Carlow’s Alberto ViButves Restrepo was born on August 7, 1961. He is a Colombian singer, songwriter, and actor, who is best known for his interpretations of traditional Colombian Music styles, including Vallenato, Cumbia, Champeta, and Porro. He has also crossed over into Latin Pop, Reggaeton, Rock, and Tropical Music.
Carlos is one of the best-selling Latin Music artists of all time, with in excess of 30 million records sold worldwide. Many regard him as one of the most influential artists in the world since he helped put traditional Colombian styles of music on the global map.
So, I decided to take a closer look at some of the best Carlos Vives songs of all time.
Top 10 Best Carlos Vives Songs of All Time
La Gota Fria
Album: Clásicos de la Provincia
“The Cold Drop” was written in 1938 and has since been covered by many Latin Artists. It is Carlos’ version, however, that has attained the most acclaim.
The song revolves around an impromptu accordion-playing competition in which the song’s narrator forces his opponent into cold sweats with his immaculate playing.
“La Gota Fria” has become one of Carlos Vives’ signature songs and remains a staple of his live performances. The song peaked in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks and also won a Lo Nuestro Award for Tropical Song of The Year.
Cuando Nos Volvamos a Encontrar (feat. Marc Anthony)
Album: Más Corazón Profundo
Carlos teamed up with fellow superstar Marc Anthony for this Latin Grammy-winning hit from his fourteenth studio album. The song’s production perfectly mixes the voices of the two singers while the uplifting lyrics make the listener’s heart melt like butter.
The track was a #1 hit in various countries. And the album went on to win Best Tropical Album at the Latin Grammy Awards the following year.
Nota de Amor (feat Daddy Yankee & Wisin)
Album: Los Vaqueros: La Trilogía
Carlos has always had an open mind when it comes to experimentation and collaboration. Teaming up with two of the biggest Latin rappers in the world may have seemed an odd choice for fans at the time. But, the success of the track speaks to the vision of its creators.
“Love Note” peaked at #2 on the Colombian charts and #2 on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart. It has been certified five times platinum in the US and was nominated for Song of The Year at the Latin Grammy Awards.
Color Esperanza (2020 Version feat. Various Artists)
The 2020 version of Diego Torress’ 2001 song was a collaboration between Sony Music Latin and Global Citizen. The song was released to aid the Pan American Health Organization in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
A host of Latin and American artists were invited to collaborate. And Carlos’ addition to the mix only added to its power and beauty. “Color Esperanza” became a chart success in more than ten countries, including Carlos’ native Columbia, where it peaked at #11.
Besos Cualquier Horario (feat. Mau y Ricky & Lucy Vives)
It’s hard to believe that this track was released more than ten years ago. Despite its age, it would still fit perfectly into any tropical party playlist.
The track is an upbeat trip down memory lane to revisit a bygone romance that holds a special place in one’s heart. There is some great instrumentation on this number, and Carlos is joined by his daughter, which makes the recording even more special.
La Bicicleta (feat. Shakira)
Why did it take so many years for these two Colombian music giants to come together and record a track? Whatever the reason may be, let’s hope the success of “The Bicycle” inspires future collaboration.
The song combines elements of Pop with the traditional Colombian styles of Vallenato and Cumbia. A discerning ear will make out various traditional instruments from Columbia accompanying the accordion.
Lyrically, the song follows a couple who revisits all the special places from their youth during a bike ride. “La Bicicleta” received various accolades, including two Latin Grammy’s. The music video has more than a billion views on YouTube. If that doesn’t represent one of the best Carlos Vives songs of all time, then I don’t know what does.
El Ultimo Adiós
Album: El Ultimo Adiós
“The Last Goodbye” was composed by Peruvian singer Gian Marco and Cuban composer and musician Emilio Estefan. The song was written to commemorate the September 11th attacks. All the proceeds from the release went to support the American Red Cross and United Way foundations.
Few songs convey Carlos’ mastery of his instrument like this one. From the first note to the last, he manages to pour emotion into his playing. Thanks to his unique musical voice, Carlos stands out amongst the many artists who lent their talents to this project.
Robarte Un Beso (feat. Sebastian Yatra)
Carlos’ collaboration with fellow Colombian singer Sebastian Yatra is, without a doubt, one of the best Carlos Vives ballads to date. Not to mention being a huge feather in Yatra’s cap.
“Robarte Un Beso” is a catchy anthem inspired by the power of love. This track serves as a reminder to cherish the ones nearest to our hearts and to celebrate our love for them. The multi-platinum single was a chart-topper in various countries and also earned a Latin Grammy nomination for Song of The Year.
Canción Bonita (feat. Ricky Martin)
Album: Cumbiana II
This song is proof that Carlos Vives’ best songs and days are not behind him. After decades of writing and recording chart-topping hits, he still manages to experiment and collaborate on material that’s fresh.
The composition is a mixture of Pop and Vallenato, while the lyrics describe love for Ricky’s homeland, Puerto Rico. If you love Carlos for his fusion of different styles, then this one is likely to be one of your favorite Carlos Vives songs.
“Canción Bonita” climbed to #1 in twelve countries, including Columbia and the US, where it attained quadruple-platinum status. The single was nominated for two Latin Grammys.
Colombia, Mi Encanto
Album: Encanto (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
This one should be well known not only to fans of Carlos but to any Colombian. “Colombia, Mi Encanto” is a tribute to Carlos’ beloved homeland and the culture that he grew up in.
Using his unique style, Carlos paints a musical and lyrical picture that describes Columbia as an enchantment. If this track doesn’t make you want to fall under the Colombian spell, then nothing will.
“Colombia, Mi Encanto” was featured in the hit Disney animated film Encanto. It has since become one of the biggest Carlos Vives songs.
In The Mood For Sensational Spanish Songs?
Well, then check out our thoughts on the Most Famous Puerto Rican Singers, the Most Famous Hispanic Singers Of All Time, the Most Famous Mexican Singers, the Most Famous Spanish Singers Of All Time, and the Saddest Spanish Songs of All Time for more amazing song selections.
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Best Carlos Vives Songs of All Time – Final Thoughts
As a composer, musician, writer, and singer, Carlos Vives’ has become a legend in his own time. From his interpretations of traditional styles to his pioneering collaborations with artists like Ricky Martin and Shakira, or simply for his beautiful songwriting, there is no shortage of reasons to love and respect this Latin Legend.
Until next time, enjoy the music.