Siembra (transl. "Sowing") is the second studio album by Panamanian singer and songwriter Rubén Blades and Puerto Rican-American trombonist Willie Colón. It was released through Fania Records on 7 September 1978. It is considered the best selling salsa album in the history of salsa music.[1][2][3] Was recorded by Jerry Masucci and Johnny Pacheco at the La Tierra Sound Studios between 1977 and 1978.

Studio album by
Released7 September 1978 (1978-09-07)
StudioLa Tierra Sound Studios
New York City
  • English
  • Spanish
Willie Colón and Rubén Blades chronology
Metiendo Mano!
Canciones del Solar de los Aburridos
Singles from Siembra
  1. "Siembra"
    Released: 2 September 1978
  2. "Pedro Navaja"
    Released: 19 March 1979
  3. "Plástico"
    Released: 24 June 1979

Background edit

Siembra is the second of four collaborative duo albums produced by Rubén Blades and Willie Colón. During its time, it was the best-selling salsa record in history.[4][5] It has sold over three million copies worldwide,[6] and almost all of its songs were hits at one time or another in various Latin American countries. With its rousing social commentary and unconventional sound, "Siembra" set the salsa world on fire and remains one of the most original and influential works in that genre.[7] Among Siembra's tracks, Blades' masterpiece is still "Pedro Navaja," a song that he fashioned after Bertolt Brecht's "Threepenny Opera."[8]

Critical reception edit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [9]

John Bush of AllMusic praised the composition of the songs by Blades as well the arrangements by Colón. Bush emphasizes the use of disco arrangements at the beginning of the first track, "Plástico", until Colón's band "slip into a devastating salsa groove". He also praised Blade's vocals, noting his high-tenor voice on "Buscando Guayaba" and tender tones on "Dime".[9] The album was inducted into the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame in 2007.[10]

In pop culture edit

The song "Buscando Guayaba" was featured in the 1988 Disney animated film Oliver & Company.[11]

Track listing edit

All tracks are written by Rubén Blades, except where noted

Siembra track listing
1."Plástico"Rubén Blades6:37
2."Buscando Guayaba"Blades5:43
3."Pedro Navaja"Blades7:21
4."María Lionza"Blades5:27
5."Ojos"Johnny Ortiz4:50
Total length:43:45

Personnel edit

  • Willie Colón: Album Producer, Music Director, Chorus Ensemble, Trombone
  • Rubén Blades: Composer, Songwriter, Lead Vocals, Chorus Ensemble
  • Jon Fausty: Audio Engineer, Recording Schemes, Mixing
  • Kevin Zambrana: Asst. Audio Engineer
  • Leopoldo Pineda: Trombone
  • Jose Rodriguez: Trombone
  • Angel (Papo) Vazquez: Trombone
  • Sam Burtis: Trombone
  • José Torres: Piano, Fender Rhodes, Electric Piano
  • José Mangual Jr: Bongos, Maracas, Chorus Ensemble
  • Jimmy Delgado: Timbal
  • Adalberto Santiago: Percussion, Chorus Ensemble
  • Eddie Montalvo: Tumbadora, Percussion
  • Johnny Ortiz: songwriter (Ojos)
  • Bryan Brake: Drums (Plástico)
  • Salvador Cuevas: Bass
  • Eddie Rivera: Bass
  • Jerry Masucci: Executive Producer

Sales edit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Venezuela 500,000[2]
Worldwide 3,000,000[2][3]

References edit

  1. ^ Pedro Navaja': el éxito de Rubén Blades ¿fue rechazado por Fania? Salserísimo Perú. At 4:40/10:39 mins. 11 May 2020. Accessed 17 September 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Ribke, Nahuel (2015). Willie Colón: discovering Latin America from left to right. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781137409393. Retrieved August 2, 2023. Siembra, in comparison, sold 500,000 copies in Venezuela alone, reaching a total number of 3,000,000 albums sold worldwide {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  3. ^ a b Cruz, Bárbara (1997). Rubén Blades: Salsa Singer and Social Activist. Enslow Publishers. ISBN 9780894908934. Retrieved August 2, 2023. Their album Siembra , produced in 1978 , is considered to be the best - selling salsa album in history , selling over 3 million copies
  4. ^ "Home to the Music". Billboard. July 8, 2006. p. 46. Retrieved 2009-10-25.
  5. ^ "Music: The Keen Edge of Rub". TIME. July 2, 1984. Archived from the original on October 29, 2010. Retrieved 2009-10-25.
  6. ^ Ribke, Nahuel (2015). "The Harvard Lawyer vs the Bad Boy from the Bronx: Explaining the Political Performance Gaps between Rubén Blades and Willie Colón (Abstract)". A Genre Approach to Celebrity Politics. Londres: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 75. doi:10.1057/9781137409393_5. ISBN 978-1-137-40939-3. Retrieved 2020-05-10. Siembra was also a best-selling album for a salsa record, with 3 million copies sold around the world
  7. ^ Gurza, Agustin (December 23, 2006). "It's Fania salsa remastered, with a true kick". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-10-25.
  8. ^ ""Siembra," by Willie Colón and Rubén Blades, turns 30". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 2009-10-25.
  9. ^ a b Bush, John. "Siembra: Review". AllMusic. Rovi. Retrieved 2010-11-24.
  10. ^ "Latin GRAMMY Hall Of Fame". Latin Grammy Award. Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. 2007. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
  11. ^ "Oliver & Company OST - 10 - Buscando Guayaba". Archived from the original on 2021-12-20.