Some songs grab you from the first 30 seconds and don’t let you go until the very end. As soon as you hear the intro for Ray Barretto’s “Acid,” you are sucked right in and off for the ride. This monster 1968 Latin soul-jazz track from the album by the same name starts with an amazing bass line, some percussion, a muted trumpet and a voice going “go on baby” and then heads into the stratosphere from there. It sounds so simple and maybe it is but the rhythm and swing are magical and the production is unreal.
I first heard this track back in the 1980’s when I was just starting to get into Latin music. I believe it was on some Charly Records compilation (there are loads of great Charly comps in many genres, btw). “Acid” changed everything I thought I knew about Latin music instantly. It took me years to track down an original copy of the LP (on Fania Records) but I finally did in 2012, at an estate sale in Washington, DC. This is still one of my favorite songs, in any genre! Enjoy!