Beat Street Records

Willie Colon & Ruben Blades - Siembra LP


180g Vinyl LP Reissue Remastered from its Original Analog Master Tapes by Phil Rodriguez at Elysian Masters and Pressed at Memphis Record Pressing!

Craft Latino (the Latin repertoire arm of Craft Recordings), together with Fania Records, present an all-analog remastered vinyl reissue of Siembra, the transcendental album that caused a revolution in Latin music and, for many years, was the best-selling album in salsa history. This new edition of Siembra was remastered from its original analog master tapes by Phil Rodriguez at Elysian Masters and comes pressed on 180g LP at Memphis Record Pressing.

Released in 1978, Siembra was the second full-length collaboration between Panamanian singer/songwriter Rubén Blades – formerly a vocalist with Ray Barretto's orchestra – and visionary Nuyorican producer Willie Colón, who had already made history with a string of superlative albums featuring mercurial salsa star Héctor Lavoe. Colón's soulful sonic identity – built on layers of trombone riffs, always eager to incorporate the influence of outside genres – provided the perfect counterpoint to Blades' songwriting universe. If their previous album together had already merged Afro-Caribbean beats with sociopolitical messages, Siembrawas the thinking Latino's ideological manifesto.

Opening track "Plástico" uses a disco-flavored false start as the jumping board for a simmering salsa jam condemning prejudice and materialism. "Buscando Guayaba" combines picaresque innuendo with a devastating groove, complete with an improvised "mouth solo" in lieu of a guitar. Siembra's title track is all about Latino pride and emancipation. And the epic "Pedro Navaja," a seven-minute tour de force blending Kafka, Bertolt Brecht, West Side Story and tropical fever, remains to this day the ultimate salsa epic, a stark, richly layered illustration of the genre's unlimited potential.

Legend has it that Fania executives at the time were hesitant to release a record so unrepentant in its desire to lead salsa into a new level of poetic vision. But the public, weaned on a full decade of wondrous tropical albums, fell head over heels for the duo's ambitions. Colón's sophisticated sound, Blades' memorable lyrics and hummable hooks are now legendary. Siembra signaled the commercial apex of both Fania as a label and the '70s salsa explosion as cultural phenomenon. It would remain a record-breaking LP until the arrival of Marc Anthony and his salsa-pop soundscapes in the '90s.

• 180g vinyl LP from Craft Latino and Fania Records
• Remastered from its original analog master tapes by Phil Rodriguez at Elysian Masters
• Pressed at Memphis Record Pressing
• Inducted into the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame

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


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