- with Linda Ronstadt & Joe Jackson

Ruben Blades' socially-conscious salsa-pop, backed again by the dynamic Son Del Solar. The album clearly makes a crossover bid with guest appearances by Linda Ronstadt and Joe Jackson, as well as bilingual lyrics in the package. As the title suggests, the material here paints scenes from Blades' typically keen barrio perspective. Opening ESCENAS on an introspective note is "Cuentas Del Alma," a moving portrayal of a mother's fear of the dark and endless pining for her departed husband. To the sound of synth-wails and a salsa-inflected pop beat, Blades intones with dreadful finality the words, "heart dues can never be paid in full." The dirge-like "Tierra Dura" captures the dry, desperate famine of mid-'80s Ethiopia in both lyric and tone, with slowly-passing images of unforgiving deserts and a mournful melody. Moving into funkier territory, "Sorpresas" is the tough sequel to Blades' revered "Pedro Navaja" with its clever tale of thieves, deception, and the barrio night. "Silencios" is Blades' balladic duet with Linda Ronstadt, extra sugar cubes included.

Panamanian singer/songwriter Ruben Blades is a key figure in contemporary Latin music. He came to New York in the 1970s and entrenched himself in the salsa scene, writing for and performing with a number of key players, and forming a significant partnership with salsa legend Willie Colon. In the '80s, Blades's solo career took off as he set about modernizing salsa with his group Seis del Solar. Around the same time, he embarked on a successful acting career that would continue for decades. Blades's music is often strongly informed by his activist politics, a fact that became duly apparent when he ran for President of Panama in 1994.

Vinyl Collector's Information/Trivia:

Linda Ronstadt is singing a sad but very, very beautiful duet with Ruben Blades on this spanish album

Elektra Records is a record label started in 1950 by Jac Holzman and Paul Rickholt, who both invested $300. It, along with Holzman's Nonesuch Records, was acquired by Kinney National Company in 1970 for $10 million. Holzman remained in charge until 1972, when Asylum Records and Elektra were combined and Asylum's director (David Geffen) was put in charge. Holzman were to start Discovery Records.  


High Resolution #1 Photo RUBEN BLADES Escenas

Photos of the LP's cover: RUBEN BLADES - ESCENAS with Linda Ronstadt & Joe Jackson
Album's Front Cover 
High Resolution #1 Photo RUBEN BLADES Escenas  
Album's Back Cover  
High Resolution #2 Photo RUBEN BLADES Escenas  
Close-up Photo of Record Label 
High Resolution #4 Photo RUBEN BLADES Escenas  

 Note: The photos on this page are of the actual album. Slight differences in color may exist due to the use of the camera's flash. Images can be zoomed in/out ( eg pinch with your fingers on a tablet or smartphone ).

Band Members and Musicians on: RUBEN BLADES - ESCENAS with Linda Ronstadt & Joe Jackson
Track Listing of: RUBEN BLADES - ESCENAS with Linda Ronstadt & Joe Jackson
    Side One:
  1. Cuentas del Alma (5:08)
  2. Tierra Dura (Etiopia) (5:04)
  3. La Cancion del Final del Mundo (4:34)
  4. Sorpresas (7:31)
    Side Two:
  1. Caina (4:54)
  2. Silencios (5:28)
  3. Muevete (8:00)
RUBEN BLADES Exploring Rubén Blades' Impactful Latin Jazz and Salsa Music: A Look at His Vinyl Albums

Band Information:

Rubén Blades is a legendary Panamanian singer, songwriter, actor, and politician, known for his contribution to the Latin music genre, as well as his political activism. Born in Panama City, Panama, on July 16, 1948, Blades grew up in a middle-class family, where he developed an interest in music and culture from a young age. He began playing guitar and singing in his teenage years and went on to study law at the University of Panama before pursuing his career in music.

Blades's music career began in the early 1970s, when he joined a salsa band called Ray Barretto's Orchestra as a vocalist. His debut solo album, "De Panamá a Nueva York," was released in 1970 and featured the hit song "El Cazanguero." Over the next few years, Blades released several more albums, including "Siembra," which became one of the best-selling salsa albums of all time. The album included the hit song "Pedro Navaja," which became an instant classic and one of Blades's most famous songs.

Blades's music is known for its socially conscious themes and political commentary, addressing issues such as poverty, injustice, and corruption. His songs often incorporate elements of different Latin American genres, including salsa, bolero, and folk music, creating a unique and eclectic style. Blades's influence on Latin music is undeniable, and he has received numerous awards and recognition throughout his career, including several Grammy Awards.

Aside from his music career, Blades has also made a name for himself as an actor, appearing in films such as "The Last Fight," "The Milagro Beanfield War," and "Predator 2." In recent years, he has also become involved in politics, serving as the Minister of Tourism in Panama from 2004 to 2009 and running for the presidency in 2019.

Throughout his career, Blades has remained committed to using his platform to bring attention to social and political issues. He has been a vocal advocate for human rights, environmentalism, and democracy, and has used his music and celebrity status to raise awareness and funds for various causes. 

RUBEN BLADES - Escenas with Linda Ronstadt & Joe Jackson

Thumbnail of RUBEN BLADES - Escenas with Linda Ronstadt & Joe Jackson  album front cover

Latin, Salsa, Latin-Jazz

Rubén Blades' "Escenas" 12" Vinyl LP Album, featuring collaborations with Linda Ronstadt and Joe Jackson, is a timeless masterpiece that transcends musical boundaries. Released during a pivotal time period, this album showcased Blades' eclectic artistry, merging salsa with pop and rock influences. The production excellence and the fusion of diverse musical elements make "Escenas" a significant contribution, reflecting the vibrant cultural tapestry of its era.

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RUBEN BLADES - Greatest Hits Special 2 Record Set

Thumbnail of RUBEN BLADES - Greatest Hits Special 2 Record Set
 album front cover

Latin, Salsa, Latin-Jazz

Ruben Blades' "Greatest Hits Special 2 Record Set" stands as a timeless musical collection, curated under the meticulous production of Jerry Masucci. Released in 1983, this 12" 2-LP vinyl encapsulates Blades' artistic journey within that era. Each track is a melodic chronicle, offering listeners a vibrant snapshot of Blades' multifaceted talents and significant contributions to the Latin music scene during this pivotal period.

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RUBEN BLADES - Maestra Vida Primera Parte

Thumbnail of RUBEN BLADES - Maestra Vida Primera Parte album front cover

Latin, Salsa, Latin-Jazz

Ruben Blades' "Maestra Vida: Primera Parte," a groundbreaking Salsa Opera, marked a pivotal moment in music during its release on a 12" Vinyl LP Album. Released within a dynamic time period, the production by Blades showcased innovative storytelling through salsa rhythms. This masterpiece not only elevated Blades' status but also left an indelible imprint on the cultural landscape, blending musical excellence with a narrative that resonated with its era.

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RUBEN BLADES - Nothing but the Truth ( with Lou Reed )

Thumbnail of RUBEN BLADES - Nothing but the Truth ( with Lou Reed ) album front cover

Latin, Salsa Music, Latin-Jazz

Ruben Blades' "Nothing but the Truth" marks a pivotal moment in Salsa, being his debut English album. Infused with vibrant rhythms, Blades collaborates with iconic musician Lou Reed. The 12" Vinyl LP, produced by Tommy Lipuma, renowned for his work with Diana Krall, showcases a unique fusion of Latin beats and rock influences. This musical endeavor exemplifies Blades' cross-cultural contribution in the context of the time.

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