Christmas is one of the best times to celebrate with family and friends and a very important element of any celebration is music, especially in Latin countries and communities.
Because we are in December, we thought it would be a great occasion to relive some of the most iconic salsa albums of all time with which our dear readers can enjoy this wonderful month at the rhythm of the most joyful Latin music from some of the best exponents of the genre.
Asalto Navideño Vol. 1
This album should never miss in a list of this type and it could not be in another way, since it is part of the incredible path traveled by the New York orchestra Willie Colón & Héctor Lavoe. The material is the group’s sixth studio album and was recorded during the first week of December 1970.
Prior to this, the boom that was taking the orchestra in those years made Jerry Masucci and Johnny Pacheco suggest to the artists that they take advantage of the fame they had harvested so far to create an album dedicated to Christmas, which they both gladly accepted.
It is then when they got hands on and invited the talented musician Yomo Toro to participate in the album. The artist was not well known by the fans, but he ended up occupying a very important place in the final result.
Although at first, the material was focused on honoring Puerto Rico, but ended up embracing the Latin community living in the U.S., which had been the main responsible for the strengthening of salsa in the liking of the people and the profit received the Fania Records label.
The album was recorded in the studios of Fania Records in New York and had a total of 12 songs dedicated to the most beautiful time of the year. Aires de Navidad” and ”La Murga” are among the most successful tracks of the album and the most listened to so far.
El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico never disappoints and certainly did not do it with its Christmas production ”Nuestra Música”, with which it seeks to pay tribute to this wonderful time and put everyone on dance in their homes during the Christmas holidays.
The album was released in 1985, the year in which salsa was going through a very challenging time, since merengue was gaining a lot of momentum, displacing the aforementioned genre to some extent. However, this was no impediment for the orchestra to demonstrate, contrary to what many believed, that salsa was more alive than ever.
The album’s release was surprising as well as exciting for the fans of El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, which managed to rescue much of the holiday spirit that was lost and gave life to hits such as ”La Fiesta de Pilito”, ”Desenfunda”, ”Arbolito” and ”No Hay Cama Pa’ Tanta Gente”.
Another great recor production that could not miss in this list is ‘‘Navidad Criolla’’ by La Sonora Ponceña. A very particular and different thing about this Christmas album is that, instead of using the typical Christmas aguinaldos, salsa dura is the predominant genre. However, the vocalists and musicians do their best to maintain the essence of Christmas at all times.
The album was released in 1978 and includes the unmistakable voices of Luigi Texidor and Tito Gómez, who add an exciting and cheerful touch to the music with the power of their vocal cords. In addition to that, Adalberto Santiago and Yayo El Indio participated on backing vocals along with the talented musicians of the group.
The album includes songs such as ”Aguinaldo Antillano”, ”De Noche Buena”, ”Canción de Navidad”, ”Vamonos Pa’l Campo”, among others.
Ricardo Ray and Bobby Cruz delighted the public during the December holidays in 1971 with this extraordinary musical work with which they conquered the public one of those countless times they did it.
Ricardo delighted the duo’s fans from the piano and musical arrangements, while Bobby was on voice and backing vocals. Both artists were accompanied by Miki Vimari on voice and backing vocals, Ismael Cocolia Rodríguez and Ismael Rivera on trumpet, Manolito Gonzales on bongos, José Hidalgo on conga, Charlie Cotto on timbales and Plito Huertas on bass.
Among some of the best-known tracks of the album, we can mention ”Bomba en Navidad”, ”Mi Niñez”, ”Aguinaldo Navideño”, ”Kyrie Eleison”, ”Sinfonia To Cantata No, 29”, and so on.
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