The set marks the country music band’s first full-length foray into its Hispanic roots.
The Mavericks debut at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Latin Pop Albums chart (dated Sept. 5) with En Español. The band concurrently earns its first top 10 on the all-genre Top Latin Albums chart, where the set bows at No. 8. The new album marks the first visit to the Latin album charts by the group, which has notched five top 10 efforts on the Top Country Albums chart dating back to 1994.
“This is an amazing feeling,” Raul Malo, The Mavericks’ lead singer, tells Billboard. “To wake up and receive a text from our manager that we have a No. 1 record. That’s not in the cards, this is beyond us. But you feel good about the work because you’ve put a lot of effort, a lot of love and time into it, so you make sure that you do everything in your power to propel it.”
En Español bows with 5,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Aug. 27, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. Most of the set’s opening sum is attributed to album sales.
En Español was released Aug. 21 via Mono Mundo/Thirty Tigers and marks the neotraditional country/ Tex-Mex band’s first entirely Spanish-language full-length record in its 30-year existence. While maintaining its rockabilly essence, the 12-track effort plunges into Latin pop, tropical and regional Mexican-tinged textures.
“We recorded some songs in Spanish in the past,” Malo adds. “They weren’t super commercially successful but really fun to make. Those tracks kind of set me on this path. Here we are kind of full circle.”
“The fans of this band, the people who have followed us and watched us live, know this is a natural evolution for the band, something that’s been coming for a long time,” Malo continues. “I wanted to make a record that wasn’t exclusively one subgenre in the Latin world. The songs were selected purposefully, the arrangements were selected over time. This is just a natural step in what we’ve been doing in the last 15 years.”
Elsewhere on the Billboard charts, En Español opens at No. 6 on Americana/Folk Albums, as the set becomes the first ever to appear in the top 10 of both that chart and Top Latin Albums.
“We tailormade the arrangements to the band,” Malo adds. “We’ve always been trying to find that thread that crosses all music, all boundaries, and genres. Whether in English, Spanish or any language you record in, you always have to find the right key, the right sentiments, the right arrangements. The band is always willing to go there and that’s what I love about this band. We are still making music that matter to the people.”
The Mavericks’ album chart history dates back to 1994 when the No. 6 peak What a Crying Game, the band’s third studio album, arrived on the Top Country Albums chart. 26 years later, En Español arrives at No. 32 there.