When you listen to something like this you really get the feeling the Latin people are having way more fun than everybody else.
Dance Mania is a studio album by American musician Tito Puente. The album was added to the National Recording Registry in 2002. It is also listed among the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
When you listen to something like this you really get the feeling the Latin people are having way more fun than everybody else.
“Dance Mania” by Tito Fuentes and his orchestra (1958) Never heard of this album or artist, but I could see that this was going to be fun immediately upon dropping the needle on the record. I can dream, can’t I? The album came out when I was three years old, and this was a musical world with which, in later years, I would become only marginally familiar. My sister and I would dance cha-cha-cha in pre-adolescence. I got bongos for Christmas one year, learning the difference between cha-cha-cha, mambo, samba, and rumba (and the difference between the two bongo drums, macho and hembra, the full significance of which would only become clear when adolescence was over). Musically, I was taken by the rich depth of the brass (exclusively trumpets, with the lower tones all carried by reeds. Interesting.) The rhythms are not the hard driving Latin beats of Santana. This is dance music. Mostly mambo (listen for the syncopation on beat four in each measure) and cha-cha-cha, in slightly varying tempos from song to song. Sensuous, undulating. For dancers, forget your feet. It’s all about oscillation between the chest and lower abdomen (euphemisms). I’d better stop. Skillful marimba and vibraphone by Fuentes. All musicians play with precision and professional self discipline. Excellent jazz piano by Raymond Concepción. Very well recorded (for 1958), with excellent use of the newly developed stereophonic technology (generally brass on the right and reeds on the left—cool). Can you believe we actually used to listen to music in mono? Lyrics: Well, I’m certainly limited here, but the lyrics are meaningfully prominent on two songs. This is enough for me to gain an appreciation of the fact that Latin dance is more than just ‘happy music’, regardless how much cowbell I hear. On “Cuando Te Vea”, we have: Mañana cuando yo te vea Permite, que pueda explicarte Los momentos de amargura Que pase por ti mujer Yo comprendo, soy un hombre Lo que quiero nena linda Es disculparte Por los momentos de amargura Que pase por ti mujer (Tomorrow when I see you Let me explain The moments of bitterness Let it pass for you woman I understand, I am a man What I want pretty baby Is to apologize For the moments of bitterness Let it pass for you woman) Cuando te vea Fuiste mala mala y embustera Cuando te vea Mañana por la mañana Cuando te vea Te fuiste de mi vida mujer bandolera Cuando te vea (When I see you You were bad bad and a liar When I see you Tomorrow morning When I see you You left my life, shoulder bag woman When I see you) Here is a message that conveys sympathy, regret, chastisement, and resentment all within the same musical mood. Wow. (Somebody please explain to me “mujer bandolera”) On “Agua Limpia Todo”, Water cleanses everything—even the tongue of the people. Something to remember in the age of Twitter. Very good music. Very gratifying listen. 4/5
What a fantastic, groovy, dancy album. I found myself swaying and jigglin' to the beat and tempo of the songs. What a great album that I'd have otherwise not listened to.
Never listened to a whole Tito Puente album. Really enjoyed listening to this, both by myself and with the family. Love the dance of the lead voices with the chorus and of course the layers of percussion is right up my alley. The "living stereo" mix sounds great and for its time is incredible. Favorite tracks: Llego Mijan and Mi Chiquita Quiere Bembe.
Havana great time 🕺🏻
Really hard not to smile while listening to Señor Tito and his orchestra. Perfect for cooking or, really, anything. Favorite tracks: "Complicación", "Llego Mijan"
First time listening: 12/12 songs liked Yooooooo. That's a groove. This is basically a more refined Perez Prado, with more grooves and more melody. I am all for big band, and definitely all for mambo. 4 songs saved
This ain’t my first time at the Tito Puente rodeo! I had several of his albums in the past. Not sure if this was one of them as I am always up for some mambo. Turns out this was just the way to get my day started with a big smile… I’m thrilled this is on the list! Anyone who doesn’t find their hips moving when they listen to this should be examined by a professional. I love this era and style of music and Tito Puente is the crème de la crème.
My soul is on fire with this slanderous mambo
This immediately transported me to years and years of Mexican markets, restaurants and taquerias, from adolescence through to my adulthood. I can vividly see, hear, smell, and taste the specific food, colors, decor, and ambiance that is associated with so many places like this. It's always a good sign when you can connect to the music on a level that transports you somewhere else! If you are splitting hairs, this is more "Cuban" than "Mexican", but that doesn't stop it from being perfect and timeless in any Latin setting. Classic mambo albums and artists like Tito Puente are staples in these settings, and for good reason. It's fun to listen to, it's joyful, it's passionate, and it's exciting while also still being perfectly accessible for relaxing (again, in my case, almost always dining or shopping -- these can be forms of relaxing!). A real joy to listen to!
