Bachata Rosa

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Bachata Rosa
Album cover
Studio album by Juan Luis Guerra
Released December 11, 1990 (1990-12-11)
Recorded 1989–90
440 Studio
(New York, New York)
Genre Bachata, Merengue, Salsa
Length 42:25
Language Spanish
Label KAREN
Producer Juan Luis Guerra
Juan Luis Guerra chronology
Ojalá Que Llueva Café
(1989)
Bachata Rosa
(1990)
Areíto
(1992)
Singles from Bachata Rosa
  1. "Como Abeja al Panal"
    Released: 1989
  2. "La Bilirrubina"
    Released: 1990
  3. "Burbujas de Amor"
    Released: 1990
  4. "A Pedir su Mano"
    Released: 1990
  5. "Estrellitas y Duendes"
    Released: 1991
  6. "Carta de Amor"
    Released: 1991
  7. "Bachata Rosa"
    Released: 1991

Bachata Rosa (English: Pink Bachata) is the fifth studio album by Dominican singer-songwriter Juan Luis Guerra and his group 4.40. It was released on December 11, 1990, by Karen Records. Written and produced by Guerra, the record sold over five million copies worldwide. It brought bachata music into the mainstream in the Dominican Republic and gave the genre an international audience. A Portuguese version of the record was released in 1992 under the title Romance Rosa; it was certified gold in Brazil. The album received a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album and two Lo Nuestro Awards for Tropical Album of the Year and Tropical Group of the Year.

Seven singles were released from the record, three of which became top-ten hits on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard Tropical Albums. It remained the top-selling album on the chart for 24 weeks and was certified platinum (Latin field) in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In Spain, the album spent eight weeks at the number one position on the chart. In the Netherlands, the record peaked at number two on the Mega Album Top 100 and was certified gold. Bachata Rosa was praised by critics, who commended Guerra's songwriting and the record's production, citing it as one of his most important works.

Background[edit]

At the time, bachata was defined as music from the rural areas of the Dominican Republic with lyrics considered too crude and vulgar to the public's taste. It was characterized by an acoustic guitar accompanied with bongo drums and maracas.[1] After releasing the album Ojalá Que Llueva Café, Juan Luis Guerra began experimenting with the genre by performing bachata alongside Dominican artist Sonia Silvestre on her album Quiero Andar. The result was an early demo of "Como Abeja al Panal" ("Like a Bee to the Hive"). Silvestre said that Guerra was dismayed when he learned that Silvestre's album Quiero Andar was in bachata; he did not become fully committed to the genre until after "Como abeja al panal" was released as a single where it was a hit in the United States.[1] The song was first released for a Barceló TV commercial.[2]

After "Como Abeja al Panal" was released as a single and achieved success, Guerra continued working on bachata music, which served as a key element in Bachata Rosa. Silvestre explained the name of the title by saying that "[Guerra's] bachatas were rosa [rosy] while mine was red".[1] Guerra's bachata focused on the language of lower-class and used synthesizers for his production whereas Silvestre's bachata relied on a synthesized accordion for her music.[1] Recording took place in the 4-40 studio in New York City, Guerra's personal studio. The album was released by Karen Records.[3]

Musical style, writing and composition[edit]

A sample of "Burbujas de Amor", a bachata track in which the performer states his desire to become a fish and make "bubbles of love" in his lover's fishbowl.

A sample of "La Bilirrubina", a merengue track which the singer suffers a high bilirubin from love and can only be cured with kisses.

Problems playing these files? See media help.

