1. Vicente Fernandez, Hoy Platique con Mi Gallo (1986)
Translation: “Today I Talked to my Rooster.” Chente sings a heartbreaking song about how you’re not supposed to betray the friendship of your rooster. It’s the greatest thing ever.
2. Daddy Yankee, No Mercy (1995)
Origin: Puerto Rico
Before there was “Gasolina,” Daddy Yankee went sightseeing in New York and took some ridiculously awkward, toruisty pictures. He also made this album.
3. Los Enanitos Verdes, Contrareloj (1986)
“La Muralla Verde,” “Conciencia Contra Reloj,” “Cada Vez Que Digo Adiós,” and “Simulacro de Tensión” all came from this album. It might as well be a greatest hits compilation.
4. Emma Junaro, Si De Amor Se Trata (1985)
An album by the acoustic queen of Bolivia, this album has actually has a ton of Brazilian influence to it. That said, I seriously do not know what that girl is holding.
5. Xuxa, Xuxa e Seus Amigos (1985)
Caetano Velozo and Xuxa sing a duet in this album that makes you want to be a kid all over again. Also, those thick multicolored hairbands need to make a comeback. Just sayin’.
6. Ricky Martin, Ricky Martin (1991)
Origin: Puerto Rico
The first time Ricky Martin flew solo was with this album. He made a second self-titled album, but this is the one that’s stuck in your parents’ attic. Speaking of Ricky Martin…
7. Menudo, Evolucion (1984)
Origin: Puerto Rico
His first appearance with the international powerhouse known as Menudo. N’SYNC, Backstreet, New Kids, One Direction, eat your friggin’ heart out.
8. Magneto, Vuela Vuela (1991)
This album brought us one of the greatest synthesized songs of all time. Giorgio Moroder would be envious!
9. Americo, Tropicalmente Americo (1994)
Don’t judge a ridiculously amazing album by its terrible cover art.
10. Shakira, Magia (1991)
Way before “Hips Don’t Lie” there was a young 15-year-old brunette called Shakira, striking her best Fosse-esque pose.
11. Gandhi, En el Jardin del Corazon (1997)
Origin: Costa Rica
The first album of this enigmatic rock band fuses Pink Floyd, Soda Stereo, Jaguares with a touch of Brian May guitar solos. It’s an awesome rock smoothie.
12. Celia Cruz and Johnny Pacheco, Celia Cruz & Johnny (1974)
Origin: Cuba / Dominican Republic
Celia Cruz (in a rare, non-flamboyant appearance) and Johnny Pacheco teamed up to create one of the greatest salsa albums of all time. Don’t think so? Listen to this.
13. Jon Secada, Jon Secada (1992)
Don’t remember him? Now you will.
14. Gloria Estefan and The Miami Sound Machine, Primitive Love (1989)
Origin: Miami, FL
If there is an album that defines the transition from 80’s to ’90s sound, it’s Primitive Love. Also, I do not know the name of that hairstyle, but if Gloria had it, then it’s awesome.
15. Juan Luis Guerra y 4.40, Bachata Rosa (1991)
Origin: Dominican Republic
This album introduced bachata to the world. It also introduced us to Juan Luis Guerra’s amazing jacket.
16. Timbiriche, La Banda Timbiriche (1987)
This album marked the first time both Thalia and Paulina Rubio were in Timbiriche together. No one will ever know because the photographer thought the blur effect was a great stylistic choice.
17. Gerardo, Mo’ Ritmo (1991)
Does the one-hit wonder “Rico Suave” ring a bell? Well, it was on this album and it’s the first time Interscope Records ventured into the Latino market.
18. Ricardo Arjona, Jesus, Verbo No Sustantivo (1989)
This album was a major critical and commercial success all throughout Latin America, breaking Arjona into the U.S. for the first time. Juan Luis Guerra and Arjona will have to battle it out for “most awesome jacket ever.”
19. KHAOS, Forjando en Rocka (1985)
KHAOS had a major cult following in Central America and this album is recognized as one of the best in Honduran rock history. It’s so obscure that not even hipsters know about it. Aren’t you a little curious about what they sound like?
20. Selena y Los Dinos, Preciosa (1988)
Origin: Corpus Christi, TX
Yes, that is THE Selena. This album was one of the first to break outside the Tejano music scene in Texas. It sold an estimated 20,000 copies, an astounding number for an up-and-comer in a non-mainstream music scene. Also, did someone try to make her look white by giving her green eyes?
22. Luis Enrique, Amor y Alegria (1988)
Amor y Alegria defined the Salsa romantica era of the mid-80s. Also, LOOK AT THOSE SOCKS. Win.
23. Luis Miguel, Busca Una Mujer (1988)
LuisMi sang one of the greatest ballads in the history of ballads. Would not be surprised to find out that everyone has sex to this song.
24. El General, Muevelo con El General (1991)
His music video for “Muevelo” won an MTV Music Video Award for “Best Latin Video.” Also, he is rocking that flat-top like a boss.
25. Sintesis, Hagali (1992)
Sintesis were the masters at infusing Jazz and Folk music into one. They were popular throughout South America and toured a great deal in Argentina, Chile and Brazil. Guy on the right didn’t get the memo that this was a serious album.
26. Maná, ¿Dónde Jugarán los Niños? (1992)
If you’re thinking, “Hmm… never heard of them,” then this should refresh your memory (Pssst… This is the highest-selling spanish rock album of all time. You should probably give it a listen).
27. Los Tigres Del Norte, Contrabando y Traicion (1974)
Brought to you by one of the greatest Mexican bands of all time, this album gave birth to the infamous narco-corrido, the beloved musical genre that embraces Mexican drug cartels. Don’t let that Beatlemania hair fool you.
28. Libido, Libido (1998)
The album that Peru left for dead, only to be revived later by the amount of popular singles hidden in the album. After the album made it’s comeback, it became a staple in Peruvian pop music.
29. Willie Colon ft. Hector Lavoe, Cosa Nuestra (1970)
Origin: New York City
This album cemented Willie Colon as the king of the Nuyorican music scene and brought to light the awesome potential between Colon and Hector Lavoe. Nothing screams “Salsa” more than throwing a body into New York’s East River.
30. Hector, Yomo, Y Daniel, Feliz Navidad (1979)
Origin: New York City
This is exactly what it looks like: Christmas Salsa music. And it’s awesome. Whoever came up with the concept for this cover is a genius.
31. Marco Antonio Solis y Los Bukis, Por Amor a Mi Pueblo (1995)
The last album recorded by Los Bukis before everyone went their separate ways, breaking Mexican hearts all over. Can’t get over the fact that Marco Antonio Solis looks way too much like Jesus.
32. Alvaro Torres, Sin Cadenas (1984)
Origin: El Salvador
The last album he recorded while living in Guatemala before immigrating to Denver, Colorado, Sin Cadenas is full of simple, clean, badass love songs.
33. Julio Iglesias, Hey! (1980)
Yo! This is Julio Iglesias first album to break into U.S. music charts. And then there was his son…
34. Enrique Iglesias, Enrique Iglesias (1995)
Fun fact: Enrique’s original stage name was “Enrique Martinez” from Guatemala because he wanted to make a name for himself without using his father’s success. This was his first album: the real Enrique Iglesias pre-mole removal. And how could we ever forget this super angsty song.
35. Jose Luis Rodriguez “El Puma,” Me Vas a Echar de Menos (1982)
This album contains the jaw-dropping version of “Me Vas Echar de Menos” showcasing Rodriguez’s amazing voice… Look at that man… This is Venezuela’s response to Tony Manero from Saturday Night Fever… and they TOTALLY nailed it.