I cannot imagine a record doing what this record does, but better. Reminded me of loaded club scenes in modernist classics - again, thinking of Antonioni here. Four stars
Over two hours of great Mambo music. The whole thing has me wanting to shake my hips. It showcases a fantastic display of afro-cuban style percussion and brass. No one song in particular really stands out above the rest for me, perhaps because of my limited exposure and knowledge of this kind of music, but its a definite album I would play while cooking or just enjoying life.
Just noticed that I rated the last five albums either a one or five. Such an extremist! Well this album will be neither. I quite like Cuban music. This is Cuban right? Wiki notes that Tito is an American musician. Who am I to question but let’s just say that when Gordon Gano sang “Do you like American music” I highly doubt he meant Mambo. This is soft Cuban music and during the first few songs it’s impossible not get the hips swerving. The Xylophone was also kinda neat and they respected the unwritten rule that says only one Xylophone song per album. This is quite good and well recorded for the 50s but I think some of the Cubans who followed the American had more to offer.
First song was enjoyable then it descended into 45mins of the exact same song!
I'm sure it was an awesome latin dance fest in the 70s, but before my time and hard to get into without that experience. Now bring on Scooter!!! Lol
Great as background party music but I can't remember anything at all from it. All the tracks blur into one. This isn't music to listen to, just to dance - which is fine, but I don't dance so that's no use to me, I'll take Samba Pa Ti instead, please. Mind you, it gave me a happy 5 minutes watching Jane dance to it in the kitchen.
Esta es fuego! Excelente!
hell yeah, man - that was just fantastic, and another super encapsulation of what that scene feels like it would've felt like...if you know what i mean.
Honestly a great album, full of life! very nice listen, would def get this record
It was indeed a dance mania moment. This album slaps.
A solid latin dance album. 10/10 will listen again.
Great vibe, love this!
Loved it. Proper smooching down the road with headphones on music.
bop after bop after bop
Seré breve, aquí lo que tenemos es al Tito con sus colegas de New York poniendo las pelotas encima de la mesa a finales de los 50s para sacar, por fin, un disco de jazz latino en español y poner así la primera piedra de lo que será la invasión de Norteamérica por parte de la música latinoamericana. Mezclando jazz latino, mambo, cha cha chá y bembé, Tito Puente da forma a un disco angular en la historia, bailongo y divertido, preciosista en sus cadencias y plácido como la tarde de un sábado. Para él no era más que continuar en su trabajo con la música afrocubana pero lo que hizo fue sembrar la semilla que daría lugar en el futuro a, por ejemplo, la salsa, a la hegemonía de lo latino que hoy abanderan J Balvin o Bad Bunny. En New York. En el 58. Un percusionista loco y sus colegas. Subidón, pasote y desvergüenza, uno de los mejores discos que escucharéis en vuestra vida.
63 anni portati egregiamente
Fun as hell
I'm obliged to award this top-notch album record for both it's high quality and it's counter programming on this list dominated by 60's folk and pop-rock. A big part of that is because this reference is so light on music like this that only the best are able to be included. All that aside, this is wonderful music and from note one I had a smile on my face.
Great rhythms and parts to produce highly enjoyable songs
Manic. Can't stop the mania.
This is pleasant to start with. Of course, my history shows that I usually highly rate global albums, so there’s that. This was an enjoyable album and good background music for the other things I had going on.
I like to listen to all different kinds of music but if someone made it so I could only listen to Mambo from now on I wouldn't be upset.
Ahhh, that hit the spot. Some great latino-jazz here. It's sad that ten years ago people would have only thought of Tito Puente from the Simpsons, and now people don't even remember that. But wow, this band is tight. Definitely have to pick up both Volumes 1 AND 2.
What a great choice - I loved the funky upbeat tunes. I felt like Carmen Miranda boogieing along. Hard to pick a favourite, but my top pick is 'El Cayuco'. I also liked 'Mambo Gozon', 'Cuando Te Vea', and 'Varsity Drag' as an instrumental ¡Mambo!
Way to much fun to listen to
Felt like I was in a soundtrack for a movie about elevator music. 5 stars.
That was fun!
10/10, amazing vibes
Fun stuff, reminds me to Tropico soundtrack :)
Was going to write a fancy, witty review using Tito Puente quotes from the Simpsons episodes he was in (Who Shot Mr. Burns pts 1 and 2 for anyone playing along at home) but it just ended up sounding wanky, unlike this album which must’ve sounded like a revelation in ’58, and sounds just as fresh and amazing and astonishing in ’22.
great album. Brilliantly upbeat
This was a great soundtrack to cleaning the bathroom today. Super fun.
Tito Puente!!! What a fun time today! Now, trying to keep my mind on my work while listening was quite a challenge. A better soundtrack for a party or a task that needs an energy boost, but no real mental focus.
Mambo! Hips moving uncontrollably! Yay!
I couldn't stop chair dancing.
Loved it...my new retirement album
Great albulm for jamming. Tito delivers on every track
ABSOLUTELY LOVED. I personally have not been exposed to música tropical that wasn't in a club and i throughly enjoyed how it brightened my mood immediately. My fav song was 3-D Mambo and Llego Mijan!
