Band: Buena Vista Social Club
Album: Buena Vista Social Club
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: On pure quality of the album, this album is up there. A wonderful Cuban music record, Ry Cooder and a group of 70+-year-old Cuban musicians holed themselves up in Havana and played all these songs. Again, I can't claim to know what this is about, I just love it.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: Wow, I can't even begin to claim to have knowledge about Cuban music.
Best song: "El Carretero" is so amazing.
Worst song: I didn't like "Murmullo" as much as the other tracks.
Is it awesome?: Yes. Absolutely. Yes. Go buy this. Now.
I plead ignorance. I can only direct you to our good friend Wikipedia:
In 1996, American guitarist Ry Cooder had been invited to Havana by British world music producer Nick Gold of World Circuit Records to record a session where two African High-life musicians from Mali were to collaborate with Cuban musicians. On Cooder's arrival (via Mexico to avoid the ongoing U.S. trade and travel embargo against Cuba), it transpired that the musicians from Africa had not received their visas and were unable to travel to Havana. Cooder and Gold changed their plans and decided to record an album of Cuban son music with local musicians.
To say that it's a great, mind-expanding (not in the drugs way) record is probably silly. I can't say that I know anything about Cuban music, but this album is wonderfully fun. It's the kind of record I think nearly anyone could dance to.
It kind of makes me wonder if this type of music is being made in Cuba right now. I have to think it is; This record came out in 1997 and the opening track was written in 1987. It's the kind of thing where maybe I'll end up listening to more Cuban music if I can find some.
So, hooray, Buena Vista Social Club.