Jose Feliciano • Feliciano!
Speakers Corner/RCA Victor LSP-3957
33-RPM 180g LP
Born in Puerto Rico, and raised in NYC’s Spanish Harlem, Jose Feliciano is a prolific recording artist with well over 60 albums (in both English and Spanish) to his credit. His most famous recording (arguably) is Feliz Navidad, and every radio station around gives this classic a fair bit of play uring the Christmas season. His arrangements on The Doors’ Light My Fire have made this a perennial favourite amongst many as well, including yours truly.
As a long-time fan of this amazing artist, I jumped at the chance to purchase this recording in glorious 180-gram virgin vinyl, and I will say right up front that it was well worth the price. Not only is the vinyl super quiet and aurally vibrant in every regard, Jose has made these songs his own. His unique vocal stylings, absolute mastery of the guitar, and obvious passion for his craft have given him the ability to tackle these classic songs with aplomb and confidence. Not once did I long to hear these songs by the original artists: the interpretations are that good!
The song selection on this 1968 album includes hits by the aforementioned The Doors, The Beatles, The Mamas & The Papas, Gerry & The Pacemakers, Brazilian performer/songwriter Jorge Ben of Mas Que Nada fame, and a Burt Bacharach/Hal David composition. I’ll let you decide if he made these songs better, but I am of the opinion that they stand equally side-by-side.