|Single by Shakira featuring Alejandro Sanz|
|from the album Fijación Oral Vol. 1|
|Released||12 April 2005|
|Shakira singles chronology|
|Alejandro Sanz singles chronology|
"La Tortura" (English: "The Torture") is a song by Colombian singer Shakira, featuring Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz, from Shakira's sixth studio album Fijación Oral, Vol. 1 (2005). It was released on 12 April 2005, by Epic Records as the lead single from the album. The song was written and produced by Shakira, with additional writing and production from longtime collaborators Luis Fernando Ochoa and Lester Mendez respectively. "La Tortura" is a Latin pop song with prominent influences of reggaeton, and lyrically tells the story of a woman who has been emotionally "tortured" because her boyfriend cheated and eventually left her for another, and has now returned begging forgiveness.
After its release, the song received generally positive reviews by music critics, who agreed that the song was a prominent part of Fijación Oral, Vol. 1. "La Tortura" was also well received commercially, leading the lists of the US Hot Latin Songs, Latin Pop Songs and Tropical Songs, in the United States. In the rest of the world, the song topped the charts in Venezuela, Spain and Hungary. An accompanying music video was released for the promotion of the single, and was directed by Michael Haussman.
The song received multiple awards and nominations, including two awards at the Latin Grammy Awards at the 2006 Ceremony for Song of the Year and Record of the Year. "La Tortura" is one of the best selling singles of all time, with more than 6 million copies sold worldwide, being certified gold in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for 500,000 digital copies sold, and the certification has been updated to 32 times platinum (1,920,000 units sold). It was also recognized as the best-selling Spanish song worldwide at all the times, with almost three million digital sales and ringtones combined sold in the United States alone to date. To promote "La Tortura", Shakira made a number of live performances in several television and award shows.
Background and composition
The chorus is a back-and-forth dialogue between Shakira and Sanz.
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"La Tortura" is a reggaeton-inspired track which lyrically tells the story of a woman who has been emotionally "tortured" because her boyfriend cheated and eventually left her for another, and has now returned begging forgiveness. He apologises extravagantly, but is ultimately of the thinking that infidelity is natural for men and for the woman not to forgive him would be tiresome and unreasonable. However, at the end of the song, Shakira's character humiliates him and says that she is not going to cry over him.
The single and the album also included a remix of the song by Gustavo Celis entitled "The Shaketon Mix", merging a reggaeton rhythm. A separate music video (also directed by Michael Haussman) was also made for this remix. This video also entered on TRL's countdown.
There is another official reggaeton remix called "Eddie Arroyo Reggaeton Remix". Another official mix has surfaced, the "Tracy Young Special According Mix" and other remixes have also been made by independent DJs. An alternative version of this song, is featured as a bonus track in the re-release of Oral Fixation Vol. 2, with the chorus sung partially in the English-language.
The song received positive reviews from most music critics. Matt Cibula from PopMatters wrote an extense review, saying that "The big single isn't quite reggaetón, although it makes full use of the reggaetón beat. What really matters are these two overheated voices working with and against each other, and the way that undeniable beat really comes alive when there is actually a beautiful melody underneath it." Spencer D. from IGN wrote that "the more 'ethnic' musical implements on "La Tortura" (accordion, Spanish guitar flutters, jostling rhythms, and the complimentary male vocals of Alejandro Sanz) make for one of the more enjoyable and distinct inclusions on the album; a slice of Shakira being Shakira and eschewing the affectation of anybody else's vocal stylings."
Since its release as a single, the song has become one of the most important Latin songs to move into the mainstream English-speaking culture in the US and Canada. "La Tortura" reached a position of number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 in less than twenty weeks after its release and was ranked number 60 in the Year-End Chart. The song was certified Gold by Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for over 500,000 digital sales. The song also held the record for the longest-run on the Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks chart a total of 25 non-consecutive weeks until it was broken by Enrique Iglesias's song "Bailando" in 2014. At Billboard magazine's year-end chart (that shows the hottest songs of the year); "La Tortura" was the number-one song on the Hot Latin Tracks chart and ranked third at the Hot Latin Songs 25th Anniversary chart.
