From humble beginnings—co-founder Johnny Pacheco used to sell records out of the trunk of his car—to 44,000 fans mobbing Yankee Stadium for the historic 1973 Fania All-Stars concert, Fania Records is arguably the single most important record label in the history of Salsa. With an extensive catalog of 1,300 plus titles recorded between 1962 and 1979, the NYC-based label’s discography is a chronicle of the rise to popularity of the genre itself; their roster of artists is a who’s who of golden-era Salsa greats. Ray Barretto, Celia Cruz, Willie Colón, Ruben Blades, Mongo Santamaria, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri and many more.
Recently the entire catalog was acquired by Virgin’s V2 imprint, which has re-released the first batch of 30 digitally remastered classic titles with more are scheduled to come throughout the year.
Some notable reissues so far are Hector Lavoe’s Acid, the recently deceased Ray Barretto’s first release on Fania from1967, and a staple of the boogaloo/latin soul explosion of the time.
Each release features the classic original album artwork and complete liner notes, plus archival photos and additional editorial material. Also available for download from Dancetracks Digital.
by DJ Scribe