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Latin subpage: Xavier Cugat LPs & 45s

Xavier Cugat: The Best of

The Word: Cugat will surprise anyone. When your career spans more record labels than decades than wives (and he had many wives!), you try everything, even Latin soul, Latin rock, and Mexicali. But Cugat is best loved for the early exotica of the rhumba and other primordial recordings of Latin dance music. And so many great singers came up under his wing!

We stick to the best Cugat records, which means more Mercury and less RCA, and of course a lot of Columbia and most Decca. As always, if it's Latin, stick with originals to get the sound of the original masters.

Further below: Xavier Cugat 45s

Links: are to artists bio/discog pages in the Hyp Records guide: HYP RECORDS

Images: accurately represent items but are not always the exact copy listed/purchased

Discount: ALWAYS try to buy more than one item at a time




Xavier Cugat: Cugat's Favorite Rhumbas 10"; Columbia CL-6021; deep groove E-/V+ $10 -- Latin/partly vocal; although it's easy to find these big hits in other formats (including a 12" reissue), we recommend this item for these reasons: 1) rare, early 10" LP, 2) unique-to-this-release artwork (including Cugat's self-drawn logo), and 3) new liner notes (not repeated on the 12") unless they're the ones from the 78 album, which they probably are; Begin the Beguine, Estrellita, Green Eyes, La Paloma, Say "Si Si", La Golondrina, Besame Mucho, Cielito Lindo


Xavier Cugat: Samba with Cugat 10"; Columbia CL-6236; deep groove E-/E- $20 -- one of his scarcest early 10" LPs--and not reissued on 12" LP!; covers 2 of Carmen Miranda's biggest hits & features singing by Lena Romay, Aladdin,..; Brazil, Copacobana, Mary Ann, I Yi Yi Yi Yi (I Like You Very Much), Papa Knows, Cuanto le Gusta, Tico Tico, In Chi-Chi-Castenango


Xavier Cugat: Here's Cugat 10"; Mercury MG-25120; deep groove E/E- $50 (or E-/E- $40, specify) -- Latin/exotica; one of his rarest early 10" LPs, reissued on 12" LP EXCEPT for the two chief reasons this is a must-have: the jacket art and the "novelty rhumba" -- a relatively unknown exotica masterpiece, "Jungle Flute" (left off the 12" reissue!), which earns Cugat a place in the exotica hall of fame; the tune features all kinds of animal sounds (not just birds!) over a pulse-quickening beat (very similar to "Flute Nightmare" on the Columbia Ole LP but MUCH BETTER) -- it cranks!


Xavier Cugat: Dance with Cugat; Columbia CL-537; 1st jacket/deep groove/black six-eye! E-/N- $25 -- Latin; his 2nd 12" LP!; loads of smash hits & top singers make it a highlight of his best early work (including some hip Afro-Cuban stuff that's not so much for dancing); all presented in new hi-fi here for the first time; w/Miguelito Valdez ("Babalu"), Tito Rodriguez ("Bim Bam Bum"), Dinah Shore ("I'll Never Love Again")..; other tunes: El Marijuano (mambo), Nightingale, Mexican Hat Dance, Cuba Libre, Begin the Bequine, Oye Negra..


Xavier Cugat: Bread, Love, & Cha Cha Cha; Columbia CL-1016; black 6-eye E+/N- $25 -- in high demand at least for famous jacket of Cugie posing with a giant "beatnik" French bread and gorgeous Abbe Lane (see also the pop page for Abbe Lane LPs); Penthouse Mambo, Whatever Lola Wants, Suavecito, Coco Seco, Mi musica es para ti, Banana Boat Song..


