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Buena Vista Social Club|Buena Vista Social Club  (25th Anniversary Edition)

Buena Vista Social Club (25th Anniversary Edition)

Buena Vista Social Club

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International bestselling band The Buena Vista Social Club introduced Son Cubano, the first Afro-Cuban sound, to music lovers across the globe. However, their record was lucky to have ever come into existence at all. This album (which went on to sell over 8 million copies worldwide) was recorded in 1996 at the Egrem studio in Havana and was organised at the very last minute, replacing another session. Initially, the plan was to bring together Cuban and Malian musicians, but it later transpired that the African musicians had not received their visas. The altered project saw Nick Gold, founder of the British label World Circuit, Ry Cooder, the famous American producer and guitarist, and Juan de Marcos González, conductor of the Afro-Cuban All Stars who had just released their first tribute album to the biggest Cuban bands of the 50s, record an album with local musicians⁠—possibly one of the wisest decisions of their career.


The record features some of the best Cuban musicians, including bassist Orlando 'Cachaíto' López, trumpeter Manuel 'Guajiro' Mirabal and Barbarito Torres, an expert on the laúd, a small Cuban lute, as well as some veteran singers who came out of retirement to record these tracks. Compay Segundo (89), Pio Leiva (80), Ibrahim Ferrer (69), Omara Portuondo (66) and Eliades Ochoa (50) all gathered around the piano played by Ruben Gonzalez (78), who was also recording another album during this time.


Called the Buena Vista Social Club in reference to the famous Havana club where traditional musicians used to meet prior to the 1930s, the album was discreetly released in 1997. Gradually, glowing reviews and positive word-of-mouth attracted the attention of the general public, which was further heightened by the Grammy Award they won that same year. The alchemy between the seasoned vocals, the genius of the musicians and the ever-fresh flavour of these forgotten hits is simply perfect. The result is strikingly authentic, and it’s impossible not to feel the genuine joy felt by these talented and mischievous musicians.


In 1998, the original BVSC line-up put on three concerts: two in Amsterdam and one in Carnegie Hall in New York. Wim Wenders, friend of Ry Cooder, was behind the camera during these exceptional performances. He was also behind the recording sessions in Cuba for Ibrahim Ferrer’s first solo album, which was the main source of material for the film Buena Vista Social Club. Released in 1999, this documentary served to cement this short-lived group’s status as legends.


For most of these artists, this album marked the start of short, international careers. Compay Segundo and Ruben Gonzalez died in 2003, Ibrahim Ferrer in 2005 and Orlando 'Cachaíto' López in 2009. Some of the original band members continued to tour the world under the name Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club and, in October 2015, they were the first Cuban musicians to be welcomed at the White House following the decline of the relationship between Cuba and the USA, demonstrating the huge cultural importance of this record. © Benjamin Minimum/Qobuz

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Buena Vista Social Club (25th Anniversary Edition)

Buena Vista Social Club

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1
Chan Chan (2021 - Remaster)
00:04:18

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - Compay Segundo, Backing Vocals, Congas - JOACHIM COODER, Udu Drums - Francisco Repilado, Composer, Lyricist - Ibrahim Ferrer, Backing Vocals - Manuel 'Guajiro' Mirabal, Trumpet - Orlando 'Cachaíto' López, Bass - Eliades Ochoa, Guitar, Vocals - Carlos Gonzalez, Bongo Drums - Alberto Valdès, Maracas Percussion

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

2
De Camino a la Vereda (2021 - Remaster)
00:05:03

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer, Guitar, Mbira Xylophone - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - Compay Segundo, Guitar - JOACHIM COODER, Tumbas Drums - Ibrahim Ferrer, Composer, Vocals - Manuel 'Guajiro' Mirabal, Trumpet - Orlando 'Cachaíto' López, Bass - Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, Backing Vocals - Barbarito Torres, Lute - Manuel 'Puntillita' Licea, Backing Vocals - Alberto Valdès, Backing Vocals, Maracas Percussion - Luis Barzaga, Backing Vocals

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

3
El Cuarto de Tula (2021 - Remaster)
00:07:25

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer, Guitar - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - JOACHIM COODER, Tumbas Drums - Luis Marquetti, Composer - Ibrahim Ferrer, Lead Vocals - Manuel 'Guajiro' Mirabal, Trumpet - Orlando 'Cachaíto' López, Bass - Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, Conductor - Barbarito Torres, Lute - Manuel 'Puntillita' Licea, Lead Vocals - Eliades Ochoa, Guitar, Lead Vocals - Carlos Gonzalez, Bongo Drums, Percussion - Sergio Siaba, Composer - Alberto Valdès, Backing Vocals, Maracas Percussion - Luis Barzaga, Backing Vocals - Julienne Oviedo Sanchez, Percussion

