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Contigo - LA MAFIA.NET – (Legacy of Hits)


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1. Amor Secreto
2. Contigo
3. Sabor A La Fiesta
4. Cuando Tu Me Besas
5. No Puedo Controlarte (Esperando Tu Adios)
6. Llora Conmigo
7. No Llores Mas Corazon
8. Eres (Duet: Lili Arce)
9. Nuevo Amanecer (Podria Decir)
10. Morir Soñando

Album: Contigo
Rec.L/Disc.: Fonovisa
Year/Año: 2000

Side/Lado [A]

Amor Secreto

Edel Ramirez


Ricardo Quijano

Sabor A La Fiesta

Armando Litchenberger, Jr./Edel Ramirez

Cuando Tu Me Besas

Ricardo Quijano

No Puedo Controlarte (Esperando Tu Adios)

Marco Suarez

Side/Lado [B]

Llora Conmigo

Ricardo Quijano

No Llores Mas Corazon

Alfredo Matheus


Edel Ramirez

Nuevo Amanecer (Podria Decir)

Fabrizio Grossi

Morir Soñando

Chein Garcia Alonso

Contigo debuted on October 16, 2000 and entered the Billboard charts Latin Regional Mexican category at number five on November 4, 2000.

Regional Mexican Songs

Name Debut Position Peak Position
Contigo 11/25/00 39 11/25/00 39

La Mafia: Archives


Houston’s Premier Tejano band returns with Tejano-pop album ‘Contigo’

Rumors of the demise of Houston’s premier Tejano band last year were greatly exaggerated. This week’s release of La Mafia’s latest album of Latin-influenced pop, “Contigo,” is proof. Point fingers or say the split was heard on good authority from the band, La Mafia’s members swear they never uttered the word “breakup” at any time over the last two years. “What we announced was that we were taking a break for an undetermined amount of time,” says keyboardist and producer Armando Lichtenberger Jr.

However terminal the condition once was, it now appears La Mafia is on the road to recovery. Gathering in the band’s northside studio in the shadow of the Houston skyline, the members of La Mafia are rehearsing tracks from “Contigo.” The members start and stop their way through the new songs in preparation for an upcoming tour.The two they’re practicing, “Sabor A La Fiesta” and “Cuando Tu Me Beses” are representative of the new album, which is more pop-oriented than previous albums. “Sabor A La Fiesta” has a big electric guitar introduction that settles into a soft island beat. It’s broken by the heavily synthesized balladry of “Cuando Tu Me Besas”. The old accordion-driven cumbia sound is still represented on “No Puedo Controlarte” and “Morir Soñando” but is sparser than on previous La Mafia albums.

Symbolic of the direction La Mafia may be taking is “Contigo’s” cover art. Ditching the gaucho wardrobe of the past, the band is pretty and primped in matching black sweaters. Surrounded by gold and platinum albums from throughout the band’s 20-year career, members are once again excited about the prospects of adding to their 5 million albums sold worldwide. Talk of breaking up is now laughed at. Mentions of past pronouncements of that sort are waved off as words of frustration. La Mafia, they now say, never had any intention of parting ways. They were merely downsizing. “It was the press and everyone else that said we were breaking up,” says keyboardist/backing vocalist David de la Garza. “We just needed time away.”

The problem for La Mafia was never the music. They have always loved the conjuntos and cumbias that helped them revive the norteño sound while adding modern pop elements to traditional Tejano. What the band needed time away from was La Mafia Inc. Following a Grammy for the 1996 release “Un Millon de Rosas,” album sales started to wane. Band members believed this was a result of a lack of support by its record label, Sony Discos, which they felt didn’t know how or where to market them. “In Latin music (the common theory is) you have to be in Miami to make it,” Lichtenberger says. “We weren’t, so we didn’t get supported.” Sony Discos recently merged its Tejano division with its Regional Mexican division, and many of the employees who worked with Tejano bands have been removed or replaced.

La Mafia’s biggest problem might have been its success; it got too big. Complete with entourage, vehicles and ever-expanding overhead; at one point La Mafia – the business – owned a tour bus and two 18-wheelers to haul equipment and had a staff of 30. This was in addition to Houston Sound Studio, the rehearsal and recording space owned by the band. La Mafia – the band – stayed on the road 11 months of the year, sometimes playing four days a week or more, just to keep up. “We became a corporation, and we were working for the company instead of being musicians,” Lichtenberger says. “We couldn’t take a break, so we needed to dissolve it.” The trucks and the bus are gone now. When the band needs to travel, it will rent vehicles. Also streamlined was the payroll. Excluding the band, La Mafia’s staff now consists of eight employees who assist the band on the road and keep the studio running.

