Salsa will never be what it was in NYC in the 70s

Discussion in 'Salsa Music' started by RICKJDLT, Apr 25, 2015.


    RICKJDLT Descarga

    I mean no disrespect to anyone, but the fact is the golden age of salsa will never return. Salsa in the late 60's early 70's was the pinnacle of rights and protest all in one. It was a time when Puerto Ricans had migrated to NYC adapted yet kept their Spanish. So they got on the mike and sang about Puerto Rico along with their ghetto experience in NY. Today the majority of Latinos born in USA can barely speak Spanish & forget about singing. The only acts that give us a glimpse of the past are artists that have survived. All todays "Salsa" is a product of commercialization.
  2. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Another NYC centric.... It may interest you or not, BUT there were other major centers, where the same experiences could be had, I speak of LA m Miami and Chi town , for a few ex. I only know this because I travelled and taught, in many cities over a long, long period of time .

    I also do agree with you, on how the younger generation have somewhat abandoned their roots, musically and language wise, in many cases.

    Here,s a dichotomy... all todays salsa is a product etc... if the same can be said of all styles of music, then, IF the opposite were true, we may never have gotten exposed to any of the genres.
    Music is a Business. , so what I believe you really mean is this.. you do not like the direction the record companies have taken the genre.

    It begs the Q... sales generally direct any companies products based upon volume/profit... So, does this indicate that the Monga side of the genre outsells the hardcore /dura side ?.. I suspect so..
    This, would then lay the blame at the feet of the general public who make those purchases.

    PS.. Ive been thru so many " golden " ages of dance/ music.. from the 40s/50s etc. retrospect may not always be, what we remember it to be.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015
  3. BullitproofSoul

    BullitproofSoul Shine Officer

    No, it will not. It will, along with other elements, will evolve into something else that beautiful, moving, danceable, and that speaks to a generation.

    And it will probably not be called Salsa anymore.
  4. El Caobo

    El Caobo Maestro 'Salsa' Palmieri

    Salsa monga does not sell any better than grassroots salsa in the U.S. The problem is that, in the US, the commercial industry is not supporting salsa at all. Take a look at the latest Latin Airplay Chart: I only saw one salsa song out of twenty-five songs! Obviously, salsa is NOT being played on commercial radio. Instead, you will find reggaeton, bachata, regional Mexican, Spanish rock, etc., with salsa coming in last place in terms of overall Latin music radio play.

    So, when considering all Latin music, salsa is hardly represented at all. Let's see how well salsa is doing within the Tropical Songs Chart: Well, at a glance, I believe that I saw only two salsa songs, out of twenty!

    The bottomline is that in the U.S. salsa is not getting any love on commercial radio! The question is "why not?" Terence is correct that it has to do with business. With the exception of New York and Florida, the Latino demographics in other areas of the United States is by far mostly Mexican / Central American. So, salsa is not their vernacular form of music and dance. This is a huge factor! As long as the commercial industry continues to see salsa as just a Latin genre of music and dance, when they look at the demographics, they will never understand the true situation; which is that of all the other Latin genres, salsa is the most cross-cultural and multi-generational; although bachata is now also strongly moving in that direction. I

    Another issue is that while bachata and reggaeton have been successful with all synthesized music with a pretty boy/girl singer, to a large extent, that template does not work with salsa. In the '80s, yes, salsa covers of r&b songs and other salsa romantica and monga songs, without real musicians, caught on, but it didn't take long for salsa lovers to begin to reject that template. Salsa lovers what real musicians! They also want talented soneros and not just pretty boy/girl singers. So, another "issue" is that producing good salsa music is more expensive than simply laying down a beat on a synthesizer and then getting someone to sing over it.

