Wednesday, June 30, 2021

"1-2-3" by Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3540
Date:  06/04/1988
Debut:  76
Peak:  3
Weeks:  19
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  Estefan and MSM's 1987 album Let It Loose proved to be another big seller for them. It would be their first to go Top 10 and their second to achieve multi-platinum status. It got there thanks to three Pop Top 10 hits including "Anything for You," which became the group's first #1. That song was the fourth single from the album and since it did top the Pop chart, it was a logical move to capitalize on the momentum and push out a fifth single. This album track was given a bit of a remix and released. It would be another winner for Estefan and MSM making it to #3 at Pop. It would also be their third consecutive #1 on the AC chart. The hit did help album sales and eventually it would sell over three million copies.

ReduxReview:  I was always annoyed with the title of this song. The first part of the chorus, Estefan sings "1-2-3-4." That is the complete melody of that section. Yet for some reason they decided to title the track "1-2-3."  Where is the 4? The OCD in me demands that there be a 4 in the title as that is the phrase the chorus uses. I'm guessing they shortened it because 1-2-3 is a somewhat universal thing like ABC and it was easier for people to say and recognize. Poor number 4. It deserved a better fate! Anyway, I'm not sure if the band or their label expected they would go five singles deep into the LP, but they chose correctly for the last one and it was also smart to give it a boost with a remix as it was better than the album version. It was a fun, fluffy little track that easily added to their collection of Top 10 hits.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  By the time Estefan and the band wrapped up the tour in support of Let It Loose, there were no original members of Miami Sound Machine left. The final member to leave was Enrique "Kiki" Garcia. In addition to being the band's drummer, he also wrote or co-wrote songs for the band including this track, which he composed with Gloria Estefan. It was Garcia's song "Conga" that became the band's first mainstream hit (#10 Pop). Since MSM had become more of a supporting band for Estefan rather than a solid, sustainable unit, the Estefans decided to retire the Miami Sound Machine moniker. Therefore, Gloria Estefan's next album would be her first official outing as a solo artist.



  1. I like Gloria even though she isn't in my top-tier of 80's performers. Having seen her live, I appreciate that her band, whatever she calls it, kicks more A than many would realize given her radio hits. But the fading out of the MSM brand name (-AND- all its original members?) has always bothered me. Not something you would expect to see covered in any officially-authorized-Broadway-musical (OABM, and by the way, Welcome Back, Broadway!)

    You hate to assume negative motives to someone with a positive an image as Gloria, but I have to wonder if there was any bad blood between Gloria and the musicians who backed her up in her pre-stardom days.

    1. If I was to hazard a guess, I'd say that it was Emilio Estefan that perhaps caused the tension. If you see my post on "Betcha Say That," it gives a brief story on issues between Estefan and their main songwriting team/producers. It would seem logical then that maybe him pushing Gloria way out front may have marginalized original members of MSM and without getting the proper recognition as a band (and along with that perhaps a split of profits), they took off. In fact, in a Rolling Stone interview, the last original MSM member Kiki Garcia basically said as much. Estefan started replacing older members with fresh-faced youngsters. (Look up the story "The Power of Gloria" on Rolling Stone website for details.) It happens. A star gets born and their original "family" gets left behind whether by their choice or by someone else running the show.