Until his death in 2002, at the age of 95, Compay Segundo was one of the last treasures of Cuba. His career was revived in 1997 when he was asked to contribute to the Buena Vista Social Club, an album that set out to recapture the glorious past of Cuban music. Guitarist Ry Cooder produced and gathered a dream team of surviving performers from Cuba’s pre-revolutionary golden age of music, including Ruben Gonzalez, 80, Ibrahim Ferrer, 71, Cachaito Lopez, 65 and the doyen of them all, Compay. Ry Cooder said of him “He’s the last of the best. As soon as he walked into the studio it all kicked in. He was the leader... He knew the best songs and how to do them because he’s been doing it since World War I”. With sales of 1 million worldwide, the album would become one of the most influential recordings of the ‘90s.
Signed to Warner Spain at the age of 91, Compay recorded four quality albums for them, between 1996 and 2002.