Favorites Month: Gloria Estefan
All this month, Quirky T will be conducting the Guitar Train to stop at each of her all time favorite musicians. This week’s destination is Gloria Estefan. She is the first non-British musician of my favorites and also the only female.
First Stop (The First Time I Heard Her Music)
The first Gloria Estefan song I ever heard was her song with the Miami Sound Machine called “Conga”. http://youtu.be/aMAgkKXP_Zo I first heard it as the background song in a scene on the slow moving TV soap opera, “The Young and the Restless” in 1985. To this day, it is probably one of her most well known songs. My first thought upon hearing the song was, “What is that?” I had never heard such a fast tempo, fun song. It’s a good representation of her music with its Latin influence.
Second Stop (What I Did Next)
After hearing “Conga”, I made sure I bought all of Gloria Estefan’s past and future CDs from the CD mail order club I belonged to. I bought all her CDs in both English and Spanish. She’s so talented that she was able to make two versions of the same song, one in English and one in Spanish. Because of Gloria Estefan, I studied Spanish in high school as my second foreign language. (French is my first foreign language). I can sing Spanish phonetically because of Gloria Estefan’s songs. I might not always know what I am singing but I don’t believe she would conduct me down the wrong track.
Repeated Destinations (Favorite Song and Album)
My favorite Gloria Estefan CD is 1997’s “gloria!”. It is a non-stop dance party. On some tracks, it’s literally non-stop as one song goes right into the next one without stopping.
My favorite Gloria Estefan song is “I Just Wanna Be Happy” http://youtu.be/lUg846iIDaA from the same CD. I want everything she sings about in the song.
My favorite Spanish only Gloria Estefan song is “No Me Dejes De Querer” (“Flores” Del Caribe Mix) http://youtu.be/_eT6AuXTIA0 from the 2000 CD “Alma Caribena”. It is a very fast, loud song with a great beat.
Now Departing (What Non-Fans Say about Her)
I have heard more criticism of Gloria Estefan because of her political views as a Cuban refugee than for her music.
I think the biggest misconception about her music is that it is all dance music. She has made many ballads and serious songs as well. Her 1996 CD “Destiny” is full of slow songs and only contains two fast, dance songs.
Conducting This Train (Why She Will Always be My Favorite)
Life is a mixture of fun, upbeat times and sad times. Music should reflect that. Gloria Estefan’s music does. My iPod playlist titled “Party Songs” is mostly filled with her music and I can’t be sad while listening to it. On the another track, if I want to wallow in heartbreak or feel I am not alone in a confusing romantic situation, I have several go to Gloria Estefan songs to listen to.
All Aboard (Why I Wish Others Would Listen to Her and Where to Start)
Everyone needs some fun and dancing in their lives. They also need exposure to a different culture. Gloria Estefan’s music gives me this and more. I recommend newcomers to Gloria Estefan listen to another of my favorite CDs of hers, 1989’s “Cuts Both Ways” because it contains a nice mix of fast songs, slow songs, and two songs translated into Spanish.
For a Spanish CD, I recommend 1995’s “Abriendo Puertas” which was only released in Spanish. It is also a nice mix of slow and fast songs.
For more information, check out her website at http://www.gloriaestefan.com. Her official music videos on You Tube are from GloriaEstefanMusic and GloriaEstefanVEVO.
Guitar Train passengers, why do you wish other people would listen to your favorite musicians?