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Joe Arroyo – Best Salsa Songs

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Photo Courtesy Discos Fuentes/Miami Records

Joe Arroyo - 30 Pegaditas de Oro

Photo Courtesy Discos Fuentes/Miami Records

Joe Arroyo, one of the most influential Colombian artists, left this world on July 26, 2011. Although Joe Arroyo built his career moving around different rhythms and styles, he earned a big chunk of his popularity through Salsa music. The following is the list of the top 10 Salsa songs Joe Arroyo produced throughout his successful career.

10. "La Guerra De Los Callados"
This is serious Salsa. This song not only provides great music but also powerful lyrics offering a reflection on the violence that has affected Colombia for so long. The powerful brass sessions create a sort of anxious sound that fits the lyrics in a perfect way.

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9. "Bam Bam"
This song gained lots of popularity thank to its fast Salsa beat and catchy chorus. However, if you listen the story carefully, you realize the "Bam Bam" chorus refers to the sound of a gun (bang). The story is basically about a man who is threatening someone because that person is trying to steal his girlfriend from him.

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8 "Por Ti No Morire"
Offering a classy piano and powerful brass sessions throughout the whole melody, "Por Ti No Morire" is still a top Salsa song among hard Salsa lovers. Look out for the solo piano session that incorporates the notes of the famous bolero song "Historia De Un Amor."

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7. "Fuego En Mi Mente"
"Fuego En Mi Mente" offers a nice flute playing that inserts a delicate touch into this tune. The piano sort of divides the melody in different parts preparing the field for a nice chorus where the sounds of percussion captured the essence of this song. Great Salsa song by Joe Arroyo.

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6. "Mary"
This is song is dedicated to a woman. As mentioned by Joe Arroyo in the middle of the piano solo, this tune is a tropical serenade. The elegant sound of the trumpets on this song is fantastic.

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5. "Tania"
Although "Tania" is not your classic Salsa song, this single is one of the most important tracks Joe Arroyo recorded during the time he spent with the legendary Colombian band Fruko y sus Tesos. The Fruko sound was a very experimental one. This band played with Salsa, traditional Colombian music and foreign sounds like Swing and Rock n' Roll.

Besides being one of the greatest hits recorded by Joe, "Tania" is a good sample of the creative ways Fruko y sus Tesos brought to Salsa music in Colombia. "Tania" is also a good song to appreciate Joe Arroyo's versatility.

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4. "Yamulemau"
This song was originally produced by the Senegalese Salsa singer Laba Sosseh, who was also friends with Joe Arroyo. "Yamulemau" means boy of blue water and Joe added to this melody some words in English to create a worldwide appeal for it. This is another song that shows the great interest Joe Arroyo always had for Africa.

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3. "En Barranquilla Me Quedo"
Joe Arroyo was always proud of his Caribbean roots. On his music, he constantly brought references to cities like Cartagena and Barranquilla. This Salsa is probably one of the best singles that have been dedicated to Barranquilla. I have always thought this song offers one of the best intro parts of any Salsa song. The first 30 seconds of this track are just plain fantastic. Look out for the special touch incorporated by the saxophone playing.

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2. "P'al Bailador"
Personally speaking, I have to say this is my favorite Salsa song from Joe Arroyo. This is an ideal track for a night of Salsa dancing. "P'al Bailador" offers fantastic percussion and brass sessions. Chelito De Castro's piano playing is also great.

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1. "La Rebelion"
"La Rebelion" is probably the most popular Salsa song Joe Arroyo ever produced. Joe Arroyo explored various issues dealing with the Afro-Colombian culture. This song brings history into Salsa. It tells the story of a black slave who defies his owner's authority. The famous chorus "No le pegue a la negra" (Don't hit the black woman) captures the essence of that rebellion.

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