Ang Huling El Bimbo
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"Ang Huling El Bimbo" (English: "The Last El Bimbo") is a song composed by Ely Buendia of the Philippine pop/rock band Eraserheads, for their 1996 studio album Cutterpillow. It received extensive airplay after its release and ranked #2 on RX 93.1's "Top 20 OPM Requests of 1996". It is the only Tagalog song included in the band's international compilation album, Aloha Milkyway (1998). The song's music video catapulted the band's success outside the Philippines by bagging the 'International Viewer's Choice Awards for Asia' at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards.}
|"Ang Huling El Bimbo"|
|Single by Eraserheads|
|from the album Cutterpillow|
|Length||7:30 (full version)
5:30 (radio version)
BMG Records (Pilipinas), Inc.
The song has been covered by many other artists, including Rico J. Puno for the 2005 Eraserheads tribute album, Ultraelectromagneticjam!: The Music of the Eraserheads and by Jay Durias of South Border for another tribute album, The Reunion: An Eraserheads Tribute Album, in 2012. Buendia also sang an orchestral rendition of this song under the baton of Gerard Salonga with the Manila-based symphony orchestra FILharmoniKA, for the 2008 anthology album, FILharmoniKa - Kumpas: An Orchestral Celebration of Pinoy Music.
According to Buendia, "Ang Huling El Bimbo" is a melodrama about one of the famous dances of the '70s. It was written in a semi-biographical fashion because when Buendia was a young boy, he had a teacher who taught him the El Bimbo dance. Additional elements were placed to adorn the narrative and build the final storyline of the song: a first-person point of view of a man's unrequited feelings for his childhood friend whose life unfortunately comes to a tragic end.
Composition and structureEdit
Most popular music of the '80s to early '90s in the Philippines were known to follow a certain pattern: slow-tempo intro which builds to a progressive refrain, eventually leading to a loud and emotional chorus. "Ang Huling El Bimbo" forged a trail of its own by opening the song with a couple of chorus chords (F♯-A♭-B-F♯) in full blast of Buendia's rhythms, Buddy Zabala's tight basslines, Raimund Marasigan's energetic beats, and Marcus Adoro's eccentric leads.
The song's accompanying music video was directed by Auraeus Solito and completed filming within two days at Solito's ancestral house in Sampaloc, Manila. As a theatre director, Solito used several experimental shots and symbolisms in the video despite being a literal translation of the story contained in the song. According to Buendia, this was the first major production music video of the band since it involved big budget due to casting; and being treated as a short film due to the song's playing time and storyline. This also marked the first time the Eraserheads produced a music video for their song.
At the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, the video won the 'International Viewer's Choice Awards for Asia'. The video was up against "Kirana" by Dewa 19 of Indonesia, "Fun Fun Fun" by Joey Boy of Thailand, "Fanatik" by KRU of Malaysia, and "Family" by Lee Seung-hwan of Korea. The Eraserheads accepted the award themselves. The recognition was the first Moonman award received by any Filipino artist, and further made the band known in Asia which paved way to the release of Aloha Milkyway.
- Rico J. Puno performed the song for the 2005 Eraserheads tribute album Ultraelectromagneticjam!: The Music of the Eraserheads.
- Philippine punk rock band Kamikazee recorded an unreleased version of the song.
- Philippine group of singers The CompanY made a rendition of the song in 2008 with a music video interpreted in a different way from the song's content.
- Former South Border pianist Jay Durias performed the song for another Eraserheads tribute album, The Reunion: An Eraserheads Tribute Album, released in 2012.
- Korean acoustic fingerstyle guitarist Sungha Jung performed the song during his "2013.6 Philippine Tour" concert.
In other mediaEdit
- Buendia sang the song as a guest artist for a FilharmoniKA album, Kumpas: An Orchestral Celebration of Pinoy Music, which presented some of the signature alternative rock anthems of the '90s orchestrally.
- When local radio station NU 107 signed off for the last time on 8 November 2010, "Ang Huling El Bimbo" played as its final song.
Impact and legacyEdit
Because of the simplicity of the song's structure and chord progression, many local bands and artists—amateur and professionals alike—perform this song either as a cover or in their own renditions.
- "The RX93.1 Yearend Countdown". Archived from the original on May 14, 1998. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lajnSJZpI34 -The official music video of the censored version
- "Kamikazee - Ang Huling El Bimbo". 16 August 2011. Dodong Mindanao. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- "Ang Huling El Bimbo (music video)". 20 June 2008. Moy Ortiz. Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- "Ang Huling El Bimbo - Sungha Jung". 18 June 2013. jwcfree. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- "107 Candles for NU107: The Last Goodbye". 07 November 2010. Stompworks Studios. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- "Ang Huling El Bimbo cover". Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- Eraserheads Database (www.eheads-offline.com)