A sizzling 2-LP collection showcasing Fania's era-defining output of Latin soul and boogaloo music spanning 1965-1975. The set compiles single versions of 28 tracks from such best-selling artists as Ray Barretto, Joe Bataan, Bobby Valentín, Ralfi Pagan and Larry Harlow, plus rarities and b-sides. The compilation was produced by Joe McEwen and Dean Rudland. Lacquers were cut by Phil Rodriguez and pressed at Memphis Record Pressing.
In the '60s, a unique musical moment was brewing in New York City, as young Latin American artists - many of them second-generation - found themselves split between the traditional music they grew up on and the rising sounds of soul, doo-wop, and R&B. They began experimenting in the clubs, blending Afro-Cuban beats, Latin jazz, and soul with predominantly English lyrics. The result was a delectable new genre with broad appeal that epitomized the cultural melting pot of New York. While boogaloo and Latin soul was a short-lived craze (peaking in the late '60s and early '70s), it popularized Latin music in America and established the careers of many internationally beloved artists.
Fania Records was founded just prior to the rise of boogaloo in 1964 by bandleader Johnny Pacheco and his lawyer, Jerry Masucci. Over the next few years, Fania would sign and nurture a variety of emerging Latin soul artists. As Rudland points out in his notes, "Fania was not the first label to release Latin soul, but they were vital within its rise, releasing important records, and its owners patently understood the opportunity it allowed the young label to expand quickly."
Among their earliest signings were Willie Colon, Joe Bataan, Bobby Valentín, and Ray Barretto: four rising stars who were all eager to experiment with their sounds - and Fania gave them the freedom to do so. Colon, who became one of the label's most celebrated artists, rarely strayed from traditional stylings but offered one foray into Latin soul with his debut single, "Willie Baby" (1967). Valentín, meanwhile, straddled the line stylistically, but scored several boogaloo hits for the label early on, including 1967's joyful "Geronimo".
By the mid-'70s, the popularity of boogaloo had widely given way to salsa - and Fania quickly rose to become a leader in the genre. While salsa ultimately proved to be the more enduring style, the success of boogaloo and Latin soul was instrumental in paving the way for its mainstream appeal. Many of the artists who found early fame with Latin soul records, meanwhile, would go on to enjoy thriving careers, including NEA Jazz Master Award-winner and International Latin Music Hall of Fame Inductee Ray Barretto, Joe Bataan, Bobby Valentín, and Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award-winner, Larry Harlow.
- Double LP
- Single versions of 28 tracks
- Rarities & B-sides
- Produced by Joe McEwen & Dean Rudland
- Mastered & lacquered for vinyl by Phil Rodriguez
- Pressed at Memphis Record Pressing (MRP)
- 125th Street Candy Store - Silent Heart
- 125th Street Candy Store - Hey Girl
- Bobby Valentín - Geronimo
- Willie Colón - Willie Baby
- Joe Bataan - Gypsy Woman
- Harvey Averne And Group Therapy - The Micro Mini
- Bobby Valentín - Jumpin' With Symphony Sid
- Monguito Santamaría - Juicy
- Ray Barretto - Soul Drummers
- Larry Harlow - Mess Around
- The Latinaires - The Camel Walk
- Bobby Quesada - Bataola Boogaloo
- Joe Bataan - It's a Good Feeling (Riot) Part 1
- Orchestra Harlow - Grazin' In The Grass (Una Miradita De Amor)
- Ali Baba (Louie Ramirez) - Ungawa
- El Apollo Sound - Spinning Wheel
- The Harvey Averne Band - Let's Get Together This Christmas
- Ronnie Marks - Some Lonely Heart (Vocal)
- Ralfi Pagan - Make It With You
- Joe Bataan - Shaft
- Ralfi Pagan - To Say I Love You
- Joe Bataan - Latin Soul Square Dance
- Butter Scotch - Try Just A Little Harder
- Butter Scotch - Today
- W.R.L.C - Johnny's No Good
- W.R.L.C. - Blonde Latin Blues
- Ralfi Pagan - Just A Little While