This post is also available in: Español
The story behind the origin of the Joe Arroyo international mega hit song “La Rebelión” is full of interesting twists and turns. Additionally, author royalties seem to be at stake.
Listening to Ruben Blades tell the story behind “Pedro Navaja” is interesting enough. “Las Zapatillas” and “Los Dientes de Oro” were gangs. The song idea supposedly came from a Kaplan novel as well as from the song “Jack the Knife”. The drunk guy, the prostitute, etc., all have a story.
(Note: Ruben also tells the story of the making of his last albums for Fania records in the blog HERE)
Story Behind “La Rebelión”
But what does Willie Colón and Ruben Blades have to do with “La Rebelión”? Well…there is also that intro to the Tite Curet Alonso song “Plantacion Adentro”, which goes… “Es el año 1745…”. That’s also part of the story of the Joe Arroyo song “La Rebelión”.
“La Rebelión” started as “El Mulato” which was a name technically wrong according to the song lyrics (“Un matrimonio africano…) and was recorded by another artist before it was recorded by Joe Arroyo. But was Joe Arroyo the author or was it his first wife as it shows in this first recording by another artist before El Joe recorded it in his album “Musa Original”?
I rather you get the story from the “horse’s mouth”, sort of, as it was really published by a Colombian newspaper and reprinted by the Peruvian blog “ Radio El Salsero” of my friend Eduardo Levia. The article provides a great explanation and I don’t want to spoil the rest of it for you.
After this explanation, I can’t finish this blog without adding a video of Joe Arroyo performing “La Rebelión”.
You can check out the story of Joe Arroyo’s famous Salsa song “La Rebelión” (in Spanish) from El Salsero blog link HERE.
I also wrote a blog reflecting on Joe Arroyo’s legacy to Latin music HERE.
Note: if you want me to finish the story in English, just leave a comment below requesting so and I’ll comply. I didn’t want to steal Eduardo’s thunder.