The Essential Gloria Estefan

The Essential Gloria Estefan

by Gloria Estefan


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The 2006 release of The Essential Gloria Estefan satisfied a long unmet need for a career-spanning English-language retrospective, one that includes the singer's popular hits with Miami Sound Machine in the mid-'80s as well as her subsequent solo recordings. For years, Estefan fans had few best-of choices to choose from -- the Spanish-language Exitos de Gloria Estefan (1990), the two-volume Greatest Hits series (1992, 2001), and the latter-day Amor y Suerte: Exitos Romanticos collection (2004) -- with no alternatives, not even budget-line knockoffs. The long-overdue release of The Essential Gloria Estefan thankfully resolved this gripe, for it includes the highlights from all aspects of Estefan's varied output, spread generously across two jam-packed discs. (Well, it does exclude her bounty of Spanish-language recordings, the highlights of which can be found on Oye Mi Canto: Los Exitos, an excellent single-disc retrospective released simultaneously. But at least there are some key inclusions here from the excellent Mi Tierra album from 1993 -- a full-length that deserves to be heard in full. Pretty much all the Miami Sound Machine hits are here, beginning with "Dr. Beat," as are all of Estefan's initial solo smashes from Cuts Both Ways (1989) and Into the Light (1991). Some of these songs are featured in their single versions, notably "Bad Boy," "1-2-3," and "Live for Loving You," which is a good call in those cases, because these versions were the ones that became radio hits. There is also a lot of Estefan's post-prime material here, taken from albums like Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me (1994), Destiny (1996), and Gloria! (1998); and there are a few songs previously found only on compilations, most notably the beautiful "I See Your Smile." But the emphasis overall is on Estefan's more popular, earlier material, and rightfully so. The sequencing may be an issue for some, as it splits her songs between a "fast" and "slow" disc -- that is, a disc of dance-pop and one of ballads. It's an appropriate decision, for Estefan's music always did veer back and forth from one extreme to the other. However, the decision to sequence the discs non-chronologically is more troublesome, especially for those who would prefer the Miami Sound Machine material front-loaded in favor of the less well-known latter-day solo recordings. These minor matters aside, The Essential Gloria Estefan is without question the one-stop English-language retrospective that her catalog had been lacking for years. A more succinct single-disc collection (for instance, the Miami Sound Machine-heavy Greatest Hits) may be more suitable for the less committed, but anyone looking for the full package need not look further. That is, unless you want her Spanish-language hits, too, in which case there's the likewise full-package Oye Mi Canto: Los Exitos.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/03/2006
Label: Sony
UPC: 0828768908525
catalogNumber: 689085
Rank: 4976

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Gloria Estefan   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

Gloria Estefan   Composer,Producer,Liner Notes
David Foster   Arranger,Producer
Mac Gayden   Composer
Gerald Jackson   Composer
Buzz Cason   Composer
Jorge Casas   Composer,Producer
Lawrence Dermer   Arranger,Producer
Emilio Estefan   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Joe Galdo   Producer
Pete Jackson   Composer
Tony Moran   Producer
Clay Ostwald   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Rafael Vigil   Producer
Diane Warren   Composer
Sebastián Krys   Producer
Howard Fritzson   Art Direction
Randall Barlow   Producer
George Noriega   Producer
Pablo Flores   Producer,Remixing
Herb Ritts   Cover Photo
Kike Santander   Producer
Javier Garza   Producer,Remixing
Enrique García   Composer
Javier García   Producer,Remixing
Robert Blades   Producer
Andreas Meyer   Engineer
Myles Macinnes   Arranger
Bob Jackson   Engineer
Jamii Layton   Liner Notes
Phil N Dog   Concept

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5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Though most ardent fans will probably have a few favorites that are not on either disc, what really needs to be said? With several delightful Spanish-language exceptions, these CDs contain many of Gloria's most popular English-language hits of the last 20 years -- from "Dr. Beat" to "Unwrapped." Although I have heard each song an incalculable number of times, it's nice to have them conveniently on two CDs. The dichotomy of a "fast" and a "slow" disc works exceptionally well. I could not recommend this collection more hightly to anyone who values or wants to learn more about Gloria's music.