22.04.16 : Los Van Van – Aqui el Que Baila Gana

Good day dear readers and blog followers!

Today I gladly present you a wonderful masterpiece by none other than the great Los Van Van!
Formed in 1969 by the great Juan Formell, Cesar “Pupy” Pedroso and Jose Luis Quitana “Changuito” among others, the band was to become one of the most influential in Cuba (and even beyond its borders), and will keep creating ’till this day.

The band even created its own genre of music, Songo, which shaped modern Cuban music and changed it forever.
Songo takes the traditional Charanga sound to the next level using synthesizers, improvised timbales-drum kit hybrid percussion, trombones, melodic bass lines and chord progressions, and extended, improvised bridges \ transitions between various song parts.

When Timba came to be during the mid to late 1980’s, it was a direct continuation of Songo in many ways;
Afro Cuban elements were used in Songo at times, but in Timba became very much the centre of attention, improvised percussion sets were replaced by “modern” drum kits, melodic bass lines and complex chord progressions became the standard for most bands, trombones were “buffed up” by trumpets and other horns, and the improvised bridges became the well known (and much loved) “guias \ gears” so characteristic of Timba music.

So, it is safe to say that without Los Van Van and their Majestic Songo from the 1970’s, there would be no Timba in the 1990’s!

The song I present today is the title song of basically the last “pure Songo” album, “Aqui el Que Baila Gana”, which came out in 1990.
Van Van’s next album, “Azucar”, from 1993 is already very much a transitional stage between Songo and Tibma, containing compositions which belong to both genres… in 1996 and 1997, with “Ay dios, Amparame!”, and certainly with “Esto te Pone la Cabeza Mala”, the band was already fully immersed in the golden age on Timba…

So, here it is, from a live concert in Cali

And also the album \ studio version:


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