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Review, Analysis and Recordings Containing
Babalu Monophonic
This song was recorded on April 21st, 1952 and was released as a single in both the 78 rpm and 45 rpm formats.  (Margarita Lecuona arr. Moisés Vivanco - 2:48)
Recorded in 1952 - view lyrics

Review and Analysis of Babalu by Nicholas E. Limansky
From Yma Sumac - The Art Behind the Legend
used with permission - all rights reserved, © Nicholas E. Limansky
Read more on the Legacy of the Diva Web site!
"Babalu" was tremendously successful as one of Yma's nightclub selections but was never used on concert programs. The original "Babalu" was sung by the Cuban singer, Galito Valdez. During the 1950s Americans became familiar with Desi Arnaz's version often heard on the popular television show I Love Lucy which first aired in September 1951.

As one would expect, "Babalu" is sung in the Yma Sumac style. It is in two sections and is prime Sumac exotica. The first section lies in Yma's mezzo soprano register and is fascinating for Yma's tonal caressing, use of the growl, and clever rhythmical emphasis and note-bending that is distinctly her own. The second half is not as successful because it is too reminiscent of "Tumpa!" (Earthquake!) and therefore has little individual flavor of its own. As in "Tumpa!" however, Yma takes off in wordless flights of staccati and high notes that was her trademark

Babalu  is included on the following releases
catalog no: AMR536
Another collection featuring tracks from Yma Sumac's various Capitol Records releases of the '50s. This release is available only as a download. 2010 United Kingdom
catalog no: ASIN: B002B2LZWC
Another collection of download only tracks that includes several of Yma Sumac's early South American recordings along with her later cuts from Capitol Records. Interestingly, the makers of this release chose to use English translations for some of the songs but the track listing shown here has been . . . 2008 United Kingdom
catalog no: ASIN: B003F6CT5A
Download only version of Legend of the Jivaro also contains the two sides from Yma Sumac's stand-alone single and the tracks from the Broadway show, Flahooley. 2010 United Kingdom
catalog no: SSL-4755 (P-2367)
U.S. military transcription LP (16" vinyl format) with an interesting and mixed collection of Yma Sumac's material from 1951 to 1954, and tracks by Johnny Desmond on the other side.  This recording was made by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and released for airplay by the Armed For . . . 1954 United States
catalog no: ASIN: B002GM2RAQ
A download-only collection of recordings that includes several of Yma Sumac's early songs from South America along with her later material. Although the exact country of origin is vague and it seems to appear most often on sites in Germany, the record label seems to be located in the United Kingdom. . . . 2006 United Kingdom
Unusual 78 single from Brazil pairs two tracks that are generally unrelated: Babalu is usually paired with Wimoweh as a single only but High Andes (Ataypura) is from the 1950 Voice of the Xtabay 78 rpm album 1953 Brazil
catalog no: 2079
This single was never part of an album 1952 United States
catalog no: CL-13 766
Single, never part of an album 1952 United States
catalog no: CP 133
This single was never part of an album 1952 New Zealand
catalog no: 2079
One of the more common promotional recordings on Capitol Records' white promotional labels. These songs were recorded on April 21st, 1952 and were never part of any of Yma Sumac's albums. 1952 United States
catalog no: F 80 227
This single was never part of an album 1952 Germany
catalog no: F 2079
This single was never part of an album 1952 United States
catalog no: K 20773
One of several German releases of these single-only tracks 1952 Germany
Vinyl releases seem to be the trend now as this recent double LP indicates. This time it is a reissue from a compilation CD rather than being a reissue of an original vinyl disk. 2005 United Kingdom
catalog no: BYD77004
27 track compilation featuring pre-1955 material along with several 1943 Argentina Session tracks. Good selection of material but the booklet contains many inaccuracies over the usual. For example, her name was spelled as Ymma throughout when that spelling was used only on one obscure release from t . . . 2008 United Kingdom
catalog no: PS39015
A collection featuring tracks drawn primarily from Yma Sumac's Mambo! (1954) and her Legend of the Sun Virgin (1952) albums with several others from various albums and singles. 2007 Germany
catalog no: 2711402146
Unusual Compact Disc collection from Greece, apparently available for only a single day as a promotional by a weekly newspaper. Packaged in a long DVD-type sleeve. 2008 Greece
catalog no: CREVO 48 CD
Compact disc compilation with previously-unreleased tracks including several instrumentals.  This is a great compilation but is hard to find. 1997 United Kingdom
catalog no: CRREV175
Reissue of popular collection from England. Not to be confused with the reissue using the same cover art, this CD is a compilation that features previously unreleased material. 2002 United Kingdom
catalog no: CDP 7243-8-32 563
This is a compact disc compilation with two tracks by Yma Sumac.  The tracks featured are Babalu and Wimoweh which until recently, were virtually impossible to find since they were originally released only as a single. 1990 United States
catalog no: ASIN: B001P5MG6A
Collection from the United Kingdom features tracks ranging from Yma Sumac earliest material from 1943 to 1954 at the height of her career. Includes tracks from Voice of the Xtabay (1950), Legend of the Sun Virgin (1952), Inca Taqui (1953) and Mambo! (1954) and also included are her two singles from . . . 2009 United Kingdom
catalog no: CD 72 435-21 434-2-9
Compilation 2000 United States
catalog no: Promo
Compilation Promotional edition, Mfg. by Imperial Tape Company 2000 United States
catalog no: CREVO 34 CD
Reissue of compilation with previously-unreleased material. This reissue contains a slightly different track selection than the original 2001 United Kingdom
catalog no: 23351
76 Hits and Rarities from the goddess of Exotica. More details and track for this September 2012 collection coming soon. 2012 United Kingdom
catalog no: GSS 5482
This 3-CD set advertised as being from Holland but package and disk printing indicate it was made in Portugal. Released in March 2008 and contains 47 tracks, this boxed set contains three standard jewel cases all with the same cover art and no booklet or notes. The box cover is shown. 2008 Portugal
catalog no: 118734
Anthologie 1950-1959 Compact Disc set of Yma Sumac's containing all of Yma Sumac's 1950's Capitol Records original release catalog. Probably a bootleg as no EMI/Capital Records licensing information could be found. These tracks are included on legitimate releases of all the original albums. 2013 France
catalog no: BLUE102CD
Double CD collection features remastered tracks from the 1943 Argentina Session along with those from the Capitol Records years. 2005 United Kingdom
catalog no: B00006IWIC
Two CD set containing the entire Mambo! and Ultimate Yma Sumac Collection CDs, probably as individual CDs in a slipsleeve. 2002 France
catalog no: 4 XL-57 080
This brief cassette compilation has one stereo track and is the first time that Babalu was heard since its release as a 78 rpm and 45 rpm single in the '50s.  This cassette contains a good cross section of Yma Sumac's recordings. 1989 United States
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