Thursday, August 16, 2018

"Conga" by Miami Sound Machine

Top 10 Alert!
Gold Record Alert!
Song#:  2497
Date:  10/19/1985
Debut:  95
Peak:  10
Weeks:  27
Genre:  Latin Pop, Dance

Pop Bits:  This Latin pop band was formed as the Miami Latin Boys in 1975 by Emilio Estefan, Jr. Two years later, Gloria Fajarda Garcia (soon to be Gloria Estefan) and her cousin were hired to help out the band on a gig. The pair ended up becoming members soon after and Miami Sound Machine was born. The band began recording Spanish language albums in 1977. They did two for the Audiofon label before moving over to CBS International. They released seven albums between 1977 and 1984. Their popularity had been increasing, but mainly in the Latin music market. Wanting to expand their horizons, the band signed on with Columbia to record their first English language album. Eyes of Innocence would be released in 1984 with the first single being "Dr. Beat." While the track could only get on the US Dance chart (#17), the tune broke in several European countries including the UK where it got to #6. Encouraged by the results, the band worked up their next LP, Primitive Love. This Latin-tinged song was selected to be the first single and it's exciting beat pushed it to #6 on the Dance chart. At Pop, the song slowly grew into a hit and after many weeks climbing the chart, it finally cracked the Top 10. The single would also be certified a gold seller. A decade after forming, the band had finally broken through to the masses.

ReduxReview:  This is one of those ridiculously catchy, fun tunes that you just can't help but like. It was the right song at the right time for the band and it not only made them famous, but also introduced many people to Latin rhythms. I've always described this song in one word - inescapable - because once this tune gets hold of you, it will not let you go. And in this case, that is a good thing. The Estefan's would go on to have other terrific hits, but none would be as career defining and influential as this one.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  Initially, the band had a hard time getting airplay for the song. Many DJs and radio execs just didn't think the Latin-esque tune was right for pop radio. Yet once a station began playing the tune, phones would light up. It took a while, but thanks to audience response, the song got the airplay it needed to be a hit. The popularity of this song stretched across all cultures and various radio formats. In addition to being a hit at Pop and Dance, the song also made it to #60 at R&B. In 1986, the band would perform the tune at the famous Tokyo Music Festival. Their performance would win them the top prize at the festival.


No comments:

Post a Comment