The Story of Joe Bataan’s Ghetto Records

Joe Bataan Presents: The Story of Ghetto Records, a Now-Again x Vinyl Me, Please release.

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The Story of Ghetto Records is told through 7 landmark albums of Latin jazz, deep soul, raucous boogaloo, and heavy salsa. Issued under the guidance of Latin propellant and Ghetto Records co-founder Joe Bataan, this box set also includes the unreleased Joe Bataan album Drug Story

Box Set Details:


Heavyweight two-piece slip and hand-numbered slash box.
Lacquering by Bernie Grundman.
Limited to 1000 copies.
Pressed on 180g black vinyl with heavyweight tip-on jackets.
Vinyl Me, Please designed letter-sized booklet with extensive liner notes and newly unearthed photos.

The Story of Ghetto Records is an an exclusive, limited-edition vinyl box set featuring seven revered, and rarely heard gems of Latin jazz, deep soul, raucous boogaloo, and heavy salsa. Produced in collaboration with Vinyl Me, Please, The Story of Ghetto Records takes listeners on an immersive experience through the brief but bright story of a groundbreaking Latin music label.

“There’s a reason that it took nearly half a century for Joe Bataan to allow these records to be issued again – his label was born out of rebellion and frustration with the music industry. He refused to be burned a second time,” says Eothen “Egon” Alapatt, Now-Again’s founder and president. “It took years to gain his trust, and I knew I would finally earn it – because I, too, wanted to know the true Story of Ghetto Records.”

The Anthology is accompanied by an extensive Listening Notes booklet, as well as a podcast series hosted by Pablo E. Yglesia, which will serve as a definitive guide to each album, set against the backdrop of stories from the artists’ lives. Ghetto Records’ master tapes were largely lost in the chaos of the label’s closure in the mid-70s. Alapatt and Yglesias sourced the cleanest copies of rare original vinyl, which mastering engineer Jason Bitner spliced, restored, and remastered. The exception was the Paul Ortiz album Los Que Son whose master tapes Bataan zealously guarded over the years, and which was cut in an all-analog transfer. The never-before-heard Bataan songs on Drug Story were found on a master tape in Spain decades after Bataan thought he had lost it forever.

Lacquers for all titles (except for Drug Story) were cut by Bernie Grundman at Bernie Grundman Mastering. All seven titles are pressed on exclusive 180g black vinyl at GZ.

Album List:

Eddie Lebron – Ghetto Records Presents… Eddie Lebron
Papo Felix and Ray Rodriguez – Papo Felix Meets Ray Rodriguez
Paul Ortiz Y La Orquesta Son – Los Que Son
La Fantastica ‎- From Ear To Ear
Joe Acosta – ‎The Power Of Love
Candido Y Su Movimiento – ‎Palos De Fuego
Joe Bataan – Drug Story

VMP Anthology is a reinvented, immersive box set experience for music fans willing to journey beyond the liner notes. Each Anthology features expert storytelling, exclusive inserts, and a collectors-edition vinyl box set. The Story of Ghetto Records is the fourteenth VMP Anthology release. Now-Again Records has produced two Anthologies with VMP – The Story of Tribe Records and The Story of Zamrock. Other VMP Anthology issues honor The Grateful Dead, Blue Note Records, the Women of Motown, Ghostly International, Stax Records, Herbie Hancock, Metal Blade Records, Vanguard Records, Philadelphia International Records, Quincy Jones, and Willie Nelson.

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