An incredible 45 of Latin disco – recorded in Peru during the late 70s by funk pioneers Black Sugar
Black Sugar is a Peruvian band, considered a pioneer group in Latin America in mixing funk influences with rock and Latin rhythms.
In 1976, following their gig at Coliseo Amauta in Lima, opening the night for the legendary Spanish band Barrabás, they started to show a growing interest in disco music, resulting in some line up changes with members leaving the project due to their lack of interest in the new sound and new ones joining in.
Word is that Sono Radio, home to a bunch of local Tamla MoTown releases for the Peruvian market, thought that Black Sugar's prestige, and their credibility in the new orientation towards disco sound, would benefit from seeing their new single pressed with the labels of the famous record company from Detroit. And so it was. Under certain lights and shadows, ‘Baila’ was finally released in Peru only in 1978, sporting the same look as the releases of the likes of Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Commodores or Thelma Houston. A clever marketing ploy that however failed in boosting the sales of the single…
Only a few original copies have survived to this day, of either the first and the second edition from 1979 released on the US label Libra, and reached the collectors market. It’s now, over four decades later, when the interest on this recording has gone stronger and ‘Baila’ is getting regular spins at international soul/disco scene events, having become a very sought-after collectors item and, on top of that, the dance floor anthem that should have always been. The stunning piano arrangements of the intro, the outstanding brass sections —faithfully copied from the disco recordings coming from the States—, a very catchy chorus… ‘Baila’ has all the necessary ingredients to become an addictive invitation to join the dance floor.
On the B side, a cover version of Barry White’s hit ‘Sha La La (Means I Love You)’ —as appeared on the original issue of this record— shows what the interest of the band was at the time.