Stop! I'm Free Again

There's a strange similarity between La Lupe and Melanie. They are both clearly passionate, to say the least. I've read that La Lupe's live shows had that certain danger to them that only the greatest rock performances can manage. On stage, her hands went wild like pigeons exploding into the summer sky: Lupe would poke at her face, tug at her clothes, and throw her shoes into the crowd.

Though she gained much fame in the 1960s as Tito Puente's vocalist and would become the first Latin singer to pack the house at Madison Square Garden, she would later be seen as something of a novelty act for her violent sexuality and kitschy covers of English language pop hits, such as "Fever" and "Twist & Shout."

I purchased Stop! I'm Free Again at the Princeton Record Exchange for a buck or two. It was released in 1972, towards the end of Lupe's recording career, and was produced by noted Latin music engineer Joe Cain. Much of the album has a sort of mod, Parisian feel to it (I can very easily imagine Lupe doing a number with, or to, Serge Gainsbourg), highlighted by Side B's fantastic, slinky "Vagabonds."

Having had enough of women for the time, I moved on to something I could better relate to: Elvis.

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