Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

“Mexican Radio” blended mariachi, synth, and psychobilly, to great results

Wall Of Voodoo in Chicago (Photo by Paul Natkin/WireImage)

In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well. This week: Songs with “radio” in the title.

Wall Of Voodoo, “Mexican Radio” (1982)

There are lots of songs about the power of radio, but very few are as quirky or as catchy as “Mexican Radio.” Initially released in 1982, but not pushed as a single until 1983, the almost four-minute Wall Of Voodoo track marks the collision of mariachi music, synthesizer, and psychobilly. That might sound a little discombobulated and disjointed—and it is, in parts—but when it comes together, man, does “Mexican Radio” wail. Even now, 32 years after its release, the track feels fresh and fun, though lines about “eating barbequed iguana” are still a little hokey. Like its synth pop counterparts—Plastic Bertrand’s “Ca Plane Pour Moi” included—“Mexican Radio” has withstood the test of time. By blending simple beats, toy instruments, and herky-jerky language, Wall Of Voodoo managed to give its dumb little single a decent set of legs.


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