HÉCTOR LAVOE’S BESTSELLING CLASSIC, REVENTÓ, REISSUED THROUGH FANIA RECORDS' 60TH ANNIVERSARY SERIES

HÉCTOR LAVOE’S BESTSELLING CLASSIC, REVENTÓ, REISSUED THROUGH FANIA RECORDS' 60TH ANNIVERSARY SERIES

Craft Latino continues its year-long celebration of Fania Records60th anniversary with a classic title from one of the label’s biggest stars: Héctor Lavoe. Originally released in 1985, the chart-busting Reventó marked a triumphant comeback for “El Cantante,” with such popular cuts as “De que tamaño es tu amor,” “La fama” and “Déjala que siga.” Long out of print, this salsa favorite will return to vinyl for the first time in nearly 40 years on August 23, while the album can be pre-ordered here. Featuring all-analog mastering by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio, Reventó is pressed on 180-gram vinyl and housed in an old-school-style tip-on jacket, replicating the LP’s original artwork. A 180-gram White color vinyl exclusive (limited to 300 copies), with an exciting bundle option that includes a limited-edition Reventó T-shirt, is available for pre-order at the Craft store. Additionally, the album will make its debut in 192/24 HD digital audio on September 6.

 

Throughout the year, Craft Latino will honor Fania Records’ enduring legacy—as well as the iconic label’s foundational contributions to salsa music—with reissues such as this one, new releases, plus a host of exclusive content. Visit fania.com/fania-60th to learn more.

 

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Perhaps the greatest interpreter of salsa music, singer Héctor Lavoe (1946–1993) was instrumental in popularizing the genre during the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. Known for his impeccably bright vocals, seamless phrasing and ad-libbed anecdotes, it’s no surprise that Lavoe earned the nickname “El Cantante” after his 1978 hit of the same name (penned for him by the great Rubén Blades). Born Héctor Juan Pérez Martínez in Ponce, Puerto Rico, the singer relocated to New York City at 17, where he picked up his stage name and began performing in bands led by Roberto García, Kako and Fania Records co-founder Johnny Pacheco. It was through Pacheco that Lavoe met 16-year-old Willie Colón, with whom he would form one of Latin music’s most celebrated partnerships. Beginning in 1967, Lavoe appeared as a vocalist on 8 legendary studio albums with the Willie Colón Orchestra, including the boogaloo classic El Malo (1967), plus best-sellers like Cosa Nuestra (1970), Asalto Navideño (1971) and Lo Mato (1973).

 

In the mid-’70s, Lavoe embarked on a solo career—just as salsa was reaching its peak popularity in the US. Before long, he was one of the genre’s biggest stars, thanks to best-selling (and now classic) albums like La Voz (1975), De Ti Depende (1976) and Comedia (1978). By the mid-’80s, however, salsa was beginning to decline, as merengue and romantic balladry grew in popularity. Despite the changing times, Lavoe was still as popular as ever—thanks in part to the success of the Vigilante film soundtrack—a project which reunited him with Colón and reinvigorated both of the artists’ careers. On the heels of that success, he returned to the studio to record his eighth solo album, Reventó.

 

Translating to “burst,” 1985’s Reventó found Lavoe seeking to re-energize the salsa scene by bringing together the sounds and players from the genre’s heyday. He recruited Leopoldo Pineda and Lewis Khan to recreate Willie Colón’s signature trombone stylings and reunited with percussionist/vocalists Milton Cardona and José Mangual—both friends from his early days at Fania. The result was one of the most exciting and rhythmically diverse albums of Lavoe’s career.

