Recommendations for a Tango Music Collection

Tango dancers, instructors, and DJs often seek recommendations regarding the selectin of tango music. Listed below are CDs that contain a high proportion of tango music that is played in the milongas of Buenos Aires, the Gold Standard for acceptability of tango music for dancing. CDs are also recommended based on high fidelity.

Information on tango orchestras are available on Keith Elshaw's ToTango webpage.

The table below is a list of recommendations for a DJ's essential collection. Some orquestas (e.g., Lomuto, OT Victor), recording types (e.g., Biagi with Ortiz vocals, Di Sarli with Duran vocals), or time periods (De Angelis 50s) have not been included although there is music from these orquestas played in Buenos Aires milongs, because these are not considered the essential core of a DJ's collection. Experinced DJs will probably want to expand their collection beyond what is listed below.

For dancers with more limited demands for a diverse collection, a collection of the 10 most recommended CDs have their title in boldface.

Orquesta
CD Title
Series
Comments
Source
Biagi, Rodolfo
Solos de Orquesta
EMI Reliquias
Contains the best Biagi instrumentals, mostly from the 40s.
Zivals
Calo,
Miguel
Al compas
de corazon
EMI Reliquias
Contains the best of the Calo orquesta - the vocals with Raul Beron.
Zivals
Canaro, Francisco

 


La cumparsita
Living Era

This is a rare gem containing some tangos and milongas not available elsewhere, mostly with vocals by Roberto Maida.

Amazon
Sus exitos con Ernesto Fama
EMI Reliquias
Contains most of the best of vocals with Ernesto Fama.
Zivals
Roberto Maida
canta sus exitos
Contains some of the best of the well-known tango vocals with Roberto Maida.
Zivals
Quinteto Don Pancho: Viejos tangos de mi flor
Instrumentals from Canaro's Quinteto Pirincho.
Zivals
Canaro Milongas 1
Canaro Milongas 2
ToTango
Restorations
These 2 CDs have the best collection of Canaro milongas.
ToTango
D'agostino,
Angel
Angel D'agostino
- Angel Vargas
RCA Victor 100 An~os
Best collection of D'agostino orquesta with Vargas vocals, but may not be available.
Zivals
D'agostino - Vargas Volumen 1
Solo Tango
If the RCA Victor 100 An~os is not available, this is the next best collection of D'agostino-Vargas
Zivals
D'arienzo,
Juan
De pura cepa:
1935-1936
RCA: El Rey del Compas
The RCA: El Rey del Compas series is a chronological journey through the years of the D'arienzo orquesta. The first 2 volumes have the best music for dancing, with a variety of tangos, milongas and valses, mostly instrumental.
Zivals
El esquinazo:
1937-1938
Zivals
6: Juan D'arienzo,
vol. 2
Lantower: Grandes del Tango
This 2 CD set is a good complement to the El Rey del Compas CDs above. It contains a variety of tangos, milongas and valses from the late 1930s to the late 1940s, all with vocals by either Alberto Echague or Hector Maure
Zivals
De Angelis,
Alfredo
Los duos de
Carlos Dante y
Julio Martel, vol. 2
EMI Reliquias
The De Angelis orquesta is renowned for its valses with duets by Carlos Dante and Julio Martel. This CD contains the bet of them, as well as some good tango s.
Zivals
Demare,
Lucio
Sus exitos
con Raul Beron
EMI Reliquias
Demare's best tangos for dancing are those with vocals by Raul Beron. This CD contains most of the good ones.
Zivals
Di Sarli,
Carlos
Carlos Di Sarli
RCA Victor 100 An~os
This CD contains most of the great Di Sarli tango instrumentals from the mid 1950s.
Zivals
12+1:
Carlos Di Sarli
Lantower: Grandes del Tango
This 2 CD set contains some of the best tangos with vocals by Roberto Rufino and Alberto Podesto from the 1940s, as well as a good selection of milongas and valses with vocals and some tango instrumentals.
Zivals
Instrumental,
vol. 2
BMG Tango
Argentino
This CD contains the best collection of 1940s instrumentals on one CD, although there are some from the 1950s as well.
Zivals
Donato,
Edgardo
1933/1941
Coleccion
78 PM
These 2 CDS contain a great collection of tangos, milongas and valses, both instrumental and with vocals by Lagos, Morales and Gavio.
Zivals
1938/1942
Zivals
Fresedo,
Osvaldo
Tangos de Salon
BMG Tango
Argentino
This CD contains most of the divine tangos from the 1930s with vocals by Roberto Ray.
Zivals
Serie de Oro
PROFOA
This CD contains most of the best instrumentals from the 1930s.
Zivals
Laurenz,
Pedro
26: Pedro Laurenz
Lantower: Grandes del Tango
These 2 CDs contain most of the best tangos, milongas, and valses with vocals by Casas and Podesta, as well as a few instrumentals.
Zivals
Pugliese,
Osvaldo
2: Osvaldo Pugliese
Lantower: Grandes del Tango
These 2 CDs contain almost all of the great instrumentals from the 1940s.
Zivals
Pugliese,
Osvaldo
Instrumentales
inolvidades, vol. 3
EMI Reliquias
This CD has best collection of instrumental tangos from the 1950s.
Zivals
Rodriguez,
Enrique
Tangos con Armando Moreno
EMI Reliquias
These 2 CDs contain the great tangos from the 1940s with vocals by Armando Moreno.
Zivals
Tangos con Armando Moreno,
vol. 2
Zivals
Tanturi,
Ricardo
Tanturi - Castillo
Solo Tango
The first CD is the best collection of tangos with vocals by Alberto Castillo. However, it may not be available. An alternative, listed second, contains most of the same tangos.
Zivals
Tanturi 1 (Castillo)
ToTango
Restorations
ToTango
Tanturi 2 (Campos)
ToTango
Restorations
This CD contains the best collection of tangos with vocals by Enrique Campos.
ToTango
Troilo,
Anibal
Yo soy el tango
Troilo en
RCA Victor
Argentina
The Troilo en RCA Victor Argentina series is a chronological journey through the recordings of the Troilo orquesta. The first 2 CDs contain the best tangos for dancing, from 1941-42, including both instrumentals and vocals with Francisco Firoentino.
Zivals
Tinta roja
Zivals