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

4
Pueblo Nuevo (2021 - Remaster)
00:06:06

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer, Guitar - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - JOACHIM COODER, Udu Drums - Ruben Gonzalez, Composer, Piano - Ibrahim Ferrer, Congas - Manuel 'Guajiro' Mirabal, Trumpet - Orlando 'Cachaíto' López, Bass - Alberto Valdès, Maracas Percussion - Lazaro Villa, Percussion

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

5
Dos Gardenias (2021 - Remaster)
00:03:03

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer, Guitar - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - JOACHIM COODER, Udu Drums - Isolina Carrillo, Composer - Ruben Gonzalez, Piano - Ibrahim Ferrer, Vocals - Manuel 'Guajiro' Mirabal, Trumpet - Orlando 'Cachaíto' López, Bass - Isolina Carillo, Composer - Alberto Valdès, Maracas Percussion - Lazaro Villa, Congas

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

6
¿Y Tú Qué Has Hecho? (Remaster (HD))
00:03:15

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer, Guitar - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - Compay Segundo, Guitar, Vocals - Eusebio Delfín, Composer - JOACHIM COODER, Tumbas Drums - Ruben Gonzalez, Piano - Ibrahim Ferrer, Percussion, Claves Percussion - Manuel 'Guajiro' Mirabal, Trumpet - Orlando 'Cachaíto' López, Bass - Alberto Valdès, Maracas Percussion

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

7
Veinte Años (2021 - Remaster)
00:03:31

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer, Guitar - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - Compay Segundo, Guitar, Vocals - Omara Portuondo, Vocals - Orlando Lopez, Bass - Maria Teresa Vera, Composer - JOACHIM COODER, Tumbas Drums - Barbarito Torres, Lute - Alberto Valdès, Maracas Percussion - Vera Morua Maria Teresa, Composer, Writer

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

8
El Carretero (2021 - Remaster)
00:03:29

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer, Guitar, Slide Guitar, Lute, Percussion, Oud Lute - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - JOACHIM COODER, Udu Drums - Ibrahim Ferrer, Backing Vocals - Guillermo Portabales, Composer - Orlando 'Cachaíto' López, Bass - Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, Percussion, Backing Vocals - Eliades Ochoa, Guitar, Vocals - Alberto Valdès, Maracas Percussion

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

9
Candela (2021 - Remaster)
00:05:29

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Slide Guitar - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - JOACHIM COODER, Tumbas Drums - Ibrahim Ferrer, Vocals - Faustino Oramas, Composer, Writer - Manuel 'Guajiro' Mirabal, Trumpet - Orlando 'Cachaíto' López, Bass - Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, Conductor, Backing Vocals - Manuel 'Puntillita' Licea, Backing Vocals - Eliades Ochoa, Guitar, Vocals - Carlos Gonzalez, Bongo Drums, Percussion - Alberto Valdès, Backing Vocals, Maracas Percussion - Luis Barzaga, Backing Vocals

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

10
Amor de Loca Juventud (2021 - Remaster)
00:03:22

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer, Slide Guitar - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - Compay Segundo, Guitar, Vocals - JOACHIM COODER, Tumbas Drums - Rafael Ortiz, Composer - Ibrahim Ferrer, Bongo Drums - Benito Suarez Magana, Guitar - Julio Alberto Fernandez, Vocals, Maracas Percussion - Salvador Repilado Labrada, Bass

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

11
Orgullecida (2021 - Remaster)
00:03:19

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer, Guitar - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - Compay Segundo, Guitar, Vocals - JOACHIM COODER, Drums, Tumbas Drums - Ruben Gonzalez, Piano - Manuel 'Guajiro' Mirabal, Trumpet - Orlando 'Cachaíto' López, Bass - Barbarito Torres, Lute - Eliades Ochoa, Guitar - Eliseo Silveira, Composer

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

12
Murmullo (2021 - Remaster)
00:03:51

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer, Guitar - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - JOACHIM COODER, Tumbas Drums - Ruben Gonzalez, Piano - Ibrahim Ferrer, Vocals - Orlando 'Cachaíto' López, Bass - Alberto Valdès, Maracas Percussion - Electo Rosell, Composer - Lazaro Villa, Congas

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

13
Buena Vista Social Club (2021 - Remaster)
00:04:52

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer, Guitar - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - JOACHIM COODER, Udu Drums - Ruben Gonzalez, Piano - Israel Lopez, Composer - Ibrahim Ferrer, Percussion, Claves Percussion - Orlando 'Cachaíto' López, Bass - Manuel 'Puntillita' Licea, Congas - Orestes López, Composer - Alberto Valdès, Maracas Percussion - Lazaro Villa, Percussion

