Cuts Both Ways is Gloria Estefan's debut solo album, and final album with Miami Sound Machine, as they would simply become her backup band for her solo career after its release. Although Estefan's name is on the front cover, the album credits Estefan and Miami Sound Machine (as with the previous album, Let It Loose).
In some Spanish-speaking territories, the album was titled Doblemente Herida.
By 1989, Gloria Estefan was one of the most successful female Latin artists in the world. After a decade of being the lead singer of Miami Sound Machine, she had been credited above the group name (Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine) on their 1987 album Let It Loose. With the release of Cuts Both Ways, it was widely believed that Estefan had gone solo, but Miami Sound Machine continued to perform as her backing band in the studio and on tour (however, the only original member of MSM to play on the album besides Estefan was her husband/producer, Emilio).
The album contains dance music, Latin rhythms and ballads. It has sold more than 14 million copies worldwide, reaching the Top Ten on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, and peaking at #1 in the UK, Belgium, Australia, and Ireland.
The first single from the album was "Don't Wanna Lose You", which became one of Estefan's biggest hits, reaching #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 (her second U.S. number one) and was certified Gold by the RIAA. It also reached the Top Ten in The Netherlands, Ireland, Brazil and the UK. Other singles from this album included "Here We Are", another big hit for Estefan and one of her signature songs, "Oye mi Canto", a huge hit in Europe but ignored in USA, "Get on your feet", another signature song and huge hit, and finally the title track, which didn't make so strong an impact on the charts as the previous singles.
The artists Betty Wright and Jon Secada were backing vocalist for the album, and also both appeared on Estefan's next album, 1991's Into the Light.
Arranged by Gloria Estefan (tracks 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 11 & 12), Jorge Casas (all tracks), Clay Ostwald (all tracks), John De Faria (track 8), Scott Shapiro (track 5), John Haag (track 5), Tom McWilliams (track 5) & Efrain Enriquez (track 9)
Produced by Emilio Estefan, Clay Ostwald & Jorge Casas for Estefan Enterprises, Inc.
Recorded by Eric Schilling; assisted by John Haag & Ted Stein; additional assistants: Dana Horowitz, Steve Whaley & Roger Hughes
Mixed by Eric Schilling, except "Don't Wanna Lose You" (mixed by Humberto Gatica; assisted by Greg Laney & Mauricio Guerrero), "Here We Are" & "Cuts Both Ways" (mixed by Phil Ramone & Eric Schilling; assisted by Carlos Nieto) & "Oye Mi Canto" (additional mixing by John Haag)