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Big Hits By Prado

Pérez Prado

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Album Review

Big Hits actually is a powerhouse anthology: the first definitive, stereo collection of mambo hits. All were re-recorded for stereo in "new arrangements" as the jacket advertises. A couple originally were recorded in stereo, e.g., "Patricia" and "Why Wait," but were not available in stereo, even as late as 1960. The most desirable selections are "Guaglione" and "Paris"; the latter may have been non-LP until this (Francis Bay covered it to even greater effect). Overall, the presentation is not as strong as it could be. A later issue has the tunes in different order and with the trademark organ mixed higher. Still, Big Hits is easy to find and very worthwhile.

Biography

Born: 11 December 1916 in Mantanzas, Cuba

Genre: Salsa and Tropical

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Universally known as the King of the Mambo, Pérez Prado was the single most important musician involved in the hugely popular Latin dance craze. Whether he actually created the rhythm is somewhat disputed, but it's abundantly clear that Prado developed it into a bright, swinging style with massive appeal for dancers of all backgrounds and classes. Prado's mambo was filled with piercing high-register trumpets, undulating saxophone counterpoint, atmospheric organ (later on), and harmonic ideas borrowed...
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Big Hits By Prado, Pérez Prado
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