Whenever, Wherever

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"Whenever, Wherever"/"Suerte"
Shakira - Whenever, Wherever.jpg
Single by Shakira
from the album Laundry Service
Released 27 August 2001 (2001-08-27)
Format
Recorded
Genre
Length 3:16
Label Epic
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Shakira
  • Tim Mitchell
Shakira singles chronology
"Moscas En La Casa"
(2000)
"Whenever, Wherever"/"Suerte"
(2001)
"Underneath Your Clothes"
(2002)

"Whenever, Wherever" is a song by Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira for her third studio album and English-language debut, Laundry Service. It was released on 27 August 2001, by Epic Records as the lead single from the album. The song was written, composed, and produced by Shakira and Tim Mitchell, with additional songwriting from Gloria Estefan. "Whenever, Wherever" is a mix of Latin music and worldbeat that is heavily influenced by Andean music. The Spanish version of the song, titled "Suerte" (literally "Luck"), lyrically discusses how fortunate Shakira is to have found her romantic partner; the English lyrics essentially do the same, but these are somewhat more awkward in their phrasing, since English is not Shakira's first language.

Upon its release, "Whenever, Wherever" received generally favorable reviews from music critics, who complimented its production. The song became her breakthrough hit in the United States, peaking at number six on the Billboard Hot 100. In doing so, it became her most successful single in the country, though it was eventually surpassed after "Hips Don't Lie" peaked at number one on the chart in 2006. The track additionally topped charts in twenty-nine nations, including her native Colombia and the majority of Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Oceania. It is recognized as one of Shakira's signature songs. It was the best selling single worldwide of 2002. Globally, it has sold over 8.5 million physical copies,[1] making it one of the best selling singles of all time.[2][3] Kris Kross Amsterdam sampled this song on their song called "Whenever" featuring British singer, Conor Maynard.[4]

Background and release[edit]

After the 1998 release of her second major album, ¿Dónde Están los Ladrones?, achieved major success, Shakira released her first live album, MTV Unplugged: Shakira, in 2000. However, Shakira wanted to break through in the United States and the world with songs in English.[5] Shakira said, "Before assuming this big challenge of writing for the first time in English and making my first English album and presenting it to the world... of course I was feeling ready for it, a little bit scared… actually a lot scared. But I knew I could do it and my instincts always told me to go ahead and jump in the water."[6] Then, "Whenever, Wherever" was released as her debut-English single, on 27 September 2001.[7] At the same time, she also released the selection's Spanish version, titled "Suerte," meaning "Luck," for Spanish markets.[7]

Composition[edit]

"Whenever, Wherever" was written and produced by Shakira and Tim Mitchell, with additional co-writing credits by Cuban-born American singer Gloria Estefan.[8] Sonically, the song is a mix of Latin music and worldbeat[9] with distinctive Latin instruments like the Charanga and Quena Flute[6] "Whenever, Wherever" is composed in the key of C# minor.[10] The song is heavily influenced by Andean music, and includes the charango and panpipes in its instrumentation.[11]

Lyrically, "Whenever, Wherever" talks about fate and how it has played a major role in Shakira's romance.[12] It starts with a guitar, similar to the four-note riff from Pink Floyd's "Shine On, You Crazy Diamond,"[13] leading, beginning with baritone-range panpipes, to the explosive melody. Then, Shakira talks that she would follow her boyfriend to the top of the highest mountain, risking life and limb to be intimate with him.[12] In the pre-chorus, she sings, "le ro lo le lo le, Le ro lo le lo le's." In the chorus, she sings, "Whenever, wherever/We're meant to be together/I'll be there and you'll be near/And that's the deal my dear."[12]

Critical reception[edit]

