Los Fabulosos Cadillacs have been together since before I was born.
That’s 20-plus years the Argentinian band has spent writing rock/ska/new wave/funk, performing around the world, collecting Grammys, and collaborating with icons such as Celia Cruz and Debbie Harry.
A six-year hiatus for the group interrupted their musical output until shortly after the death of their percussionist Gerardo Toto Rotblat in 2008, but the group is together again, and have since released two albums (three if you count their two-disc collection of older work, Obras Cumbres): La Luz Del Ritmo and their most recent El Arte De La Elegancia del LFC.
Los Cadillacs are seemingly overflowing with creative material to share with the world. But El Arte de la Elegancia is a collection of eight re-recorded songs, one cover, and only two original songs written by bassist Flavio Cianciarulo. Why? Good question. Senor Flavio reportedly said the band chose the material for this album based on their feeling that it hadn’t received much attention and was not performed much in the past. Still, the differences in these newer versions of old songs are generally subtle, and mostly relax the originals into glossier, dancier tunes.
“Contrabando de Amor” was louder and brasher in LFC’s 1989 El Satanico Dr. Cadillac. It’s pop in El Arte. “Surfer Calavera” also loses the thrash metal of its original incarnation, and like the rest of the songs here, makes El Arte simply good. Could the LFC have done much more? Maybe. Two decades of greatness say yes. “Lanzallamas” and “Siete Jinetes”, the two originals here, say yes. Otherwise, covers of Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up” by LFC as “Vamos Ya”, leave us wondering where the new material is while we look back at the best of the old.