Saturday, August 18, 2007

José Feliciano - A Bag Full of Soul (1966)

In 1964 and '65,
Puerto Rican-born singer/guitarist
José Feliciano began to get the attention of the press while he was playing clubs in New York's Greenwich Village.

In 1966 he was 'discovered' while performing at a festival in Argentina, and signed to a recording contract by executives from the RCA label.

As they weren't quite sure what to do with him, he suggested an album of Spanish Boleros as his first release.

Judging by the content of
'A Bag Full of Soul', Feliciano's second LP, it would appear that RCA executives back in the US had decided that what they really wanted was for him to be another Trini Lopez. (Amid his frenetic *scatting* on 'Goin' to Chicago Blues', José extemporizes - - "If I had a hammer, I'd give it to Trini Lopez".)

The album is sort of an 'all bases covered' affair, presenting Feliciano as a dynamo of versatility.
Jazz, blues, poppy folk-rock, covers of Jackie Wilson, The Beatles, Dylan, etc, and not much of any Latin flavor to be found.

Feliciano expressed unhappiness with the direction in which his music was headed, which is certainly understandable, but this is still a very enjoyable album, if you ask me.

His next few subsequent albums were all
Spanish-language LPs, and made him hugely popular in Latin America.

In 1968 he had huge U.S. success with his take on The Doors' 'Light My Fire'.
That and his 1970 composition 'Feliz Navidad' would propel him into wide-spread fame through the next decade and beyond.

See also: Lots of photos and further info at
The José Feliciano Official Website
(click for link)

From José Feliciano's 'A Bag Full of Soul' LP,
(RCA Records, 1966),
Listen to:

If I Really Bug You (Then You Don't Love Me)
You're Takin' Hold of Me
A Woman, A Lover, A Friend
A Happy Guy
Masters of War
Go on Your Way
Goin' to Chicago Blues
Work Song
That's the Way It's Gonna Be
Where I'm Goin'

(click for audio)

- - OR download all 12 tracks in one 33.5 Mb zipfile.


ally. said...

i'm really struggling to keep up with all the wonderful things you find here but i'm trying i promise.(very trying....)
who can resist anything as fabulous as a turbulent torrrent of talent? i've seen jose a few times and he's always ace - go if you get the chance

Anonymous said...

i found this record at a flea market years ago and it's one of my favorites of all time! when i play it people always ask me who it is and where they can find it. looks like it's out of print, but there are some truly amazing songs on this record. do yourself a favor and hunt this down!

Freshly-stirred links