    There are some other things going on, but I'll save them until next time.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015
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  5. groovetpt

    groovetpt Capitán Del Estilo

    And you may just be the man to lead the way!
  6. timberamayor

    timberamayor Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    And we'll say "No really! I knew him before he was famous! He used to post on Salsa Forums!"
  7. BullitproofSoul

    BullitproofSoul Shine Officer

    I would be honored to simply be one of the many talented people who I believe will bring Afro-Cuban into its next phase. Its going to take many creative people of all ages (including you) to get us there :)

    Also, my comments should not be construed as saying that Salsa itself will ever die. In its purest forms, Salsa will continued to be protected and curated by great DJ's like El Caobo,, DJ Yuca, Matty and them. They will keep good Salsa intact, which will continue to entertain and enrich us, and perhaps most importantly from my perspective, educate and inspire the next generation of musicians so that what is created next will be strongly rooted and informed by the great Afro-Cuban that came before.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015
  8. BullitproofSoul

    BullitproofSoul Shine Officer

    Lol thanks for the uplifting. I don't want to be famous really, though having my name ring a few bells would be useful for pursuing opportunities that I have in mind.

    I'd like to think that as I get a little bigger, I'd still post on a few forums that are near and dear to me. Its definitely my prefered way of "doing internet" over and against social media.
  9. Resides

    Resides Sonero

    I've never been to New York...let alone in the 1970's. I can't comment.

    I do know Salsa is much more vibrant than ever in many other cities. No one in my Canadian city had heard of Salsa or even tacos and nachos back then...or ever heard the Spanish language outside of Speedy Gonzales in a cartoon....maybe Zorro.

    Today? Lots of interest. Salsa social dances, clubs, Meet Up Salsa lessons, etc. I would think that Salsa is far more reaching than ever. We used to dance what was a version of Polka back in Alsace as a kid. It's 'gone'. Now a hundred people might dance Salsa and other Latin dances at a club in Strasbourg...that's 100 more than 40 years ago.
  10. El Caobo

    El Caobo Maestro 'Salsa' Palmieri

    It's more important now than ever that djs spin salsa, good salsa, authentic salsa! In my area, most of the self-described "salsa" djs jumped on the bachata bandwagon along with the schools. To each his or her own, but a new fad doesn't change my passion so readily! I can afford, literally and emotionally, to wait for the gigs that require most of the real thing and less bubble gum.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015

    RICKJDLT Descarga

    Terence you are correct, the experiment did take place in other places also, but NYC for the most part. Much of what is called salsa today is actually tropical music & has it's roots outside of the USA because most Latin Americans here don't speak Spanish. Salsa monga has more appeal today because people love to dance & it is catchy for being on the dance floor and has much more mass appeal. So I was more referring to the brand of salsa that was created back then when the word salsa was first coined. It is very difficult to make songs of the struggles of the inner cities or the yearning of the countryside back home if you haven't lived it. This is true in the same sense that Cuba will never produce the type of music on the scale it did before that influenced the salsa of NYC. The elements just aren't there anymore.

    There are people that try to keep this brand of music alive thru airplay but it is very limited. Along with other musical styles that are referred to hear like the mambo, son & other music that came before Salsa. But Salsa being the first to cater to a mostly young street hip audience. Back in those days a lot of people still knew what the songs talked about & related to them in their everyday lives. There were also a lot of people that didn't speak Spanish yet loved the music. My whole point is that the elements are not in place for this to occur again. There are still a lot of local bands around the entire USA that may play music of this time period but overall no one is creating much more of this music except for maybe a few who did live during that time period. But they usually are just remakes.

    Guess that is why most of our collections are over 25 years old for the most part. Yes Caobo it is people like yourself that do keep the original sound alive, I am not sure for how much longer. I try to get my kids to get into Salsa they are teens and they have no interest whatsoever, maybe one day they will since my wife is also very Salsera.

