Liner Note Author: Jaime Torres Torres.
First the good news: this 27-track, two-disc Anthology attributed to Willie Colón features virtually all of his biggest singles recorded in the 1970s, and some cut during the '80s in his solo "symphonic salsa" period. It features his landmark collaborations with Héctor Lavoe, Rubén Blades, Ismael Miranda, and Celia Cruz. Secondly, it sounds terrific and provides a very solid overview of Colón's career at Fania Records. But this is also where certain problems arise. Another two-disc anthology, called The Player and containing 28 cuts, was released by the label in 2007; it featured a vast majority of these same tracks -- a little over a handful were substituted, and arguably, the replacement cuts on the earlier compilation were stronger. It also contained much more detailed liner notes, photographs, and discographical information. For those who already purchased The Player, purchasing Anthology would be largely superfluous. For those merely seeking an introduction to Colón, this is an excellent entry point that reveals his vast influence and massive contribution to salsa and Latin popular music. ~ Thom Jurek
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