"Whenever, Wherever" received mainly positive reviews from music critics. Alex Henderson of AllMusic picked the song as a highlight, writing that it's "infectious" and "it's to Shakira what 'Livin' la Vida Loca' was to Ricky Martin: the major hit that brought her to English-speaking audiences in a big way."[14] Lisa Oliver of Yahoo! Music called it "the top track from the album by miles," writing that, "Despite such bemusement-inducing lyrics as 'lucky that my breasts are small and humble so you don't confuse them with mountains,' it still manages to make you sit up and fancy the synthetic-fiber trousers off her."[15] The phrase was praised by The Guardian's Alexis Petridis, who called it "the most thought-provoking line of recent memory."[13] The website Bland Is Out There also enjoyed the phrase, writing that "it's the most clever, self-confident couplet to hit radio in the long time."[12] The review also wrote that the Spanish version, "Suerte," was far superior, explaining, "In English, Shakira's vocals are breathy and nasal. But in her native tongue, she's commanding and willowy."[12] For David Browne of Entertainment Weekly, the song has a "shameless Latin-pop hook."[16]

Commercial performance[edit]

Shakira performing "Whenever, Wherever" during her Tour of the Mongoose.

"Whenever, Wherever" was Shakira's most successful single at the time, which it stayed until "Hips Don't Lie" was released in 2006. In the United States, "Whenever, Wherever" debuted at number 76 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart,[17] while it peaked at number six.[18] In doing so, it became her first top-ten single on the chart. Additionally, the track respectively peaked at numbers one, three, and four on the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks, Latin Pop Airplay, Hot Dance Club Play, and Top 40 Tracks component charts. In Canada, the song peaked at number 4.[18] In Australia, the song debuted at number-one, on 10 February 2002, remaining at the top for six weeks.[19] In New Zealand, the song debuted at number 39 on the RIANZ chart, on 20 January 2002, while it reached the number-one spot in its fourth week. It spent 8 non-consecutive weeks at the top, becoming her highest-charting single.[20]

In Europe, "Whenever, Wherever" became a major success, topping the charts of more than fifteen countries, quickly establishing Shakira's presence in the European mainstream. In the United Kingdom, the song became Shakira's first top three hit on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number two for two consecutive weeks, and eventually spent ten weeks in the top ten of the chart, as well as nineteen weeks in the top 75.[21] The song currently stands as the seventh bestselling song by a female artist in the 21st century in the United Kingdom.[22] It is also the thirty-eighth bestselling single of the 2000s decade in the UK.[23] In Austria, the song remained at the top for seven weeks,[24] while in France, it remained for four weeks.[25] In Italy, the song debuted at number-one, staying at the top for one further week. Later, it fell to number 4, climbed to number 2 and reached the top again. Later, it fell to number 2 and attained the top once again. Later, the song fell to number 2 and climbed to number-one, where it remained for two further weeks, spending seven non-consecutive weeks at the top, and becoming the best selling single of 2002.[26] In Switzerland, the song debuted at number nine on the singles chart, and the following week, it reached the number-one position, where it remained for a total of seventeen consecutive weeks, becoming the twenty-second most successful song of the decade in that country. Topping the charts for 17 weeks, it also set a record in being the longest time on the number one spot in the country.[27] In February 2014 "Whenever, Wherever" entered the UK Singles Chart again at number 99.[28]

The Spanish version of the song, "Suerte"/"Luck," also written by Shakira and Mitchell, was released as a single in Spain, Mexico as well as in a handful of countries in South America. It too became a huge hit, peaking at number-one on Billboard's Hot Latin Tracks chart for seven non-consecutive weeks and remained within the top ten of the chart for over four months. It also topped the charts in almost all of the Spanish-speaking countries where it was released.

Music video[edit]

Shakira after she rises from the ocean in the music video for "Whenever, Wherever."

The music video was directed by Francis Lawrence in front of a green screen, and features Shakira surrounded by Earth's natural wonders. It begins with her submerged in the ocean, before leaping out onto the surrounding rocks and observing a landscape of mountains; a falcon swoops down towards her. She then proceeds to walk barefoot into the desert, where she is soon seen dancing amid a stampede of horses. The stampede suddenly ceases, and Shakira kneels into a shallow pool of mud, and begins crawling through it. As the video nears its conclusion, she is on top of a snowy mountain before jumping off, descending into water and submerging herself once more, as the video comes full circle.
The video was shot twice, the other version being for "Suerte"/"Luck," with Lawrence directing both versions.

The video became an instant hit on several music programs. It became Shakira's first video to retire on MTV's Total Request Live, and reached number one for a single week on the MuchMusic program Countdown. It won the 2002 Latin Grammy Award for "Best Short Form Music Video." There are 2 remix videos using the Tracy Young Spin Cycle Mix and the Tracy Young Tribal Mix.