    RICKJDLT Descarga

    Resides I have also heard that Europeans know their salsa & can distinguish good Salsa. They are more into classic salsa & Cuban music than the new stuff is what I have heard.
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  13. El Caobo

    El Caobo Maestro 'Salsa' Palmieri

    I mostly agree with everything else you have said, except the above. You would be surprised how much music radio hosts who specialize in the music receive. Yes, there are many covers, but there is also a lot of original music. Right now, commercial radio in the U.S. is not even playing much of the commercial salsa and not any of the independent artists, but they are certainly out there. I have to take my hat off to them, because they continue to create good music although their work is mostly unappreciated.
  14. El Caobo

    El Caobo Maestro 'Salsa' Palmieri

    You definitely should continue to pursue your vision. It's a difficult proposition, but you already know that and are up to the challenge. Keep it up!
  15. SONido

    SONido Son Montuno

    @El Caobo

    I honestly think the next stage of "musica latina" will be closing the loop and fall on Cubans once again. It happened in the 30's, 40's, 50's...then the embargo shut it down, which allowed Fania and its clones to carry the torch with an "ok" product that eventually devolved into Romantica in the 80's. (70's Salsa never achieved the mass appeal to the general American public that Cuban music had from the 30's - 50's)

    Cuba however kept a high caliber of musical virtuosity in the dance music genre through the lost decades of the Embargo (Traditional Son, Timba, Rumba, etc). Now that the embargo is falling, Cuba is again in the exact same position it occupied when everything started in the 30's. Great music, great talent, and it is once again an exotic land for the American public to discover.
  16. El Caobo

    El Caobo Maestro 'Salsa' Palmieri

    I love that you used the term "devolve" to describe the romántica movement, because that is exactly what it was, a devolution, a watering down in an attempt to appeal to a certain mainstream market!

    Frankly, I agree with everything that you've written. I am perplexed about a part of what took place in Cuba though. It's very interesting that the Cuban rhythm section, with conga, bongö, güiro, etc., was introduced to the jazz industry in New York and played such an integral part in the evolution of jazz into Latin jazz, into mambo, into salsa. Yet, with timba, there is the trap drum set. This seems like a step backwards to me and honestly is the very thing that makes it difficult for me to appreciate timba as much as I would like. I love the swing of the traditional Afro-Cuban rhythms section and those trap drums just don't do it for me.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015

    RICKJDLT Descarga

    Well Caobo you for one would know, like I said before you got the best job in the world. I am just glad you people are eager to share your knowledge and agree & even disagree on occasions. Also Caobo I am with you about the watering down of music today, even Cuban. I try to get into new stuff but it just doesn't move me. I believe we are in the same age range, so possibly why are tastes are similar.

    There probably will never be another salsa explosion but good to know there are people still keeping it real.
  18. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Don't believe ALL you hear.. both Yuca and I, can give you a different story !!
  19. tallpaul

    tallpaul Pattern Police

    In my opinion, the influence is a two-way street. In the 30s, 40s and 50s, while Cuban music was influencing the world, the world was also influencing Cuban music. Pianos were added to conjuntos, jazz harmonies and big band arrangements became popular.

    It makes sense that this would continue - musical culture doesn't sit still for ever, certainly not Afro-Cuban musical culture.
  20. timberamayor

    timberamayor Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    That would be nice :) I hope so. WE have seen the huge success of "Bailando" as well as Victor Manuelle doing a remake of "Que suenen los tambores". Salsa artists doing remakes of Cuban music is nothing new, but I think as the doors open more and more, they will find more and more great modern songs to remake. I just hope that the Cubans themselves start getting more recognition in the broader world of Latin music rather than only among the niches group of Cuban music fans.

    EDIT: One of the problems that has been affecting Cuban bands in the past few years is the actual inability top press CDs. There has been some sort of issue with the manufacturing of CDs that has delayed so many Cuban productions. In this digital age one might ask "Why bother", but the major bands are still released CDs. the new band are doing a lot of independent digital productions but they have problems with production quality that has plagued Cuban music for decades. The new bands can't afford the expensive mixers and masterers.

    I don't know if that's why Elito decided to release his new CD with Sony, but it hasn't appeared on the market yet either, so it doesn't seem to have improve the problem of delays. Seriously, this CD was originally supposed to be released 2 years ago!
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
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