So fun! Made me want to dance the Mambo in Havana in the 20s. Even though it’s not my normal style of music, I enjoyed every song and would definitely listen again or even put this on during a dinner party.
If you're an afficiando of Latin music you have this album.
Astounding! Great stuff.
It’s incredible how fast it improved my mood. I didn’t read the title as Dance Mania, I just saw Tito and the top and realized it was a spanish man. I was uncontrollably dancing, I started the album cause I needed something to listen to while cooking. I ended up cleaning, cooking, and dancing. This shits a hellava drug. Might slowly finish throughout the day, currently on Guaririambo.
Fuck, I love this 5
totally for moving your literal feet or mental one, now i just have to figure out what the translation is 😅
Delicious Latin rhythms. Listenable and uplifting full sound.
Though it's not something I'd usually seek out, I found myself enjoying this one. It's just so fun and groovy.
BANGERS FOR DAYS
ohhhhh yeah baby let's go tito puente was doing so much cool shit as a band leader in the year 1958. lawrence welk wasn't doing this shit i'm sorry he just wasn't. there was not an american market for dance mania in the time it came out, and the american market is so so dumb for not wanting this record. there are very few albums that make me actually want to get up and move, but this album makes me want to put a rose in my mouth and woo a woman with the language of dance again, with some of these albums, i'm like, "did i really need to hear this?" yes, i needed to hear dance mania by tito puente. this was a blind spot, but it never will be again, as i will remember these sweet grooves and wonderful orchestral arrangements for the rest of my life puente was a percussionist by trade before becoming a band leader, and you can absolutely tell. every single one of these songs has a really tight and individualistic groove, the non-drum percussive instruments (marimba, etc) add so much to the bottom layer of this arrangement, and oh my GOD the horns are so good in every single song music is supposed to make you feel stuff. a lot of the stuff i love evokes a strong emotion in me - love, sadness, longing. i love dance mania, because it inspires a great joy in my heart that i just cannot shake. it's cutting through this overcast seattle day and shining the sun into my soul, man. i get the fuck down with tito puente and his orchestra.
Very good, felt slightly formulaic based on other stuff I’ve listened too but based on historical context it’s clear that this album helped establish the formula. Will definitely listen to again and I may grab some Latin music for the vinyl collection.
Now we're talking! Mambo from this time period always evokes cool dudes in white linen suits driving around Miami in their convertibles, before taking on some sort of "Oceans 11" type caper. You don't get better than Tito - still as danceable today as it was 60 years ago...
It was a fuckin’ party in my car this morning at 6am with this playing, let me tell you. I have been digging this style of music lately and it’s like the algorithm read my mind.
Que bendición este álbum!!!
Tito Puente. Wow! If this doesn’t get it going for you, you are dead . Mercy
Well now I'm likely going to go on a Tito Puente kick. I'm sure my husband will appreciate it.
LOVE Dancing in the kitchen vibes
i mean, what else could you want? this is excellent.
Of course I love it. Usually with world music I’m willing to be lenient with some production weirdness, but this whole album is super tight. The percussion is especially wonderful.
Not a lot of variety track to track but groove density is off the charts.
I’m a sucker for Latin Jazz/Mambo/Samba stuff. This record really scratches that itch. It’s fun and gratifying to listen to. Cool record, literally no complaints. 5/5.
Impossible to dislike. Putting this album on here is like cheating. Absolutely fantastic mambo music. What else is there to say? This is amazing no matter what mood you're in.
basic brunch music in a good way
If I had to pick one genre of music to listen to for the rest of my life it would be something like this. I could rant about the under-representation of Latin music on this list compared 70s rock but we're only 2.8% of the way in so happy to give the benefit of the doubt!!
Not my thing but undeniably great.
Love that vibes
Really enjoyable; infectious even.
I want to put on a white dinner jacket & salsa all day, listening to Tito! What great rhythm, you can hear his influence on Santana here This album started my day on a positive note
Beautiful album, I listened to it again when I got home, and it sounded even better.
Wow. The best use for a trumpet. I could listen to this on repeat all day.
Hell yeah so great, this has gotta be the tightest band in the world. I love the arrangements and I love the warmth on all of the horns, such an amazing sounding record.
The music is so good. Santitos Colon has such a great voice . I loved the marimba solo on Hong Kong Mambo.
Easy five stars. Amazing Salsa. Love it.
This is exception in every way I care to think about. Excellent performances, superb composition, great recording and, as then name would suggest, highly danceable.
Just an album of masterful musicianship. Superb and unique vocals with a complete command of the instrumentation. Super fun album and high energy from start to finish. 10/10.
If I ever want just like mario music in the background - this is the album.
Maybe todays weather biased me, but I’m giving this a five. This was awesome. It was so evocative of a particular place in both space and time (at least for someone who was never in NYC in the 50s) and feels perfectly executed. The horns were wonderful and the piano sounded great throughout. Would be fun to go out dancing to this.
Tropico! Listened to when running a few days as well
YES yes yes, love this!
Nothing better than a cha-cha
5/5 First time I listened to a mambo album, really appreciated the instrumental tracks.