14. Buena Vista Social Club Buena Vista Social Club

(World Circuit, 1997)

After celebrated American musician Ry Cooder travelled to Cuba to make a documentary on several Cuban musicians, the idea of them recording an album together quickly gathered pace.

Buena Vista Social Club – named after a members only club in pre-Castro Cuba – was the result, and it was to become one of the most successful and acclaimed albums in Latin music history.

The album is a real treasure trove of compositions, many of which had been kicking around for decades but had not been heard by international audiences.

The ageing band – many of whom would die less than a decade after its 1997 release – played with such happiness and freedom on tracks such as ‘Chan Chan’ and ‘De Camino a la Vereda’ it is tangible.

Try also: Buena Vista Social Club At Carnegie Hall (World Circuit, 2008).