hate it, either one.  Tracks eight, nine, and ten just don’t have the same flavor to them. With every album, you always have the middle section that holds that filler tracks. That is exactly what these tracks are: filler.

“Tokyo” is a fun track hidden between all the filler tracks that is a gem to find and when you do, you will find yourself saying “en Tokyo” for the rest of day. With another two filler tracks, you find yourself at the end of the album with the most fitting song, “Llegando Hasta El Final.”

In 2006, the EMI released the album on CD as part of a reissue that included many of the Alaska Y Dinarama CDs called, “Edición Para Coleccionistas.” These collector’s editions featured extra tracks, remixes, and demos of your favorite songs. For “Grandes Exitos,” the CD featured a second disc that contained the other singles and B-sides of other Pegamoides songs. Two of those songs are in English. There is an English version of “Bailando” and one for “Redrum.” Also, in 2015, an 180-gram purple vinyl was released.

Overall, the album is a necessity for Alaska fans but with only a handful of good songs it is easy for this album to get lost among all the other gems that make up their discography.

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