Ricky Martin [1999]

Ricky Martin [1999]

4.5 16
by Ricky Martin

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When self-styled media prophets predicted Latin music would be the Next Big Thing, one had only to look as far as 1999's MTV awards, when Ricky Martin shook his bon-bon and the pop world shuddered to a halt. The ex-Menudo member's first English-language solo album went on to sell more than 35 million copies and it's easy to see why. RickySee more details below


When self-styled media prophets predicted Latin music would be the Next Big Thing, one had only to look as far as 1999's MTV awards, when Ricky Martin shook his bon-bon and the pop world shuddered to a halt. The ex-Menudo member's first English-language solo album went on to sell more than 35 million copies and it's easy to see why. Ricky Martin is rife with songs that were destined to appeal to classic rock and adult contemporary fans, from guitar-laden power ballads like "She's All I Ever Had" and "I Am Made for You" to the electronica-kissed "Be Careful (Cuidado Con Mi Corazon)," a duet with Madonna. The boisterous surf-ska of "Livin' La Vida Loca," was an inescapable radio smash and a Grammy champion, rendering salsa as easily digestible as Buster Poindexter's "Hot, Hot, Hot" made soca, while Spanglish radio edits of international hits "Maria" and "The Cup of Life" are similarly accessible. Maybe this isn't your abuelitos' idea of Latin music, but its potent mix of dead-on marketing, sexy packaging, and unshakable pop smarts opened the door for Latino stars from Marc Anthony to Jennifer Lopez, which made listening to the radio a little more loca for everyone. And that's a good thing.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
It was just a matter of time before Ricky Martin broke into the pop mainstream. By the end of the '90s, he was no longer the kid that used to be in Menudo or the General Hospital heartthrob -- he was a genuine star, ready to bust out of the Latin pop ghetto. His dynamic performance at the 1999 Grammys stole the show, announcing his presence to middle America -- and conveniently paving the way for the May release of Ricky Martin, his second eponymous album but first English-language record. Like most records that are crafted to sell an artist to a larger audience -- think Celine Dion's Falling Into You -- Ricky Martin is a big, bold album with something to please everyone, from his longtime Latin fans to housewives with a weakness for dramatic ballads. Reportedly two years in the making, the album never makes a wrong move, balancing infectious dance-pop with immaculately crafted power ballads, mid-tempo pop, straight-ahead rockers, and, of course, the inevitable cameos: Madonna on "Be Careful (Cuidado con Mi Corazón)" and Meja on "Private Emotion." Since each track has been so carefully constructed to stand on its own (most likely as a single), the album plays as a series of moments, some more thrilling than others. Although there is inarguably some filler cluttering the record -- and although the production sounds weirdly dated, with tracks like "I Count the Minutes" and "She's All I Ever Had" sounding for all the world as if they were cut in 1985 -- most of the moments work and the opening quartet ("Livin' la Vida Loca," "Spanish Eyes," "She's All I Ever Had," and the irresistibly stupid "Shake Your Bon-Bon") is positively intoxicating. If the rest of the album doesn't live up to the opening salvo, Martin does carry the day with his fine voice and undeniable charisma -- even when the songs aren't distinctive, he brings them alive. And that's the sign of a true star.

