Nacho Libre was released in 2006 to mediocre acclaim. The movie centers around Jack Black’s character, Nacho a cook at a monastery who develops feelings for a nun. He realizes that the only way he is going to win her over is to help the children in the orphanage. Nacho then decides to start Mexican wrestling as a way to make this happen. Although this may sound like an improbable concept, IMDB added some trivia about the film, including the factoid about the origins of the movie. It’s based on a Mexican priest named father Fray Tormenta who raised money for his parish by wrestling. The movie is a zany romp and like any typical Jack Black film will have you laughing from start to finish. One of the things that round the movie out nicely is the soundtrack. Some of the music was contributed by Black as well as a collection of artists including Grammy award-winning artist, Beck. This is a ranking of all the songs from the Nacho Libre Soundtrack.
16. Pump a Jam (Ramses) – Cholotronic
This song is an oddity of the soundtrack. Whereas many of the songs maintain a beat closer to the location of the movie, this song has a decided techno beat. The official music video has serious 80s vibes.
15. Irene – Caetano Veloso
The up-tempo nature of this song helps propel the film forward. The opening of the song has a heavy Mariachi influence which lends itself nicely to some of the dreamier portions of the movie.
14. Rameses Suite – Danny Elfman
Danny Elfman has done an impressive amount of soundtrack scores including the Nacho Libre Soundtrack. His recordings were done at the Paramount Scoring Stage M in Hollywood California. According to Soundtrack.net, this is not one of his strongest contributions. Although you can hear many of the elements that made the composer famous, they aren’t as strong as other releases.
13. Encarnacion – Jack Black
Unlike the priest on who the movie is loosely based, Nacho does not have quite such altruistic motives. These songs are verses he wrote for the Sister he has a crush on. Only Jack White could deliver an over-the-top romance song like this one.
12. Half Forgotten Day Dreams – John Cameron
When listening to this song, you can’t help but hear a distinctive 70s vibe. With all the camp and cheese in the movie, this song is a well-timed addition. The roots of Nacho’s story are set in the 70s.
11. Beneath the Clothes We Find The Man – Jack Black
Some of the themes in the movie gave Paramount Studio pause. Many thought that was unreasonable since one of the things people have come to know and love about Black’s films is the irreverent heart. Even though the movie was superseded by other summer releases like Cars.
10. Black is Black – Eddie Santiago
The entire movie is high-energy with several touching scenes. Santiago’s contribution encapsulates the over-the-top shenanigans in the movie. When listening to the song, you’ll undoubtedly find yourself smiling without meaning to.
9. Hombre Religigioso (Religious Man) – Mister Loco
The movie opens with this song. If you look closely later in the movie, you’ll see the Nickelodeon Logo from the beginning of the movie later on with bells at a wrestling ring. Former members of the rock band Los Locos Del Ritmo founded Mr. Loco.
8. Saint Behind The Glass – Los Lobos
This is another song that fits neatly into the soundtrack. A high-energy tune that may wind up on your workout playlist after listening to it. Rock and roll, Tex-Mex, country, zydeco, folk, R&B, blues, brown-eyed soul, and traditional music like cumbia, boleros, and notes have all inspired the group’s music.
7. 10,000 Pesos – Beck
In this song, you’ll hear some whistling bridging the two portions together. Perhaps that addition was because the song is featured when Nacho unveils himself as a wrestler to his brothers making him a celebrity. Almost a decade after the movie hit theatres, there was a vinyl release of the album; perhaps the best way to listen to this song.
6. Move, Move, Move – Alan Hawkshaw and Alan Parker
Hawkshaw and Parker may seem like an unlikely duo to tackle funk recordings but that’s what they did in the 1970s when this song was initially released. Both artists hail out of the United Kingdom.
5. Piel Canela (Singing In The Party) – Jack Black with Ismael Garcia Ruiz y Su Trio
Unbelievably, Jack Black chameleons into a Mariachi band, acting as one of its members for this song. It’s one of the most fun moments in the film. This track was an improvisation Jack Black did on set.
4. Papas – Mister Loco
As the names of everyone involved in the film come across the screen, you’ll hear this song. One of the struggles in this movie is to keep everything consistent. The addition of this song to the scene in the movie adds cohesion.
3. Forbidden Nectar – Jack Black and Much Macho Acapulco
The Nacho Libre soundtrack closes with this song. Some thought that the addition of dialogue made the album clunky but it is a great way to end a soundtrack with a lot of heart and fun.
2. There’s No Place in the World for Me – Beck
When Beck started working on this soundtrack his album, Guero had just hit music store shelves. He drew a lot of inspiration from the work he did on that for the work he did for this film. Even though there was some back and forth on his additions to the soundtrack the results were legendary.
1. Tender Beasts of the Spangled Night – Beck
The Nacho Libre Soundtrack was the first time Beck did a film score. Even though Danny Elfman is a seasoned veteran in the film score industry, it’s Beck’s contributions that made the soundtrack such a success. At one point, Elfman asked to have his name omitted from the final soundtrack.
These are the songs featured on the Nacho Libre Soundtrack. Aside from the ones on this list, several others were in the movie including Mucha Muchacha by Esquivel, Bubblegum by Mister Loco, Holy Man by Beck, and Bat Macumba by OS Mutantes, and La Lorona Loca by Little John and the Latinaires. Several tracks from the soundtrack were not added to this list because they were strictly dialogue. Even though Roger Ebert was less than thrilled with the movie, it didn’t stop it from having a cult following. One of the main reasons is undoubtedly the music because even if the film is questionable, the music is great.