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Fania All Stars

The flagship act for Fania Records, the Fania All-Stars popularized New York salsa during the 1970s by organizing concerts at larger and larger venues (from the Red Garter in Greenwich Village all the way to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx) that spotlighted not only the label's but the salsa world's biggest stars -- Ray Barretto, Willie Colón, Johnny Pacheco, Rubén Blades, Hector Lavoe, Ismael Miranda, Cheo Feliciano, Bobby Cruz, Pete "El Conde" Rodriguez, and special guests like Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, and Eddie Palmieri. LPs by the collective were usually recorded live and featured long jams with plenty of space for solos for each of the salsa heroes on-stage at the time. Though the label management's quest for crossover success led to a few diluted major-label recordings during the late '70s and early '80s, infrequent events featuring the Fania All-Stars remained huge attractions into the late '90s.

Fania Records was formed in March 1964 by Johnny Pacheco and lawyer Jerry Masucci. Originally just a tiny independent, the label was distributed to local stores out of the trunk of Pacheco's car. By 1967, Masucci's intrepid management had begun to pay dividends. After LPs by Ray Barretto, Willie Colón, Joe Bataan, and Pacheco himself became popular within the New York salsa community, Masucci promoted a jam-session concert at the Red Garter. The Fania All-Stars' first two LPs, Live at the Red Garter, Vols. 1-2, were recorded that night, with guests including Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri. After sales proved slow outside New York, Masucci envisioned putting on another live show and filming the results. After negotiations to book the Fillmore East broke down, the Fania All-Stars appeared at the Cheetah in midtown Manhattan on August 26, 1971. Fans packed the club to more than twice capacity, and another pair of live LPs (Live at the Cheetah) followed. One year later, the results also appeared in the salsa documentary Our Latin Thing (Nuestra Cosa), along with interviews and footage from Spanish Harlem.

The film proved just the kick-start that the salsa scene needed. Wedged between recordings and appearances by individual group members, the Fania All-Stars played sell-out shows across North America, from Puerto Rico and Panama to Chicago. Then, on August 24, 1973, the salsa wave crested with the group's performance at New York's Yankee Stadium in front of 44,000 fans. In 1974, the group traveled to Zaire and performed before the Rumble in the Jungle, the notorious heavyweight title fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. Another appearance at Yankee Stadium in 1975 was also recorded and (unsurprisingly) released as a pair of albums (Live at Yankee Stadium). Footage from both appearances at the venue were edited into the 1976 film Salsa, distributed by Columbia.

That same year, the Fania All-Stars made their studio debut with A Tribute to Tito Rodriguez. Masucci then used his connections with Columbia to negotiate a recording contract for a series of crossover albums he hoped would break the group (and the style) with mainstream audiences across the world. By the end of the '70s, the Fania All-Stars recorded four LPs for Columbia. For better or worse, the loose improvisational feel of their early live recordings had been sacrificed for a slick, studio-bound effect that placed emphasis on producers and engineers as well as high-profile guest slots from jazz fusion names like Bob James, David Sanborn, Maynard Ferguson, and Hubert Laws.

Though albums like 1977's Rhythm Machine did well with audiences not used to buying salsa, they failed to connect. Fania Records' fortunes began to decline by the beginning of the '80s, not just with potential mainstream listeners, but also with hardcore Latin lovers who had quickly moved from salsa to the new sounds of Dominican merengue. Masucci continued working in film, and produced a boxing film in 1983, The Last Fight (starring Rubén Blades as the protagonist and featuring Willie Colón as well).

The Fania All-Stars recorded eight studio albums during the 1980s, gradually moving from the overly polished sound of the late '70s to a more organic Latin jazz. In 1994, the group celebrated the 30th anniversary of Fania Records with live dates in San Juan, Miami, and New York. The Fania All-Stars continued to perform occasionally during the rest of the '90s. ~ John Bush, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Live At Yankee Stadium Vol II

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Track List: Live At Yankee Stadium Vol I

