Various Artists

Latin Oldies

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Current urban rap and R&B music rightfully acknowledge '70s Latin rock & roll on a constant basis. Mainly through sampling -- which, thank god, pays royalties to the original artists -- you usually get to hear snippets and backing tracks. Thump Records has been reissuing these original records by the original artists for several years now, and their Latin Oldies collection is one of their best yet. Combining older, really early material such as "Angel Baby" by Rosie & the Originals through the prime late-'60s and '70s tracks such as Santana's "Oye Como Va" and the War's "Cisco Kid," this collection gives you an excellent overview of Latin rock & roll. One of the highlights of the disc is El Chicano's "Viva Tirado," which although it was a huge regional hit in L.A., failed to make the national charts in a big way. The track has one of the greatest grooves that you're ever going to hear. Led by a great percussive rhythm section and some delicious guitar and organ interplay, this is truly the lost gem of the disc. The liner notes are quite incomplete, and the overall packaging is a bit cheesy -- one of Thump's trademarks. But it's the music that matters, and you get a great sampling on this disc.

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