 

The singer’s versatility is showcased through a wide range of styles, including the romantic opener, “De qué tamaño es tu amor,” which combines son and Puerto Rican bomba. Fan favorite “Déjala que siga,” meanwhile, is a pachanga number, featuring a flute solo by the great Johnny Pacheco. Lavoe’s humorous side is also on display through a Spanish-language cover of Joe Jackson’s neurotic “Cancer,”which originally appeared on the British singer-songwriter’s hit 1982 LP, Night and Day. Another pop cover is “Porqué no puedo ser felíz,” from the Argentine duo Pimpinela. With the help of celebrated percussionist, musical director and arranger José Madera, Lavoe and his band transform the song into a merengue.

 

Another standout track is the autobiographical “La fama”—Lavoe’s bittersweet response to his signature hit, “El Cantante.” In the song, Lavoe paints a stark portrait of life as a recording artist, as he sings about being paid to smile, even when he is sad, and how difficult it is to maintain relationships of any kind. On the other side of the spectrum is the uplifting samba “La vida es bonita.” Penned by Argentine artist Cacho Castaña, the tune offers a message of hope and empowerment: “Yo sé que la calle está dura pero ya cambiará/Por eso nada impide que repita que la vida es bonita . . .” (“I know that the street is harsh, but it will change/For nothing keeps me from repeating/That life is beautiful . . .”).

 

The outlook was certainly bright with the release of Reventó in the spring of 1985. In addition to entering Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart at No.12, it remained on the ranking for an impressive five months. The album also received broad acclaim from critics and, today, is counted among Lavoe’s best works. In a retrospective review, AllMusic praised, “With one foot in the old world of Puerto Rican son, and another in the bustle of New York’s Latin community, Lavoe’s music sounds timeless. This effort can’t fail to send hips into sinuous gyrations.”

 

Sadly, Reventó would be Lavoe’s penultimate album, before his untimely passing at the age of 46. During his brief but hugely influential career, Lavoe released a total of 10 solo albums, including the GRAMMY®-nominated Strikes Back in 1987. In addition to his work with Willie Colón, Lavoe was also a regular guest with the celebrated Fania All Stars, appearing on more than a dozen live and studio albums with the collective.

 

Over the decades, Lavoe and his extensive contributions to Latin music have been honored in New York and Puerto Rico through street dedications, statues and murals. Lavoe’s life also inspired an off-Broadway play, a tribute album and two feature films, including the Marc Anthony/Jennifer Lopez-led El Cantante (2006). In 2000, Lavoe was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame.

 

About Fania Records’ 60TH Anniversary Celebration:

2024 marks the 60th anniversary of the legendary New York label Fania Records, one of the most significant Latin labels in the world, musically and culturally. In the ’60s, Fania was a pioneer in creating and spreading the sound of salsa music from New York City to the globe. In addition to salsa, Fania is the definitive home for genres such as Latin big band, Afro-Cuban jazz, boogaloo and Latin soul. Its roster of artists includes countless music legends, such as Johnny Pacheco, Willie Colón, Héctor Lavoe, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Ray Barretto, Cheo Feliciano and Rubén Blades, among many others. In 1968, the creation of the international supergroup known as the Fania All-Stars, a vital force in Latin music, established the label’s signature musical style, which became known as the “Fania Sound.” Today, Fania’s legacy is just as meaningful to Latin music as Stax and Motown to soul or Prestige and Blue Note to jazz. It remains a cultural beacon, illuminating a powerful American immigrant story that is as timely today as when the label launched. To celebrate Fania’s legacy on this special milestone, Craft Latino will release over a dozen remastered 180-gram vinyl reissues, over two dozen remastered digital albums, many of which will debut in hi-res digital, and a variety of content throughout the year, including curated playlists, artist spotlights and live events across New York, Los Angeles, Miami and London.

 

Reventó Tracklist (Vinyl)

Side A

  1. De Que Tamaño Es Tu Amor
  2. La Vida Es Bonita
  3. Don Fulano De Tal
  4. La Fama

Side B

  1. Dejala Que Siga
  2. Cancer
  3. Porque No Puedo Ser Feliz

 

*Digital tracklist mirrors the vinyl

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