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Soundtrack Review

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The Mambo Kings
Selections from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Artists: Various
Label: Varèse Sarabande
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 30 June 2017

Varèse Sarabande release selections from The Mambo Kings. The soundtrack from the 1992 film, which re-introduced Cuban and Latin salsa music to mainstream audiences, has been completely re-mastered. The album features songs such as 'Cuban Pete' by Tito Puente, 'Mambo Caliente' by Arturo Sandoval and 'Beautiful Maria of My Soul' by Los Lobos. The movie is a romantic, music-filled epic of two Cuban brothers who come to New York City during the mambo craze of the 1950s. Factory workers by day, by night they are passionate musicians, filling the dance clubs with their songs of love as they desperately pursue their big break...

It's a bit of strange reissue - especially considering this soundtrack was rereleased only a couple of years ago in 2015 (if Amazon's listings are to be believed). While it's flagged up as being completely re-mastered, I'm wondering how important that really is to people these days who play most of their music through their iPods and their phones, with lower quality recordings. Even those that buy the CDs are likely to stick it straight into their iTunes library.

It was a soundtrack that on its original '90s release passed me by. Not being a fan of Cuban and Latin salsa music at the time I wasn't interested in the film or the soundtrack.

While I'm still not a huge fan, I do enjoy the odd blast of salsa... but probably not enough to warrant adding it to my iPod. However, fans of the film who never got around to picking this up on its original release, not to mention those that enjoy the genre, will thoroughly enjoy this diverse collection. The album contains 16 tracks (48 min, 55 sec).

Track listing:

01. La Dicha Mia - Celia Cruz
02. Ran Kankan - Tito Puente
03. Cuban Pete - Tito Puente
04. Mambo Caliente - Arturo Sandoval
05. Quiereme Mucho - Linda Ronstadt
06. Sunny Ray - Mambo All-Stars
07. MelaoDeCaña (Moolalah) - Celia Cruz
08. Beautiful Maria Of My Soul (Bella Maria De Mi Alma) - Mambo All-Stars featuring Antonio Banderas
09. Para Los Rumberos - Tito Puente
10. Perfidia - Linda Ronstadt
11. Guantanamera - Celia Cruz
12. Tea for Two - Mambo All-Stars
13. Accidental Mambo - Mambo All-Stars
14. Como Fue - Beny Moré
15. Tanga. Rumba-Afro-Cubana - Mambo All-Stars
16. Beautiful Maria of My Soul - Los Lobos


Darren Rea

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