Comments

That the best salsa from 70s
God I would've love to scene that!!!!!!!. . . G r e a t e s t , busiest music in the world.....no that the world has ever known!!!!!!! ! !
I was in Yankee stadium at 14 yrs old when mongo santamaria and ray barretto started going at it with the congas and the crowd started wilding out. Most of you don't know they had to cancel that concert because people started leaving their seats down to the field. My boricua people we can't stay in our seats we get filled with the salsa spirit and it's a wrap!!!! Que viva mi gente.
Fania all stars cheo Felciano I love all that music Hector,Ruben All the salseros Barretto ,Miranda, Celia Cruz Jonny Pacheco 60,70,80 that's when music was Beautiful is still legend of all time
For those who commented u suck,no u suck because u don't know good music!asswip e ! ! ! F a n i a lives on....������
Shame those days are gone the best salsa ever lo digo yo este Latino de la mitad del mundo
Luvvvvvvvv my people, mi gente, boricua de corazon, 100%
PR ♡ FOR LIFE
Fantastic and salsa rocks
La mejor sinfonica de la salsa mundial, se llama fania all star
mr1morthng_2 0 0 4
This song rocks!
FANIA Y SALSA se describe primero como PONCENOS, SEGUNDO COMO PUERTORRIQUE N O Y LUEGO DE TODOS LADOS. Empezando por Pete El Conde Rodriguez (R.I.P.), Ismael Quintana, Cheo Feliciano (R.I.P.), Hector Lavoe (EL CANTANTE DE LOS CANTES), Tito Puente R.I.P., Papo Lucas, y otros poncenos; pero la cria fueron estos ya mencionados. Sin olvidar a Santito Colon (R.I.P.), Chivirico Davila (R.I.P.) que eran muy buenos y nadie los menciona. Son muchos mas pero estosvfueron de los primeros q nos sacaron hacia
Those were the best days
����for ever Fania ) my dad always tell me good story about this amazing group
nancyweissbe i n
Those were the good days❤️
Como Cheo no habra otro con su gran voz y humildad de los mejores descanse en paz
como musico y persona cheo fue y sera el bolerista de America hoy mañana y ciempre
Fernando elrunberomay o r o y e l o q u e t e c o n v i e n e
Familia.como cheo no habran 2.ser humano que sudaba pura humildad.en el cielo hay otra fania all star.descans a en paz familia.
Wepa!! Conio esa no! Wepaaaaa :-*
OUR CONDOLENCES TO THE FELICIANO FAMILY..REST IN PEACE CHEO FELICIANO. ON BEHALF OF THE APONTE FAMILY, WE THANK YOU. YOU HAVE BEEN A GREAT PART OF OUR LIFE AND LATIN CULTURE. WORDS COULD NEVER DESCRIBE HOW YOUR LOVE AND DEDICATION TO THE ART OF SALASA MUSIC..PUERT O RICO AND THE LATIN COMMUNITY AROUND THE WORLD WILL NEVER FORGET YOU..WE LOVE YOU..YOU'LL BE MISSED.

MICKEY APONTE.
I love this version of this song
Sumba COCOLO!!!! ESTAMOS EN TALLA!!! ESTO ES DEL MUNDO.. PUERTORRO EN LA CASA
Love you Hector!!! Reminds me of being in Central Park on Sundays lisitening to the conga players. Ricans everywhere.. . . . playing handball, softball, and eating coquitos.
Legends! You'll never hear anything like this ever again...
WEEEEEEEPAAA A A A A cántalo Boricua
resszune72
This type of music makes me proud of being Latino
The best, wepaaaaaa :-*
haciendaflam b o y a n
WOW!!!!!!!!! ! ! : )
The best of the best salsa love it all
Fania rocks, wepaaaa!!!
nancyweissbe i n
I miss the Fania All stars it's the best now and forever gue viva PR and NY:)
For The all atar salsero And salsera!dont forget para baila la buena salsa se nesesita 2
Salsa is happy music as all salsero know, play on, wepa...
Brings me back to 70,80. The best in salsa. El conguero,(CH A P O ) :-)
FANIA- salsa de verdad
Love it !! Love it!! I was part of the scene in the 60 and 70's attending all the great dance halls and seeing these talented artist's perform live. while in college my music taste evolved to the Afro- Cuban jazz / straight ahead jazz genre's as well. I thank you for keeping this great sound a live and well for others to enjoy.
M.A.
Love their music!! Puts me in a good mood!!!
Saw them last at Madison Square Garden...... . . w o w what a show!!! I miss the Fania All Stars!! What a great era....
FANIA ALL STAR!!
Saw them in San Fransisco in 1979 they were awe some!!!!! Best concert I ever went to!!!!!
Fania,escuel a d la salsa!!,QUIE N TRAJERA,ESA SANDUNGA AHORA N LOS 2-MIL!!
I am not hispanic, but I certainly can appreciate the sweet sounds of yesteryears. I didn't grow up in the 70s but this music resonates in my soul. Love it!!!!
Fania = salsa verdadera¡!
Fania All-Stars were and still legends of all time------ Viva Panama
Smoking....w e p a . . . l o v e this....trem e n d o poeta......q u e viva..cheo.. . . . f r o m borinqen to spanish harlem..sout h bronx....wep a for real....
You had to b there Spanish Harlem 102-112th st the south Bronx is where it all really started esta Es verdad
You needed to be there to feel it taser it
You are rite Marisa B god blasé all of us.
Tuchoco25,yo u suck
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