by Jeff Huang
Not too long after I’ve started dancing salsa, my method of finding salsa music was mostly by going to Costco and buying the “100 Best Salsa/Must-have Latin/Best Tropical” CD collections (this was before YouTube and the era of fast downloads). Of course, most of the songs ended up either being not salsa, totally un-danceable, or one of those gritty, old old school salsa. (You know, the ones with nothing but trumpets blaring. All. The. Time. )
I didn’t know better then, and thought that salsa music was pretty one-dimensional, and forever stuck in the 60s, until I found this song:
Marc Anothony – Ahora Quien (Salsa Version)
This was my first introduction to romantic salsa, and furthermore, it put me in a state of shock. How could this be salsa music? I must have listened to this song at least 500 times before the CD gave out (read: I sat on it by accident). I had no idea what the lyrics were saying, but I could feel the power behind his words. These were by far some of the strongest feelings I felt listening to a piece of music. I was hooked.
It was much, much later, when I started researching salsa singers, that I learned who sang this song; it wasn’t “Mac Anthoughny” as the back of the CD had suggested, but Marc Anthony. And this month, I’d like to do a feature on him.
Born Marco Antonio Muñiz in New York City, Marc is the youngest of 8 siblings in a Puerto Rican family. Marc started his musical career in the 1980s as a session vocalist for freestyle and underground New York house music acts. He produced a number of freestyle records, and worked as a backup singer and vocals for other artists.
After 1992, Marc changed his focus from freestyle to salsa and other Latin melodies, and soon after, he was quickly recognized as one of the great new talents in salsa world. He released his Spanish-language debut, Otra Nota, in 1993, followed by Todo a Su Tiempo in 1995, winning him the title of “tropical artist of the year”. Marc went on to produce eight more albums, making music ranging from salsa to ballads to pop, and sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, making him the top selling tropical salsa artist of all time. Marc also received numerous awards for his accomplishments, including both the Grammy Awards and the Latin Grammy Awards.
I could go on talking about Marc’s film career and his complicated personal life, including his marriage and divorce to a former Miss Universe, and more famously to Jennifer Lopez. However, this is a salsa blog, and I am here to show case his music, so here are some of Marc Anthony’s more memorable pieces for you to enjoy:
Marc Anthony – Valio La Pena (Salsa Version)
Marc Anthony – A Quien Quiero Mentirle (Salsa Version)