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Landmark Salsa Masterpiece 'Siembra' Set For Remastered Vinyl And First Hi-Res Digital Reissue On August 6th

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Ruben Blades
Originally released in 1978, the Willie Colón and Rubén Blades classic changed the history of Latin music, includes the masterpiece “Pedro Navaja,” plus hits “Buscando Guayaba” and “Plástico”

New 180-gram audiophile quality vinyl continues Craft Latino’s mission to reissue gems from the Fania vaults


Craft Latino, the Latin repertoire arm of Craft Recordings, is proud to 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. Due out August 6th and available to pre-order beginning today, the new edition of Siembra was remastered from its original analog master tapes by Phil Rodriguez at Elysian Masters and pressed on 180-gram, black audiophile quality vinyl at Memphis Record Pressing. The iconic album will also be released in hi-res digital for the first time, including 192/24 and 96/24 formats. In addition, an emerald green color vinyl will be available exclusively at Fania.com, along with exciting bundle options that include a commemorative Siembra T-shirt.

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, Siembra was 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, combined with 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 a cultural phenomenon. It would remain a record-breaking LP until the arrival of Marc Anthony and his salsa-pop soundscapes in the ’90s.

Tracklist

Side A
1. Plástico
2. Buscando Guayaba
3. Pedro Navaja

Side B
1. María Lionza
2. Ojos
3. Dime
4. Siembra

About Fania Records

Highly influential, both musically and culturally, Fania Records spread the sound of salsa music from the clubs of New York City to the rest of the world and became a revered global brand in the process. Fania’s master recording catalog is the definitive home for genres such as Latin big band, Afro-Cuban jazz, boogaloo, salsa and Latin R&B and includes artistic giants such as Celia Cruz, Willie Colón, Héctor Lavoe and Rubén Blades. With the creation of the international supergroup known as the Fania All-Stars, the label’s signature musical style became known as the “Fania Sound.” Fania’s rich master catalog also includes the Pete Rodriguez’s boogaloo classic “I Like It Like That,” which was sampled by Cardi B in her #1 hit “I Like It.” Additionally, three Fania Recordings, Celia & Johnny by Celia Cruz and Johnny Pacheco, Azucar Pa’ Ti by Eddie Palmieri and Live at Yankee Stadium by the Fania All-Stars, appear in the National Recording Registry, a list of sound recordings that “are culturally, historically or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States.”

About Craft Latino

The Latin repertoire arm of Craft Recordings, Craft Latino is home to one of the largest and most prestigious collections of Latin music master recordings and compositions in the world. Its rich and storied repertoire includes legendary artists such as Antonio Aguilar, Joan Sebastian, Pepe Aguilar, Celia Cruz, Héctor Lavoe, Willie Colón, Ray Barretto, La Lupe, Ruben Blades and the Fania All Stars, to name just a few. Renowned imprints with catalogs issued under the Craft banner include Musart, Fania, TH, Panart, West Side Latino and Kubaney, among many others. Craft creates thoughtfully curated packages, with a meticulous devotion to quality and a commitment to preservation, ensuring that these recordings endure for new generations to discover.

This story appears courtesy of Chummy Press.
Copyright © 2021. All rights reserved.

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