(Pantaleón) Perez Prado: Imperfect (UniFunk, 1973, Love Child
Following up on yesterday’s post, this is another one from the “lesser” Prado brother who cut a few funky LPs for Italy’s UniFunk back in the early ’70s.
“Circle” is the best known track off this album but I dig “Imperfect” for all that synth action (ARP Odyssey maybe?)
365 Days of Soul, #132
Perez Prado: Que Es Lo Que Pasa? (UniFunk, 1972, Escandalo)
First off, this isn’t the more famous Dámaso Pérez Prado, this is his name-biting, younger brother, Pantaleón Pérez Prado. But while Prado the Lesser might have tried to surf off his sib’s fame at least he dropped some killer funky Latin tracks under that family name in the 1970s.
The bulk of Pantaleón’s output occurred on two albums you recorded for the Italian label UniFunk and if you like one, you might as well try to cop the other. “Que Es Lo Que Pasa? (What’s Going On?)” sounds like a cover but…I’m not sure of what.
365 Days of Soul, #131
Robert John (Gallo): Tequila (Guinness, 1977, Compositions)
I’m not sure if there are any really great covers of a song that’s so kitsch-associated but Gallo gives it a decent shot…until the main melody drops in. What can you do?
365 Days of Soul, #122
Los Destellos: La Bamba (Odeon, 1976, Ojos Azules)
Just so you can follow…a Mexican American song, influenced by the musical traditions of Veracruz, Mexico, gets covered by a Peruvian surf rock band. I like that.
365 Days of Soul, #116
Mario Allison: Oye Como Va (Industria Electro Sonora, 197?, Caliente Caliente Caliente)
To me, you can’t beat
Tito Puente’s cover of this Santana classic Tito Puente’s original but this version by Mario Allison and The Stars is charmingly stripped down while maintaining all the hook-y elements of the original.
Manito: Tuck’s Theme (RCA Victor, 1972, O Incrivel)
One of the more random covers out of Brazil that I know of: Manito flipping on Bill Deal’s “Tuck’s Theme,” complete with both opening and bridge breakbeats. Manito’s LP has other moments like this, including a cover of Kool and the Gang’s “The Gang’s Back Again.”
365 Days of Soul, #113 and 114
Samba Soul: Mambo No. 5 (RCA, 1977, 12″)
I’m not sure there’s a better bang-for-the-buck Latin disco 12″ out there. I also like that they’re covering Perez Prado who’s been known to lace a pretty good cover now and then.
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.
365 Days of Soul, #110
Dizzy Gillespie: Manteca (America, 1974, The Source)
Dizzy first made “Manteca” famous back in the mid-1940s and it would become one of his most important recordings in terms of introducing Latin influences into American pop music (and obviously jazz). He’d go onto re-record the song many times throughout his career but if you’re looking for the funkiest one: here it is, recorded in France in ’73. Kenny Clarke is a beast on drums here but the whole rhythm section whips this into a jazz dance frenzy.
365 Days of Soul, #107
Jose Luis Rodriguez: El Hombre De La Cima (Top Hits, 1980, 7″)
Venezuelan rock single.
I can’t quite figure out if this is a cover of an Edgar Alexander song or of Alexander first wrote it for Rodriguez. Either way, I’m all about these kinds of unexpectedly funky tracks from the late ’70s and early ’80s since they take the borderline cheesiness of rock production in that era but marry it with some slick rhythm section. It’s a good combination.
365 Days of Soul, #65