The album consists of ten tracks, including four bachata songs.[1] The album starts with the opening track "Rosalia", an upbeat merengue song.[4] "Como Abeja al Panal" begins as a bachata tune and switches to salsa music in the middle of the song, falling back to bachata toward the end.[1] "Carta de Amor" is a salsa track in which he writes a letter to his lover in his journal, punctuation marks included.[5] "Estrellitas y Duendes" ("Little Stars and Elves") is a bachata about living in his love's memories as a rain-shower of little stars and elves.[1][6] "A Pedir su Mano" ("Asking for Her Hand") is a cover of Lea Lignanzy's song "Dede priscilla" from the Central African Republic which combines merengue and Afropop.[7]

"La Bilirrubina" ("The Bilirubin") is a merengue song that describes a man in a hospital suffering from a high level of bilirubin from love and jealousy, which can only be cured by kisses, as no shots nor surgery are effective.[8] "Burbujas de Amor" ("Bubbles of Love") is a sexual bachata song about a man's desire to become a fish and "make bubbles of love" in his lover's fishbowl.[9] The lyrics for the song "Bachata Rosa" were inspired by the opening lines of the poem "Book of Questions" by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.[5] "Reforestame" ("Reforest me") is a merengue track performed by 4-40 vocalist Adalgisa Pantaleon.[10] The last track "Acompáñeme Civil" is a merengue song performed by Beny Peregina which deals with social awareness.[11]

Commercial reception[edit]

Album[edit]

In the United States, Bachata Rosa debuted at number one on the Billboard Tropical Albums on the week of January 12, 1991. It remained there for 24 nonconsecutive weeks.[12] It peaked at number 19 on Billboard Top Latin Albums during the week of July 24, 1993.[13] In 2004, the album was certified platinum (Latin field) by the RIAA for shipments of 100,000 copies.[14] In Spain, the album reached number one on the Productores de Música de España chart, where it spent eight weeks.[15] The album also performed well in the Netherlands, where it peaked at number two on the Mega Album Top 100 chart and was certified gold by the NVPI.[16][17] A Portuguese version, titled Romance Rosa, was released in 1992. It also contained songs from his earlier albums performed in Portuguese. It was certified gold in Brazil by the Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos for sales of 100,000 copies.[18] As of 1994, the album had sold over five million copies.[19]

Singles[edit]

"Como Abeja al Panal" was the first single released from the album. It peaked at 31 on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart in 1989 and 55 on Mega Single Top 100 in the Netherlands.[20][21] "La Bilirrubina" was the second single released from the album. It reached number nine on the Hot Latin Songs chart.[22] The third single, "Burbujas de Amor", was the most successful single from the album. It peaked at number two on the Hot Latin Songs chart and number three on the Mega Single Top 100.[23][24] The music video for the song features Guerra performing from a porch as he watches a couple dancing in the rain.[25] The fourth single, "A Pedir su Mano", peaked at 13 on the Hot Latin Songs chart.[22] The music video shows costumed people dancing in sugarcane fields with a cartoon of a red train traversing the landscape.[7] "Estrellitas y Duendes", the fifth single released from the album, peaked at number three on the Hot Latin Tracks.[26] The sixth single "Carta de amor" peaked at 35 on the Hot Latin Songs chart.[27] The last single released from the album was "Bachata Rosa", which peaked at 15 on the Hot Latin Songs chart.[28]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[29]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[30]
Wilson & Alroy's Record Review 5/5 stars[10]

The album was praised by critics. Jason Birchmeier of Allmusic gave Bachata Rosa 4.5 out of 5 stars and referred to the record as a "milestone effort", writing "Not only is it his career-defining work, it's also one of the finest tropical albums of its era, or any other, for that matter".[29] Don Snowden of the Los Angeles Times gave the album a 3 out of 4 star rating and praised the arrangements of the album as "punchy" and "well-crafted".[30] David Wilson of Wilson & Alroy's Record Review gave the album a 5 star rating and said that Guerra "perfected his approach to bachata". He calls "Rosalia" and "La Bilirrubina" "irresistible" merengues, and describes "A Pedir su Mano" as "the incredible slice of Afro-pop". Wilson closed the review by stating "there's not one track here I'd be reluctant to play at a party."[10]