Other versions and live performances[edit]

Shakira recorded a studio recording of the live version of "Whenever, Wherever", which was used for television performances, for both the English and Spanish versions of the song. It was called the "TV Edit". She sang the original CD version only once, on the 2001 Radio Music Awards, where she performed the song live for the first time. A remix of the song was included on the re-release of Laundry Service, Laundry Service: Washed & Dried. This was titled the "Sahara Mix", and was completely transformed from the original version, instead being given a heavy Middle Eastern feel. For her world tour, the Tour of the Mongoose, Shakira took the drums that begin the "Sahara Mix" and incorporated them into an intro for the original version of "Whenever, Wherever/Suerte", which extended the amount of time Shakira had to interact with the audience. She also included the same intro for "Whenever, Wherever/Suerte" for her second world tour, the Oral Fixation Tour. However, for this tour, she danced to the drums with a rope, as opposed to dancing with a candelabra on her head as she did during the Tour of the Mongoose. To promote the DVD Live & Off the Record, Shakira used the song as a second single, editing the original live version to a radio edit version and video edit version, which was included in the "Poem to a Horse" promo. During The Sun Comes Out World Tour, Shakira gave the song a more rock-oriented sound, mixed it with a cover of the English band EMF's "Unbelievable", and brought select female audience members on stage for a short dance lesson.

Track listings[edit]

  • Japanese single (EICP 53)
  1. "Whenever, Wherever" – 3:17
  2. "Objection (Tango)" – 3:43
  • European single (671913 3)
  1. "Whenever, Wherever" – 3:16
  2. "Suerte" – 3:14
  • "Suerte" European single (671913 9)
  1. "Suerte (Whenever, Wherever)" – 3:14
  2. "Whenever, Wherever" – 3:16
  • Australia (672196 2)
  1. "Whenever, Wherever" – 3:16
  2. "Suerte (Whenever, Whenever)" – 3:14
  3. "Whenever, Wherever" (TV edit) – 3:39
  4. "Inevitable" – 3:13
  • Europe (671913 8)
  1. "Whenever, Wherever" (album version) – 3:16
  2. "Whenever, Wherever" (TV edit) – 3:39
  3. "Suerte" (album version) – 3:14
  4. "Suerte" (TV edit) – 3:38
  • Europe CD Maxi single (EPC 671913 2)
  1. "Whenever, Wherever" – 3:16
  2. "Suerte" – 3:14
  3. "Estoy Aquí" – 3:55
  4. "" – 3:36
  • Europe 4-track WW (672426 2)
  1. "Whenever, Wherever" – 3:16
  2. "Suerte (Whenever, Wherever)" – 3:14
  3. "Whenever, Wherever" (Tracy Young's Spin Cycle Mix) – 7:03
  4. "Whenever, Wherever" (video)
  • WW/"Suerte" Europe (671913 7)
  1. "Whenever, Wherever" (TV edit) – 3:39
  2. "Suerte (Whenever, Wherever)" – 3:14
  3. "Estoy Aquí" – 3:52
  4. "Tú" – 3:36
  5. "Whenever, Wherever" (Tracy Young's Spin Cycle Mix) – 7:03
  6. "Whenever, Wherever" (Dark Side of the Moon Mix) – 7:45
  • UK promo (HPCD 2617 /XPCD 2617); USA promo (ESK 16691)
  1. "Whenever, Wherever" – 3:16
  • Australia promo (SAMP 2414); Brazil promo (900051/2-502605); Europe promo (SAMPCS 10588)
  1. "Whenever, Wherever" – 3:16
  2. "Suerte" – 3:14
  • Europe promo (SAMPCS 12236)
  1. "Whenever, Wherever" (Sahara Mix) – 3:56
  2. "Whenever, Wherever" (Hammad Belly Dance Mix) – 3:45
  • "Suerte" Argentina promo (DEP 707); "Suerte" Mexico promo (PRCD 98424)
  1. "Suerte (Whenever, Wherever)" – 3:14
  2. "Whenever, Wherever" – 3:16
  • UK 1-track Epic promo (CD-R acetate)
  1. "Whenever, Wherever"
  • US 2-track Epic promo (CD-R acetate)
  1. "Whenever, Wherever" (Tracy Young Tribal Mix) – 9:40
  2. "Whenever, Wherever" (Tracy Young Tribal Mix Radio Edit) – 3:15
  • Australia (CD-R acetate)
  1. Tracy Young's Spin Cycle Mix – 7:02
  2. Acapella 121 BPM – 3:36
  3. Tee's Blue Dub – New Version – 7:37
  4. The Dark Side of the Moon Mix – 8:14
  • Europe 12" vinyl (671913 6)
  1. "Whenever, Wherever" – 3:16
  2. "Whenever, Wherever" (Tracy Young's Spin Cycle Mix) – 7:03
  3. "Whenever, Wherever" (A Cappella 121 BPM) – 3:37
  4. "Whenever, Wherever" (Tee's Blue Dub New Version) – 7:37
  5. "Whenever, Wherever" (The Dark Side of the Moon Mix) – 7:45
  • US 7" (ZSS79642B) (34-79642)
  1. "Whenever, Wherever"
  2. "Suerte (Whenever, Whenever)"
  • Mexico jukebox 7" vinyl (670037)
  1. "Suerte (Whenever, Wherever)" – 3:14
  2. "Te Aviso, Te Anuncio (Tango)" – 3:47
  • WW Europe 12" (SAMPMS 12235-0122356000)
  1. "Whenever, Wherever" (Sahara Mix) – 3:56
  2. "Whenever, Wherever" (Hammad Belly Dance Mix) – 3:45
  • US 4-track 12" (EAS-16691-S1)
  1. "Whenever, Wherever" (Tracy Young's Spin Cycle Mix)
  2. "Whenever, Wherever" (A Cappella 121 BPM)
  3. "Whenever, Wherever" (Tee's Blue Dub)
  4. "Whenever, Wherever" (The Dark Side of the Moon Mix)
  • Cassette (672426 4)
  1. "Whenever, Wherever" (Album version) – 3:16
  2. "Suerte" (Album version) – 3:14
  3. "Whenever, Wherever" (The Dark Side of the Moon Mix) – 7:45

