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City Nights

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Album Review

Outside of the Mexican-American community, Tierra is considered a one-hit wonder — the band's only major national hit was its 1980 cover of the Intruders' "Together," which reached the Top Ten on the R&B singles charts. But among Mexican-Americans, the East L.A. band enjoyed a devoted cult following. Released in 1980, City Nights is a soul-oriented classic that sometimes detours into Latin-flavored grooves. Anyone with a taste for sweet Northern-style soul should make a point of hearing Tierra's version of "Together" as well as the sentimental "Memories" and the romantic ballad "Gonna Find Her" (which had been released as a single in 1978). Tierra successfully mixes funk-soul with salsa on "Latin Disco" and "Time to Dance," and the Chicano band turns to swing with catchy results on "Zoot Suit Boogie" — an instrumental that fondly recalls the days when pachucos were the party animals of East L.A. Without question, City Nights is Tierra's most essential album.


Formed: 1972 in East Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

An early-'70s spin-off group from El Chicano, Tierra kept plugging away until 1980, when they scored some brief success on the R&B charts doing Afro-Latin-flavored soul covers. Guitarist Rudy and trombonist/percussionist Steve Salas had both been in El Chicano. They teamed with keyboardist Joey Guerra, bassist Steve Falomir, drummer Philip Madayag, percussionist Andre Baeza, and Bobby Navarrete on reeds. Their cover of the Intruders' "Together" cracked the R&B Top Ten in 1980 and reached number 18...
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City Nights, Tierra
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