At the 34th Grammy Awards, the album received the award for Best Tropical Latin Album.[31] At the 1991 Lo Nuestro Awards, Guerra received three awards: Tropical Song of the Year for "Burbujas de Amor", Video of the Year for the music video of "A Pedir su Mano", and Tropical Group of the Year.[32] A year later, Guerra received two Lo Nuestro awards: Tropical Album of the Year and Tropical Group of the Year.[33]

Legacy[edit]

Prior to the release of Bachata Rosa, bachata was generally regarded as lower-class music in the Dominican Republican and did not receive media attention.[34] After Guerra released the album, bachata became socially accepted by the middle- and upper-classes.[1] The genre became mainstream in the Dominican Republic,[35] and the success of the album provided the genre with international exposure.[35]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Juan Luis Guerra, except where noted. 

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Rosalia"     3:26
2. "Como Abeja al Panal"     4:05
3. "Carta de Amor"     4:41
4. "Estrellitas y Duendes"     4:28
5. "A Pedir su Mano"   Lea Lignanzy 4:05
6. "La Bilirrubina"     4:05
7. "Burbujas de Amor"     4:12
8. "Bachata Rosa"     4:20
9. "Reforestame" (performed by Adalgisa Pantaleon)   4:11
10. "Acompañeme Civil" (performed by Beny Peregina)   5:00

All songs written and composed by Juan Luis Guerra, except where noted. 

Personnel[edit]

The following credits are from Allmusic and from the Bachata Rosa liner notes:[3][36]

Juan Luis Guerra y 440
Additional personnel
  • Luis Del Rosario – saxophone
  • Femin Cruz – trumpet
  • Manuel Tejada – piano, synthesizer
  • Yanino Rosada – piano
  • Gonzalo Rubalcaba – piano
  • Robert Juandor – bass, maracas
  • Hector Santana – bass
  • Guy Frometa – drums
  • Alberto Machuca – bongos, cencerro
  • Gadwin Vargas – congas
  • Pichi Perez – güiro, maracas
  • Henry Garcia – guiro, background vocals
  • Santiago Martinez – timbal
  • Mariela Mercado – background vocals
  • Sonia Silvestre – background vocals
  • Victor Victor – background vocals
  • Robert Juandor – background vocals
  • John Fausty – engineer
  • Marco Felix – engineer
  • Carlos Molina – engineer

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1991) Peak
position
Netherlands (Mega Album Top 100)[16] 2
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[15] 1
U.S. Billboard Tropical Albums[13] 1
Chart (1993) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Top Latin Albums[13] 19

