So now I am ready to talk about Gloria Estefan whom I absolutely love! In the beginning of the 80s she was apart of the group Miami Sound Machine as their lead vocalist but soon got pushed to the foreground where they started to be marketed as Gloria Estefan And The Miami Sound Machine. Toward the end of the 1980s and early 1990s she became more of a solo artist and returned to her Cuban musical roots and became more of a dance-disco diva than pop singer. On March 22nd of 1990, Gloria Estefan was severely injured in an accident involving her tour bus where her spine was fractured and about an inch away from leaving her completely paralyzed for the rest of her life but she went through surgery and therapy to come back stronger than ever! I view Gloria Estefan as one of the pop singers and rock stars that I looked up to as being a positive role model for young women due to her determination, talent and her beauty. Another thing I admire Gloria for is that she has been married to her husband Emilio Estefan Jr. for 35 years and he was her first and only boyfriend! He has produced her albums and they love each other so much that I call that a true power couple! Praise aside, I owe discovering Gloria Estefan mostly to my half-sister Tamara as she did so with many other musical artists sometimes in a combined effort along with my mom and I am always appreciative of that. So today let's take a look at the first of my ten favorite Gloria Estefan/Miami Sound Machine songs.
#10. Here We Are from the album Cuts Both Ways
This is probably the song you think of first when you hear Gloria Estefan's name or maybe it's just me because this is a very sweet yet sultry ballad...pure romance for a person like me! The bass guitar, acoustic guitar, piano and percussion makes a great combination with Estefan's vocals and the song is about finding love, being with that person, later becoming only friends but never forgetting the special times you shared. Inside you know you still love them but to the rest of the world you have to hide it especially the person who still has your heart even if they don't know it.
#9. Betcha Say That from the album Let It Loose
I saw this video when I was really young and thought that Gloria Estefan was so beautiful and that it looked like she and the Miami Sound Machine had so much fun together! I think the infectious pop beat is why I like this song because of course a young kid may not have any idea about what the song is truly about. With new knowledge, it's a song about falling in love with a guy who uses cheesy lines, innocent manipulation and probably has broken the hearts of many girls in the past. The man in question doesn't seem to do so maliciously but he just happens to be a big flirt and it probably pushes some girls away and wraps others around his finger until the feelings gone and he skedaddles (probably afraid of commitment...I know a man like that...) Then the day happens that he truly does fall in love and wants to settle down but the girl in question knows about his past and isn't sure if she can believe him. Now that I think about it I like the song because I kind of relate to it now...is that really a good thing?
#8. Bad Boy from the album Primitive Love
There are actually two videos to this song but the one above is the version I saw first and yep you guessed it besides the members of Miami Sound Machine in one part...most of those actors playing cats are actually from Cats. Again this shows me how a good band can even stand dressing up to make a memorable video and well Gloria does have a velvet voice like a cat's purr so I guess it fits. There's really no deep reasoning behind the lyrics it's simply being in love with a bad boy maybe not a criminally bad boy or a dangerous one unless that just happens to be your type (I'm not judging anyone!).
#7. Reach from the album Destiny
Gloria Estefan is a powerful singer when it comes to ballads and when she is given a song to sing by master songwriter Diane Warren and it also happens to be chosen as an Olympic anthem, you know chills will be going down your arms in goose bumps! When the Summer Olympics were held in Atlanta back in 1996 who better to sing your official song of the games than a woman who knows what it is to fight like Gloria Estefan! Her accident and her parents escaping from the Cuban regime under Castro to come to America you know that she can push the power of her emotions into her voice. As the title states, it's about reaching for your dreams no matter what and we all have dreams we want to achieve no matter how impossible they may seem. I think anyone can do this as long as they are within realistic limits and I may still be chasing some of my dreams but I'll keep on reaching thanks to Gloria and this song...
