Released in '97, the studio recording Buena Vista Social Club took music fans by storm with their infectious sound. Named after a members-only 40's Havana club celebrating music and dancing, the album brought on "cubanmania", inspiring Cuban-themed bars and salsa lessons to pop up on every high street. After only listening to the first song you'll see why it's no surprise it's the biggest selling Cuban album ever. Even Salman Rushdie wrote of it in his New York novel Fury, describing the hot summer of '98 as 'that Buena Vista summer'.
"These are the greatest musicians alive on the planet today. In my experience, Cuban musicians are unique. The organization of musical group is perfectly understood. There is no ego, no jockeying for position so they have evolved the perfect ensemble concept." -Ry Cooder (guitarist)
Listen to the full album here.
There's also a wonderful documentary by Wim Wenders of the same name.