click to go to the home page

resource and shop for tango music

Francisco Canaro

Francisco Canaro and his orchestra The figure of Francisco Canaro dominates tango music from 1916 to 1935. Perhaps the most popular tango artist ever, his discography weighs in at over 3700 entries. As a musician Canaro was average but as an artistic director he was accomplished, disciplined and innovative. He knew better than anyone how to read the pulse of the public and this was the key to his popularity and his success - he was phenomenally wealthy, richer than Gardel.

In a way, Canaro had no real style of his own, no musical vision to imprint. But this doesn't detract from his importance to the history of tango music. To give you an idea, here is a little list of Canaro's "firsts":

With the arrival first of D'Arienzo and then Troilo and the golden decade of the fourties, Canaro's importance wanes. We could say that his contribution to tango music ends with the decade of the thirties. His tangos from the twenties are extraordinarily innovative, his milongas from the thirties are full of excitement, but his fourties material - especially the tangos - is left behind by the artists that came after him.

Canaro on CD - what kind of collector are you?

I only want one CD

Well, for Canaro's vast oeuvre, I am going to cheat and suggest two CDs here - the second, just for people who simply must have Poema.

Canaro, like other orchestras with a populist bent, recorded many valses and milongas and our main suggestion is to get a CD which presents some of those.

Bailando Tangos, Valses y Milongas

cover artwork

DBN 595159

With seven valses and six milongas (count them!), this cd outclasses the old favourite EBCD-30 on El Bandoneón and is the cd of choice for beginning a collection of Canaro's music - even if the cover isn't as nice.

Track list

  1. Retintin
  2. Pampa
  3. Maleva
  4. Quiero verte una vez más
  5. Desde el alma vals
  6. Corazón de oro vals
  7. Tres jolie (muy lindo) vals
  8. Etincelles vals
  9. Milonga de mis amores milonga
  10. Reliquias porteñas milonga
  11. Milonga de antano milonga
  12. Milongón milonga
  13. Pimienta
  14. Sentimiento gaucho
  15. El tigre
  16. Amor y primavera vals
  17. Dolores vals
  18. Aclamación vals
  19. Historia sentimental milonga
  20. Milonga de mis tiempos milonga


Roberto Maida; (1,3-16,26); Ernesto Famá (18-25); Instrumental (2,17)

Tango Collection - Francisco Canaro canta Roberto Maida

RGS 1637

I still remember when Suramusic released the album Poema, introducing us to a Canaro that in 1936 and with the intimate voice of Roberto Maida was rather more tender that what we'd become accustomed to. That album has gone out-of-print, but here is a cheaper replacement that has more tracks. Apart from a cracking transfer of Poema you get a whole bunch of beautiful tracks. Their tender rendition of the Donato classic El adiós is a real surprise.

If you are planning on a big Canaro collection, you might want to go straight to the Canaro/Maida CDs on Reliquias. if you're looking for a single Canaro/Maida CD, then this is definitely for you.

The fidelity is very good.

Track list

  1. Poema
  2. Golondrinas
  3. Cambalache
  4. No hay que hacerse mala sangre
  5. Alma de bandoneón
  6. Ciego
  7. Soledad
  8. De puro guapo
  9. Casas viejas
  10. Dónde?
  11. Mi noche triste
  12. Envidia
  13. Las cuarenta
  14. El adiós
  15. Paciencia
  16. Ave de paso
  17. Adiós muchachos
  18. Nada más
  19. Madreselva
  20. Mano a mano


Roberto Maida (1-20)

I love Canaro - give me more!

For nice cds of Canaro's fourties output listen to the albums on Reliquias with Roberto Maida and Ernesto Famá. they're on the list below

Sus éxitos con Ernesto Famá

DBN 541692

This album presents Canaro's best recordings with Ernesto Famá in the years 1939-1941. This is not my favourite period for Canaro, as he lost subtlety in his attempt to follow the times, but nevertheless this is a cracking CD. The milongas are outstanding: the best ever recording of El llorón, and Canaro's versions of Parque patricios and No hay tierra como la mía (listen also to Lomuto's interpretations on EURO records). With four valses and some fine tangos, there's a lot to recommend.

