Personnel: Héctor Lavoe (vocals, maracas); Ray Feliciano, Angel "Papo" Vázquez (trombone); José Torres "Professor" (piano); Milton Cardona (congas); Jose Mangual Jr. (bongos, percussion).
Liner Note Author: Juan Moreno Velázquez.
Recording information: Bell Sound Studios.
Photographers: Lee Marshall; Izzy Sanabria.
As much a classic of Héctor Lavoe's career -- and salsa music in total -- as La Voz, his solo debut from one year earlier, 1976's De Ti Depende (It's Up to You) includes everything that made La Voz a classic. Produced and with three of its spotlight tracks arranged by Willie Colón, it features much the same group (with Rubén Blades in the chorus) and hits the same heights with its material -- but that's not to say it's the same album. This one has more ballads, and more of a reflective, often downcast feel to the material; even the hit, "Periodico de Ayer," has a dark theme, comparing love to yesterday's news, and the slick, string-filled "Tanto Como Ayer" is even more fatalistic. "Hacha y Machete" is a beacon of up-tempo salsa goodness in the vast melancholy wasteland. ~ John Bush
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- Feliz Navidad (Santos, Daniel)