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ricky Martin   Primary Artist,Vocals,Background Vocals,Track Performer
William Orbit   Guitar,Keyboards
Bruce Dukov   Violin,Concert Master
Sue Ann Carwell   Background Vocals
Jon Secada   Background Vocals
Luis Enrique   Percussion
Elizabeth Wilson   Violin
Ethel Abelson   Violin
Murray Adler   Violin
Martin Agee   Violin
Donna Allen   Background Vocals
Lamar Alsop   Violin
Richard Altenbach   Violin
Rusty Anderson   Guitar
Kenny Aronoff   Drums
Julien Barber   Viola
Belinda Whitney-Barratt   Violin
Eric Bazilian   Electric Guitar,Guitar (12 String Acoustic)
Mari Tsumura   Violin
Alfred Brown   Viola
Denyse Buffum   Viola
Kenneth Burward-Hoy   Viola
Jorge Calandrelli   Conductor
David Campbell   Conductor
Darius Campo   Violin
Randy Cantor   Keyboards
Jorge Casas   Track Performer
Robert Chausow   Violin
Madonna   Track Performer
Tony Concepcion   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Larry Corbett   Cello
Paulinho Da Costa   Percussion
Brian Dembow   Viola
Joel Derouin   Violin
Assa Drori   Violin
Max Ellen   Violin
Jerry Epstein   Viola
Stephen Erdody   Cello
Mary Helen Ewing   Viola
Henry Ferber   Violin
Stefanie Fife   Cello
Erik Friedlander   Cello
Armen Garabedian   Violin
Berj Garabedian   Violin
Hector Garrido   Conductor
Gerald Tarack   Violin
Harris Goldman   Violin
Endre Granat   Violin
Maurice Grants   Cello
Julie Green   Viloncello
Alan Grunfeld   Violin
Juliet Haffner   Viola
Clayton Haslop   Violin
Rob Hyman   Organ
Skyler Jett   Background Vocals,Track Performer
Lisa Johnson   Violin
Pat Johnson   Violin
Karen Karlsrud   Violin
Dennis Karmazyn   Cello
Janet Lakatos   Viola
Michael Landau   Electric Guitar
Regis Landiorio   Violin
Ann Leathers   Violin
Brian Leonard   Violin
Lee Levin   Drums
Richard Locker   Cello
Manny López   Guitar
Hugh McDonald   Bass
Dennis Molchan   Violin
Jorge Moraga   Viola
Dan Neufeld   Viola
Archie Pena   Percussion
Barbara Porter   Violin
Sue Pray   Viola
Rita Quintero   Background Vocals
Matthew Raimondi   Violin
Claytoven Richardson   Background Vocals
Anatoly Rosinsky   Violin
Bob Sanov   Violin
Sheldon Sanov   Violin
Laura Seaton   Violin
Dan Shea   Keyboards
Mark Orrin Shuman   Cello
Rafael Solano   Percussion
Eve Sprecher   Violin
David Stenske   Viola
Marti Sweet   Violin
Dana Teboe   Trombone
Richard Treat   Cello
Miwako Watanabe   Violin
John Wittenberg   Violin
Ming Yeh   Violin
Ken Yerke   Violin
Mihail Zinovyev   Viola
Shari Zippert   Violin
Anthony Posk   Violin
Olbin Burgos   Percussion,Shaker
Susan Chatman   Violin
Michael Ferril   Violin
Elizabeth Lim   Violin
Daniel Smith   Cello
Dale Stuckenbruck   Violin
John Walz   Cello
David Ewart   Violin
Daniel Lopez   Percussion
John Kricker   Trombone
Suzie Katayama   Cello
Damian leGassick   Keyboards
Bob Peterson   Violin
Eddie Salkin   Alto Flute
Ricardo Suarez   Bass
Dan Warner   Acoustic Guitar
John Dexter   Viola
Paquito Hechavarria   Piano
Robi Rosa   Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals
Tommy Anthony   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Randall Barlow   Guitar,Trumpet
Roberta Cooper   Cello
George Noriega   Organ,Bass,Sitar,Bazouki,Guitar (Nylon String)
Juan Vincente Zambrano   Keyboards
Rudy Stein   Cello
Karen Ritscher   Viola
Hershberger   Violin
Laura Oatts   Violin
Rachel Purkin   Violin
Gil Romero   Violin
Lynn Grants   Viola
Jennifer Bellusci   Track Performer
Robert Berg   Viola
Brian Benning   Violin
Eve Butler   Violin
Jennifer Munday   Violin
Conesha Monet   Background Vocals
Gerry Hilera   Violin
Herman "Teddy" Mulet   Horn
David Siegel   Clarinet
John Hayhurst   Viola
Vaje Ayrikian   Cello
Ruth Bruegger   Violin
Thomas Dienner   Viola
Virginia Frazier   Violin
Tod French   Cello
Mark Markman   Violin
Vicky Miscolczy   Viola
Horia Moroaica   Violin
Pat Johnson   Violin
Aimee Kreston   Violin
David Heiss   Viloncello
Henry Gronnier   Violin
Steve Richards   Cello
Elliot Rosoff   Violin
Tiffany Yi Hu   Violin
Diva Goodfriend-Koven   Alto Flute
Matthew Funes   Viola

Technical Credits

William Orbit   Producer
Desmond Child   Composer,Producer
Jorge Calandrelli   String Arrangements
Scott Canto   Engineer
Randy Cantor   Arranger,Programming
Rob Chiarelli   Engineer
Joe Chiccarelli   Engineer
Madonna   Producer
Charles Dye   Engineer
Emilio Estefan   Executive Producer
Dave Frazier   Engineer
Hector Garrido   Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
David Gleeson   Engineer
Don Hahn   Engineer
Ted Jensen   Mastering
Khris Kellow   Programming
Peter McCabe   Engineer
Patrick McCarthy   Engineer
Lester Mendez   Programming
Rik Pekkonen   Engineer
Dave Reitzas   Engineer
Elliot Scheiner   Engineer
Dan Shea   Programming
Ian Blake   Producer
Mark Endert   Engineer
Sebastián Krys   Engineer
KC Porter   Producer
Damian leGassick   Programming
Freddy Piñero   Engineer
Walter Afanasieff   Producer,drum programming
Erwin Gorostiza   Art Direction
Benny Faccone   Engineer
Robi Rosa   Composer,Producer
Randall Barlow   Programming,Engineer,String Arrangements
George Noriega   Producer
Juan Vincente Zambrano   Arranger
Pablo Flores   Producer
Javier Garza   Engineer
Meja   Duet
Jose Luis Vega   Image Construction
Robert Valdez   Engineer
Angelo Medina   Executive Producer
Jules Gondar   Engineer
Craig Lozowick   Engineer
Nathan Malki   Engineer

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