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Single by Astor Piazzolla
from the album Libertango
Released 1974
Format Vinyl record (12")
Recorded 1974
Genre Tango Nuevo
Length 2:49
Label Carosello

Libertango is a composition by tango composer Ástor Piazzolla, recorded and published in 1974 in Milan. The title is a portmanteau merging "Libertad" (Spanish for liberty) and "Tango", symbolizing Piazzolla's break from Classical Tango to Tango Nuevo.[1]

According to the performance database at All Music Guide, the composition has appeared on over 500 separate releases.[2] Grace Jones's song I've Seen That Face Before (Libertango) uses the same music, as does Jazz Mandolin Project's song "Jungle Tango", Guy Marchand's song "Moi je suis tango" and Kati Kovács's song Hívlak.

In 1997 Irish folk musician Sharon Shannon recorded a cover of Grace Jones' I've Seen That Face Before (Libertango) for her third album, Each Little Thing.[3] This cover song, which featured session vocals by Kirsty MacColl, appeared under MacColl's name in 2001, on The One and Only, a compilation album released after the singer's death in a boating accident.[4] Shannon re-released the recording as the title track of her 2005 compilation.[5]

In 2002, a re-recording of Libertango appeared on Australian/British classical crossover string quartet Bond second album "Shine".

Also Libertango was played by the famous guitarist Al Di Meola in his 2000 album The Grande Passion and by the world-renowned cellist, YoYo Ma, in his 1997 album, Soul of the Tango: The Music of Ástor Piazzolla.

A section of Libertango constituted the backing music for the Tarot advert for Volvo's S60 compact executive saloon.[6]

The music was also well known previous to this advert from the Roman Polanski movie Frantic (1988)

Cuban-American singer/composer Luisa Maria Güell added lyrics in the theme of the "Libertango" title and recorded it for her 2007 album ' 'Una' '.

In the Prince of Tennis anime series, Atobe Keigo and Sanada Genichirou attended a performance of this song. They used it later to set the beat for their Doubles match. In the fandom, this pairing of characters is known as the "Tango Pair" because of this.


Astor Piazzolla
  • Astor Piazzolla: bandoneón, arranger, conductor
  • Felice Da Viá: piano
  • Felice Da Viá, Gianni Zilioli: Hammond organ C3
  • Gianni Zilioli: marimba
  • Marlene Kessik: G flute
  • Hugo Heredia, Gianni Bedori: C flute
  • Giuseppe Prestipino (Pino Presti): bass guitar
  • Tullio De Piscopo: drums
  • Filippo Daccó: acoustic & electric guitar
  • Andrea Poggi: timpani
  • Tullio De Piscopo, Andrea Poggi: percussions
  • Umberto Benedetti Michelangeli: first violin
  • Elsa Parravicini: first viola
  • Paolo Salvi: first cello

Producer: Aldo Pagani

Recorded in May 1974 at "Mondial Sound Studio", Milan (Italy)
Sound engineer: Tonino Paolillo


  1. ^ See Azzi and Collier, Le Grand Tango: The Life and Music of Ástor Piazzolla, Oxford University Press, 2000.
  2. ^ Performance Listing for "Libertango" at All Music Guide
  3. ^ Each Little Thing entry at All Music Guide
  4. ^ The One and Only entry at All Music Guide
  5. ^ Libertango entry at All Music Guide
  6. ^ Video from Volvo's YouTube channel.

External links[edit]