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Juan D'Arienzo

Homenage Sony BMG: El Rey del Compás 70 Años

15 CDs celebrating the 70th anniversary of D'Arienzo at RCA Victor

Celebrating 70 years since the signing of Juan D'Arienzo to RCA Victor in 1935, BMG Argentina have produced this slick new CD reissue entitled Homenaje a El Rey del Compás - Homage to the King of the Beat. This series is not his complete works (964 tracks by my reckoning - perhaps 45 CDs) but 310 of his best tracks spread over 15 CDs. This beautiful new release, with good sound, excellent sleeve notes (Spanish only) immediately establishes itself as the series of choice for lovers of D'Arienzo's music, displacing the 9 CDs on BMG's Tango Argentino label. The graphic design is first rate - much better than what we have become accustomed to from Argentine CDs. Looking at the selections, it's very pleasing to see just how many of D'Arienzo's waltzes have been included: many more than normal. These have been under-representated in tango reissues of the past. After all, say the purists, waltz isn't real tango, is it?

Along with the good points there are one or two oddities as well. BMG Argentina seem not to know, or not to care, that the main sales of these CDs will be in Europe and North America, and the excellent sleeve notes are only in Spanish.


Click on the word "tracklist" under each CD to make the tracklist appear and disappear, or use these buttons to show or hide all the tracklists (not recommended).

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The series is also a little too even-handed, representing D'Arienzo's later years as much as his earlier ones, although in a patchy manner: the years 1960-1961, when D'Arienzo was at his most camp, get two CDs, whilst the period 1964-1975 (basically D'Arienzo's entire stereo output) is swept up into one CD. You'll still be buying those tracks somewhere else. Personally I would have preferred to have seen a little less of the 60s material and a little more from the 30s and the 70s - in fact the complete works from the 30s (117 tracks instead of the 53 we have here) would not have been out of place in a series of this quality. My suspicion is that BMG just don't have access to good condition 78s to prepare the transfers. They have added a little reverberation on many of the tracks of the earlier CDs. This is a common tick to disguise small imperfections. Many of the LP reissues of this material were the same, and so are the CDs reprinted from them. Here the use of reverberation is quite mild - you probably won't notice unless you have unprocessed originals to compare with. Still, I wish they hadn't done it.

Complaints aside, this is an excellent release, and the new standard for D'Arienzo.

cover artwork

De pura cepa (1935-1936)

BMG 669330

Brilliant album with 9 waltzes, including the hard to find Pabellón de las rosas, and two milongas amongst its twenty tracks. Superb sleeve notes inform you, for instance, that Lidio Fasoli is the pianist for the first five tracks, with Rodolfo Biagi joining for the recording date of 31st December 1935 that produced 9 de julio and Orillas del plata. Listen yourself for the change in style.

Criticisms? Early D'Arienzo is just so good, I would loved to have seen every track from this period, but that's hardly a criticism. The sleeve notes are only in Spanish. However, there are two tiny mistakes. El flete has a jump at 1'54", just before the variación (use the version on Solo Tango instead), and the waltz Una lágrima has been transferred a semitone too quick - unless you've heard it transferred correctly you won't notice.

Track list
  1. Hotel Victoria
  2. Francia vals
  3. De pura cepa milonga
  4. Joaquina
  5. Pabellón de las rosas vals
  6. Nueve de julio
  7. Orillas de plata vals
  8. Silueta porteña milonga
  9. El flete
  10. Tu olvido vals
  11. Lorenzo
  12. La payanca
  13. Rawson
  14. Amor y celos vals
  15. Lágrimas y sonrisas vals
  16. Una lágrima vals
  17. Ataniche
  18. Corazón de artista vals
  19. La viruta
  20. Visión celeste vals

El esquinazo (1937-1938)

BMG 669331

As good as the first, with more rare waltzes. Biagi is the pianist on all these tracks except the last when, having left D'Arienzo to form his own band, he is replaced by Juan Polito. We also see the first appearance of Alberto Echagüe, but many of his great hits from the end of 1938 are skipped over for want of room.

