|Studio album by Juan Luis Guerra|
|Released||December 11, 1990|
(New York, New York)
|Genre||Bachata, merengue, salsa|
|Producer||Juan Luis Guerra|
|Juan Luis Guerra chronology|
|Singles from Bachata Rosa|
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 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.
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. 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. The song was first released for a Barceló TV commercial.
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". Guerra's bachata focused on the language of the lower-class and used synthesizers for his production whereas Silvestre's bachata relied on a synthesized accordion for her music. Recording took place in the 4-40 studio in New York City, Guerra's personal studio. The album was released by Karen Records.
Musical style, writing and composition
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.
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The album consists of ten tracks, including four bachata songs. The album starts with the opening track "Rosalia", an upbeat merengue song. "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. "Carta de Amor" is a salsa track in which he writes a letter to his lover in his journal, punctuation marks included. "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. "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.
"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. "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. The lyrics for the song "Bachata Rosa" were inspired by the opening lines of the poem "Book of Questions" by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. "Reforestame" ("Reforest me") is a merengue track performed by 4-40 vocalist Adalgisa Pantaleon. The last track "Acompáñeme Civil" is a merengue song performed by Beny Peregina which deals with social awareness.
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 and was bestselling Tropical album of the year in the United States. It peaked at number 19 on Billboard Top Latin Albums during the week of July 24, 1993. In 2004, the album was certified platinum (Latin field) by the RIAA for shipments of 100,000 copies. In Spain, the album reached number one on the Productores de Música de España chart, where it spent eight weeks. 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. 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. As of 1994, the album had sold over five million copies.
"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. "La Bilirrubina" was the second single released from the album. It reached number nine on the Hot Latin Songs chart. 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. The music video for the song features Guerra performing from a porch as he watches a couple dancing in the rain. The fourth single, "A Pedir su Mano," peaked at 13 on the Hot Latin Songs chart. The music video shows people in traditional African dress dancing in sugarcane fields with a cartoon of a red train traversing the landscape. "Estrellitas y Duendes", the fifth single released from the album, peaked at number three on the Hot Latin Tracks. The sixth single "Carta de amor" peaked at 35 on the Hot Latin Songs chart. The last single released from the album was "Bachata Rosa", which peaked at 15 on the Hot Latin Songs chart.
|Los Angeles Times|||
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". 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".
At the 34th Grammy Awards, the album received the award for Best Tropical Latin Album. 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. A year later, Guerra received two Lo Nuestro awards: Tropical Album of the Year and Tropical Group of the Year.
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. After Guerra released the album, bachata became socially accepted by the middle- and upper-classes. The genre became mainstream in the Dominican Republic, and the success of the album provided the genre with international exposure. In 2015, Billboard listed Bachata Rosa as one of the Essential Latin Albums of Past 50 Years stating that "Guerra created an uplifting, love-themed experience from start to finish and stretched bachata’s limits by playing with merengue, salsa and Afro-Caribbean rhythms".
All tracks written by Juan Luis Guerra, except where noted.
|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||4:56|
|7.||"Burbujas de Amor"||4:12|
|9.||"Reforestame" (performed by Adalgisa Pantaleon)||4:11|
|10.||"Acompañeme Civil" (performed by Beny Peregina)||5:00|
All tracks written by Juan Luis Guerra, except where noted.
|2.||"Borbulhas de Amor"||4:08|
|4.||"Estrellitas y Duendes"||4:24|
|6.||"Oxalá Que Chova Café"||4:13|
|7.||"Como Abelha no Mel"||4:05|
|8.||"A Pedir sua Mão"||Lea Lignanzy||4:53|
|9.||"Carta de Amor"||4:53|
|10.||"Mujer de Callao"||Julio Cesar Delgado||4:17|
- Juan Luis Guerra y 440
- Juan Luis Guerra – vocals, guitar
- Daniel Pena – saxophone
- Armando Beltre – trumpet
- Roberto Olea – trombone
- Elvis Cabrera – piano, synthesizer
- Marco Hernandez – synthesizer
- Osvaldo Cesa – bass
- Roger Zayas – drums
- Pedro Peralta – congas
- Rafael Guzman – güira
- Isidro Bobadilla – percussion
- Adalgisa Pantaleon
- 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
|Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)
for Romance Rosa
|Spain (PROMUSICAE)||7× Platinum||700,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum (Latin)||100,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
- 1990 in Latin music
- Music of the Dominican Republic
- List of number-one Billboard Tropical Albums from the 1990s
- List of number-one albums of 1991 (Spain)
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