Producers include: Pablo Flores, Robert Kraft, Johnny Pacheco, Peter Asher, Los Lobos.
Compilation producer: Robert Kraft.
Includes liner notes by Oscar Hijuelos.
Assembled here are just the kinds of mambos, rumbas, and cha cha cha's that set '50s bandrooms on fire and ushered in a true golden age of Cuban dance music. With only a couple of exceptions, the tracks were cut specially for the film and as such, add a novel, sweet sense of self-awareness to this classic soundtrack. Even when set apart from the thrilling cinematography of THE MAMBO KINGS, the music easily conjures joyful images of dancers tearing up the dance floors of New York City at a time when these bands were truly the royalty of the day.
From slow cookers like Linda Ronstadt's take on "Quiereme Mucho" and "Perfidia" and Beny More's classic "Como Fue," to up-tempo scorchers like trumpeter Arturo Sandoval's "Mambo Caliente" and timbal-king Tito Puente's "Para Los Rumberos," this is music delivered with passion and expertise. Also included is salsera Celia Cruz's lovely recording of "Guantanamera" with a full children's chorus. Elektra's updated edition adds a fresh sheen with an up-tempo club mix of "Ran Kan Kan" sung by the vivacious Olga Tanon, as well as a sultry rendition of "Beautiful Maria" by the hunky Antonio Banderas and deep-crooning Compay Segundo of Buena Vista Social Club fame.