Friday, November 02, 2007

416. Wllie Colón And Rubén Blades - Siembra (1978)

















Track Listing

1. Plastico
2. Buscando Guayaba
3. Pedro Navaja
4. Maria Lionza
5. Ojos
6. Dime
7. Siembra

Review

I've never been very knowledgeable about salsa except for recognising it when I hear it. Also I must apologize for the tacky cover of the album, where some kind of helium filled children float above some garish plants. Sorry.

That is actually one of the only things I can complain about this album, the cover. This means it is a pretty good thing, firstly it starts with a supreme act of misdirection with a Disco beat going for about one minute before it explodes in some of the best Salsa you can get. The musicians are amazing, particularly the brass section, the arrangements are also pretty amazing, and finally and most importantly the lyrics are great.

I really loved the lyrics of this thing, it is all in Spanish of course so if you don't get Spanish you won't get it. If there was one use for living near the Spanish border for most of my life it would be to know enough Spanish to understand this album. Great stuff. Particular kudos go to Pedro Navaja, a Latin version of Mack the Knife and Plástico a song about the superficiality of modern life.

The whole album is quite politically and socially active while at the same time being fun to listen to, depending on your mood you can be caring about the poetry or just waving your ass to the Salsa. Two thumbs up.

Track Highlights

1. Pedro Navaja
2. Plástico
3. Siembra
4. Buscando Guayaba

Final Grade

10/10

Trivia

From Wikipedia:

Pedro Navaja is a salsa song written and performed by Rubén Blades, about a criminal of the same name. "Navaja" means knife or razor (hence an analogy to Blades' surname) in Spanish. Inspired by the song Mack the Knife, it tells the story of a panderer's life and death. The song is recognized throughout Hispanic America as it picture scenes and stories common to all these countries, even though the story takes place in New York city. The song deals with life, death and the unexpected with dark humor. There is a movie titled Pedro Navaja, which is based on this song, and a musical, La verdadera historia de Pedro Navaja, based in the Kurt Weill and Bertold Brecht's play Die Dreigroschenoper, staged in Lima, Peru, starring, among other, Camila Mac Lennan.

Pedro Navaja, I hadn't realised until now that I know Ruben Blades as an actor:

1 comment:

Phil said...

Fabulous record - just a shame that it's the first (and last) of its kind on the list.

Willie Colon, despite sounding like something you'd see the doctor about, is a superb musician. If you liked this, try searching out his work with the great Hector Lavoe from earlier in the seventies, such as Cosa Nuestra or the compilation Crime Pays. Colon's multi-trombone brass arrangements are incredibly distinctive and helped to define a new salsa sound in the decade.

Thanks for giving this album suc a high mark.