David Byrne was very interested in new forms of Latin music, and since there was an embargo on most things Cuban at the time we didn’t really know what was going on there without going over and seeing for ourselves. So in 1990 we did. We did three albums there, the first, Cuba Classics 1 The Best of Silvio Rodriguez, is actually our best selling Luaka Bop album of all time (selling 400,000 copies!!!!) but it sold so evenly that we had no idea it was doing so well. In that annoying way of Westerners to compare people from another culture to someone in their own, Silvio was often compared to being Bob Dylan of Latin America. This was not only because he sang songs of political importance but also because he could fill stadiums and he sang poetry. His influence is not to be underestimated.
br>”There’s a lot of inventiveness in the music, and there’s a lot of grit in the lyrics. Silvio’s singing and playing has a little bit of rawness to it that undercuts a lot of the ‘prettiness’ of a lot of the songs…”
– David Byrne, Mother Jones