A Young Juanes Rocked Out To Metallica, Marley

Colombian superstar Juanes joined Tell Me More earlier this summer for a special in-studio performance. He talked about his decision to begin singing in English after years of dominating Latin music charts with Spanish songs. For the series "In Your Ear," Juanes shares some of the English-language songs that have inspired him over the years.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And finally today, it's time for the occasional segment we call In Your Ear. That's where guests on our program tell us what they listen to for a little inspiration, this being Hispanic Heritage Month. We were happy to get the playlist of international superstar Juanes. He joined us earlier this year to perform some of his music and talk about his life. Now, he shares the albums that inspired him when he was growing up in Colombia.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DARK SIDE OF THE MOON")

PINK FLOYD: (Singing) The lunatics...

JUANES: I will choose three albums.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DARK SIDE OF THE MOON")

FLOYD: (Singing) The lunatics are in my hall.

JUANES: The "Dark of the Moon" from Pink Floyd.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DARK SIDE OF THE MOON")

FLOYD: (Singing) The paper holds their folded faces to the floor. And every day the paper boy brings more.

JUANES: It's a masterpiece. I just love it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DARK SIDE OF THE MOON")

FLOYD: (Singing) And if the dam breaks open many years too soon and if there is no room upon the hill.

JUANES: I love to play that album to my girls.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DARK SIDE OF THE MOON")

FLOYD: (Singing) And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes. Hey, hey hey. I'll see you on the dark side of the moon. Oh, oh-oh, oh.

JUANES: Metallica, "Master of Puppets."

(SOUNDBITE IF SONG, "MASTER OF PUPPETS")

JUANES: It's really funny because when I start to listen to this music, I didn't speak any - a word of English. So I was just, you know, connected through the melodies and rhythms and the sounds.

(SOUNDBITE IF SONG, "MASTER OF PUPPETS")

METALLICA: (Singing) End of passion play, crumbling away. I'm your source of self-destruction. Veins that pump with fear.

JUANES: And I remember the first time I listened to a Metallica record, I just get crazy with the sound. I couldn't believe it that a guitar could sound like that.

(SOUNDBITE IF SONG, "MASTER OF PUPPETS")

METALLICA: (Singing) Come crawling faster. Faster. Obey your master. Your life burns faster. Obey your master.

JUANES: I just forget one, Bob Marley.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NO WOMAN NO CRY")

JUANES: You know, when I listen to Bob Marley songs, I just feel my soul in peace. It's just such a beautiful, you know, music. The melodies, the lyrics, the rhythm, everything, you know, I just love what he did. And then when you put the lyrics in context of the reality of this world, you know, it's such a lot of great messages he had.

BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILERS: (Singing) No woman, no cry. Said, said, said I remember when we used to sit in the government yard in Trenchtown. Oba, observing the hypocrites as they would mingle with the good people we meet.

MARTIN: That was Juanes, telling us what's playing in his ear, including this song "No Woman No Cry" by Bob Marley and The Wailers. To hear his earlier conversation and other past conversations, please go to our website, npr.org. Click on Programs, then on TELL ME MORE.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NO WOMAN NO CRY")

WAILERS: (Singing) In this bright future you can't forget your past. So dry your tears I say.

MARTIN: And that's our program for today. I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Let's talk more tomorrow.

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