El Gran Combo: Their Best Songs

El Gran Combo In Concert
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For the past 50 years, El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico has been defining the sounds of Salsa music. This Puerto Rican band is probably the most popular Salsa group that has ever existed. If you are not familiar with the music of El Gran Combo, this article will provide you with a solid selection of some of the most popular songs ever produced by the so-called University of Salsa.

"Por Mas Que Quiera"

This is one of the most underrated songs from El Gran Combo. An amazing Salsa dura track from the album El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico Y Su Pueblo, this song features fantastic brass sessions in the middle of it.

"Azuquita P'al Cafe"

"Azuquita Pa'l Cafe" is one of the most famous songs ever recorded by the Puerto Rican band. The colorful lyrics highlight the 'sweetness' that women add to life. This is one of the most timeless hits recorded by the legendary singer Jerry Rivas.

"Asi Son"

From the fantastic album Aqui No Se Sienta Nadie, "Asi Son" offers an amazing tumbao of congas in the intro that fills this song with a classy tone. Another outstanding track perfectly interpreted by Jerry Rivas.

"No Hay Cama Pa' Tanta Gente"

"No Hay Cama Pa' Tanta Gente" is one of the most popular songs El Gran Combo has produced to celebrate Christmas time. This track is included in the album. Its colorful lyrics describe a big party where various Latin music legends like Perez Prado, Johnny Ventura, and Celia Cruz are mentioned throughout the song. Musically speaking, "No Hay Cama Pa' Tanta Gente" brings an air of Puerto Rican Aguinaldo.​


This is one of the shortest tunes recorded by El Gran Combo. An ideal song to hit the dance floor offering nice vocals by Charlie Aponte, one of the most influential singers in the history of this University of Salsa. The brass sessions are strong in this song.

"A La Reina"

Just like "Por Mas Que Quiera," "A La Reina" is another song that somehow is also a bit underrated, but is perhaps one of the best songs ever produced by El Gran Combo. This song represents in a perfect way the sophisticated sound the band accomplished with the album Happy Days. You gotta love the way the trombone, trumpets, and saxophones interact on this tune.

"No Me Olvides Mulata"

"No me Olvides Mulata" is definitely a top song of the Salsa dura repertoire produced by this Puerto Rican band. From the 1976 album Mejor Que Nunca, this song features solid vocals by Charlie Aponte, Andy Montanez, and Pellin Rodriguez, a lineup considered by some the strongest one in the history of the group.

"Mujer Celosa"

"Mujer Celosa" is an ideal track to inject any Latin party with lots of good energy. This is another song dealing with the topic of women. This time, however, the song focuses on a jealous woman. Fantastic song from beginning to end.


During all these years, El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico has ventured into all kinds of sounds. The band has played everything from Bolero and Latin Boogaloo to Salsa dura and romantic Salsa. "Amame" is probably the most popular song El Gran Combo has produced in the romantic field. A nice tune enhanced by the pleasant voice of Jerry Rivas.

"Y No Hago Mas Na'"

"Y No Hago Mas Na'" is one of those songs that has come to define the whole brand El Gran Combo has built for the last half-century. Besides the nice brass sessions and piano playing in the intro, the colorful lyrics will make you smile throughout the whole song with its funny chorus "Que bueno es vivir asi, comiendo y sin trabajar" (How nice to live like this, eating without working).

"Se Me Fue"

Another timeless Salsa dura hit by El Gran Combo. "Se Me Fue" is a full explosion from beginning to end. With its wonderful brass sessions, Charlie Aponte tells us the story of losing someone and getting over it in a positive way.

"Me Libere"

This single is one of the most successful songs El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico has produced in this century. "Me Libere" provides colorful lyrics that make reference to the joy of getting out of troubling relationships. A nice song to hit the dance floor.

"La Fiesta De Pilito"

This track is another of the hits included in the album Nuestra Musica. Just like "No Hay Cama Pa' Tanta Gente," "La Fiesta De Pilito" is another track that celebrates Christmas time. This joyful song has a fast speed rhythm that will make you sweat on the dance floor.


From the album Amame, "Aguacero" is another outstanding track delivered by the singer Charlie Aponte. You can hear on this song the usual strong brass sessions El Gran Combo incorporates into all its songs.

"El Menu"

If there is a song that truly captures the essence of El Gran Combo, that track is "El Menu". The piano of Rafael Ithier, the band's legendary director, the trombone playing, and the voice of Jerry Rivas provide this track with a unique sound. On top of that, this single includes colorful tracks dealing with a generous menu of typical Puerto Rican food. Fantastic song from beginning to end.