FANIA ALL STARS’ LONG-OUT-OF-PRINT CLASSIC LATIN–SOUL–ROCK RETURNS TO VINYL FOR 50TH ANNIVERSARY

On August 24, 1973, 40,000 salsa fans (a record-breaking crowd at the time for a Latin music event) eagerly piled into New York’s Yankee Stadium to watch some of the world’s most influential artists share the stage. But the Fania All Stars—a collective that included such legends as Johnny Pacheco, Willie Colón, Ray Barretto, and Héctor Lavoe—was eager to highlight its versatility by performing not just Latin hits, but also soul and rock hits from the day. Joined by a variety of special guests, including Mongo Santamaria, Manu Dibango, Jorge “Malo” Santana, plus Billy Cobham and Jan Hammer of theMahavishnu Orchestra—the All Stars launched into a funky, high-energy set (which was scheduled to include such hits as Dibango’s “Soul Makossa,”Edwin Starr’s “There You Go,” and the Joe Cuba Sextet’s “El Ratón”). But not long after they began, the concert was cut short as thousands of excited fans poured onto the field, forcing the concert to end prematurely. What wascaptured on tape reverberated with the energy of that evening, while subsequent recordings (to round out the rest of the setlist) showcased the sheer talent of everyone involved. The resulting album, 1974’s Latin-Soul-Rock, became an instant classic.

 

Now, Craft Latino celebrates the 50th anniversary of this historic album with a special 180-gram vinyl reissue of Latin-Soul-Rock. Set for release on May 24 and available for pre-order now, the long-out-of-print album has been newly remastered from analog sources by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio and is housed in a tip-on single-pocket gatefold jacket, replicating its original design—including liner notes from Fania founder/producer Jerry Masucci, plus a review of the concert from the New York Post. Additionally, Latin-Soul-Rock will also make its debut in 192/24 hi-res digital audio. In addition, a deluxe Fuego vinyl color exclusive, limited to 300 copies, with an exciting bundle option that includes a Fania All Stars Live at Yankee Stadium commemorative baseball T-shirt is available for pre-order on our store.

 

The Fania All-Stars were a vital force in Latin music, bringing together some of the world’s most important and influential artists, including pioneering bandleaders like Johnny Pacheco, Willie Colón, and Ray Barretto; celebrated musicians like Yomo Toro, Orestes Vilató, and Barry Rodgers; plus some of the era’s most beloved singers, including Pete “El Conde” Rodríguez, Celia Cruz, Adalberto Santiago, and Héctor Lavoe. The ever-evolving collective—which also served as a platform for the legendary Latin label, Fania Records—formed in 1968, just as salsa music was exploding in popularity across the US and beyond.

 

The All Stars released a series of bestselling live albums, including Live at the Red Garter, Vols. 1 and 2 (1968 and 1969, respectively) and Live at the Cheetah, Vols. 1 and 2 (1972)— the latter of which resulted in the 1972 documentary Our Latin Thing—before embarking on a sold-out tour, which included stops across the US, as well as in Panama, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela, among other international hotspots. The 1973 run concluded with a hometown show at Yankee Stadium. For this particular date, which took place decades before Latin music crossed into the mainstream, the Fania All Stars and producer/Fania co-founder Jerry Masucci had a unique goal in mind: “[We] searched for musical material that would show (everyone who doubted) that Latin musicians could play soul and rock,” he wrote in the album’s 1974 liner notes. “Then we found four internationally known musicians who wanted to play with the All Stars: Manu Dibango, Jorge ‘Malo’ Santana, Billy Cobham, and Jan Hammer. Manu had just had a worldwide rhythm and blues hit ‘Soul Makossa’; Jorge Santana is [the] leader of Malo, a Latin Rock group and brother of the rock superstar Santana; Billy Cobham and Jan Hammer are both members of the famed Mahavishnu Orchestra which recently toured and recorded with John McLaughlin and Santana.”

