Thursday, October 13, 2016

"To All the Girls I've Loved Before" by Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson

Top 10 Alert!
Platinum Record Alert!
Song#:  1817
Date:  03/03/1984
Debut:  79
Peak:  5
Weeks:  21
Genre:  Adult Contemporary, Country Crossover, Pop

Pop Bits:  This singer/songwriter was already a superstar on the Latin music scene, especially in his home country of Spain. His debut album came out in 1969 and he had been steadily releasing albums since. However, the one area he had not been able to break into was the English pop market. With a move to Miami in 1979, Iglesias began to record in other languages but it wasn't until his 1984 album 1100 Bel Air Place that his focus turned to English language pop. With the help of A-listers like Diana Ross, The Beach Boys, and Willie Nelson, Iglesias and producer Richard Perry assembled an album that was aimed directly at the international pop audience. This first shot, a duet with country superstar Willie Nelson, directly hit the target. It would be a multi-format smash hit going to #5 Pop, #3 AC, and #1 Country. The hit pushed the album to #6 and over time it would become a 4x platinum seller. Although it was a Pop hit, it was even more popular with the Country crowd and come awards season, Iglesias and Nelson won the CMA for Duo of the Year and the song won Record of the Year at the ACM's. The song would be Iglesias' only one to reach the US Pop Top 10, but the hit truly established him as a worldwide superstar. (And his offspring Enrique hasn't done too bad either...)

ReduxReview:  I could not stand this song when it came out. I thought it was one of the worst recordings I'd ever heard. The pairing of Iglesias and Nelson was absurd and their voices did not compliment one another. Loaded with accents and vibrato, it was unbelievably ear shattering. I just couldn't believe this was a hit. Years later, I feel...the exact same way. I'd even say that time has made this song even worse for me. I dreaded that I had to hear it again just to write this post. I don't like the old-fashioned corny song or lyrics either. I know a lot of people love this tune and that is okay. Y'all can keep it for your enjoyment. To each their own. As for me, I'd be happy to never hear it again. Excluding novelty songs and strange one-hit wonder stuff, I would have to rank this as one of the absolute worst hits of the decade (and probably beyond). Strangely enough, I listened to the original recording of this (see below) and I have to admit that I didn't mind it. The original is like a cross between Terry Jacks' "Seasons in the Sun" and The Beatles' "Penny Lane." It didn't make me a fan of the song, but I appreciated it far, far more than this turd of a duet. Let the hate mail commence...

ReduxRating:  1/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This is a remake of a song written by Hal David and Albert Hammond. It was originally recorded by Hammond for his 1975 album 99 Miles from L.A., but it was not issued as a single. The song got picked up by singer Bobby Vinton for his 1979 LP Encore, but again, it was not chosen for single release. The third time was the charm when Iglesias and Nelson recorded the tune.  2) Around the same time Iglesias and Nelson recorded this song, they also recorded a duet on the standard "As Time Goes By." It would be included on Nelson's 1983 album Without a Song. The performance earned them a Grammy nomination for Best Country Performance by a Duo or a Group. They would team up once again in 1988 for a duet on another standard, "Spanish Eyes." Taken from Nelson's What a Wonderful World album, the song would be issued as a single and would reach #8 on the Country chart.


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