Disco Azúcar was the last album of the classic Los Van Van line up. Famed pailero, Changuito,
who had developed a unique style for Los Van Van’s Songo rhythm, would leave shortly after. He was replaced by the late Juan Formell’s son, Samuel. NG La Banda were at their peak in this period and La Charanga Habanera were transforming into the Timba band that took the 90’s by storm. The loss of Russian subsidies, meanwhile, were starting to bite the economy. In this context, having ruled the 1980’s alongside Revé, Los Van Van abandoned the more pop side of their music for one last Songo outing.
The title track was a big hit and has been used on numerous compilations but there’s a lot more to the album. Taking a break for Oh No, Disco Azúcar is otherwise solid dance music. Never overstated or brash, Los Van Van developed a smooth sophistication that comes with experience. This is groove music but with enough subtle shifts and variations to keep you sharp. Puppy would update Oh No nearly twenty years later, with his own band.
Que Le Den Candela sparked controversy with feminism, which prompted a response on the subsequent album, Lo Último En Vivo. Whatever, it’s a great song, as are No Colabores Si no Es Contigo and La Historia De Tania Y Juan. And that’s just for starters.