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

14
La Bayamesa (2021 - Remaster)
00:03:02

Sindo Garay, Composer - Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - Compay Segundo, Guitar, Vocals - Ruben Gonzalez, Piano - Ibrahim Ferrer, Vocals - Orlando 'Cachaíto' López, Bass - Manuel 'Puntillita' Licea, Vocals

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

DISC 2

1
Chan Chan (Monitor Mix)
00:04:39

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - Compay Segundo, Backing Vocals, Congas - JOACHIM COODER, Udu Drums - Francisco Repilado, Composer, Lyricist - Ibrahim Ferrer, Backing Vocals - Manuel 'Guajiro' Mirabal, Trumpet - Orlando 'Cachaíto' López, Bass - Eliades Ochoa, Guitar, Vocals - Carlos Gonzalez, Bongo Drums - Alberto Valdès, Maracas Percussion

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 1997 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

2
Vicenta
00:03:42

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer, Guitar - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - Compay Segundo, Guitar, Vocals - JOACHIM COODER, Percussion - Francisco Repilado, Composer, Writer - Ibrahim Ferrer, Backing Vocals - Orlando 'Cachaíto' López, Bass - Eliades Ochoa, Guitar, Vocals - Alberto Valdès, Maracas Percussion

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

3
La Pluma
00:02:51

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - Compay Segundo, Guitar, Vocals - Francisco Repilado, Composer, Writer - Benito Suarez Magana, Guitar - Julio Alberto Fernandez, Vocals, Maracas Percussion - Salvador Repilado Labrada, Bass

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

4
Dos Gardenias (Alternate Take)
00:03:20

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer, Guitar - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - JOACHIM COODER, Udu Drums - Isolina Carrillo, Composer - Ruben Gonzalez, Piano - Ibrahim Ferrer, Vocals - Manuel 'Guajiro' Mirabal, Trumpet - Orlando 'Cachaíto' López, Bass - Isolina Carillo, Composer - Alberto Valdès, Maracas Percussion - Lazaro Villa, Congas

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 1997 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

5
Mandinga
00:02:26

Guillermo Rodríguez Fiffe, Composer - Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - Ruben Gonzalez, Piano - Orlando 'Cachaíto' López, Bass - Rodriguez Fiffe, Composer, Writer - Lazaro Villa, Congas

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

6
Siboney
00:02:08

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - Ernesto Lecuona, Composer, Writer - Ruben Gonzalez, Piano

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

7
A Tus Pies
00:05:25

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - Compay Segundo, Guitar, Vocals - Francisco Repilado, Composer, Writer - Ibrahim Ferrer, Vocals - Benito Suarez Magana, Guitar - Julio Alberto Fernandez, Vocals - Salvador Repilado Labrada, Bass

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

8
El Carretero (Alternate Take)
00:03:21

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer, Guitar, Slide Guitar, Lute, Percussion, Oud Lute - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - JOACHIM COODER, Udu Drums - Ibrahim Ferrer, Backing Vocals - Guillermo Portabales, Composer - Orlando 'Cachaíto' López, Bass - Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, Percussion, Backing Vocals - Eliades Ochoa, Guitar, Vocals - Alberto Valdès, Maracas Percussion

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 1997 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

9
Ensayo
00:01:21

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - Ruben Gonzalez, Piano - Eliades Ochoa, Guitar - Lazaro Villa, Congas - Orestes López Valdés, Composer

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

10
El Diablo Suelto
00:02:14

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - Ruben Gonzalez, Piano - Heraclio Fernandez, Composer

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

11
Saludo Compay
00:04:16

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer, Guitar - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - Compay Segundo, Guitar, Vocals - Francisco Repilado, Composer, Writer - Eliades Ochoa, Vocals

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

12
Descripción de un Sueño
00:02:44

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer, Guitar - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - Compay Segundo, Guitar, Vocals - Francisco Repilado, Composer, Writer - Eliades Ochoa, Guitar, Vocals

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

13
Pueblo Nuevo (Alternate Take)
00:04:27

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer, Guitar - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - JOACHIM COODER, Udu Drums - Ruben Gonzalez, Composer, Piano - Ibrahim Ferrer, Congas - Manuel 'Guajiro' Mirabal, Trumpet - Orlando 'Cachaíto' López, Bass - Alberto Valdès, Maracas Percussion - Lazaro Villa, Percussion

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 1997 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

14
La Cleptómana
00:03:25

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - Compay Segundo, Guitar, Vocals - Ibrahim Ferrer, Vocals - Benito Suarez Magana, Guitar - Manuel Luna, Composer - Alberto Valdès, Maracas Percussion - Agustin Acosta, Writer - Julio Alberto Fernandez, Vocals - Salvador Repilado Labrada, Bass

