Selena (album)

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Studio album by Selena
Released October 17, 1989
Recorded 1988–1989
Genre Tejano, Latin pop[1]
Length 28:59
Language Spanish, English
Label EMI Latin
Producer A.B. Quintanilla III
Selena chronology
Dulce Amor
Ven Conmigo
Singles from Selena
  1. "Contigo Quiero Estar"
    Released: May 27, 1989
  2. "Mentiras"
    Released: July 3, 1989
  3. "Sukiyaki"
    Released: August 13, 1989

Selena is the self-titled debut studio album by American Tejano singer Selena, released on October 17, 1989 by EMI Latin. Its music incorporates a range of contemporary genres with a mix of cumbia and regional styles of Mexican music.[2] The album was release after EMI Latin CEO Jose Behar's request for a crossover album was denied by the heads of EMI Records' pop division.[3] The majority of the recordings were composed by A.B. Quintanilla III—Selena's brother and principal record producer. Aside from A.B., Selena worked with two Mexican songwriters, Alejandro Montealegre and Reinaldo Ornelas. Selena peaked at number seven on the US Billboard Regional Mexican Albums chart.

The recording lead Selena to win Female Vocalist of the Year and Female Entertainer of the Year at the 1990 Tejano Music Awards. The album was more successful than her local independent label albums. It outsold other female Tejano singers albums at the time of its release, and as a result increased Selena's popularity. Selena became a sex icon after the album's release. Selena had a mixture of music genres, which became her trademark. The lead single "Contigo Quiero Estar" peaked at number eight on the US Billboard Hot Latin Tracks. Two other singles released from the album—"Mentiras" and "Sukiyaki"—were commercially less successful.


José Behar, president of EMI Latin, attended the 1989 Tejano Music Awards, and was searching for new acts. After Selena performed, Behar called his boss and told him about Selena.[4] Behar thought he found the next "Gloria Estefan",[5] to which his manager thought he was "crazy". He said this because Behar was only in Texas for a week.[4] Selena later signed with EMI Latin later that year and became the first artist to sign with them.[6][7] Recording started soon after she signed with them. Selena recorded most of the songs in San Antonio, Texas at AMEN Studios, while "Sukiyaki" and "My Love" were recorded in Houston, Texas at Sunrise Studios. Selena wrote "My Love", and wanted the song to be on the album. A.B. Quintanilla III was Selena's brother and principal record producer for the album.[8] Their father and manager Abraham Quintanilla, Jr. gave the job to A.B, after he successfully produced several recordings in Selena's musical career prior to their arrival at EMI Latin.[1]

The only tracks A.B. did not composed were "Sukiyaki", "Contigo Quiero Estar", and "No Te Vayas". The former was an original 1960s Japanese recording by Kyu Sakamoto. The lyrics Selena used were a Spanish version of an English version of the song by Janice Marie Johnson. Texas Monthly called the track "sentimental".[9] "Contigo Quiero Estar" was written by Mexican songwriter Alejandro Montealegre while "No Te Vayas" was written by Reinaldo Ornelas. A.B. wanted "No Te Vayas" on the album because of its reggae feel, he thought it would make the album "exotic" from other Spanish-language albums that were released at that time.[1]


"Sukiyaki" was a 1960s Japanese pop song translated into Spanish from an English-language version written by Janice Marie Johnson.

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Selena was released on October 17, 1989 through EMI Latin. In its first week on the US Billboard Regional Mexican Albums chart (December 2, 1989), it was positioned at number 17.[10] It peaked at number seven on March 24, 1990.[11] It was on the chart for another three weeks. On May 5, 1990, it reentered the chart at number 14, after the release of Ven Conmigo (1990). However, it slipped off the charts once again. It reentered the chart again two times in August 1990. "Contigo Quiero Estar", "Mentiras", and "Sukiyaki" were released as singles.[12] The lead single, "Contigo Quiero Estar" peaked at number eight on the US Billboard Hot Latin Tracks chart.[13] The album was a moderate success for Selena.[14]

At the 1990 Tejano Music Awards, Selena won "Female Vocalist of the Year" and "Female Entertainer of the Year".[15][16] "Amame, Quiéreme", a duet with Selena y Los Dinos band member, Pete Astudillo, was nominated for "Vocal Duo of the Year" at the 1990 Tejano Music Awards.[17] On August 27, 2002, Selena was re-released as part of the 20 Years of Music series. It had one bonus track ("La Bamba") and spoken liner notes by Selena's family, friends, and former band.[1]