Track list
  1. Que noche!
  2. Alma dolorida vals
  3. El apronte
  4. Mentías vals
  5. La puñalada milonga
  6. El cachafaz
  7. El choclo
  8. El porteñito
  9. Paciencia
  10. Gallo ciego
  11. El africano
  12. El esquinazo tango-milonga
  13. Indiferencia
  14. Rodriguez Peña
  15. El aeroplano vals
  16. Milonga del corazón milonga
  17. El cisne
  18. La catrera
  19. Champagne tango
  20. No mientas
  • Alberto Echagüe (13,16,20)

Meta fierro - Yunta brava (1939-1940)

BMG 669333

In March 1940, riding the crest of a wave of popularity, D'Arienzo lost his entire orchestra and his singer Alberto Echagüe when pianist Juan Polito left D'Arienzo to set up his own outfit. D'Arienzo persuaded bandoneónista Héctor Varela to put his orchestra at D'Arienzo's disposal, recruited Cayetano Puglisi as violinist, and placed an 18 year old Fulvio Salamanca in the pianist's chair. The new orchestra was even more successful than the old one. Five milongas, four waltzes.

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Track list
  1. Yunta Brava
  2. Meta Fierro milonga
  3. Maipo
  4. Derecho Viejo
  5. Milonga Del Recuerdo milonga
  6. Mandria
  7. Castigo vals
  8. Felicia
  9. De Antaño milonga
  10. Santa Milonguita
  11. La Cicatriz milonga
  12. Pampa
  13. Que Dios Te Ayude
  14. Ay Aurora vals
  15. La Bicoca
  16. El Tigre Millan
  17. Rie Payaso
  18. Milonga Del 83 milonga
  19. Flor Del Mal vals
  20. Miedo vals
  • Alberto Echagüe (2,5,7,9-11,13,14)
  • Alberto Reynal (16,18)
  • Carlos Casares (17)
  • Héctor Maure (19,20)

El rey del compás (1941-1943)

BMG 669334

Echagüe's replacement as lead singer in the D'Arienzo orchestra was Héctor Mauré. Before and after Mauré, every singer in the D'Arienzo outfit had to fit themselves to the compás of the orchestra. With Mauré however things were different. He imposed a more equal relationship between orchestra and singer, very much the mould of the 1940s. The fifty numbers they recorded together may not be the most representative of D'Arienzo's output, but they do rank amongst the highest in quality.

Track list
  1. El Rey Del Compás
  2. Ya Lo Ves
  3. Dime Mi Amor
  4. Tierrita
  5. Adios Querida vals
  6. El Olivo
  7. Humillación
  8. La Serenata De Ayer vals
  9. Sobre El Pucho
  10. Carnavalera milonga
  11. Cuatro Palabras vals
  12. El Resero
  13. Claudinette
  14. Tirando A Matar milonga
  15. Pompas De Jabon
  16. Vieja Recova
  17. Compadrón
  18. Enamorado (Metido)
  19. Vea Vea
  20. Si La Llegaran A Ver
  • Héctor Maure (2-11,13,14,17,18,20)
  • Juan Carlos Lamas (15,16)

Corrientes y Esmeralda (1944-1949)

BMG 669339

Towards the end of 1944 Echagüe returned and Mauré left not long after. The drop in quality of the orchestra is dramatic; D'Arienzo/Echagüe, one of the great binomials of tango, simply doesn't do slow tango very well, and musically the second half of the 1940s represents a lull for the orchestra.

Track list
  1. El romántico
  2. Lilian
  3. Amarras
  4. No nos veremos nunca
  5. Oro de ley milonga
  6. El paisanito milonga
  7. Me gusta bailar milonga milonga
  8. Corrientes y Esmeralda
  9. Leguísamo Solo
  10. Don Alfonso
  11. La espuela milonga
  12. Pan comido
  13. Chaparrón milonga
  14. Desde aquella noche
  15. El penado 14
  16. Cambalache
  17. Dios te salve m'hijo
  18. El raje milonga
  19. La maleva
  20. Farabute
  21. Yuyo brujo
  22. El potro
  • Héctor Maure (2,3)
  • Alberto Echagüe (4-9,12,13)
  • Armando Laborde (14,17,21)

Bien Pulenta (1950-1952)

BMG 669340

In 1950 the D'Arienzo orchestra magically reinvigorated and reinvented itself as the orchestra with a driving compás par excellence. After five months without recording anything - unheard of for the orchestra - they returned to the studio in May 1950 and recorded Canaro en París.