The group signed a three-record deal with Fonovisa. Several different mixes of some songs have been recorded, slowing some down and revving others up, in an attempt to make them more appealing to different genres of radio. Lichtenberger says. “Our goal isn’t to match what we’ve done in the past. What’s important is that everything feels new right now.” With a new album, new record label, renewed band harmony, a young fresh image and tour plans, La Mafia feels like greater success is imminent.

Tejano Band La Mafia Starts New On Fonovisa Records

Billboard October 28, 2000

Armed with a new album, a new record label and, perhaps more important, a new sound, the Houston-based pop/Tejano band La Mafia, which retired briefly last year, is back on the scene. “We went in one direction on this new album,” says keyboardist/producer Armando Lichtenberger Jr. “We sort of combined all the pop sounds we have done before. Now, we are just unifying it [the sound] into one record. In the past, our albums have always had a few balladas, a few norteño songs, cumbias, just a mix of stuff,” says Lictenberger. “On this album we worked hard to get a more cohesive sound.”

La Mafia’s new album, “Contigo,” hits retail Tuesday (24) on Fonovisa Records, which signed the band last summer after coaxing them out of retirement. La Mafia has been with Sony Discos since the late ‘80s. The title track, Contigo a midtempo pop ballad supplemented with congas and acoustic guitar picking, was released as a single Sept. 16. A central part of that new sound are the guitar-fueled uptempo songs “Nuevo Amanecer,” “Morrir Soñando,” and “Sabor A La Fiesta.” “Those are a few of the tracks we’re proud of,” Lichtenberger says. “Nuevo Amanecer” is a pop ballad and “Morir Soñando” a tropical/cumbia. This the first time we’ve used the guitar as the leads on these, so I guess you could call them rock/cumbias.” Lichtenberger served as producer for the new album as he has for most of the band’s history.

Lead singer Oscar De La Rosa says a new team at Fonovisa has him excited again. “When we were at Sony before we left, things were just not the same,” he says. “They would say things [about promotions], but I could tell they just were not excited. In other words, we were not a priority to them.” De La Rosa says that the band’s last tour in Mexico, in mid-1998, was the most disappointing. “ We found out our album wasn’t even in the stores, and we felt we were wasting our time.”

In December 1998, La Mafia stunned the music industry when it announced it was retiring. Through the band’s 20-year history, it had sold a ton of records, influenced numerous artists, and earned two Grammys. But the wear and tear of the touring road, plus what De La Rosa called the “lack of any real support” from its record label, convinced the group to throw in the towel. “I just got tired of doing the same thing. All the touring, always away from home,” De La Rosa says “You start doing things because you have to, not because you want to. I want to enjoy myself when I’m performing, and it had gotten to a point where it was like work.”

The group announced it would play the few remaining concert dates in 1999 and break up at the end of that year. According to De La Rosa, the band was approached by several record labels. None of them were convincing, he says, until they spoke with Fonovisa. “Working with this new label, Fonovisa, has been great,” he says. “When they asked us to meet with them, I was impressed. They had everyone there, all the promoters, all the sales staff, the regional directors. It was really something we had not expected. We could tell that they were very serious.” Fonovisa GM Gilberto Moreno says the label was equally impressed with La Mafia’s recording career. “We consider La Mafia to still be one of the most important bands in regional Mexican music,” Moreno says. “I think their music can appeal to many different markets, from the Latin pop and contemporary [radio] stations to Tejano and regional Mexican stations.”

According to Lichtenberger a formal organized tour support for the new album is being planned for early next year. “Right now, we’re on a promotional tour through the end of the year,” he says. As part of the band’s come back strategy, the personnel has been increased. The five-member band (Lichtenberger on keyboards, De La Rosa on vocals, David de la Garza on keyboards, Eutemio “Tim” Ruiz on bass, and Michael Aguilar on drums) has been augmented by two more guitarists, Eugene Barrientos and Marion Aquilina; two backup vocalists, Lili Arce and Pam Mendoza; and percussionist Brian Doria. “This puts us on a level with the international scene, we want to be able to play on any stage any type of entertainment. We felt we needed this kind of band to be that versatile,” he continues. “We have always recorded different styles of music, and we have also used different studio players throughout our career. We felt we needed to make [the band] complete, to be able to play what we have recorded in the past and what we recorded on this album.”

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