Buena Vista Social Club - Buena Vista Social Club 2LP

Buena Vista Social Club - Buena Vista Social Club 2LP

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Label: World Circuit

2015 Reissue

180 Gram Vinyl



20 Page Booklet

Cuba / World



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 in which African 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 Mali 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.

Already on board the African collaboration project were Cuban musicians including bassist Orlando "Cachaíto" López, guitarist Eliades Ochoa and musical director Juan de Marcos González, who had himself been organizing a similar project for the Afro-Cuban All Stars. A search for additional musicians led the team to singer Manuel "Puntillita" Licea, pianist Rubén González and octogenarian singer Compay Segundo, who all agreed to record for the project.

Within three days of the project's birth, Cooder, Gold and de Marcos had organized a large group of performers and arranged for recording sessions to commence at Havana's EGREM Studios, formerly owned by RCA records, where the equipment and atmosphere had remained unchanged since the 1950s. Communication between the Spanish and English speakers at the studio was conducted via an interpreter, although Cooder reflected that "musicians understand each other through means other than speaking".

The album was recorded in just six days and contained fourteen tracks; opening with "Chan Chan" written by Compay Segundo, a four chord son that was to become what Cooder described as "the Buena Vista's calling card"; and ending with a rendition of "La Bayamesa", a romantic criolla composed by Sindo Garay (not to be confused with the Cuban national anthem of the same name). The sessions also produced material for the subsequent release, Introducing...Rubén González, which showcased the work of the Cuban pianist.


  • A
  • 1. Chan Chan
  • 2. De Camino a La Verada
  • 3. El Cuarto De Tula
  • B
  • 4. Pueblo Nuevo
  • 5. Dos Gardenias
  • 6. Y Tu Que Has Hecho
  • C
  • 7. Veinte Anos
  • 8. El Carretero
  • 9. Candela
  • 10. Amor De Loca Juventud
  • D
  • 11. Orgullecida
  • 12. Murmullo
  • 13. Buena Vista Social Club
  • 14. La Bayamesa