The Best Songs of Carlos Vives

A Selection of Vallenato and Fusion Hits

Carlos Vives In Concert - San Juan, Puerto Rico
Gladys Vega / Getty Images

Thanks to the songs produced by Carlos Vives, the beats of Vallenato were able to move beyond the Colombian borders. For nearly two decades, this popular Colombian artist has defined this local genre with an innovative sound that has captured audiences all over the place.

Whether you are just getting into Vallenato or an avid fan of the genre, the following tracks will introduce you to some of the most popular Vallenato songs ever recorded by legendary artist Carlos Vives.

"El Cantor De Fonseca"

Originally written by the legendary Vallenato songwriter Carlos Huertas, "El Cantor De Fonseca" is just one of the many songs that transformed Vives' album "Clasicos De La Provincia" into his first major success.

Offering a pleasant sound, which is heavily adorned with the notes of the bass, the lyrics of this track reflect Huertas' love for the Colombian region of La Guajira.

"Jaime Molina"

When Carlos Vives recorded this track, he was the leading actor of "Escalona," a popular soap opera based on the life of the legendary Vallenato composer Rafael Escalona.

"Jaime Molina," a song Escalona dedicated to the Colombian cartoonist by that name, became a favorite song of the soundtrack Carlos Vives recorded for the soap opera, and thanks to this successful experience, Carlos Vives decided to try out a career as a Vallenato singer.

"Como Tu"

This song was one of the most popular tracks from Carlos Vives' 2004 album. Just like the whole album, "Como Tu" is defined by an eclectic fusion sound that combines Vallenato and Rock.

With a chorus whose lyrics translate to "Like you, spring / Like you, the first time / There is no one who loves me / Like you, my whole life," it's no wonder Vives is considered one of the most romantic and impactful artists of the genre.

"La Celosa"

"La Celosa" (The Jealous Woman) was one of the most popular songs from the album "Clasicos De La Provincia."

In order to fully enjoy this track, however, you need to focus on its simple beats and take the lyrics lightly. Otherwise, this very machista tune will get on your nerves and you'll miss the beautiful simplicity of the sound.

"El Amor De Mi Tierra"

"El Amor De Mi Tierra" is one of the tracks that better defines Carlos Vives' romantic repertoire. Its lyrics, which are adorned with a deep sense of love for Colombia's natural treasures, fit nicely with the delicate sounds of the guitar and accordion you can hear throughout the track.

It's no wonder Vives became such an international heartthrob with a title like this, which literally translates to the "Love of my Earth." The lyrics throughout the track are equally evocative, inspiring longing sighs and adoration from audiences around the world.

"La Tierra Del Olvido"

After the tremendous popularity he enjoyed with his album "Clasicos De La Provincia," Carlos Vives released his album "La Tierra Del Olvido" in 1995. 

The song that gave the name to this production was well-received by all the fans the Colombian singer had gathered with his previous work, and unlike the tracks on "Clasicos De La Provincia," "La Tierra del Olvido" marked the first original Vallenato production released by Carlos Vives.

"Dejame Entrar"

"Dejame Entrar" is one of the most popular songs ever produced by Carlos Vives.

Thanks to its romantic lyrics and amazing musical arrangements, this track seats at the top of Carlos Vives' best sound. The notes of the gaita throughout the whole song are also great, adding a level of Vallenato production to the track.

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"Fruta Fresca"

Another hit from the album "El Amor De Mi Tierra," "Fruta Fresca" is one of the first songs that Carlos Vives defined by an eclectic fusion that left classical Vallenato a little bit in the back.

Besides the nice percussion, the solos provided by the accordion, guitar and gaita also add a nice touch to this tune.


Thanks to "Dejame Entrar" and "Carito", Carlos Vives' 2001 album "Dejame Entrar" made it that year to the number one spot on the Billboard charts.

Off that album, the song "Carito" combines a nice story of platonic love with great musical arrangements, proving that though Vives may be a romantic at heart, he also values any kind of love and companionship, a common theme in Latin music in general.

"La Gota Fria"

"La Gota Fria" is the ultimate Vallenato song ever released by Carlos Vives.

However, being that "La Gota Fria" is one of the songs included ​on the hit album "Clasicos De La Provincia," this track is not an original song from Carlos Vives.

Still, this tune came to define the innovative style Carlos Vives brought to Vallenato music. If you are just getting into this Colombian genre, this is the first song you need to listen to.