[jahsonic.com] - [Next >>]

Joe Bataan (1942 - )

Related: 1942 - Mericana records - soul music - Latin music - American music - Salsoul records

Afro-Filipino (1975) - Joe Bataan (one of my all-time favourite albums)

Trivia: When he was young, Joe Bataan was busted for riding in a stolen car and spent five years in New York's Coxsackie State Prison. While there, he learned music, and "six months after I was released, I started making records," Bataan said during a telephone interview from his home in Mount Vernon, N.Y. "I knew exactly what I wanted to do as far as music was concerned. That stint in prison made me determined." --from a Philly News interview by Al Hunter


Joe Bataan is a musician from New York, of Filipino and African American descent. He was born Peter Nitollano in 1942 in Spanish Harlem and is known as the 'king of Latin R&B', which also describes his musical style. His first hit was 1967's "Gypsy Woman" on Fania Records. In 1973, he co-founded the Salsoul label. In 1979, he scored one of the first rap hits ever, "Rap-O-Clap-O". --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Bataan [Sept 2005]


In 1974 Joe Bataan recorded an album titled 'Salsoul' on the Mericana label, XMS124. It appears that this record gave the Salsoul label its name. Joe was last reported performing in New York in 1998 (to me, anyway :))

Selected Discography


  1. Singin Some Soul - Joe Bataan [1 CD, Amazon US]
    1. My Cloud 2. I'm No Stranger 3. Under the Street Lamp 4. I'll Be Sweeter Tomorrow (Than I Was Today) 5. More Love 6. Unwed Mother 7. Young Gifted and Brown 8. Ordinary Guy 9. Cowboys to Girls 10. Crystal Blue Persuasion

    If ever an album deserved the title of "lost classic," here it is. Joe Bataan, an Afro-Filipino native of Spanish Harlem, became a star in the community when he and his young, rough-and-tumble band figured out the connection between Latin and African-American sounds and conquered the younger segment of the Latin market with a string of late 60s smashes including "Gypsy Woman," "Ordinary Guy," "What Good Is A Castle" and "Riot." Joe's technically-flawed but soulfully affecting Everyman vocals told tales of underclass strife and pride with some of New York's roughest neighborhoods as a backdrop. Even the love songs usually worked in references to poverty. By the time this record was recorded in 1970, Joe felt ready to try his hand at an album of pure R&B without any Latin rhythms and the result is sheer delight. Utilizing a mixture of Detroit, Philadelphia and Chicago soul influences, yet still maintaining its essential New York-ness, "SSS" is a joyful if somewhat dated classic of its era, and it remains extremely infectious and appealing. The string and horn parts remind the listener of the demise of "arrangements" in popular music, and the vocals and songs ("Under The Street Lamp," "Young Gifted & Brown," "Unwed Mother") come literally straight from the heart. This album also contains the BEST version of "Crystal Blue Persuasion" ever recorded, as well as great covers of Smokey Robinson and Intruders songs. Truly beautiful, at once touching and uplifting, and yet another album that is long overdue for greater exposure and discovery. "SSS" is one of only two albums of its type in Joe's rich catalog. It's short, just about 30 minutes, but unlike most of today's albums, every second counts! Thanks, Joe! -- Greg C for amazon.com

  2. Joe Bataan - Best Of [1CD, Amazon US]
    Features 'Ordinary Guy', The Bottle, 'Women Don't Want To Love Me' but not 'What Good is a Castle', my fave track

  3. Joe Bataan - Mr New York [1CD, Amazon US]
    Features 'What Good is a Castle', my fave track

your Amazon recommendations - Jahsonic - early adopter products

Managed Hosting by NG Communications