Carlos Gardel: Volver
Carlos Gardel (vocals)
Los Exitos De Sus Peliculas (Capitol / EMI Latin 42644)
Carlos Gardel (vocals),
and orchestra conducted by Terig Tucci.
Composed by Carlos Gardel & Alfredo Le Pera.
Recorded: Buenos Aires, March 19, 1935
Rating: 98/100 (learn more)
Three quarters of a century after his death in a plane crash, Carlos Gardel still inspires passion and fanatical devotion among his legions of fans. At the dawn of the recording age, Gardel defined tango as commercial music and was a megastar throughout Latin America. Had he lived longer, he would no doubt have become a household name in the United States, and probably a major Hollywood draw. But this hit-maker was much more than a pop music act -- he was also an artist of the highest rank, a consummate vocalist who counted the great Caruso among his admirers.
"Volver" comes from a historic recording session that produced a half-dozen tango classics, and shows off Gardel's forceful baritone and emotional fervor. What an amazing voice! Yet Gardel delivers more than just belt-it-to-the-back-rows power. He is also the consummate storyteller, drawing the listener into the high drama of his music. Even today, folks in Buenos Aires will say Veinte años no es nada ("Twenty years is nothing"), drawing on a well-known phrase in this song. Ah, when it comes to the enduring fame of Gardel, "The King of Tango," the fourscore years since his death are nothing. His legacy remains a defining element of tango even in the new millennium.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia