10 Summer Classics Every Latina Should Know

Want to upgrade your summer barbeque from frat party to classy, grown-up affair? We suggest serving sangria instead of beer, replacing hot dogs with churrasco and topping it all off with our ultimate summer playlist of classic beats. From Celia Cruz to Perez Prado, our list spans four decades and is sure to get your soire started—Latin style, of course.

1. SC: Los Lobos, “La Bamba”

Los Lobos, “La Bamba”

Grammy-winning chicano rock band Los Lobos took this Mexican folk song—first made famous by Ritchie Valens in the 1950s—and turned it into an international sensation. According to Rolling Stone, it’s the most recognizable song in America not sung in English and one of the 500 greatest songs of all time. Not a bad way to get your party started.


2. SC: Santana, “Oye Como Va”

Santana, “Oye Como Va”

Close your eyes and imagine Carlos Santana sitting beside you on a deck chair, strumming something on his guitar, and that song will certainly be Tito Puente’s classic “Oye Como Va,” which Santana covers to perfection here.


3. SC: Perez Prado, “Guaglione”

Perez Prado, “Guaglione”

If your goal is to get your guests to drop their forks and start dancing spontaneously, Cuban bandleader Perez Prado will do the trick. He’s like Ricky Ricardo on fast forward.


4. SC: Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto, “Corcovado”

Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto, “Corcovado”

This bossa nova classic is the perfect note to end a warm night on, especially if you’re hoping to cuddle up next to a special someone under the stars. We love this version by American saxophonist Stan Getz and Brazilian singer Joao Gilberto featuring his wife Astrud.


5. SC: Benny More, “Babarabatiri”

Benny More, “Babarabatiri”

Busta Rhymes has nothing on Benny More when it comes to speed. Or music, for that matter. Turn up the volume on this number and start a conga line around the pool.


6. SC: Benny More, “Babarabatiri”

Benny More, “Babarabatiri”

Busta Rhymes has nothing on Benny More when it comes to speed. Or music, for that matter. Turn up the volume on this number and start a conga line around the pool.


7. SC: Santana, “Oye Como Va”

Santana, “Oye Como Va”

Close your eyes and imagine Carlos Santana sitting beside you on a deck chair, strumming something on his guitar, and that song will certainly be Tito Puente’s classic “Oye Como Va,” which Santana covers to perfection here.


8. SC: Gipsy Kings, “Bamboleo”

Gipsy Kings, “Bamboleo”

French-Spaniard group the Gipsy Kings added a little of their signature flamenco-pop and turned this Venezuelan folk song into their biggest hit.

 


9. Manu Chao, “Me Gustas Tu”

Manu Chao, “Me Gustas Tu”

Peppy and infectious, Manu Chau’s biggest hit to date will have you rewriting the lyrics in no time.


10. SC: Celia Cruz, "Guantanamera"

Celia Cruz, “Guantanamera”

Hands down, this song from Cuba is one of the most covered tracks in history—everyone from Julio Iglesias to Wyclef Jean has tried their hand at recapturing the magic about “the girl from Guantanamo”—but we settled on this classic incarnation from Cuban queen Celia Cruz.


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