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Buena Vista Social Club

459 customer reviews

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Buena Vista Social Club
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Audio CD, September 16, 1997
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This Grammy award winning album features legendary guitarist Ry Cooder on assorted guitars with the cream of Cuban's finest musicians. Certified Platinum by the RIAA (1/00).

Ry Cooder's name has helped bring attention to this session, but it's the veteran Cuban son musicians who make this album really special. Reminiscent of Ellington in its scope and sense of hushed romanticism, Buena Vista Social Club is that rare meld of quietude and intensity; while the players sound laid-back, they're putting forth very alive music, a reminder that aging doesn't mean taking to bed. Barbarito Torres's laoud solo on "El Cuarto de Tula" is both more blinding and more tasteful than any guitar showcase on any recent rock album; a quote from "Stormy Weather" and some very distinct parallels to Hawaiian styles remind us of why it's called "world music." --Rickey Wright

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Chan Chan 4:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. De Camino a La Vereda 5:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. El Cuarto de Tula 7:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Pueblo Nuevo 6:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Dos Gardenias 3:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Y Tu Que Has Hecho ? 3:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Veinte Anos 3:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. El Carretero 3:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Candela 5:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Amor de Loca Juventud 3:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Orgullecida 3:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Murmullo 3:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
13. Buena Vista Social Club 4:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
14. La Bayamesa 2:54$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 16, 1997)
  • Original Release Date: September 16, 1997
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B000005J56
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (459 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #410 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

125 of 128 people found the following review helpful By Michael Fletcher on June 22, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I first heard of Buena Vista Social Club through a colleague of mine. He would play this CD in his office and I found the melodies quite rhythmic and haunting.
Once I purchased my copy of this wonderful CD, I was really hooked. The more I listen to it, the more I love it. The love and emotion for the artists' craft comes through and leaves an indelible mark on each listener's heart.
These once forgotten musicians through the help of Ry Cooder have been able to share their traditional melodies with the western world.
I was amazed to see how successful this album's sale have been for a world music title. But a few listens later, it didn't surprise me at all. I guess people just know great music when they hear it even when it crosses ethnic and language boundaries.
By the way, I'm an audiophile and the sound quality on this album is exceptional. The sound has a lot of depth and ambiance. Try this CD in a high end audio system and you'll experience a certain intimacy you don't find in most traditional studio albums.
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84 of 86 people found the following review helpful By M. E Mattson on December 20, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This is an album of great delicacy and power, recorded with a reverence for the music and the musicians, in which every musician's humor and grace is allowed to shine through. For those who claim there are better records of son music out there--maybe. But how many have done as much for this kind of music? None. Especially magical is the fact that this group could easily never have happened were it not for a few people with the dedication to see that it did. The story behind this album is as inspiring as the music. These tracks have a little something for everyone: melancholy, laughter, power and grandeur. Shame on those reviewers slamming Ry Cooder, as if he were just another "musical imperialist," a slick showbiz creep exploiting these musicians, as if he weren't one of the most tasteful and versatile players in the world today. Let's make one thing perfectly clear: it took many wonderful people to make this record, but without Ry Cooder, it would never have had this kind of success. And shame on the goofus who breaks down the profit distribution for the record--as if he knows!(sad little person). If you see the inspiring film made about this group, you'll see the look on their faces as they play Carnegie Hall--80 year old men whose dreams are coming true! Not to mention most of these musicians are now touring elsewhere and enjoying music careers for the first time in 30 years. They haven't gone back to poverty and obscurity--and they are more than happy to hear Cooder's slide guitar!
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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Caines on December 12, 1999
Format: Audio CD
While visiting some friends, with several three-year-olds swirling around us and shreiking (mine included) as the adults tried to talk, this disc was playing in the background. And somehow, amidst the cacophony, this lush, warm, soulful and vibrant music cut through it all. It encirlcled my head and filtered into my ears.
I must have asked three seperate times what was playing--the information wasn't sticking because of the distractions, but the music did stick and made a strong impression on me. I bought a copy the next day and haven't played a recording over and over like this since I was a teenager.
The simple arrangements and instumentation are powerful. A guitar, trumpet, conga, saxophone, and vocals that sound as if they are from another time are often all there is to make this gem come alive. The disc is beautifully recorded, yet still sounds as if you have stepped back into the 1950s in Cuba.
I wish I spoke Spanish (more than my mediocre ability to order food at the local bodega) so I could REALLY enjoy this wonderful recording, but it's not necessary. The music speaks for itself and the meaning of the songs are fairly obvious. But to satisfy your curiosity there is a translation included with the Spanish lyrics so you can read along and get the gist even if you aren't Cuban.
This is certainly an essential recording to add to your collection. I expect I will be giving this to several people I know for gifts. No holiday required. It will add texture to any party you choose to play it and it will take the edge off a work day from hell. Cook dinner for yourself and put this on while you chop and sauté. You might even find yourself dancing a bit...
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86 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Robert Blake on June 4, 2000
Format: Audio CD
"Buena Vista Social Club" is a collection of music done with true feeling, talent and spirit. Great music never gets too old and here is evidence the great music from Cuba is still vibrant today as it was 40 years ago. The film based on the group had a special message about how age doesn't matter in the area of the great artists. One of the musicians here is in his 90s and look at how alive and energetic and moving this music is! The vocals, the music, the lyrics are all rich and full of style. These are real musicians playing real music. Like Santana's "Supernatural," "Buena Vista Social Club" is more of an experience than just good music. Songs like "Chan Chan" are really deep and move you in a nice way, others like "Candela" just excite you with the energy and fun feeling of it all. I'm grateful to Ry Cooder for bringing back these incredible musicians who play some of the best Cuban music ever. The only reason other arists like Celia Cruz don't mention them that often is because they still live in their homeland, Cuba. But they deserve praise and more. Recently we remembered Tito Puente who was a great musician and recently passed away, but we should also appreciate those who really brought Latin music to life, the ones who really play it with spirit and feeling. "Buena Vista Social Club" is no less than a masterpiece.
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is it DVD -audio?
I have it the DVD-A Version. Yes, it is worth it (if you can find it!)
Apr 5, 2008 by Kindle Customer |  See all 3 posts
Is Cuban music played out?
Wow, you're just not up on Cuban music at all then. Ask Arturo Sandoval.
Jun 26, 2006 by E. Storm |  See all 3 posts
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