Xavier Cugat: Cugat Cavalcade; Columbia CL-1094; deep groove, black six-eye N-/E+ $15 -- Latin; "His Greatest Hits--New in High Fidelity"; remakes of his classic 78-era hits for the label in the new hi-fi sound; very famous jacket of Cugie with five models and holding chihuahua!; Brasil, Besame Mucho, What a Difference a Day Made, My Shawl, La Cumparsita, Tico Tico, Orchids in the Moonlight, Yours, Miami Beach Rhumba, Jalousie, Guitara Romana, Dengoza


Xavier Cugat: Cugat Cavalcade; Columbia CS-8055; deep groove, black six-eye E+/N S $15 -- Latin; "His Greatest Hits--New in High Fidelity"; remakes of his classic 78-era hits for the label in not only the new hi-fi sound but stereo--yes, his great Columbia work finally in stereo!; very famous jacket of Cugie with five models and holding a chihuahua!; Brasil, Besame Mucho, What a Difference a Day Made, My Shawl, La Cumparsita, Tico Tico, Orchids in the Moonlight, Yours, Miami Beach Rhumba, Jalousie, Guitara Romana, Dengoza


Xavier Cugat: Cugat's Favorites; Mercury MG-20065; deep groove E/E+ $15 -- Latin; knock yourself out trying to find both 10" LPs that this draws from/reissues in part, or just be happy with this welcome inexpensive, likely much cleaner, hi-fi version that comes in two different jackets; the Mercury recordings are generally rarer and more lively/exciting than most of the Columbia material and most of the Victor; Green Eyes, Linda Mujer, Walter Winchell Rumba, Brazil, A Gay Ranchero, Cucaracha Mambo, Yours, Blue Tango, Siboney, Miami Beach Rumba, Chiu Chiu, Donde Estabas Tu


Xavier Cugat: Cugat's Favorites; Mercury MG-20065; deep groove E+/E+ $15 -- Latin; knock yourself out trying to find both 10" LPs that this draws from/reissues in part, or just be happy with this welcome inexpensive, likely much cleaner, hi-fi version that comes in two different jackets; the Mercury recordings are generally rarer and more lively/exciting than most of the Columbia material and most of the Victor; Green Eyes, Linda Mujer, Walter Winchell Rumba, Brazil, A Gay Ranchero, Cucaracha Mambo, Yours, Blue Tango, Siboney, Miami Beach Rumba, Chiu Chiu, Donde Estabas Tu


Xavier Cugat: Viva Cugat!; Mercury Perfect Presence Sound PPS-6003; gatefold; N-/E S $15 -- terrific!; all-new stereo recordings of lush, exotic hits in the gorgeous Mercury audiophile series (like "The Best of Cugat" but harder to find) and one that any self-respecting Cugat fan just has to have; Jungle Concerto, Perfidia, Peanut Vendor, Tropical Merengue, Nightingale, Isle of Capri, Siboney, Jungle Drums, Anna, Maria Elena, Poinciana, Say Si Si


Xavier Cugat: The Best of Cugat; Mercury Perfect Presence Sound PPS-6015; gatefold; 1st press N/N S $20 (or E+/E+ S $15, specify) -- terrific!; NOT a compilation but instead remakes with all-new arrangements that make the most of his greatest hits mainly for Columbia; in any case these are new recordings in audiophile, glorious stereo for the first time; luscious Abbe Lane (her LPs listed on the pop page) graces the jacket in six different poses (front and back); worth it just for the powerhouse rendition of Sway (Quien Sera) alone, but it's all good, as you'd expect from Mercury's audiophile series; Mama Inez, Tea for Two Cha Cha Cha, Taboo, Sway, Ba-tu-ca-da, El Cumbanchero, Tequila, Misirlou, It Happened in Monterrey, Always in My Heart, Amor, Amapola


Xavier Cugat: Cugat Plays Continental Hits; Mercury MG-20872; deep groove E+/E+ $15 -- Latin; Mack the Knife, Petite Fleur, Apache, Volare, Never On Sunday, Calcutta, Sucu Sucu, The 3rd Man Theme, Wonderland by Night, The Poor People of Paris, Come Prima, Guaglione


Xavier Cugat: Twist with Cugat; MG-20705 1st/deep groove promo N-/N $25 -- Latin twist; if you've checked the Cugat link, you've seen the great jacket image (Abbe Lane twisting with pipe-smoking Cugat); tough one to find, as are most Latin-twist LPs; In the Mood, Jazz Me Blues, In a Little Spanish Town, Ballin' the Jack, Johnson Rag, Woodchopper's Ball, Chattanooga Choo Choo, The Hucklebuck, Patricia, Makin' Whoopee, Hot Toddy, Fascinating Rhythm


