TUNES FOR TUESDAY -- Willie Colón

Let's talk about Willie Colón. Why? Because as it says on his website (www.williecolon.com), "He has created more than 40 productions that have sold more than 30 million records worldwide." He is an accomplished musician, producer, actor, politician, and activist. Not bad for a New Yorker who became famous for being "El Malo" (the Bad Guy). El Malo is also the name of one of Colón's production businesses, and in 2008 he released the album El Malo Volume 2.

But, the original El Malo album was released in 1967, when Colón was only 17 years old. His work from 1969 to 1975 included: The Hustler, La Gran Fuga (The Big Break), Asalto Navideño (Christmas Assault), La Cosa Nuestra (akin to Cosa Nostra), El Juicio (The Trial), Lo Mato Si no Compra este LP (I'll Kill you if you don't buy this LP), and The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Yes, there is a pattern here. He cultivated this image of a bad guy mostly as a parody and as a critique of current events in pop culture back then. In reality, the music was just raw, unpolished, great, sweet Salsa. Both Hector Lavoe and Ruben Blades appeared as vocalists, but eventually Willie got tired of them and decided to sing his own songs.

For now here is,

El Malo by Willie Colón


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