JOSE FELICIANO – “Fantastic Feliciano” (RCA International INTS 1058) 1970

Originally released in 1966: Oh dear, poor young Jose has fallen foul of the record industry on this release and the ultimate need to have hit records. He’s basically operating as a lounge singer with old-timers’ square backing of brass and strings. This swing heavy big band sound means that his acoustic guitar is buried deeper than a squirrel’s hazelnuts.

None of the hippie long-hairs who bought his 1968 break-through album containing “California Dreamin”, “Light My Fire” and all of those great and inspired Beatles cover versions will have gone any where near this.

As long as at least one track is worthy from all of these cheap (unknown to me) charity shop purchases I can be content in the knowledge that all was not lost. It was touch and go if any number would rear it’s head from this mire and I’m pleased to say that “Quit While You’re Ahead” has a certain charm, Jose is utilising a group sound on this with guitars and organ.

At last, it’s GO GO GO!

back cover liners:

Sometimes an entertainer finds himself by the time-honoured, often painful process of trial and error. In the case of young Jose Feliciano, there has been much trial and little error.

Trying experience has led to a multi-coloured career for Jose. He has, in a way, fallen into areas he hadn’t intended for himself. Reviewers of his personal appearances and recordings have complained, in a sense, that he does too many things too well. How do you categorise a guy who can do everything?

‘Fantastic Feliciano’, then, in addition to being grooved for lovers of exciting pop music, should make it easy for niche-happy reviewers.

Here is Jose’s intensively appealing voice underscored by his first-rate guitar. The music finds him in a lover’s groove headed straight down soul road. It finally puts on record the sort of material he’s been doing in clubs to overwhelming receptions.

Jose does selections like “For Sentimental Reasons”, “I Wish You Love”, “To Each His Own”, and “I Miss You So”, backed occasionally by voices or strings and always by a lot of musicianship.

And just to show he hasn’t lost any of his versatility, there is a sprinkling of selections in a bright uptempo vein, which ideally gives the album balance. You can’t lose sight of the fact that Feliciano’s superb ballad side is showing, the side he seems destined to follow to the top.

At twenty, Jose Feliciano already displays a staggering amount of star qualities, all the more impressive because they aren’t based on fads but on rather solid accomplishments. You’ll be hearing more and more of this fine young talent.

charity shop purchase @ £1

Leave a Reply