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Track list
  1. Canaro en París
  2. Bien pulenta
  3. Precio
  4. Tucumán
  5. A puño limpio milonga
  6. No va más
  7. Don Juan
  8. La cumparsita
  9. Amarroto
  10. Ganzúa milonga
  11. Este carnaval
  12. No llores madre vals
  13. Viva mi tierra Argentina milonga
  14. El simpático
  15. N.P. (No Place)
  16. Todo varón
  17. Yapeyu
  18. Luis Alberto
  19. Y suma y sigue
  20. Y siempre la misma historia
  21. El pollo Ricardo
  22. Viejo smoking
  • Alberto Echagüe (2,5,6,9-11,15,19,20)
  • Roberto Lemos (3,13,16)
  • Armando Laborde (22)

Mucho Mucho (1953-1954)

BMG 669344

The orchestra continues to unleash a string of instrumentals of the very highest quality:

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Track list
  1. Independencia
  2. Toma estas monedas
  3. Mucho mucho milonga
  4. Peringundin milonga
  5. Joaquina
  6. Te odio y te quiero
  7. El torito milonga
  8. El entrerriano
  9. Tu boca mintio
  10. El choclo
  11. Canzoneta
  12. Sentimiento de calavera
  13. La sonrisa De mamá vals
  14. El simpatico
  15. Che existencialista
  16. Don Orlando
  17. Fatal y tanguera
  18. Muchachos arranquemos para el centro
  19. La payanca
  20. El internado
  21. Pero... pobre de ellos
  • Alberto Echagüe (2,4,6,12,14,17,20)
  • Armando Laborde (3,9,11,13,16)

Viento Sur (1954-1955)

BMG 669345

Singers Echagüe and Laborde prove that the best vocal numbers from this period are almost (note that's "almost") as good as the stunning and entirely famous instrumentals.

The band, unchanged since the second half of 1950, are rock solid.

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Track list
  1. Don Pacifico
  2. Esta Noche Me Emborracho
  3. El Tarta
  4. Pampa
  5. Homero
  6. El Marne
  7. El Irresistible
  8. No Te Vayas Mi Bien
  9. Viento Sur
  10. Matrimonio
  11. De Abolengo
  12. Pero Te Sigo Queriendo
  13. Malas Mañas
  14. Jueves
  15. Como Una De Tantas
  16. Guapo Y Querendon
  17. El Chupete
  18. Suavemente
  19. Bien Jaileife
  20. Avivate Pipistrelo
  • Alberto Echagüe (2,3,10,11,13,15,18-20)
  • Armando Laborde (8,12,16)

Cantemos Corazón - Calla Bandoneón (1955-1957)

BMG 669347

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Track list
  1. La Catrera
  2. La Loca
  3. Eras Como La Flor
  4. Chamusquina
  5. Palabras Amargas
  6. Me Quieres Y Te Quiero vals
  7. La Tango
  8. Petitero
  9. Ay Mimosa
  10. Cantemos Corazón
  11. Lloremos
  12. Aclaremos
  13. Calla Bandoneón
  14. Pampeana milonga
  15. Que Me Quiten Lo Bailao
  16. Esta Vida Es Puro Grupo
  17. Olga vals
  18. Criticona milonga
  19. El Puazo
  20. Yo Me Quedo Con El Tango
  • Armando Laborde (3,5,6,9-13,15)
  • Alberto Echagüe (4,7,8,16,18,20)

Criollo De Ley (1957-1958)

BMG 669349

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Track list
  1. Julie
  2. Mandria
  3. En El Rosal
  4. Don Goyo
  5. En El Cielo
  6. Si Soy Así
  7. Santa Milonguita
  8. Imperdonable
  9. Criollo De Ley
  10. Muchachita De París
  11. No Tenemos Perdon
  12. El Tango No Tiene Contra
  13. Barrio De Guapos
  14. Lástima
  15. El Embrollo
  16. No Llores Por Favor
  17. Don Alejandro
  18. Gerardo Matos Rodriguez
  19. Sabras Quien Soy
  20. Adiós Chantecler
  • Jorge Valdez (3,7,10,13,14,16,19,20)
  • Mario Bustos (6,8,11,12,18)

Barrio Belgrano - Más Grande Que Nunca (1958-1959)

BMG 669350

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Track list
  1. Barrio Belgrano
  2. Moneda Sin Valor
  3. Feliz Navidad
  4. No, No Me La Nombres
  5. Diez Años
  6. Por Tu Culpa Te Perdi
  7. Bonanza
  8. Más Grande Que Nunca
  9. Dame Mi Libertad
  10. La Bruja
  11. Pasajera
  12. Con Alma De Tango
  13. Quien Como Yo
  14. Porque Te Sigo Queriendo
  15. Judas
  16. Por La Vuelta
  17. Rie Payaso
  18. Amar Para Qué?
  19. Tapado Gris
  20. Que Dios Nos Comprenda
  • Jorge Valdez (2,3,5,6,9,11,13,14,16,18,20)
  • Mario Bustos (4,7,10,15,17)

Rompe y Raja (1960-1961)

BMG 669351

1960 and D'Arienzo is at his most camp. Jorge Valdez and Horacio Palma share the majority of the vocals.

