Various Revolucion: The Chicano Spirit

Despite the interest in Latin sounds over the last ten years or so, there has been very little attention paid to Chicano contributions to the groove. Latin sounds from the South and West of the U.S. haven't received nearly the same interest or respect as their cousins in New York and Miami. But finally we have a Latin disc to play air guitar to. Given the quality of these tracks it's amazing that few have been reissued and that only one artist of the bunch (El Chicano) had anything approaching a hit. Criticism had been levelled at New York salsa musicians on the Fania label for formulaically cranking out one album after another during salsa's mid-’70s boom, but the same cannot be said for these tracks. These jams pick up where Santana and War left off (minus the "spiritual psychedelics") — wailing guitars, percussion furies and a superb horn section supporting inventive arrangements. In many ways this is Latin progressive rock with a dash of way Southern-fried boogie to keep it greasy. Just try to resist Tierra's "La Feria" or Flash and the Dynamics' fuzzy "Electric Latin Soul." Best of all is Malo (featuring Francisco Aguabella) and their epic "Latin Boogaloo," boasting the best rock scream this side of "Whole Lotta Love." This comp rocks hard and deserves the wider audience these artists were going for in the first place. (Follow Me)