#6. Dr. Beat from the album Eyes Of Innocence
Another fun video that is enough to attract a young child's attention and as the word is in the title, also the beat which is dancey and infectious like a musical ear worm is meant to be! It's self-explanatory that once music gets into your head you can't get rid of it but then when it moves to your feet that you can't stop dancing maybe you should consider visiting a real doctor but until it becomes a fatal emergency...you can dance as much as you like!
#5. I See Your Smile from the Greatest Hits album
You should know by now that I am a lover of ballads and when Gloria Estefan sings a ballad, it can really hit you where you live or at least bring a tear to your eye or a crack in your heart. From the moment I heard this song I was in love with it and when I learned it was written by Jon Secada I realized why it was so lyrically beautiful! It's a song about loving someone who brights up the day with their smile and makes your life easier through all the rough patches but then suddenly not having them anymore due to distance or maybe even death. They may be the one who got away in the romantic sense but as a friend they still remain in your heart even if separated by distance.
#4. Can't Forget You from the album Into The Light
I wasn't lying when I told you I love Gloria Estefan ballads now was I? The first time I heard this song is when I saw the video on VH1 and of course fell in love with it. By now you know I love songs about well...love in all its forms: positive or tragic. Sometimes you don't appreciate the love you have until it is no longer in your life especially when you are the one that walked away. Maybe you were confused or just too young to understand the good thing you had especially where love is concerned but now it hurts not to have that love anymore. It's even more difficult when you can't forget that person and then try to bring that love back by maybe trying to get back together and it is now too late.
#3. Don't Wanna Lose You from the album Cuts Both Ways
This was the first Gloria Estefan song and video I ever saw which began my full blown love of Gloria Estefan and let me explore everything that came before this. I like the simplicity of the video in its sepia tones and how Gloria is wearing little or no makeup and still looks so gorgeous! Everyone knows what it is like to love someone and how you want that person to love you for just being yourself and there are some of us who just where our hearts on our sleeves so that we are always open and vulnerable to the pain that comes with love. Sometimes it's tough not to fight with each other but you don't want it to get so bad that you end up walking away from each other but if you did end up saying good-bye would you lose apart of yourself as well...watching the other half of you walk away?
#2. Can't Stay Away From You from the album Let It Loose
From that first opening note, I was hooked on this song and I like how the tone is more pensive than sad and even though very adult contemporary I don't really think of it as a ballad. Yes it is slow to be considered a ballad but I find it more of an emotional plea from the heart that is just too powerful to be labeled a ballad because too people who don't appreciate this type of music could put the word sappy in front of it and I don't like that. I think maybe I relate to the lyrical content of the song too much is why I can't see it as a ballad because believe me I have been in a situation similar to this! Sometimes you will love someone and that love is not reciprocated because the other person only wants to be friends or maybe they are pining for someone else and you feel like you may just be the last resort. You know that maybe you need to just walk away and try to find love somewhere else but you don't want to lose this person as a friend. You know you can't stay away from people you care about but in the long run I've found sometimes you do and it's all for the best.
So which hit is this list's top pick? It just happens to be one of my favorite ballads and even though the live version is best the album one is too...
#1. Words Get In The Way from the album Primitive Love
This was I believe on a collection of Gloria Estefan videos my sister recorded for me when I was little after I discovered her for the first time and the video above was how I heard the song until I found it on her greatest hits album in its original album/studio version. It's always good to hear performers sing live without all the studio sound behind it because it proves just how powerful some singers really are and Gloria Estefan sounds beautiful live! Being in a friendship that was once an old relationship can be hard if you have to watch your former flame or crush be with someone new and you will hate the day when they come to tell you that they are falling in love. It's going to be especially hard because you have been trying to get your courage together to tell them how much you love them and now you know before your heart becomes broken further you just have to walk away. This song is not the object of your affection getting a wake-up call and realizing they have loved you all along but you being strong enough to admit you may never fall in love again they way you hope and being the one to walk away before any pain is caused.
So are you a little impressed by how much music I like and how many different artists I love? Well even if you aren't I'm still not going to stop talking about my large music collection! So what artist will I talk about next or are we going to get some more randomness? I hope you come back and see!