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VA - Fania Records 1964-1980: The Original Latin Sound Of New York (2011)

Jazz, Pop | Author: artmuss | 1-03-2017, 17:02
VA - Fania Records 1964-1980: The Original Latin Sound Of New York (2011) Artist: Various Artists
Title Of Album: Fania Records 1964-1980: The Original Latin Sound Of New York
Year Of Release: 2011
Label (Catalog#): Strut [STRUT078CD]
Country: International
Genre: Latin Pop, Latin Jazz, Salsa
Quality: FLAC (tracks +.cue,log)
Bitrate: Lossless
Time: 2:22:31
Full Size: 988 mb

Fania is, bar none, the greatest Latin recording label of all time, the home of the most sparkling salsa and the boogiest boogaloo ever set down on a mold of wax barely able to resist melting from the heat. During its heyday, it hosted most of the best recordings by the biggest salsa stars of all time: Willie Colón, Hector Lavoe, Ray Barretto, Eddie Palmieri, Celia Cruz, Rubén Blades, Mongo Santamaria, and many others (even El Rey, Tito Puente, recorded frequently). But with the advent of dozens of compilations, from Fania and others, available in periodic waves during the last half of the 2000s, it's easy to forgive weary listeners who look at this compilation from the Strut label and ask, "What's the difference?" Of course, anyone who knows Strut knows that the label takes quality control to an insane level of detail, and this two-disc celebration of all things Fania is no different. First off, there's the sound. These tracks have never sounded better, not even from Fania itself, whether it's the tearing brass and pin-point bass of early hits like Joe Bataan's "Subway Joe" or the later, more sophisticated material from Celia Cruz (and yes, original masters were used). Also, while most of the hits are here, Strut clearly wanted to focus on the most propulsive numbers they could find, which is why listeners will discover two of the biggest Latin dancers of all time -- "Use It Before You Lose It" by Bobby Valentin and "Mercy Mercy Baby" by Ray Barretto -- front-loaded among these 30 tracks. Throughout, Strut tells the story of Fania via the label's musical progression, from its beginnings with Johnny Pacheco and his pachanga, its rebellious adolescence as it embraced street-level, Spanish Harlem-type toughness with upstarts like Willie Colón and others, finally its increasing sophistication (and experimentation) via the advent of the fully arranged salsa orchestra in the '70s (tracks here from Roberto Roena, Celia Cruz, and the act with no equal, Ismael Miranda leading Larry Harlow's Orchestra Harlow). As it should be, the focus is clearly on the Fania label, not the other labels that were independent during the '60s and '70s but brought under the Fania umbrella later. No caveats apply here, but strict historians should note that Strut's emphasis on dance affects the choices, but only slightly. Of all the Fania compilations put out, and they number in the thousands, Fania Records 1964-1980: The Original Sound of Latin New York is the one to own. What's more, of all the compilations of late-20th-century Latin music put out, this is also the one to own.


Disc 1
1. Johnny Pacheco – Dakar, Punto Final
2. Orchestra Harlow – La Juventud
3. Joe Bataan – Subway Joe
4. Ray Barretto – Mercy Mercy Baby
5. Bobby Valentin – Use It Before You Lose It
6. Willie Colón – The Hustler
7. Joe Bataan – Mambo De Bataan
8. Roberto Roena Y Su Apollo Sound – Consolacion
9. Ismael Miranda & Orchestra Harlow – Abran Paso
10. Ricardo Ray Y Bobby Cruz – Sonido Bestial
11. Willie Colón – Che Che Cole
12. Cheo Feliciano – Anacaona
13. Fania All Stars – Quitate Tu (Live At The Cheetah)
14. Justo Betancourt – Pa' Bravo Yo
15. Ismael Miranda – Asi Se Compone Un Son

Disc 2
1. Ray Barretto – Indestructible
2. Willie Colón – Calle Luna, Calle Sol
3. Roberto Roena Y Su Apollo Sound – Que Se Sepa
4. Bobby Valentin – Coco Seco
5. Celia Cruz & Johnny Pacheco – Quimbara
6. Tommy Olivencia – Pa'Lante Otra Vez
1. Hector Lavoe – Mi Gente
8. Mongo Santamaria – O Mi Shango
9. Sonora Ponceña – Bomba Carambomba
10. Ruben Blades & Willie Colón – Pablo Pueblo
11. Hector Lavoe – El Cantante
12. Ruben Blades & Willie Colón – Pedro Navaja
13. Celia Cruz & Sonora Ponceña – Sonaremos El Tambo
14. Fania All Stars & Celia Cruz – Cuano Despiertes

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