I love the hard, fast Salsa of the 70s! These Latin music classics not only get the party going, they tell great stories (whether you understand the lyrics or not).
Latin musicians are some of the most skilled, most soulful players with heart…anywhere in the world…in any genre. Their joy for the music totally resonates with listeners, transcending time & cultural differences. This is music that makes you feel awesome, and gets people fired up!
Read this article to learn a little about the best Salsa bands. Listen to the Spotify playlist for a compilation of exhilarating Salsa music from the old-school Salsa 70s, as well as new Salsa songs. Watch a couple of excellent videos featuring two of today’s best Salsa bands, carrying the torch of current Salsa music in New York City…
Check out The Spanish Harlem Orchestra, the current kings of Salsa,
performing live at Congahead studios…
Ahora sí, vamos a gozar… The Best of Salsa Brava
Sensational Salsa Songs New & Old
I started loving Salsa in Caracas, Venezuela when I lived there. It was my first introduction to the way people really enjoy this music.
In Latin America, Salsa has nothing to do with taking a dance class & counting steps. It’s about going to a little bar or a house party to hear high energy Salsa played by a passionate band or DJ at high volume, while you drink lots of rum with your friends, dance & laugh all night.
Legend has it, that the term Salsa was coined by a Caracas radio DJ (although this is controversial) that gave it this name to describe the mix of Latin music coming out of New York City in the late 60s & early 70s. This was a blend of Cuban, Dominican, Puerto Rican & other rhythms mixed with black American music of the time, plus a little Jazz. All creating its own delicious sauce.
Fania Records led the way with classic records from Hector Lavoe, Willie Colón, Ruben Blades, Johnny Pacheco, Celia Cruz, and more. They brought their whole stable of the world’s best Latin musicians together as The Fania All-Stars for amazing albums, and mythical concerts at Yankee Stadium, and elsewhere across Latin America.
They even played in Zaire as part of the music fest leading up to the Muhammed Ali vs. George Foreman fight of 1974. Be sure to watch the whole magnificent video here.
And, this Spotify playlist isn’t all from the 70s because Salsa music is still going strong around the world. After Salsa got cheesy, romantic, and awful in the 80s, the real stuff came back to life in the 2000s. In this playlist you’ll hear The Spanish Harlem Orchestra, the best carriers of the Salsa Dura torch these days.
Also, get into La Excelencia (now Orquesta SCC), young guys from The Bronx playing hard Salsa like it was 1973.
Herman Olivera, a fantastic Puerto Rican sonero, appears here paying tribute to the great ones that came before him.
Salsa never died in Latin America. Listen to Alfredo Naranjo y El Guajeo from Venezuela. They are one of the best current Salsa bands in the world because they masterfully mix in Latin Jazz as well, thanks to Naranjo’s skills with the vibes.
Not everything here is from Fania Records. For example, we start it off with the Colombian classic — “Rebelión” from Joe Arroyo. And, we’ll end it with the Venezuelan superstar Oscar D’Leon.
Watch a rare performance by Joe Arroyo (right before he died) in Colombia, courtesy of World Voyager, and learn about the inimitable Colombian Salsa too (straight from the mouth of one of its heroes)…
Be sure to check out the newer, more current Salsa songs in this playlist — tremendous tunes from Quarter Street (Latinos spreading Salsa vibes in Australia), Mercadonegro (Latinos playing hard Salsa in Switzerland), and “Pancho Rumba” from Orquesta SCC.
Enjoy this playlist. There is lots more out there, and I left off some greats, so there will be other Salsa playlists. Hopefully, if you are anti-Salsa, or just not aware of how awesome it can be, I’ll turn you onto some great music you can learn to love.
Read the Best of Fania Records post, listen to the music, and watch more amazing Salsa videos…https://www.funkish.audio/best-salsa-music-fania-records/.
Get New Spotify Playlists…