Edgar Ricardo Arjona Morales was born on the 19th of January 1964 in Jocotenango, Guatemala. His musical journey began at age twelve when he entered a singing contest and won first place with a song that his father had composed.
After attaining a communications degree, it was thought that Ricardo would be a career basketball player. He played for two clubs and for the national Guatemalan team, where he held a record for most points scored in a single game.
But fate had other plans…
At age 21, he signed his first record deal, and thus Ricardo Arjona’a music career began. Although his first album didn’t make much noise, his second offering sold well throughout Latin America and the US. However, Ricardo’s international breakthrough came with his fourth album, Animal Nocturno. The success of the platinum record led to Ricardo earning the nickname “The Nocturnal Animal.”
Arjona has sold more than 80 million records worldwide; he’s won a Grammy, a Latin Grammy, and has been honored with the Latin Heritage Award. So, here are my personal picks for the top Ricardo Arjona songs of all time.
Top 10 Ricardo Arjona Songs of All Time
I’ll start my list with one of Ricardo’s early romantic numbers. Accompanied by a soft piano, he describes the little nooks and crannies of a lover’s personality.
From the diets she’s been on, her hate for routines and cooking, and her snoring. He knows and loves all her little quirks. Despite this, he must endure the pain of seeing her in the arms of another.
While his repertoire has surely expanded since this release, “Te Conozco” leaves us with no doubt that he has no problem writing a romantic ballad.
La Mujer Que No Soñé
It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Something very true for the narrator of this simple but beautiful song. An acoustic guitar creates the backdrop for Ricardo’s description of a girl he’s in love with. She is bookish, not conventionally attractive, and perhaps considered even a bit weird by her peers. Despite this, he finds himself infatuated and incapable of resisting her innocent charm.
During his early days, Ricardo’s label tried to cast him in the role of the typical sexy romantic lover. Tracks like this one show that his thought process goes a bit deeper. And there are certainly shy young girls all over the world who are grateful for that fact.
Album: 5to Piso
“Como Duele” was Arjonas’ first single after he signed with Sony Music in 1993. The label change also represented an expansion of his musical vocabulary. “I try to be a composer with the doors open for albums of different natures.” This song represents a continuation of Ricardo’s break away from the “romantic man of mystery” archetype.
The song describes the monotony and lack of spontaneous passion that manifests in relationships after couples have spent many years together. “Como Duele” peaked at #2 on the US Billboard Top Latin Songs chart. It was his sixth single to top the Latin Pop Songs Chart.
Pingüinos en la Cama
From Ricardo’s tenth studio album comes an ice-cold track about what happens when love loses its freedom. No one likes to be mistrusted or controlled in a relationship, and this track paints a vivid picture of a lover who is tired of not being loved and appreciated.
“Pingüinos en la Cama” was such an important track for the album that it warranted a more classical version arranged for piano and strings. A remix version featuring vocals by Spanish singer Chenoa was later digitally released as the album’s second single.
Album: Santo Pecado
When you’re feeling nostalgic, here’s a song about the past coming to haunt the future. The song’s music video was filmed at an unused prison in Argentina and shows Ricardo playing basketball with other “inmates of the past.”
Lyrically, the song describes how the past can prevent you from moving on with the future. At the same time, it reminds us that fond memories stay with us for a reason. They are valuable and should be cherished. The pain you feel is proof that the love was real.
Historia de Taxi
In terms of storytelling, “Historia De Taxi” ranks amongst Ricardo Arjona’s greatest songs. Without a doubt, it’s become one of his signature tracks and a fan favorite at live performances.
A taxi driver who has marital problems picks up a tall blonde outside a high-end bar, and for a while, the two travel in silence. Eventually, he learns that she is heartbroken due to her lover’s infidelity. The taxi driver advises her that she can’t count on love forever and that he would be more than willing to participate in her revenge.
Upon returning to the bar where the journey began, it is revealed that the woman who her husband is cheating with is the taxi driver’s wife. Ricardo’s story comes full circle and shows us that whether rich or poor, all people suffer the same.
Album: Santo Pecado
Deep infatuation sits at the heart of the lead single from Ricardo’s ninth album. Our protagonist is incapable of getting a girl out of his mind. Despite her showing no interest in him, he chases her across the city in the desperate hope of winning her over. The music video shows our leading man eventually finding the girl and getting arrested shortly after.
“El Problema” spent eight consecutive weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart. It is, without a doubt, one of Ricardo Arjona’s most successful and beloved songs. And for that reason, it had to be among the top Ricardo Arjona songs of all time.
Album: Sin Daños A Terceros
From Ricardo’s seventh studio offering comes one of his steamiest love tracks. “Desnuda” isn’t just about sex, though. If you care to scratch the surface, you can find commentary on human nature, gender roles, natural beauty, and stereotypes.
“Desnuda” was Ricardo Arjona’s first #1 song on both the Billboard Hot Latin Songs and Latin Pop Airplay Charts, spending twelve straight weeks on the latter. The song was later used as the theme for the Mexican telenovela “Tres Mujeres.” ASCAP recognized the single as one of the best-performing Latin Pop songs of 2000.
Album: Animal Nocturno
From the album that gave Ricardo his infamous nickname, comes one of the most popular songs in Latin American history. Strange to think that he penned it in a few minutes during a bathroom break.
“Mujeres” is a song about the lengths to which men will go to show their love. If you’re in the dog house with your lady and desperately need to score some brownie points, then look no further.
More than that, though, this song is a celebration of the love a man can have for his special lady. And, despite the gender-specific point of view in the lyrics, it can be a universal song as well.
Fuiste Tú (feat. Gaby Moreno)
Many fans thought that Ricardo was taking an unnecessary risk when he chose to produce an album without the backing of a label. The subsequent success of Independiente proved their suspicions incorrect, and it largely hung on the success of this track.
The song describes the conflict that ensues in a relationship when one of the parties begins to have “this is the beginning of the end” kind of thoughts. The added performance from fellow Guatemalan Gaby Moreno brings the lyrics to life in a way that a solo performance simply couldn’t.
“Fuiste Tú” peaked in the Top 10 of the US Billboard Top Latin Songs Chart and made it to #1 on both the Latin Pop Songs and Tropical Songs charts. The song and the album earned Latin Grammy nominations for Song of The Year and Album of The Year, respectively.
Want More Superb Spanish Music?
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Top Ricardo Arjona Songs of All Time – Final Thoughts
Ricardo Anjoras may have started as the archetypical Latin Romance singer, but throughout his career, he has proven himself to be much more.
Ricardo has experimented both musically and lyrically to create some of the most popular and loved songs in Latin America. He is a brilliant singer and writer who recently proved that you don’t need a major label to be successful. No doubt the future holds many more beautiful tracks like the ones I have included in my list.
Are there any of your favorites that I left out? If so, let me know in the comments below.
Until next time, enjoy the music.