Angels With Dirty Faces

Album: Kiko (1992)
Play Video


  • Los Lobos multi-instrumentalist Steve Berlin said this song was inspired by the area surrounding Sound Factory West Studio, where Los Lobos recorded Kiko: "It was written about all the homeless men on the street outside the studio which was 'on the nickel' in downtown LA."
  • In our interview, Los Lobos' drummer and songwriter, Louie Pérez, said he tapped into his childhood memories when writing the lyrics for this song.
  • The song title was taken from the 1938 film of the same name, starring James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart.
  • Kiko is arguably Los Lobos' most experimental album to date. Pérez told us the band were positively flabbergasted upon hearing the record in full for the first time: "I remember when we went to the studio to hear the playback of the whole record - it was all done, it was all sequenced. We all went to this studio in Hollywood and sat back and listened to it, and really when the record ended, I don't think there was a word said by anybody. We all got up and walked out, got in our cars and drove home. It was just like, 'Wow'... There was this incredible sense of gratitude that this happened, whatever it was."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Yacht Rock Quiz

Yacht Rock QuizFact or Fiction

Christopher Cross with Deep Purple? Kenny Loggins in Caddyshack? A Fact or Fiction all about yacht rock and those who made it.

Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper/Lou Reed)

Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper/Lou Reed)Songwriter Interviews

The co-writer/guitarist on many Alice Cooper hits, Dick was also Lou Reed's axeman on the Rock n' Roll Animal album.

Loudon Wainwright III

Loudon Wainwright IIISongwriter Interviews

"Dead Skunk" became a stinker for Loudon when he felt pressure to make another hit - his latest songs deal with mortality, his son Rufus, and picking up poop.

Gary Brooker of Procol Harum

Gary Brooker of Procol HarumSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer and pianist for Procol Harum, Gary talks about finding the musical ideas to match the words.

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside Story

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside StorySong Writing

The in-depth discussion about the making of Jesus Christ Superstar with Ted Neeley, who played Jesus in the 1973 film.

90210 to Buffy to Glee: How Songs Transformed TV

90210 to Buffy to Glee: How Songs Transformed TVSong Writing

Shows like Dawson's Creek, Grey's Anatomy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer changed the way songs were heard on TV, and produced some hits in the process.