Joe Bataan’s classic debut album Gypsy Woman is set to be reissued in remastered, audiophile-worthy format later this year.
The seminal 1967 record, which includes the hits “Gypsy Woman” and the first-ever recording of “Ordinary Guy”, will be re-released on Craft Latino on September 16. The King Of Latin Soul’s first album will be newly available on 180-gram vinyl pressed at Memphis Record Pressing and remastered from the original analog tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio. It will also be released in hi-res digital audio for the very first time.
New Yorker Bataan formed his first band Joe Bataan and the Latin Swingers in 1965, six months after being released from prison. The group combined Latin beats, R&B, and a combination of English and Spanish lyrics and were instrumental in establishing the boogaloo sound. In 1966, they signed with Fania Records, who would go on to release Gypsy Woman a year later.
The record would launch Bataan’s career and make him one of the biggest stars of the boogaloo era, as well as one of Fania’s most prolific artists – in five years with the label, he released eight albums, including 1968’s best-selling Riot!.
Gypsy Woman featured musical direction by the great Johnny Pacheco, while its title track was a nod to The Impressions’ 1961 hit of the same name. Rather than being a traditional cover, though, only its opening line bore similarities with Curtis Mayfield’s songwriting – where The Impressions’ song was softer and more mellow, Bataan’s went for a livelier approach.
Elsewhere, the album included one of Bataan’s signature hits in the emotional English-language ballad “Ordinary Guy,” as well as more boogaloo-style, English-language tracks in “Chickie’s Trombone,” “So Fine,” “Too Much Lovin’,” and “Figaro.”
Gypsy Woman tracklist (vinyl):
1. Gypsy Woman
2. So Fine
5. Chickie’s Trombone
1. Too Much Lovin’
2. Sugar Guaguancó
4. Ordinary Guy