Track list

  1. Tormenta
  2. Mala suerte
  3. Pajaro ciego
  4. Noche de estrellas vals
  5. Por vos yo me rompo todo
  6. Abandonada
  7. Todo te nombra
  8. No hay tierra como la mía milonga
  9. El vino triste
  10. No me pregunten porque
  11. A quien le puede importar
  12. El vals del estudiante vals
  13. Algun dia te diré
  14. En un beso la vida
  15. Nostalgia gris vals
  16. Parque patricios milonga
  17. Te quiero todavia
  18. Donde andara
  19. El llorón tango-milonga
  20. Apasionadamente vals

Roberto Maida canta sus éxitos

DBN 541691

More classic cuts with Roberto Maida from 1935-1938. They didn't record a poor track. Three beautiful valses, Milonga criolla - what are you waiting for - Chrismas?

Track list

  1. Mano a mano
  2. Madreselva
  3. Nada más
  4. Romantica vals
  5. Desprecio
  6. Desaliento
  7. Adiós muchachos
  8. Milonga criolla milonga
  9. Ave de paso
  10. Siempre unidos
  11. El adiós
  12. La noche que me esperes vals
  13. Paciencia
  14. La cuarenta
  15. QUe le importa al mundo
  16. Milonga triste milonga
  17. Mi noche trsite
  18. Amor
  19. Milonguita
  20. Noches de amor vals

Canta Roberto Maida vol.2

DBN 235393

Classic cuts with Roberto Maida from 1935-1938 - this is the CD to get next, unless you have the RGS album we recommend above. Every track is a classic. Note that the transfer of Poema is in the correct key of C, which is a semitone higher than what we are used to.

Track list

  1. Alma de bandoneón
  2. Novia
  3. Golondrinas
  4. Ciego
  5. Soledad
  6. Secreto de amor vals
  7. Poema
  8. Casas viejas
  9. Nena
  10. Solo una novia
  11. Donde?
  12. Como las flores
  13. Silueta porteña milonga
  14. Envidia
  15. Viejos tiempos
  16. El dia que yo pueda
  17. De puro guapo
  18. Sueño de muñeca vals
  19. Copos de nieve
  20. Milonga del corazón milonga

Canta Ernesto Famá vol.2

DBN 235394

Second volume of Canaro with the ever popular Ernesto Famá, perhaps his most successful vocalist. This album is split equally between Famá's earlier stint with Canaro in 1934 (10 tracks) with the rest from 1939-1941, Famá having returned after the departure of Roberto Maida. This is where you find the fabulous milonga Yo me llamo Juan te quiero

As a bonus, the album includes the sublime duet version of the vals Un jardín de ilusión with Ada Falcón.

Track list

  1. El tigre Millán
  2. El pescante
  3. Esquinas porteñas vals
  4. Sinfonia de arrabal
  5. El recuerdo de los tangos
  6. Cuatro palabras vals
  7. Canto
  8. Yo no sé por qué te quiero
  9. La milonga de Buenos Aires milonga
  10. Aparcero
  11. Relámpago de gloria
  12. Un jardín de ilusión vals
  13. Lo pasao pasó
  14. Ya vendrán tiempos mejores
  15. Milongueando
  16. El cuarto esta por llegar
  17. Mañana juega
  18. Yo me llamo Juan te quiero milonga

Ernesto Famá (1-11,13-18); dúo Ada Falcón-Ernesto Famá (12)

Instrumentales De Colección

DBN 473886

Nice Canaro instrumental album, with great versions of El chamuyo, Charamusca and the wonderful vals Noches de amor (although as usual the introduction has been abbreviated. Don't worry, unless you have heard the transfers from Japan, you won't notice).

Reliquias porteñas is not the milonga but a pot-pourri of eleven famous tangos mixed together.

