Grandes Exitos [Bonus Track]

Grandes Exitos [Bonus Track]

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by Juan Luis Guerra y 440
     
 

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Juan Luis Guerra is the great, urbane poet of contemporary Dominican songwriting, a reclusive, mercurial talent who is deified by his countrymen and lionized by fellow artists. He and his band 440 (so named after the universal concert pitch; a testimony to their meticulous tuning standards) were a major revitalizing force in Latin tropical music from their outset in

Overview

Juan Luis Guerra is the great, urbane poet of contemporary Dominican songwriting, a reclusive, mercurial talent who is deified by his countrymen and lionized by fellow artists. He and his band 440 (so named after the universal concert pitch; a testimony to their meticulous tuning standards) were a major revitalizing force in Latin tropical music from their outset in the late 1980s, serving up merengue and bachata (a street-corner ballad style which Guerra singlehandedly brought to pop respectability) with a previously unheard-of degree of lyrical and musical subtlety. Indeed, unlike most names in the genre, Guerra makes music that's as compelling to the mind and heart as it is to a shaking booty. Grandes Exitos collects all the gems of the period prior to 1998's Grammy-winning comeback, Ni Es Lo Mismo Ni Es Igual. Velvety vocal harmonies and Guerra's melodious 12-string guitar complement the soft-rolling, dulcet balladry of "Frio Frio" and "Burbujas de Amor." Golden, upbeat trombones grace "Women del Callao," while Francisco Ulloa and his band lend their rural, accordion-driven sound to "Cosquillita." The star here is, of course, "Ojalá que Llueva Café," which, with its rousing bucolic imagery, was given a bouncy huasteca treatment by Café Tacuba on the Mexican alt-rock heroes' Avalancha de Exitos. Guerra's genre-bending collaborations with African soukous guitarist Diblo Dibala are here too, making this collection an ideal introduction to one of the Caribbean's finest songwriters.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason Birchmeier
Among the many fine Juan Luis Guerra albums and compilations released over the decades, there's no better starting point than Grandes Éxitos de Juan Luis Guerra 4.40, which compiles a marvelous array of highlights from the Dominican icon's late-'80s and early-'90s rise to fame. Originally issued in 1995, Grandes Éxitos de Juan Luis Guerra 4.40 has been released in a variety of editions over the years. The cover art and track listings vary on some editions, and a few different bonus tracks were added at one time or another. Regardless of these slight variations, all editions stick with the same time frame and feature the same core set of hit singles and fan favorites. Guerra's career began to peak with his fourth album, Ojalá Que Llueva Café (1989). Three songs from that album ("Visa Para un Sueño," "Ojalá Que Llueva Café," "Woman del Callao") are compiled on Grandes Éxitos de Juan Luis Guerra 4.40. Astonishingly, seven of the ten songs from fifth album Bachata Rosa (1990) are compiled here ("Rosalía," "Como Abeja al Panal," "Carta de Amor," "A Pedir Su Mano," "La Bilirrubina," "Burbujas de Amor," "Bachata Rose"). Since all of these songs are great, it's not really a problem except that it leaves precious little space for material from the successive albums Areíto (1992) and Fogaraté (1994), in particular the hit singles "Señales de Humo," "Coronita de Flores," "Mal de Amor," "Viviré," and "El Beso de la Ciguatera," all of which are missing here. Clearly favoring Guerra's breakout albums Ojalá Que Llueva Café and Bachata Rosa, Grandes Éxitos de Juan Luis Guerra 4.40 may not be the most representative compilation, but there's no question that it's filled with fantastic material and makes for an ideal introduction to Guerra's early classics. [The CD was also released with a bonus track, "Señorita."]

Product Details

Release Date:
11/14/2000
Label:
Karen
UPC:
0710793023529
catalogNumber:
930235
Rank:
10073

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