Buena Vista Social Club Analysis

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This essay will discuss and analyse how far the album Buena Vista Social Club can be considered a great work, paying particular attention to the music on the album, the recording process and the impact and reactions of the Cuban public.

In the year of 1997 the album BVSC was released and managed to sell 8 million copies. The album was produced by popular guitarist and film score composer Ry Cooder and featured 20 musicians. Ry Cooder had met Nick Gold, the world music producer who worked for World Circuit Records in 1996. Both Ry Cooder and Nick Gold had shared an interest in Malian and Cuban music. and as a result they both planned to record an album which featured both Malian and Cuban musicians, two musicians were invited to Cuba to
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In this film Ry Cooder is portrayed in the documentary of BVSC as bringing the musicians together and if it was not for him the musicians such as Ibrahim Ferrer and Ruben Gonzalez would never of became household names. However Juan De Marcos Gonzalez is portrayed as someone who is not considered that important even though he was the person who came up with the early idea of recording veteran Cuban musicians since he contacted and contracted plenty of the musicians to record an album which was at first known as the Eastern Album and then later was called and released as A Todo Cuba Le Gusta by the Afro-Cuban All Stars in March 1997 seven months before BVSC “For instance, the narrative completely omits the role of Afro-Cuban band leaded Juan De Marcos Gonzalez, long before the arrival of Cooder, De Marcos Gonzalez had contacted many of the veteran musicians who appear on the BVSC album.” (Habell-Pallán and Romero, 2002)

As a album and the documentary film BVSC helped Cuba when the country was in economic hardship, the popularity of the album and the documentary made Cuba a popular tourist destination, Cuban music becomes extremely popular all around the world. However it may be suggested that BVSC affected the development of Cuban music and musicians “People think because of Ry Cooder and Buena Vista that Cuban music became better known. That may be true, but it set us back 40 years. Now we are fighting against mythological vision of the old Cuba” (Plasketes,

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