JOSE FELICIANO – FELICIANO!

“Light My Fire”

JOSE FELICIANO – “Feliciano!” (RCA Victor SF 7946) August 1968

I found this album for £1 in ‘Books And Bread For Kenya‘, a charity shop in Chester-le-Street a few weeks ago. It’s in really good shape and worth every penny I spent, another one of those records I’ve bought from second-hand shops that looks barely played, if at all.

I’ve been aware of “Feliciano!” for many years but for some reason never indulged my curiosity, but for a bin lid I was prepared to take that chance. I assumed his music would be tedious acoustic instrumentals, played on a Spanish guitar.

Yes folks! just as I thought. I’ve been missing out on some really top drawer music for decades because of my failure to look past an album cover. Side One in particular is fabulous, the whole album is, but the first side is sensational.

“California Dreamin'” and “Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying” are transformed with Jose’s expressive singing voice. Both numbers are well chosen, the orchestrations are wonderful. “Light My Fire” was his big hit single in 1968 and previously the only track I’d ever heard from him. The Beatles covers are also inspired.

Side two veers into a more soulful direction with tunes like “Sunny” and “Nena Na Na” bringing the best out of Jose Feliciano’s poignant vocals. The acoustic instrumental of “Here, There And Everywhere” demonstrates his ability to create a meaningful interpretation of a Beatles number. Not just a copy, this is a masterful and skillfully played Feliciano fashioning.

ReleasedJune 1968
RecordedNovember 21, 1967 – January 1968
StudioRCA’s Music Center of the World, Hollywood, California

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