The track was also successful in Europe, reaching the top ten in almost all countries it charted. It debuted at number one on the Spanish Singles Chart, while in Switzerland, the song was in the top five for fifteen consecutive weeks, although it never reached the top position. In Hungary, the song spent eight consecutive weeks at number-one position. "La Tortura" was not released as an official single in the United Kingdom until December 2006, bundled with the release of "Illegal" and charted at 34 on the UK Singles Chart. As a result, it was featured in the 2007 edition of Guinness World Records. "La Tortura" was chosen as the fifth favorite song of the world in a global survey made by Sony Ericsson, in which 700,000 music fans of 66 countries contributed.
In Alejandro's 2018 documentary; "Sanz: Lo Que Fui es lo Que Soy" it was reported that the song sold around 12 million copies worldwide.
The accompanying music video for "La Tortura" was directed by Michael Haussman. It has a simple plot: from his new girlfriend's apartment, Sanz spies on Shakira as she is walking down the street holding a bag of onions on her way to her own apartment, which is on the other side of the street from Sanz' girlfriend's apartment. When Shakira enters her apartment, she changes clothes. From that moment on, Sanz remembers things the two had done in the past as a couple, while Shakira reveals her alter-ego dancing erotically on the building's roof, covered with black paint. The choreography of the music video was made by Jamie King and Shakira herself.
The music video is notable for being the first Spanish-only video to be aired on MTV. The channel also showed a whole episode of their Making the Video series in Spanish, with English subtitles. The remix version of the song, known as "La Tortura (Shaketon Remix)", has its own video (also directed by Haussman) featuring some previously unseen scenes. This video can be seen on Oral Fixation Volumes 1 & 2 bonus DVD. The video was marked "Vevo Certified" by joint venture music video website Vevo for reaching more than 100 million views on YouTube. The music video of the song was nominated for Best Female Video, Best Dance Video and Viewer's Choice Award on the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards.
- Maxi CD
- "La Tortura" [Album version] - 3:36
- "La Tortura" [Shaketon Reggaeton Remix] - 3:12
- "La Pared" [Acoustic Version] - 2:39
- Viewer's Choice (nominated)
- Best Female Video (nominated)
- Best Dance Video (nominated)
- Video of the Year (won)
- International Song Of The Year (won)
- Hot Latin Song Of The Year (won)
- Song of the Year (won)
- Song of the Year, Vocal Duet (won)
- Ringtone of the Year (won)
|Austria (IFPI Austria)||Gold||15,000*|
|Denmark (IFPI Denmark)||Gold||15,000^|
|Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)||Gold||20,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||32× Platinum (Latin)||1,920,000|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000|
*sales figures based on certification alone
Credits and personnel
- Invited artist: Alejandro Sanz (appears courtesy of Warner Music Benelux, BV)
- Lyrics: Shakira
- Music: Shakira, Luis F. Ochoa
- Vocals: Shakira, Alejandro Sanz
- Vocal arrangements: Shakira, Alejandro Sanz
- Producer: Shakira
- Executive producer: Rick Rubin
- Co-producer: Lester Mendez for Living Stereo
- Additional production: José "Gocho" Torres, Santana "The Golden Boy"
- Remixer: José "Gocho" Torres ("Shaketon Mix")
- Recording engineers: Gustavo Celis, Rob Jacobs, Kevin Killen
- Assistant engineers: Bryan Gallant, Juan Camarano, Felipe Alvarez
- Programming: Pete Davis
- Mix engineer: Gustavo Celis
- Electric guitar: Lyle Workman, Luis F. Ochoa
- Acoustic guitar: René Toledo, Alejandro Sanz
- Keyboards: Lester Mendez
- Bass: Paul Bushnell
- Percussion: Archie Peña
- Accordion: Umberto Judex, Frank Morocco
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