 

With a star-studded roster of guest artists, the All Stars worked with Masucci to create a diverse set list that included Dibango’s “Soul Makossa,” Edwin Starr’s “There You Go,” and Gerald Wilson’s “Viva Tirado”—all intermingled with Latin hits, including The Joe Cuba Sextet’s “El Ratón,” Tito Rodríguez’s “Mama Guela,” Larry Harlow’s “Congo Bongo, and Israel “Cachao” López’s “Chanchullo” (reworked in the early ’60s by Tito Puente to become his enduring hit, “Oye cómo va”).

 

But the evening didn’t go quite as expected. As writer Edmund Newton reported in an ensuing New York Post story, “An exuberant unrestrained crowd of 40,000—reportedly the largest crowd ever for a Latin concert—came not to watch but participate in the historic event.” He continued, “Thousands of teenagers jammed into the aisles, dancing the ‘Soul Makossa.’ Others stand on the Yankee dugout, moving to the lusty rhythms of the Fania All Stars, with pianist Larry Harlow, trombonist Willie Colón, and the like sailing riffs toward home plate.” Newton added, “Almost lost in the excitement was the excellent music.”

 

The performance, which was filmed and subsequently used in the 1976 documentary, Salsa!, was cut short, as thrilled concertgoers convened onto the field, causing the show to be shut down just as the band finished “Congo Bongo.” But all was not lost, Masucci writes. “After all the preparation and hard work [the set list] had to be recorded somehow. We recorded ‘Soul Makossa’ live…[in] Puerto Rico and then got everyone together again [in New York] where we recorded ‘Viva Tirado,’ ‘Chanchullo,’ ‘Smoke,’ ‘There You Go,’ [and] ‘Mama Guela.’” While portions of the concert would appear on the All Stars’ two-volume, GRAMMY®-nominated Live at Yankee Stadium LP (1975), Latin–Rock–Soul marked the first release to document that historic evening and remains an essential—and phenomenally funky—title in the beloved collective’s catalog.

 

Long recognized for their ability to transcend the barriers of culture and language, the Fania All Stars spent the next two decades touring the world, with notable performances in Japan, Cuba, England, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, among many other countries. Today, the All Stars remains relevant, with a vibrant catalog that includes more than two dozen live and studio albums, including the GRAMMY-nominated Live at Yankee Stadium Vols. 1 & 2 (1975) and Cross Over (1979), plus Habana Jam (1979) and Live in Africa (1986). In 2014, the trailblazing group was honored with an ASCAP Latin Heritage Award.

 

 

Latin–Soul–Rock Tracklist (Vinyl)

Side A

  1. Viva Tirado (Live at Yankee Stadium/New York, NY/August, 1973/Remastered 2024)
  2. Chanchullo (Live at Yankee Stadium/New York, NY/August, 1973/Remastered 2024)
  3. Smoke (Live at Yankee Stadium/New York, NY/August, 1973/Remastered 2024)
  4. There You Go (Live at Yankee Stadium/New York, NY/August, 1973/Remastered 2024)
  5. Mama Guela (Live at Yankee Stadium/New York, NY/August, 1973/Remastered 2024)

 

Side B

  1. El Ratón (Live at Yankee Stadium/New York, NY/August, 1973/Remastered 2024)
  2. Soul Makossa (Live at Robert Clemente Coliseum/San Juan, PR/November, 1973/Remastered 2024)
  3. Congo Bongo (Live at Yankee Stadium/New York, NY/August, 1973/Remastered 2024)

 

*Digital tracklist mirrors the vinyl.

← Older Post

News

RSS

CREED’S MULTI-PLATINUM-SELLING GREATEST HITS MAKES ITS WIDE DEBUT ON VINYL

As CREED readies to embark on their first headlining shows in over a decade, Craft Recordings celebrates the recently reunited band and their enduring catalog...

Read more

SILVERSTEIN’S A SHIPWRECK IN THE SAND RETURNS TO VINYL FOR 15TH ANNIVERSARY

Craft Recordings celebrates the 15th anniversary of Silverstein’s bestselling fourth album, A Shipwreck in the Sand, with a vinyl reissue and several color exclusives. The...

Read more