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Friday, December 13, 2013

13 of 1001 Songs: Don Azpiazu and His Havana Casino's El Manisero

El Manisero or The Peanut Vendor is a song that is one of the most popular created by a Cuban musician. There have been many takes on the tune. It makes sense why it has appeal with the Cuban sounds, and the flare of the vocals. It is very rich in movement.

History: This song has been recorded more than a hundred times. It's very popular, especially for Cuban artists to cover. One of the most popular versions still stands to be Don Azpiazu's version though with His Havana Casino band. The version was so popular that it became the first million dollar selling of a Cuban record. The original song has even achieved cultural significance in the United States, and it's about the registry. The line up of the musicians features a huge all star cast.


Vocals: The song does sound really familiar. The vocalist, Antonio Machin, has good vocals that do sound fun and have a great pitch. His voicing flows well with the music, and though I can't understand the language he is speaking in, I can still feel the emotion in his voicing. I think if nothing else it always helps the music to sound better and transcend language barriers when you can hear the emotions in the singer's voicing. He also has a bit of operatic tone in his voicing, and it's just interesting and unique to listen to.

Instrumentals: The song is made up of a list of talented musicians on instruments. Azpiazu was the director. Julio Cueva was on the trumpet, Mario Bauza on the saxophone, and an arrangement of other musicians with those being the more popular ones. If you like music that is Latin, then you will love how the sounds of this song sound then. It has all rhythm and dancing flow you could ask for in this genre of music. It also is really well remastered from the 1930's recording, so you get quality that sounds just as good today unlike a lot of older music.

Lyrics: As a lover of peanuts I can get into what this song is singing about. I loved boiled peanuts and during the fair season I never lack for wanting them. I like the catchy rhythm of these lyrics sound when just read though, and it's just a fun and light song. I could understand if you were someone alive during this time and living in this country that it probably brings back a lot of nostalgic memories regarding peanut vendors, and how they sell in their neighborhood there. Maybe even today? I'm not sure if the vibe would still be the same though.

If you are looking for songs that don't have such serious lyrics then this is it. It seems like everyone is making songs that are serious in nature now. Even if they are meant to be motivational they still are trying so hard to have some meaning it's ridiculous. And if a song is just casual it's got to about partying. There aren't any songs that reflect on simple enjoyments or what people's daily lives make them think of anymore.

Rating 7.5 of 10.


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