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

15
¿Y Tú Qué Has Hecho (Alt Take (HD))
00:04:12

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer, Guitar - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - Compay Segundo, Guitar, Vocals - Eusebio Delfín, Composer - JOACHIM COODER, Tumbas Drums - Ruben Gonzalez, Piano - Ibrahim Ferrer, Percussion, Claves Percussion - Manuel 'Guajiro' Mirabal, Trumpet - Orlando 'Cachaíto' López, Bass - Alberto Valdès, Maracas Percussion

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 1997 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

16
Orgullecida (Alternate Take)
00:04:15

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer, Guitar - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - Compay Segundo, Guitar, Vocals - JOACHIM COODER, Drums, Tumbas Drums - Ruben Gonzalez, Piano - Manuel 'Guajiro' Mirabal, Trumpet - Orlando 'Cachaíto' López, Bass - Barbarito Torres, Lute - Eliades Ochoa, Guitar - Eliseo Silveira, Composer

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 1997 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

17
Descarga Rubén
00:03:01

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - Ruben Gonzalez, Piano - Orlando 'Cachaíto' López, Bass - Jose Slater Badan, Composer - Lazaro Villa, Congas

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

18
Candela (Alternate Take)
00:06:02

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Slide Guitar - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - JOACHIM COODER, Tumbas Drums - Ibrahim Ferrer, Vocals - Faustino Oramas, Composer, Writer - Manuel 'Guajiro' Mirabal, Trumpet - Orlando 'Cachaíto' López, Bass - Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, Conductor, Backing Vocals - Manuel 'Puntillita' Licea, Backing Vocals - Eliades Ochoa, Guitar, Vocals - Carlos Gonzalez, Bongo Drums, Percussion - Alberto Valdès, Backing Vocals, Maracas Percussion - Luis Barzaga, Backing Vocals

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 1997 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

19
Orgullecida (Alternate Trio Take)
00:04:32

Buena Vista Social Club, MainArtist - Ry Cooder, Producer, Guitar - Bernie Grundman, Engineer - Jerry Boys, Mixer, Engineer - Compay Segundo, Guitar, Vocals - Manuel 'Guajiro' Mirabal, Trumpet - Eliseo Silveira, Composer

© 2021 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company ℗ 1997 World Circuit Limited, a BMG Company

Album Description

International bestselling band The Buena Vista Social Club introduced Son Cubano, the first Afro-Cuban sound, to music lovers across the globe. However, their record was lucky to have ever come into existence at all. This album (which went on to sell over 8 million copies worldwide) was recorded in 1996 at the Egrem studio in Havana and was organised at the very last minute, replacing another session. Initially, the plan was to bring together Cuban and Malian musicians, but it later transpired that the African musicians had not received their visas. The altered project saw Nick Gold, founder of the British label World Circuit, Ry Cooder, the famous American producer and guitarist, and Juan de Marcos González, conductor of the Afro-Cuban All Stars who had just released their first tribute album to the biggest Cuban bands of the 50s, record an album with local musicians⁠—possibly one of the wisest decisions of their career.


The record features some of the best Cuban musicians, including bassist Orlando 'Cachaíto' López, trumpeter Manuel 'Guajiro' Mirabal and Barbarito Torres, an expert on the laúd, a small Cuban lute, as well as some veteran singers who came out of retirement to record these tracks. Compay Segundo (89), Pio Leiva (80), Ibrahim Ferrer (69), Omara Portuondo (66) and Eliades Ochoa (50) all gathered around the piano played by Ruben Gonzalez (78), who was also recording another album during this time.


Called the Buena Vista Social Club in reference to the famous Havana club where traditional musicians used to meet prior to the 1930s, the album was discreetly released in 1997. Gradually, glowing reviews and positive word-of-mouth attracted the attention of the general public, which was further heightened by the Grammy Award they won that same year. The alchemy between the seasoned vocals, the genius of the musicians and the ever-fresh flavour of these forgotten hits is simply perfect. The result is strikingly authentic, and it’s impossible not to feel the genuine joy felt by these talented and mischievous musicians.


In 1998, the original BVSC line-up put on three concerts: two in Amsterdam and one in Carnegie Hall in New York. Wim Wenders, friend of Ry Cooder, was behind the camera during these exceptional performances. He was also behind the recording sessions in Cuba for Ibrahim Ferrer’s first solo album, which was the main source of material for the film Buena Vista Social Club. Released in 1999, this documentary served to cement this short-lived group’s status as legends.


For most of these artists, this album marked the start of short, international careers. Compay Segundo and Ruben Gonzalez died in 2003, Ibrahim Ferrer in 2005 and Orlando 'Cachaíto' López in 2009. Some of the original band members continued to tour the world under the name Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club and, in October 2015, they were the first Cuban musicians to be welcomed at the White House following the decline of the relationship between Cuba and the USA, demonstrating the huge cultural importance of this record. © Benjamin Minimum/Qobuz

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