El Amor de Mi Tierra

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El Amor de Mi Tierra
Studio album by Carlos Vives
Released October 19, 1999
Genre Vallenato, Porro, Cumbia, Pop latino
Length 45:16
Label Philips
Carlos Vives chronology
Tengo Fe
El Amor de Mi Tierra
Déjame Entrar

El Amor de Mi Tierra is the ninth album by Colombian singer/composer Carlos Vives.

Released on October 19, 1999, the album was a return to form for Vives, after the darker and more introspective Tengo Fe. A massive critical and commercial success, it gave Vives his first #1 single (Fruta Fresca) and accolades including Latin Grammy Nominations (Best Traditional Tropical Latin Performance) and Billboard Awards (Male Tropical/Salsa Album of the Year).


After releasing two successful albums Clásicos de la Provincia and La Tierra del Olvido, Carlos's third major release Tengo Fe, received a much cooler reception. Packed with music that was darker and less dance-oriented, the album strived to show compositions more in touch with Vives as an introspective songwriter. However, a lack of singles that matched past hits such as "La Gota Fría" and "La Tierra del Olvido" was evident. After months of extensive touring and promotion, Vives retired back to the lab for his next awaited release. What would result is an album that reached a popularity beyond anyone's expectations.

Determined to ensure his album's success, Carlos hooked up with Latin music's most popular producer, Emilio Estefan, Jr. Estefan, already known for his work with Latin America's biggest singers, including his own wife, Gloria Estefan, was eager to work with the vallenato superstar. The collaboration was only a matter of time; having already produced Gloria's vallenato-inspired work Abriendo Puertas (Opening Doors), Emilio's work would put another Colombian singer into superstar status, Shakira, and her acclaimed album ¿Dónde Están Los Ladrones?. Carlos and Emilio's subsequent collaboration would help bring to fruition many new aspects to Vives's music, introducing a more pop influence. With Estefan's penchant for pop perfection, Carlos's new album would explore the reason for his vallenato passion, as well as a testament to his hometown roots.

El Amor de Mi Tierra (The Love of My Land), appeared October 19, 1999. The album title is a reference to Vives's thematic labor of love for vallenato and its prominence in Santa Marta. Packed with eleven new songs, the album marked the beginning songwriting partnership for Vives. Along with Estefan's production, Martín Madera, and guitarist/producer Andrés Castro, all became instrumental in the album's compositions and infectious pop flavor. The Madera-penned title track was released to radio as the first single. Rich with the sound of Vives's musical backbone, his band La Provincia, the song was a catchy mix of vallenato, filled with a reggae-tinged chord progression. Fan sentiment was unanimous, the song was a definite return to form for Carlos. But it would be the album's second track that would garner an instantaneous reaction...

Fruta Fresca (Fresh Fruit), was the song that followed the title track. With a fast pace of Afro-percussion, Mayte Montero's woodwinds, and Egidio Cuadrado's signature accordion, the song had a rhythm that was inescapable. Listeners fell in love with the track, frequently requesting its presence on Latin radio, overshadowing the intended single. So popular was Fruta Fresca, the result would surprise critics and audiences who felt Carlos had reached his creative peak. Fruta Fresca was to become Carlos's biggest charting hit, becoming his first single to reach the top of Billboard's Annual Hot Latin Tracks at #1.

Aside from the aforementioned tracks, listener's found the album to be a non-stop collection of infectious hits. The album's production is vallenato with pop accessibility, making every track single worthy. Songs such as 19 de Noviembre (November 19) and Tu Amor Eterno (Your Eternal Love - Billboard Hot Latin Tracks #29) quickly became beloved hits. Other songs such as El Canté (The Folk Song) and Pitán-Pitán, were further examples of vallenato and pop, while ballads such as La Cartera (The Purse) proved equally popular. Vives appropriately ends the album with an updated cover of José Barros's classic La Piragua (The Canoe), which, like many of Vives's covers, turns the song into his own.

The reaction to El Amor de Mi Tierra gave Vives his biggest album since his breakout, Clásicos de la Provincia, and gave Carlos major critical recognition. El Amor received Grammy Nominations for Best Traditional Tropical Latin Performance and Billboard Music Awards for Male Tropical/Salsa Album of the Year. Further effecting album sales was the rise of Latin artists such as Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, and Enrique Iglesias to popular mainstream, giving Carlos attention from music buyers outside of Latin America.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "El Amor de Mi Tierra" (M. Madera) – 3:24
  2. "Fruta Fresca" (M. Madera) – 3:53
  3. "19 de Noviembre" (C. Vives, E. Estefan, A. Chirino) – 4:37
  4. "Tu Amor Eterno" (C. Vives, M. Madera) – 4:03
  5. "La Mona" (C. Vives, A. Castro) – 4:06
  6. "Volver Al Valle" (C. Vives, E. Cuadrado) – 4:15
  7. "Cante" (C. Vives, E. Escaf) – 3:43
  8. "La Cartera" (C. Vives, A. Castro) – 3:19
  9. "Pitán-Pitán" (C. Vives, A. Castro) – 4:53
  10. "La Receta" (C. Vives, J. Zambrano) – 4:39
  11. "La Piragua" (José Barros) – 4:24

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
United States (RIAA)[1] 2× Platinum (Latin) 200,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


  • Carlos Vives - vocals, guitar
  • Einar Escaf - vocals, drums
  • Andrés Castro - guitar, background vocals
  • Mayte Montero - flute, maracas
  • Egidio Cuadrado - accordion, background vocals
  • Juan Vicente Zambrano - Producer, Arranging, programming, Keyboards
  • Carlos Ivan Medina - keyboards, background vocals
  • Luis Angel "El Papa" Pastor - bass
  • Pablo Bernal - drums
  • Archie Pena - congas, Cajón, Percussion
  • Shango Dely - congas
  • Alfredo Rosado - vallenato box
  • Eder Polo - guacharaca
  • Ramon Benitez - bombardino
  • Cheito Quinonez - background vocals

Technical personnel[edit]

  • Emilio Estefan Jr.-Juan Vicente Zambrano - producers
  • Carlos Santos - engineer
  • Sebastian Krys - engineer
  • Juan Vicente Zambrano - programming, arranger, producer
  • Javier Garza - engineer
  • Andrés Castro - producer
  • Scott Canto - engineer
  • Cesar Sogbe - engineer
  • Marcelo Anez - engineer
  • Carlos Nieto - engineer
  • Alfred Figueroa - engineer
  • Carlos Vives - producer
  • Ron Taylor - engineer


  1. ^ "American album certifications – Carlos Vives – El Amor de Mi Tierra". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click Type, then select Latin, then click SEARCH