To compliment our email about the different styles of salsa music, I made a couple playlists to give definition to the variation in styles.

Classic Salsa

To begin with we have Salsa Clásica, a style of salsa developed and cultivated in the 50s and 60s by such greats as Celia Cruz, Willie Colon, Ruben Blades, Hector Lavoe and Tito Puente. The success of salsa in its early days was due to the social undertones and political messages it represented. The force had the power to unify the fragmented and uprooted Latin American population and act as a guard against assimilation into US culture. Below are some examples of Salsa Clásica. If you understand Spanish, much of the lyrics in these songs delve into personal quandaries as well as exploring sociopolitical themes.

Visit Salsa Clásica for full length songs.

Salsa Romantica

In the mid 1980s to 1990s, Salsa Romantica emerged from the dwindling popularity of Salsa Clásica. At this time Latin Pop and Rock began to explode onto the scene, taking hints from theses artists Salsa Romantica followed a sentimental ballad approach to the Afro-Cuban beats. Much of the musical improvisation was lost, as well as the grandly orchestrated arrangements. Lyrics turned from sociopolitical outcry to passionate love songs.

Visit Salsa Romantica for full length songs.

Salsa Dura

Literally meaning hard salsa, Salsa Dura is a return to the basic stylings of Salsa Clásica; a return to the strong Afro -Cuban beats, infectious melodies, pulsing rhythm, long vamps known as ‘montuno’, traditional lyricism, and powerful arrangements. Salsa Dura is the salsa of choice for most Salseros. The articulation of the musicians blends harmoniously with the syncopation of the dancers.

Salsa Dura is now at the forefront of salsa music with such greats as Grupo Niche, Sonora Carruseles, The Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Joe Arroyo and Fruko y sus Tesos, El Gran Combo, La Excelencia, and many others.

Visit Salsa Dura for full length songs.

UPDATE 05/08/09: imeem is currently having problems with their embed player only allowing 30 second clips. Some songs work like they are supposed to and some don’t. Of course it works pretty well on their site but you have to register with imeem first. You can do this by clicking on the links below any of the playlists. It’ll bring you to my imeem page and you can register then. Its a pretty cool service so check it out.