Mariachi and rock & roll have a lot in common: Both evolved from deep regional roots to eventually dominate their country’s music scene (sorry, jazz and Mexican jazz).
To celebrate this kinship, we tracked down great mariachi rock/pop performances, from serious crossover threats Mariachi Rock-O, to El Paso radio station KLAQ’s “Battle of the Rock N Roll Mariachis,” to restaurant bands just kind of having some fun.
1. Guns N’ Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle,” via Mariachi El Zacatecano
For all you know, Axl is actually in this band now.
2. Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall,” via Mariachi Cabos
Clearly inspired by these guys, Roger Waters treated the crowd at Mexico City’s Palacio De Los Deportes to a “Wall”-themed cover of the traditional birthday song “Las Mañanitas.”
3. Michael Jackson’s “Beat It,” via Mariachi Cabos
It should come as no surprise that “Hee-hee” and “Shamone” are their own translations.
4. Usher, Gotye, and Adele, via Mariachi Flor de Toloache
NYC’s first all-female mariachi band sings some songs that you used to know.
5. Daft Punk’s “Digital Love,” via Vinz the Mariachi & Las Morenas
Who needs a mission to Mars when you’ve got mariachi covering astronauts resurrecting disco?
6. System of a Down’s “Chop Suey!” via Mariachi Los Pasajeros
“WAKE UP! … MAKEUP!” Etc.
7. Radiohead’s “No Surprises,” via Mariachi Rock-O
From the album Si Ordenador.
8. The Charlie Daniels Band’s “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” via Mariachi Rock-O
“Chicken in the bread pan, pickin’ out dough/Granny, does your dog bite?/No, child, no” would actually make a lot more sense in Spanish.
9. Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” via K-LYZ
Technically this is duranguense, a Northern style that’s relatively recent compared to the 19th-century Western Son Jalisciense music that would become mariachi…oh, sorry, didn’t mean to interrupt your humming along with KNOWLEDGE.
10. …um… some song or other, via Mariachi Imperial
No, it hasn’t been that long since high school Spanish — they’re singing in Mandarin, in a Houston restaurant, for a Chinese TV show.
11. Mariachi Giro
Mariachi doesn’t just cover songs, it also covers video games!