|Single by Shakira featuring Alejandro Sanz|
|from the album Fijación Oral Vol. 1|
|Released||12 April 2005|
|Shakira singles chronology|
"La Tortura" (English: "The Torture") is a song by Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira featuring Spanish singer-songwriter Alejandro Sanz for Shakira's sixth studio album Fijación Oral, Vol. 1. It was released on 12 April 2005 by Epic Records as the lead single from the record. The song was written and produced by Shakira, with additional writing and production from Luis F. Ochoa and Lester Mendez, respectively. "La Tortura" is a Latin pop song with prominent influences of reggaeton.
The song achieved large-scale success on different radio and chart formats, becoming the most famous Spanish language track of both singers worldwide and the sixth most successful song in Shakira's career behind "Hips Don't Lie", "Whenever, Wherever", "Underneath Your Clothes", "She Wolf", and "Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)" and the most successful song ever for Alejandro Sanz. The song won two Latin Grammy Awards at the 2006 Ceremony for Song of the Year and Record of the Year. The song was number 1 on the Hot Latin Songs for 25 weeks during 2005, and was the biggest selling song of the year on that chart.
Background and composition
The chorus is a back-and-forth dialogue between Shakira and Sanz.
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It 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 shed a single tear over him.
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 U.S. and Canada. 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, during which Shakira performed with Sanz (notably, the first time a guest performed a song entirely in a language other than English). "La Tortura" reached a position on the top 30 (#23) of the Billboard Hot 100 in less than twenty weeks after its release and was ranked #60 in the Year End Chart. The song was certified Gold by RIAA for over 500,000 digital sales. The video became the first Spanish music video to be nominated at the MTV Video Music Awards.
The track debuted at #1 in Spain Singles Chart and was a huge hit all over Europe, reaching the top ten in almost all the countries. 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 8 consecutive weeks at number 1 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. 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. 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.
At Billboard magazine's year-end chart (that shows the hottest songs of the year); "La Tortura" was announced as the #1 song on the Hot Latin Tracks chart and ranked 3rd at the Hot Latin Songs 25th Anniversary chart. As of April 2016, the song sold more than 10 million units estimated of combined physical and digital sales and track-equivalent streams.
The music video for "La Tortura", directed by Michael Haussman, 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 in itself somewhat notable, as it was the first time MTV showed a whole episode of their Making the Video series in another language (with English subtitles). It was also the second Spanish-language video ever to enter in Total Request Live's countdown, and peaked at number four on the countdown. It can also be noted that the video for "La Tortura" was one of the first in the Spanish language to get heavy rotation on mainstream American and Canadian music channels such as MTV, VH1 and MuchMusic, as well as almost all the international Yahoo! sites. 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.
- Maxi CD
- "La Tortura" [Album version] - 3:36
- "La Tortura" [Shaketon Reggaeton Remix] - 3:12
- "La Pared" [Acoustic Version] - 2:39
The single and the album also included a remix of the song by Gustavo Celis entitled "The Shaketon Mix", merging a reggaeton rhythm with the original rhythm of the song.[clarification needed] 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, which had been previously leaked on the internet, is featured as a bonus track in the re-release of Oral Fixation Vol. 2, with the chorus sung partially in the English-language.
- 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)||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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