Oye Como Va" by Carlos Santana


The Origins of "Oye Como Va" by Carlos Santana

"Oye Como Va" is a song that has been covered by many different artists, but the version most people are familiar with is the one by Carlos Santana. The song was originally written and performed by Tito Puente, a Puerto Rican musician known as the "King of Latin Jazz." Puente recorded the song in 1963 and released it as a single.

At the time, "Oye Como Va" was a popular dance song in Latin America, but it wasn't until Santana covered it in 1970 that it gained international recognition. Santana's version of the song appears on their album "Abraxas," which was released in September of that year. The album was a commercial and critical success, and "Oye Como Va" became one of Santana's most popular songs.

The Music of "Oye Como Va"

"Oye Como Va" is a song that combines elements of Latin music and rock. The song's melody is based on a simple but catchy riff played on a Hammond organ, and it features a brass section playing a horn section structure. Additionally, the song has a Latin percussion section that features congas, bongos, and timbales. The catchy groove and driving rhythm of the song make it a popular dancefloor filler.

The Lyrics of "Oye Como Va"

The lyrics of "Oye Como Va" are in Spanish and were written by Tito Puente. The song's title translates to "Listen to How It Goes," and the lyrics describe the joy and excitement of dancing to the song's irresistible rhythm. The lyrics are simple and repetitive, but they perfectly capture the celebratory spirit of Latin music.

Legacy of "Oye Como Va"

"Oye Como Va" has become a classic song that is still played today, and it has been covered by numerous artists in a variety of musical genres. The song's upbeat rhythm and catchy melody make it a favorite among Latin music fans, but its influence extends far beyond that genre.

Carlos Santana himself has said that "Oye Como Va" was his "introduction to Afro-Cuban rhythm." The song's success helped to popularize Latin music and brought attention to the unique sounds and rhythms of Latin American music. It is considered one of Santana's signature songs, and its popularity helped to establish him as a major force in rock music.

Cover Versions of "Oye Como Va"

As mentioned earlier, "Oye Como Va" has been covered by many different artists in a variety of musical genres. Some notable covers include:

  • The B-side of Mongo Santamaria's single "Cloud Nine" (1969)
  • Santana's version (1970)
  • Celia Cruz's cover, "Anoche Aprendi" (1976)
  • Afro-Cuban All-Stars' version on their album "A Toda Cuba Le Gusta" (1997)
  • Santana's re-recorded version featuring Mexican singer Lila Downs (2010)

In Conclusion

"Oye Como Va" is a timeless classic that has endured for over five decades. Its catchy rhythm, simple yet meaningful lyrics and the cultural significance of its origin make this song a must-have in any music collection. It is no wonder that it has been covered so many times over the years, becoming a staple in Latin American music and opening the doors for many other Latin music artists to achieve international success.