Buena Vista Social Club

Buena Vista Social Club (25th Anniversary Edition Box)

World Circuit
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As Cuban revolutions go, it was an entirely peaceable uprising - but its impact could not have been more profound. On the release of the Buena Vista Social Club album in 1997, few outside the specialist world music audience initially took much notice of the record's elegantly sculpted tunes and warm, acoustic rhythms. Then something extraordinary occurred. The album was spectacularly reviewed by a few discerning critics, but although their words of praise did Buena Vista's cause no harm, they cannot explain what subsequently happened. Good reviews create an early surge in sales, but unless it's a big pop release sustained by an expensive TV advertising campaign, the established pattern is that interest then slowly tails off. Instead, Buena Vista's sales figures kept steadily rising week by week, building almost entirely by word-of-mouth until it achieved critical mass: all who heard the record not only fell in love with Buena Vista's irresistible magic, but were then inspired to play or recommend the album to everyone they knew. It was one of those rare records that transcended the vagaries of fad and fashion to sound timeless but utterly fresh. Once you heard it, you had to have a heart of stone not to be swept away by the music's romantic impulses and uninhibited exuberance. rnrnThat its impact had made waves far beyond the specialist world music audience was soon self-evident. Buena Vista went on to win a Grammy and its crossover success persuaded the acclaimed director Wim Wenders to make an award-winning feature film about the phenomenon. As Nick Gold, whose World Circuit label released the record, put it : "Buena Vista was a once-in-a-lifetime thing. We knew we'd made a special record but nobody could have imagined how it would take off." rnrnThe record's success launched what can only be described as Cuba-mania, helping to inspire a thousand salsa dance classes and Cuban-themed bars on every high street. At its peak, it seemed that you couldn't move without hearing Buena Vista's potent, captivating soundtrack : in coffee shops and mojito bars and even department stores and elevators songs such as Chan Chan, Dos Gardenias and Candela came to accompany our daily existence. Suddenly, Buena Vista was not so much a record as a brand, albeit one based on musical quality rather than marketing hype. Even Salman Rushdie, in his New York novel Fury, paid tribute to its all-pervasive power, describing the long, hot days of 1998 as "that Buena Vista summer". rnrnOn the album's release, Nick Gold had hoped that, given a fair wind, Buena Vista might sell 100,000 copies - a highly respectable figure in the specialist world music field. Today the album's global sales stand at over eight million, making it the biggest-selling Cuban album in history. As one critic put it, Buena Vista has become "world music's equivalent of The Dark Side of the Moon."

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Release Date

03.11.2022

Cat No

4050538630053

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