Legacy and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[1]

Her album Selena performed better than albums from other female Tejano singers.[13] According to Billboard magazine, Selena's recordings were not successful until she signed with EMI Latin in 1989 and released her debut album with them.[18] Manuel Pena wrote in his book Música Tejana: The Cultural Economy of Artistic Transformation, that after 1989, Selena's popularity increased and she became a sex icon following her album's release.[3] According to Latin Style magazine, the tracks "Sukiyaki", "Contigo Quiero Estar", and "Besitos", were "pivotal" recordings that showcased Selena's "mixed rhythm and sound" which the magazine attributed it as being her "trademark".[19]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Tu Eres"   A.B. Quintanilla III, Pete Astudillo 3:03
2. "Sukiyaki"   Rokusuke Ei, Hachidai Nakamura, Abraham Quintanilla, Jr., Astudillo 3:11
3. "Contigo Quiero Estar"   Alejandro Montealegre 3:12
4. "Besitos"   Quintanilla III 2:59
5. "Amame, Quiéreme"   Quintanilla III 3:41
6. "Tengo Ganas De Llorar"   Quintanilla III, Ricky Vela 3:31
7. "My Love"   Selena 3:15
8. "Quiero Ser"   Quintanilla III, Astudillo 2:33
9. "Mentiras"   Quintanilla III, Astudillo 2:53
10. "No Te Vayas"   Reinaldo Ornelas 2:22


Credits are taken from the album's liner notes.[1]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1989) Peak
US Regional Mexican Albums (Billboard)[11] 7


  1. ^ a b c d e f Selena (album) at AllMusic
  2. ^ Peña 2002, p. 204.
  3. ^ a b Peña 2002, p. 206.
  4. ^ a b "Biography TV Series, Selena episode" (in English). Biography. 26 November 2010. 60 minutes in. The Biography Channel.
  5. ^ Mitchell, Rick. "Selena". Houston Chronicle, Hearst Corporation, 21 May 1995. Retrieved on 1 February 2008
  6. ^ Gershman, Rick (18 March 1997). "Selena's legacy". St. Petersburg Times (Times Publishing Company). Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  7. ^ Clark, Michael (25 March 2005). "Ten years after her murder, Selena lives on". Corpus Christi Caller-Times. Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  8. ^ Morales, Ed (2003). The Latin beat : the rhythms and roots of Latin music from bossa nova to salsa and beyond (1st ed.). Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0306810182. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  9. ^ Smith, Evan. Texas Monthly on Texas Women. University of Texas Press. ISBN 0292773609. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "Billboard charts > Regional Mexican Albums". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media) 93 (45): 132. 1989. 
  11. ^ a b "Selena (artist) > Chart history > Regional Mexican Albums > Selena". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  12. ^ Behar, Jose (1995). "Selena Discography". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media) 107 (23): 110. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  13. ^ a b Peña 2002, p. 205.
  14. ^ Stacy, Lee (2002). Mexico and the United States. New York: Marshall Cavendish. ISBN 0761474021. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  15. ^ "Past Tejano Music Award Winners". Tejano Music Awards. Texas Talent Musicians Association. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  16. ^ Jones, Veda Boyd. Selena (3rd ed.). Infobase Learning. ISBN 143814637X. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  17. ^ Chris, Perez, (2012). To Selena, with Love. Penguin Group. ISBN 1101580267. Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  18. ^ Lannert, John (5 April 1997). "Notas". Billboard 109 (14). Retrieved 13 October 2014. 
  19. ^ Latin Style (45). 2002. The song “My Love,” was written by Selena and samples from contemporary pop influences. Other songs like “Sukiyaki” (a cover of Kyu Sakamoto’s 1963 hit), “Amame, Quiéreme” (her first duet with Pete Astudillo), and the cumbia “Besitos”, played a pivotal role on how Selena mixed rhythm and sound, which became her trademark. 


  • Peña, Manuel (2002). Música tejana : the cultural economy of artistic transformation. Texas A&M Univ. Pr. ISBN 9-7808-90968-888