October 17, 2000
Latin, Latin Soul, World Fusion, Salsa, New York Salsa, Latin Jazz, Tropical, Boogaloo, Afro-Cuban Jazz

Album Review

When the boogaloo reached overground fad status during the late '60s, a parade of artists recorded them, but the best usually came from those closest to the form's roots in Latin music and soul. Still, even most Latin artists never recorded a full album of boogaloo, making compilations the surest bet for hearing the best. Broasted or Fried could well be the best of those compilations -- a disc compiled by Harmless (one of the most tuned-in labels for reissued Latin and soul music) full of the catchiest boogaloos ever put to wax. Granted, no compilations are perfect from front to back, but this one is such a stunner that the worst cuts here would be the highlights on any other. As for the best here, a trio of tracks -- Bobby Valentin's "Use It Before You Lose It," Joe Torres' "Get out of My Way," Hector Rivera's "I Want a Chance for Romance" -- rate as the toughest, most infectious boogaloos ever recorded. The compilers also recognized that an all-boogaloo program would exhaust most listeners, so the concept soon broadens to take in all sorts of songs by similar-minded artists: Harlem River Drive, the magnificent Latin-soul fusion group formed by Eddie Palmieri, an earlier generation of Latin leaders like Tito Puente and Kako, commercial crossovers by (slightly) more traditional Puerto Ricans Joey Pastrana and Roberto Roena. Anyone looking for tight, catchy, urban Latin soul, or those who marveled at earlier Harmless compilations like the stellar Stand Up & Be Counted or I'm a Good Woman, will know where to turn next.
John Bush, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Use It Before You Lose It
  2. Creation
  3. My Shingaling
  4. Get out of My Way
  5. Flight to Cuba
  6. Seeds of Life
  7. Groovetime
  8. So Fine
  9. Black Brothers
  10. Kako's Boogaloo
  11. Sing a Simple Song
  12. I Want a Chance for Romance
  13. Jungle Fantasy
  14. Broasted or Fried