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Brazil (ABPD)[18]
for Romance Rosa
Gold 100,000*
Netherlands (NVPI)[17] Gold 50,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[37] 7× Platinum 700,000^
United States (RIAA)[14] Platinum (Latin) 100,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Hernández, Deborah (1995). Bachata: a social history of Dominican popular music. Philadelphia, US: Temple University Press. pp. 3, 207. ISBN 978-1-56639-300-3. 
  2. ^ Wayne, David. "Juan Luis Guerra Biography". iASO Records. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  3. ^ a b Bachata Rosa (cassette liner). Juan Luis Guerra. KAREN. 1990. K-136. 
  4. ^ Rondón, César; Aparicio, Frances; White, Jackie (2008). The book of salsa: a chronicle of urban music from the Caribbean to New York. Chapel Hill, US: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 978-0-8078-5859-2. 
  5. ^ a b Morales, Ed (2003). The Latin beat: the rhythms and roots of Latin music from bossa nova to salsa and beyond. Cambridge, US: Da Capo Press. p. 243. ISBN 978-1-56639-299-0. 
  6. ^ Barzuna, Guillermo (1997). Cantores que reflexionan (in Spanish). San Pedro, Costa Rica: University of Costa Rica. p. 218. ISBN 978-9977-67-361-5. 
  7. ^ a b Aparicio, Frances; Jáquez, Cándida. Musical migrations: transnationalism and cultural hybridity in Latin/o America. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-4039-6001-6. 
  8. ^ Sellers, Julie (2004). Merengue and Dominican identity: music as national unifier. Jefferson, US: McFarland & Company. p. 150. ISBN 978-0-7864-1815-2. 
  9. ^ Manuel, Peter; Bibly, Kenneth; Largey, Michael (2006). Caribbean currents: Caribbean music from rumba to reggae. Philadelphia, US: Temple University Press. p. 137. ISBN 978-1-59213-463-2. 
  10. ^ a b c Wilson, David. "Wilson & Alroy's Record Reviews – Juan Luis Guerra". warr.org. Archived from the original on 18 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-07. 
  11. ^ Blumenthal, Howard (1998). The world music CD listener's guide. Billboard Books. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-8230-7663-5. 
  12. ^ "Tropical Songs – Week of January 12, 1991". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 1991-01-12. Archived from the original on 4 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-05. 
  13. ^ a b c "Bachata Rosa – Juan Luis Guerra". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on 8 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-07. 
  14. ^ a b "American album certifications – Juan Luis Guerra – Bachata Rosa". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2011-05-07.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  15. ^ a b Llewellyn, Howell (1991-10-12). "Global Music Pulse – Spain". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media) 103 (41): 72. Retrieved 2011-05-07. 
  16. ^ a b "Juan Luis Guerra – Bachata Rosa". MegaCharts (in Dutch). Hung Medien. 1991-08-10. Retrieved 2011-05-07. 
  17. ^ a b "Dutch album certifications – Juan Luis Guerra – Bachata Rosa" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 2011-05-07. 
  18. ^ a b "Brazilian album certifications – Juan Luis Guerra – Romance Rosa" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos. Retrieved 2011-05-07. 
  19. ^ White, Timothy (1994-07-09). "Juan Luis Guerra's Frantic 'Fogaraté'". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media) 106 (28): 3. Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  20. ^ "Como Abeja Al Panal". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  21. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Juan Luis Guerra – Como Abeja al Panal" (in Dutch). Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  22. ^ a b "Bachata Rosa – Charts & Awards/Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  23. ^ "Burbujas de Amor – Juan Luis Guerra". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  24. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Juan Luis Guerra – Burbujas de Amor" (in Dutch). Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  25. ^ Wendt, Doug (1995). "Cafe Ole!". The Beat (in Spanish) (Bongo Productions) 14: 40. 
  26. ^ "Estrellitas y Duendes – Juan Luis Guerra". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  27. ^ "Carta de Amor – Juan Luis Guerra". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  28. ^ "Bachata Rosa – Juan Luis Guerra". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  29. ^ a b Birchmeier, Jason. "Bachata Rosa – Review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2010-06-04. 
  30. ^ a b Snowden, Don (1992-03-29). "Pop Music : The Caribbean—Beyond Reggae and Salsa". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved 2011-05-07. 
  31. ^ "34th Grammy Awards – 1992". Rock On The Net. 1992-02-25. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-05. 
  32. ^ "Lo Nuestro 1991 – Historia de Premio lo Nuestro". Univision. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-05. 
  33. ^ "Lo Nuestro 1992 – Historia de Premio lo Nuestro". Univision. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-05. 
  34. ^ Sellers, Julie (2004). Merengue and Dominican identity: music as national unifier. MacFarland. p. 155. ISBN 978-0-7864-1815-2. 
  35. ^ a b Hernandez, Deborah (2009). Oye como va!: hybridity and identity in Latino popular music. Philadelphia, US: Temple University Press. p. 40. ISBN 978-1-4399-0090-1. 
  36. ^ "Bachata Rosa — Credits". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  37. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (2005). Sólo éxitos. Año a año. 1959-2002 (in Spanish). Madrid, Spain: Iberautor Promociones Culturales. p. 932. ISBN 978-84-8048-639-2.