Sonora Tropical: Lluvia b/w Monina
From 7″ (Tropical, 196?). “Lluvia” also available on Soundway reissue.

Because we all like surprises…

I bought this 7″ initially for the A-side, a cover of Mon Rivera’s classic “Lluvia Con Nieve” (here’s what the original sounds like). Sonora Tropical’s version is loyal in terms of the basic arrangement but their horn section adds a grittier feel; it’s an excellent flip (good enough to get comped). Now…this alone would have made the price of admission worth it and in any case, the billed B-side didn’t seem all that special. It’s supposed to be another Mon Rivera song, “Monina” but as you can hear, Rivera’s original and Sonora Tropical’s song have nada in common.

That’s because they (or someone) wrote the wrong song title down on the B-side. The actual song being covered? Joe Cotto’s “Dolores,” another stone cold classic. The truly glorious thing is that, for years now, I’ve been trying to find a clean copy of “Dolores” on 7″ and when I was listening to this Sonora Tropical, I flipped to the B-side and was very very pleasantly surprised to realize that while I don’t have Cotto’s original on 7″, I have an absolutely serviceable cover. This 7″ has now instantly catapulted itself to among my favorite Colombian recordings.