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Willie Colón’s ‘La Gran Fuga’ Set To Be Reissued

The vinyl release will arrive on April 12 via Craft Latino.

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Willie Colón And Héctor Lavoe’s ‘La Gran Fuga’ - Photo: Courtesy of Craft Latino
Cover: Courtesy of Craft Latino

Craft Latino has announced a vinyl reissue of 1970’s La Gran Fuga (The Big Break), the Gold-certified album by trombonist, composer, and musical director Willie Colón featuring famed singer Héctor Lavoe.

Set for release on April 12 and available for pre-order now, La Gran Fuga features such classics as “Barrunto,” “Pa’ Colombia,” and “Abuelita”—all newly remastered, featuring (AAA) lacquers cut from the original master tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio and pressed on 180-gram vinyl.

Rounding out the package is a classic tip-on jacket and, as an added bonus, an 11” x 22” insert featuring the album’s iconic “Wanted” poster. La Gran Fuga will also make its debut in 192/24 hi-res digital audio on April 12. In addition, a Salt ‘n’ Peppa deluxe color vinyl exclusive with a bundle option that includes a limited-edition La Gran Fuga T-shirt featuring the iconic album cover art is available for pre-order.

One of Latin music’s most formidable duos, salsa pioneers Willie Colón and Héctor Lavoe were teenagers when they began working together under Fania Records. Known as “El Cantante,” Lavoe was one of the great interpreters of salsa music, revered for his bright vocals, seamless phrasing and witty, ad-libbed anecdotes.

Colón, meanwhile, quickly became a key figure in the scene, who shaped the sound of salsa on and off stage as a trombonist, composer, producer and leader of his namesake orchestra. Together, Colón and Lavoe defined one of Latin music’s most exciting eras through 11 legendary albums, beginning with the 1967 salsa and boogaloo classic, El Malo.

Released in 1970, La Gran Fuga offered one of Colón’s most iconic album covers, in which designer Izzy Sanabria took inspiration from Colón’s “Malo” alter-ego, creating an FBI wanted poster, with the bandleader’s mugshot. In this case, however, “FBI” stood for “Freaks of Bureau Investigation.” After promotional posters were spotted throughout New York City, however, the real FBI requested that the “Wanted by FBI” text be removed. Despite the controversy, La Gran Fuga proved to be an enormous success, earning a Gold certification by the RIAA and plenty of accolades.

Pre-order the vinyl reissue of La Gran Fuga (The Big Break).

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