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Track list
  1. 14 De Diciembre
  2. El Vino Triste
  3. Cuatro Pasos En Las Nubes
  4. Hablame De Frente
  5. Rosita De Arrabal
  6. Rompe Y Raja
  7. Detras De Tus Mentiras
  8. Tu Olvido Y Yo
  9. Tu Amor Fue Mentira
  10. Felicidad
  11. Una Carta
  12. Llore Como Un Pibe
  13. Garronero
  14. Mi Viejo Montevideo
  15. Cielo De Sombra
  16. Medianoche
  17. El Abc Del Amor
  18. Dicha Pasada
  19. Color Esperanza
  20. En La Madrugada
  21. La Calle Del Pecado
  22. Despues De La Boda
  • Horacio Palma (1-4,6,9,11,13,16-18,20)
  • Jorge Valdez (5,7,8,10,12,19)
  • duo Palma - Valdez (15)
  • Antonio Prieto (21,22)

Puro Tango (1961)

BMG 669352

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Track list
  1. Puro Tango
  2. Paciencia
  3. Adiós Arolas
  4. El Ultimo Brindis
  5. Gi Gi
  6. Gran Señor
  7. Yo Te Saludo Palermo
  8. Yo Solo
  9. Volves A Mi
  10. Valoro A Ese Hombre
  11. Poco Y Bueno
  12. Mientras Sueña Buenos Aires
  13. Mi Novia De Ayer vals
  14. Morocho Y Cantor
  15. A Mis Pagos Voy
  16. Chiquita Y Bonita
  17. Por Eso Vengo A Cantar
  18. Manos Heridas
  19. Yo Me Presento Aqui
  20. Ilusión Burrera
  21. Prefiero Perderte
  22. Tambaleando
  • Horacio Palma (2,4,10,14,17,20,22)
  • Jorge Valdez (3,5,7,9,12,13,15,16,18,21)

Del Compás Te Llaman Rey (1962-1963)

BMG 669354

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Track list
  1. Formidable
  2. Del Compás Te Llaman Rey
  3. Vos Y Yo Corazón
  4. Malumba
  5. Viejo Madrid
  6. Tu Verdugo
  7. Escucha Tango
  8. Soy Ladron De Un Corazón
  9. Ya Te Arrepentiras
  10. El Victorioso
  11. Carita De Luna
  12. Callejera
  13. Ave De Paso
  14. El Tigre De Almagro
  15. Fangal De Dolor
  16. Malevaje
  17. Entre Tango Y Zamba
  18. Amigazo
  19. Cumpleaños De Mi Esposa
  20. Langosta
  • Horacio Palma (2,6,8,14,16,18,20)
  • Jorge Valdez (3,5,7,9,11,13,15,17,19)
  • dúo Palma - Valdez (4)
  • Héctor Millán (12)

Milonga De Mis Amores (1964-1975)

BMG 669355

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Track list
  1. El Alacran;
  2. Estampas De Antaño
  3. Suerte Loca
  4. Sentimiento Gaucho
  5. Yo No Se Que Me Han Hecho Tus Ojos vals
  6. La Mimada
  7. Dandy
  8. De Puro Curda
  9. Bailate Un Tango Ricardo
  10. Papas Calientes milonga
  11. El Aguacero
  12. Glorioso Chantecler
  13. Oro Y Diamantes
  14. Senda Florida
  15. El Latigo
  16. Zapatitos De Raso
  17. Milonga De Mis Amores milonga
  18. Juan Compás
  19. Mi Viejo Vals vals
  20. El Bar De Rosendo
  21. Mimi Pinsón
  22. Riobamba
  • Armando Laborde (2,3,8)
  • Osvaldo Ramos (4,5,7,9,12-14,19-21)
  • dúo Laborde - Ramos (6,11,16)

© Michael Lavocah / 2000-2018