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Riot by Joe Bataan
Released: Jan 1970
Label: Fania
This album can still give you the chills. The title track, "It's a Good Feeling (Riot)" recalls Martha and the Vandellas' "Dancing in the Streets" in the way it tries to bring mid-1960s hopefulness and joy to a world that was quickly devolving into social unrest, anger and riots. The title track strikes a tricky balance, teetering on a line -- as the label Fania rightly describes it -- between anger and the ecstasy of youth. Bataan would further refine his "salsoul" sound, but this was the harbinger of much brilliance to come, and it captured its explosive era perfectly.
Sarah Bardeen
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