Samba Soul: Mambo No. 5 (RCA, 1977, 12″)
365 Days of Soul, #112
El Flaco Freddy: K-Jee/Viajecito (Discomoda, 1975, La Fiesta Vol. II)
“El Flaco” Freddy Roland released a slew of Latin party records in the 1970s, basically covering the hot jams of the day. “K-Jee,” as I’ve written about elsewhere, was huge in South America. It’s really extraordinary how well that Nite-Liters song managed to travel the world. I’ve shared a different medley involving “K-Jee” in the past but this one opens with the song and then unexpectedly slides into “Viajecito,” a song first made famous by Peru’s Black Sugar.
365 Days of Soul, #111
Los Africanos: Together People (Pamoja Watu) (TK, 197?, 7″)
I love “shadow covers” – songs that heavily, ahem, “borrow” from existing hits as part of their core melodies or rhythms but aren’t necessarily true covers. Case in point, “Together People,” by a little known Bobby Marin outfit from New York opens – unmistakably – with James Brown’s “It’s a New Day” riff and while JB clearly influences the song as a whole, this isn’t meant to be a cover of “It’s a New Day.” Still groovy though.1
365 Days of Soul, #110
The Cimarons: Wicky Wacky (Vulcan, 1975, 7″)
One of the first major reggae bands in the UK, The Cimarons unexpectedly take on the Fatback Band here. Feels kind of random insofar as there aren’t a ton of “Wicky Wacky” covers out there (well, aside from this other one). The Cimarons absolutely crush this groove; I may prefer this version to the original!
365 Days of Soul, #108