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Chuito & The Latin Uniques

From The Street

$1.50

Chuito & The Latin Uniques

From The Street

$9.99 Album
$9.99 Album
$9.99 Album
Spanish Maiden
Ponte A Sonar
Dixie Peach
Si Tu Me Quieres A Mi
Candela
Hey Funky Mama
Yo No Consigo Tu Amor
Wish I Could
Aqui Llego
Stans Stamina
In the late 60s, Latin New York was dominated by the boogaloo and Latin Soul. From the music’s first flowering with Johnny Colon’s “Boogaloo Blues” and “Joe Cuba’s ‘Bang Bang” it was clear that this sound of the 2nd and 3rd generation New York born children of Puerto Rican immigrants was bringing a new fervour, mixing traditional Latin music with the sounds of the soul music that was in the air of the city. For the next few years, until it was blown away by the juggernaut of salsa this was the sound of Latin New York. In the wake of its success independent labels and producers dominated the scene. Richard Marin with his production deal with Decca, George Goldner’s Cotique and of course the fledgling Fania Records, a label that would eventually come to dwarf all of the labels. One of the most vital, but smallest was Speed, run by Stan Lewis, with producers Morty Craft and Bobby Marin, the younger brother of Richard. The label released a handful of singles and LPs but the quality was consistently high, and today every release is sought after by collectors. The most in demand of them all is the one that you now hold in your hands, Chuito and the Latin Uniques “From The Street”. According to Bobby Marin, Jesus ‘Chuito’ Santiago was a kid from ‘Brooklyn or the Bronx’ who had a hip band that Bobby thought would be worth recording. They were in fact similar to scores of other groups on the scene and would have remained so, but for the fact that they got a chance to record. The album mixed up straight Latin cuts such as “Ponte A Sonar” and “Aqui Llegó” with soul cuts, and band originals with specially written tracks by Lewis, Craft and Marin. When the album appeared it came housed in a sleeve showing Chuito looking sharp, smart and cool, standing on a New York street by a manhole cover. However despite the release of the album’s one single on two separate occasions on two separate labels the album disappeared without leaving much of a trace. In recent years the album has become a sought after item by fans of Latin soul, but it’s initial afterlife came courtesy of that very single. The opening track on the album was called ‘Spanish Maiden’, and was voiced by a singer called Tony Middleton whose voice was a kind of supper club RnB. As Bobby Marin explains it: “I was walking along the street with an engineer friend of mine, explaining to him that I needed a soul singer to sing on a song I was producing. Suddenly he pointed at a guy across the street and said ‘That’s him, Tony should be your singer’, he was standing at the stage exit of a theatre, he was in ‘Hair’ or something’. Middleton sang the song and it was released as a single on both Storm and Speed, the double release presumably because of had some local success. It was also released on a 12 inch single on Disco International in the mid 70s. It was from this release that it was initially picked up by the UK’s northern soul club scene, where Middleton was a cult hero, and it became a dancefloor hit. Middleton would record another single with Marin, the non-album “Return To Spanish Harlem”, also a collector’s item today. We are proud to finally release this album in all its glory and hope that it will be the first in our comprehensive series of reissues of the Speed label. Written by Dean Rudland