Released in 1983, Vigilante marked a reunion for one of salsa’s most iconic duos: bandleader, producer and trombonist Willie Colón and singer Héctor Lavoe. Their foundational partnership began 16 years earlier when Colón and Lavoe (then 16 and 21, respectively) recorded their debut, El Malo, for Fania Records. Over the next few years, the pair rocketed to fame, releasing a string of best-selling titles, including Cosa Nuestra (1970), Lo Mato(1973) and the classic holiday albums Asalto Navideño Vols. 1 & 2 (1971 and 1973). By the mid-’70s, however, the two artists were eager to break out on their own. Colón was shifting his focus to behind-the-scenes roles as a producer, musical director and arranger, while Lavoe was primed to become one of salsa’s greatest vocalists. Although the two men never really went their separate ways (Colón produced the majority of Lavoe’s solo albums), fans still yearned to see the old friends back in action.