Buy now with PayPal

shipping to:

Our price: £9

Track list

  1. Inspiración
  2. Pinta brava
  3. El chamuyo
  4. Charamusca
  5. El pinche
  6. Hotel Victoria
  7. Canaro
  8. El buey solo
  9. El internado
  10. El canillita
  11. El caburé
  12. Noches de amor vals
  13. El arroyito
  14. Buen amigo
  15. Todo corazon
  16. La puñalada milonga
  17. Mate amargo
  18. El tigre
  19. A mano limpia
  20. Reliquias porteñas

Desde el alma

DBN 837414

This early CD is a sampler of Canaro's 40s output. What Reliquias have done here is to make a selection of all the singers that Canaro used in the 1940s, picking choice recordings from each vocalist.

Francisco Amor is delightful in 1941's Bajo el cielo azul, as is Carlos Roldán on the delicate Cristal. I even link their version of Otra noche, and I'm normally allergic to Di Sarli numbers recorded by Canaro. Roldán's delivery of the lyric is crystal clear and this seems to be what sets Canaro's 40s numbers apart from other bands. Maybe this is one reason why he is more popular outside Argentina, where non-native speakers find it easier to hear the lyrics, than he is at home.

The tracks from the late '40s are also surprisingly strong, such as the wistful Vieja cumparsita (1947) and Confesión (1949) which one might be hard pushed to identify as Canaro, such is the treatment of the compás.

The odd-man out is Destellos which was recorded in 1956. With the constant comping of the drums, Canaro manages to sound like a band trying to sound like Canaro. It's disastrous. Ignore this indiscretion and you have a nice 1940s Canaro selection! I didn't want to like this album, but I did.

Track list

  1. Uno
  2. Nido gaucho
  3. Esta noche de luna
  4. Cristal
  5. Bajo el cielo azul vals
  6. Otra noche
  7. Necesito olvidar
  8. Cada vez que me recuerdes
  9. Copas amigos y besos
  10. Desde el alma vals
  11. Destellos
  12. Trenzas
  13. Vieja cumparsita
  14. Confesión
  15. Déjame, no quiero verte más
  16. Tristeza criolla (La pulpera de Santa Lucia) vals


  • Carlos Roldán (1,3,4,6,9)
  • Eduardo Adrián (2,7,8)
  • Francisco Amor (5)
  • Nelly Omar (10)
  • Alberto Arenas (11)
  • Guillermo Coral (12,16)
  • Enrique Lucero (13)
  • Mario Alonso (14)

La melodía de nuestro adiós

EBCD 030

This is only last because it went out of print for a long time - this is actually the best Canaro CD to get, and still the only one with Milonga sentimental. The album - transferred from an LP - has excellent fidelity and covers his best years, 1932-1938. Just look at how many milongas and valses you get, and good versions: El jardin del amor is the dance version with Agustín Irusta, not the canción with Corsini and Ada Falcón - charming as it is

Please note that the very charming Las margaritas is mislabelled on the CD as a vals. It is in fact a ranchera. You can identify this from the emphasis on beat 2 at the end of each phrase.

Track list

  1. La melodía de nuestro adiós
  2. Para ti madre vals
  3. Silueta porteña milonga
  4. El pescante
  5. Ronda del querer vals
  6. Milonga de mis amores milonga
  7. Las margaritas ranchera
  8. Adiós muchachos
  9. Milonga sentimental milonga
  10. Quisiera amarte menos vals
  11. Pampa
  12. Reliquias porteñas milonga
  13. Adios juventud vals
  14. Lorenzo
  15. Canto
  16. El jardin del amor vals
  17. Retintin vals
  18. Charamusca


  • Agustín Irusta (2,7)
  • Ernesto Famá (4,9,10,13,15)
  • Roberto Maida (3,8)
  • Carlos Galán (5)

Give me everything

I advise against collecting Canaro's fourties output wholesale - but don't let me stop you! There are now fifteen Canaro CDs altogether on Reliquias. Definitely get the ones with Famá and Maida. Some of the others are good too:

Where next...

© Michael Lavocah / 2000-2018