Growing up in Cali, Colombia, nothing could come close to a New Year's Eve party that extended from the midnight ushering of the new year until 6, 7 or even 8 a.m. As you prepare for New Year's Eve festivities tonight, here are 10 timeless Latin tracks that should be part of the party.
1. "El Año Viejo" - Celia Cruz
This old Colombian cumbia has become a staple of Latin New Year's eve parties and has been covered by all kinds of artists, from Gilberto Santa Rosa and Oscar D'Leon to Aniceto Molina and Rigo Tovar. We like this version by the late Celia Cruz.
2. "6 A.M." - J Balvin feat. Farruko
If you're going to be up until 6 a.m., might as well do it to this year's quintessential party song where J Balvin and Farruko chronicle a crazy night out.
3. "Ras Tas Tas" - Cali Flow Latino
This Cali, Colombia-based group is one of the proponents of the new "salsa choke" movement, which blends salsa with urban sounds. It could have all gone unnoticed had the Colombian soccer team not done victory dances to Ras Tas Tas during the World Cup. Now, the track is one of Cali's songs of the year for year's end.
4. "No Hay Cama Pa Tanta Gente" - El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico
Another oft-covered classic. We like the original by El Gran Combo.
5. "La Murga" - Willie Colón feat. Hector Lavoe
The solo trombone intro is a staple of every Christmas and New Year's Latin party, and the feel-good party vibe will take you straight to the dance floor.
6. "Un Año Mas" – Mecano
This classic by 1980s Spanish pop group Mecano remains fresh and nostalgic. Play this after the initial euphoria (think of it as a contemporary "Auld Lang Syne") and prepare to cry.
7. "Que Suenen los Tambores" - Victor Manuelle
The Puerto Rican salsero's current No. 1 hit on the Latin Airplay chart is fun and celebratory and its uplifting message sets the perfect tone for the new year.
8. "Vivir Mi Vida" - Marc Anthony
Another ode to life, Anthony's anthem (a remake of Khaled's European hit "Ces't la vie") was a smash in 2013, but its effects are lasting.
9. "Bailando" - Enrique Iglesias feat. Gente D'Zona and Descemer Bueno
There's no way you can say goodbye to 2014 without playing the biggest hit of the year. It helps that "Bailando" is irresistible. If you have a big screen handy, play the video.
10. "Cali Pachanguero" - Grupo Niche
Yes, I'm biased, but you don't have to be from Cali to know and love this now-classic salsa ode to a salsa city. Just enjoy. This song was meant for celebrating.