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Richie Ray & Bobby Cruz - Best Songs

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Photo Courtesy Fania

Ricardo Ray / Bobby Cruz - 'Aguzate'

Photo Courtesy Fania

Ricardo 'Richie' Ray and Bobby Cruz have been playing together since 1963. They are, in fact, the most iconic duo that has ever existed in Salsa music. Their early repertoire provided an important contribution to the consolidation of Salsa during the 1970s. In particular, the duo delivered some of the most celebrated notes of Salsa dura (hard Salsa) during the Latin Boogaloo fever. From "Amparo Arrebato" to the legendary hit "Sonido Bestial," the following are the top tracks produced by pianist Richie Ray and singer Bobby Cruz.

"Amparo Arrebato"
This track was one of the hits included in Aguzate, one of the most popular albums ever recorded by Richie Ray and Bobbie Cruz. "Amparo Arrebato" pays tribute to the famous Colombian dancer Amparo Ramos. Throughout this song, you can hear the strong sounds of the legendary trumpets from the band.

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"Guaguanco Triste"
Originally written by the famous Salsa singer and songwriter Ruben Blades, "Guaguanco Triste" was released with the 1971 album El Bestial Sonido, another of the duo's most celebrated works. This song brought a meaningful experience to the art of writing Salsa. In fact, the nostalgic lyrics of this track served as a consolation for all the families that were losing their sons during the Vietnam War.

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"Bomba En Navidad"
Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz produced several Christmas songs. "Bomba En Navidad," a single featuring the beats of traditional Puerto Rican Bomba, is the most popular Christmas-related track released by the duo. Throughout this song, you can hear the female chorus the duo used in several of their recordings.

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"Yo Soy Babalu"
I have to say, this is one of my favorite tracks from Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz. A single included in the 1968 album Los Durisimos, "Yo Soy Babalu" features a Latin Boogaloo sound that is just plain cool. With its wonderful arrangements, this is a fantastic track from beginning to end.

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"Traigo De Todo"
Another hit from the album Aguzate, "Traigo de Todo" is one of the duo's most popular tracks of Jala Jala, a musical rhythm coined by percussionist Roberto Roena during the peak of the Boogaloo fever. The combination of the percussion with Richie's piano in this single is great.

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"Pancho Cristal"
This track is one of the greatest hits included in the album Los Durisimos. The interaction between the percussion and trumpet sessions in this song is fantastic. Because of its exciting sound, "Pancho Cristal" is also a great tune for hitting the dance floor.

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"Si Te Contara"
If you are looking for a track that combines Bolero and Salsa, "Si Te Contara" will definitely please you. Although this song did not enjoy the popularity of other tracks released by the duo, "Si Te Contara" is just one of the more sophisticated songs recorded by the two artists. The sweet notes provided by the piano, the trumpets and Bobby's vocals are perfect.

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"Richie's Jala-Jala"
Before Zumba, there were tracks like "Richie's Jala-Jala." With its fast tempo, this exhilarating track will make you sweat on the dance floor. Out of all the Jala Jala songs recorded by Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz, this is definitely the most famous one. The trumpets are, literally, out of control in this song.

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"Aguzate"
This is the most popular hit from the breakthrough album by the same name. "Aguzate" became the track that came to define the duo's sound and style. When Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz decided to incorporate their Christian faith into their music, the famous duo recorded a new version of this song replacing its title with the word Arrepientete.

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"Sonido Bestial"
Regarded by many as the very best song ever recorded by Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz, this track belongs to the popular 1971 album El Sonido Bestial. To put it in a simple way, "Sonido Bestial" is to Salsa music as "Bohemian Rhapsody" is to Rock music. The fusion and innovation in this song is plain fantastic. Besides providing the distinctive sound that Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz consolidated throughout their career, "Sonido Bestial" brings together Boogaloo, Jala Jala and even classical notes from Stravinski and Bach. The final segment features an amazing percussion session. This is definitely one of the greatest Salsa songs of all time.

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