Xavier Cugat: Feeling Good!; Decca DL-74672; N/E+ shrink S $20 -- mod Latin; first in a great series of four for the label in a new style that appeals for many reasons (hip tunes, mod sound --with a lot of guitar--, Decca label, Cugat, jacket art, etc.); Downtown, Hello Dolly, Mexican Pearls, Fiddler on the Roof, And I Love Her, Feeling Good, Cast Your Fate to the Wind, It's Not Unusual, Goldfinger, Game of Love, Chim-chim-cher-ee


Xavier Cugat: Dance Party; Decca DL-74740; E+/E+ S $20 -- mod Latin/mod Latin soul!; second in a great series of four for the label in a new style that appeals for many reasons (hip tunes, mod sound, Decca label, Cugat, jacket art, etc.); Soul Sauce (great bongo intro!), Tabasco, Thunderball, Hang On Sloopy, Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah, Yesterday, La Yenka (original)..


Xavier Cugat: Bang Bang; Decca DL-74799; 1966; cutout V+/N- S $20 -- mod/Latin/Latin soul; third in a great series of four LPs for the label in a new style that appeals for many reasons (hip tunes, mod sound, Decca label, Cugat, jacket art, etc.); sensational jacket is as desirable as the tunes; Zorba, Bang Bang (Sonny Bono's), Moon Over Naples, La Playa, Corcovado, Concrete & Clay, These Boots are Made for Walking, The Joker, Call Me, Phoenix love theme, Almost There, Charade


Xavier Cugat: Xavier Cugat Today!; Decca DL-74851; cutout N-/N S $20 -- mod Latin; fourth in a great series of four for the label in a new style that appeals for many reasons (hip tunes, mod sound, Decca label, Cugat, jacket art, etc.); Jungle Rhumba, Music to Watch Girls By, Mellow Yellow, Samba Saravah (from "A Man & a Woman"), Compadre Pedro Juan, Born Free, Trink Le Chaim, Guantanamera..


Xavier Cugat: Original 45s/EPs


Xavier Cugat: Dance the Rhumba EP; Columbia B-1750; N-/E+ $15 -- Latin; excellent early one, when in his prime, and you can't beat the fidelity and nifty packaging; Morrocco, Tony's Wife (canta La Chata), Rhumba Fantasy, Cuban Rhythm


Xavier Cugat Hall of Fame Series EP; Columbia B-2510 (Xavier Cugat w/Aladdin & the Boyd Triplets: Come to the Mardi Gras/Miami Beach Rhumba; Xavier Cugat: Mambo No. 5/Mambo No. 8); N-/N- $20 -- we can find the cover of Prado's "Mambo #5" nowhere else in our collection, so to us at least it's worth it just for that


Xavier Cugat Hall of Fame Series EP (no jacket); Columbia B-2510 (Xavier Cugat w/Aladdin & the Boyd Triplets: Come to the Mardi Gras/Miami Beach Rhumba; Xavier Cugat: Mambo No. 5/Mambo No. 8); E+ $10 -- we find the cover of Prado's "Mambo #5" nowhere else in our collection, so to us at least it's worth it just for that


Xavier Cugat: Jungle Flute/Blue Tango; Mercury 5817-X45; V+ $25 -- exotica/"novelty rhumba"; for the exotica or Cugat collector, it's a rare find (left off the 12" LP that reissues a rare 10" LP); similar to "Flute Nightmare" on the Ole LP but with vital animal cries (the novelty in "novelty rhumba" as it's listed on the 10")


Xavier Cugat: Samba with Cugat EP; Columbia B-326; 2-disc gatefold E+/E $15 -- one of his scarcest early sets--not reissued on 12" LP!; covers 2 of Carmen Miranda's biggest hits & features singing by Lena Romay, Aladdin,..; Brazil, Copacobana, Mary Ann, I Yi Yi Yi Yi (I Like You Very Much), Papa Knows, Cuanto le Gusta, Tico Tico, In Chi-Chi-Castenango


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