El combo xingu st irt 125 front

El Combo Xingu: Tanga Boo Gonk + Moby Dick (IRT, 196?, Xingu)

Rock/funk album out of Chile.

This was one of the first non-U.S. “holy grail” LPs I ever became aware of and sure, it only took me like…15+ years to cop one but better late than never. The back story behind this LP always sounded remarkable, maybe bordering on apocryphal: Chilean dictator Pinochet sought to repress any semblance of American cultural influence and thus purged the country of artists/albums like this one. Over the years, I’ve heard rumors that most of the copies of the LP were destroyed (though that doesn’t seem supported by how many have been sold!) or that members of the group were either jailed and/or disappeared. Again: I have no idea how much of this is true but it doesn’t hurt in enhancing the album’s appeal.

What I do know? This is one of the best albums of cover songs I’ve ever come across, equal parts funk and psych. You just have to love that a single like The Niteliters’ “Tanga Boo Gonk” made its way down to Chile or that Xingu’s members wanted to get their Zeppelin on (or Herbie Hancock or James Brown for that matter).

365 Days of Soul, #54