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Country Certification Sales certified
Australia (ARIA)[79] 3× Platinum 210,000
Austria (IFPI Austria)[80] Platinum 30,000
Belgium (BEA)[81] 2× Platinum 100,000
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[82] Gold 15,000
France (SNEP)[83] Diamond 1,000,000[84]
Germany (BVMI)[85] 3× Gold 750,000
Greece (IFPI Greece)[86] Platinum 30,000
Netherlands (NVPI)[87] Platinum 60,000
New Zealand (RMNZ)[88] Platinum 15,000
Norway (IFPI Norway)[89] 3× Platinum 30,000
Sweden (GLF)[90] 2× Platinum 40,000
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[91] 2× Platinum 80,000
United Kingdom (BPI)[92] Platinum 763,000[93]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  79. ^ Australian certifications aria.com Archived 7 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 18 January 2009
  80. ^ Austrian certifications ifpi.at Archived 1 February 2010 at WebCite. Retrieved 18 January 2009
  81. ^ Belgian certifications Ultratop.be. Retrieved 18 January 2009
  82. ^ Finnish certifications ifpi.fi. Retrieved 23 August 2009
  83. ^ French certifications Disqueenfrance.com Archived 30 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 18 January 2009
  84. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 November 2007. Retrieved 2015-11-06.  (Select Shakira from the drop list)
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  86. ^ Greek certification ifpi.gr. Retrieved 16 September 2011
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  88. ^ New Zealand certifications (see: chart #1302 – Sunday 31 March 2002) Rianz.org.nz Archived 9 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 18 January 2009
  89. ^ Norwegian certifications Ifpi.no Archived 26 June 2006 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 18 January 2009
  90. ^ Swedish certifications Ifpi.se[permanent dead link]. Retrieved 18 January 2009
  91. ^ Swiss certifications Swisscharts.com Archived 13 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 18 January 2009
  92. ^ UK certifications Bpi.co.uk Archived 11 January 2013 at WebCite. Retrieved 18 January 2009
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External links[edit]