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Essays

The Collaboration of Willie Colón/Rubén Blades at Fania Records - Page 8

Canciones del Solar de Los Aburridos - page 7       

THE LAST FIGHT :

Yo Puedo Vivir Del Amor / Andanza / Cimarron / What Happened / Venganza / Y Tu Abuela

Willie Colón/Rubén Blades

The Last Fight

Johnny Andrews / Rubén Blades / Milton Cardona / Willie Colón / Jimmy Delgado / Lewis Kahn / Luís Lopez / Leopoldo Pineda / Eddie Resto / Joe Torres

For Rubén, who started to have some problems with Jerry Masucci, the founder and owner of the label, it became urgent to finish quickly with his contract. This album was recorded quickly. It is in fact the original sound track of a film in which Rubén plays the role of a boxer. It is for him the first of a long series, since he acts regularly in cinema, in particular in "Milagro" of Robert Redford, "Predator 2" of Stephen Hopkins or "the Color of the night" of Richard Rush, known primarily to be the film where one sees Bruce Willis very naked. He also played in an episode of "X-files" and holds a recurring role in the hospital series "Gideon's Crossing" which one can currently see on the cable. [in France]

Musically, the album is not famous (it is the only one that he says he regrets having made in his career), but the orchestra never manages to be completely bad, and one can save the piece "What Happened" in spite of the fact that Rubén tries to sing in English. The chorus is in English also ("What happened? I don't know"), which is rather unusual but finally rather funny. It is apparently the story of the drunk who discovered the body of Pedro Navaja in the album "Siembra". As such, Rubén has continuity in his ideas, since he also recorded in 1988, on the album "Escenas", the song "Sorpresas", in which one learns that in fact, Pedro Navaja did not really die.

AFTER:

The last concert of their collaboration took place in Berlin in 1982. During their collaboration, Rubén found time to record another disc and Willie, 3 (including one with Celia Cruz), and their careers continue to this day. Since these 6 discs recorded together, Willie recorded 12 and Rubén 15. After having discovered Hector Lavoe and Rubén Blades, Willie Colón has discovered only the desire for singing, which he has done on all his discs. In 1995, Sony decided to join them together, them and all the musicians of the great time of their collaboration at Fania. The disc which results from it, "Tras La Tormenta", is far from being as interesting as those of the years 77-82. In fact, as Rubén says moderately, the recording could not be done as he would have wished. Behind this very diplomatic declaration hides the fact that at any time, the two men could not record together. Of 10 pieces, only three are sung by the two musicians, thanks to editing in the studio.

Willie Colón/Rubén Blades

Tras la Tormenta

But the year of the release of "Tras La Tormenta" is one special year for the two men, because they each had an exhausting election campaign. Willie Colón was indeed a candidate in the senatorial elections of New York, while Rubén Blades, after the departure of Noriega, was a candidate in the presidential election in Panamá, where he obtained an honorable third place, losing votes because he had lived in New York too long a time. But here, in four discs (the last two not having the same historical importance), Metiendo Mano, Siembra, Maestra Vida 1 and 2, is the story of a small revolution.

Here is how salsa, appearing around August 26, 1971 at the Cheetah Club, arrived at adulthood, passed from the unconcern of its usual topics to the conscience of the social background which gave it birth and life. Here is how a music, which was used to celebrate to forget the reality of the life of the poorest fringe of the urban population of the Americas, will use this same reality to include it in its creative process. An attempt which furthermore one can only regret that will be followed only very little, in spite of its obvious success.

Canciones del Solar de Los Aburridos - page 7       

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