Friday, October 22, 2021

"Boy, I've Been Told" by Sa-Fire

Song#:  3651
Date:  09/24/1988
Debut:  99
Peak:  48
Weeks:  16
Genre:  Latin Freestyle

Pop Bits:  Wilma Cosmé, aka Sa-Fire (later Safire), was born in Puerto Rico, but grew up in East Harlem in NYC. She started to work as a background vocalist in her late teens and after an audition with the indie Cutting Records, she got the chance to record a couple of singles. "Don't Break My Heart was released in '86 and "Let Me Be the One" in '87. Both singles sold well enough to make the Dance Sales chart, which caught the attention of Mercury Records. She signed on with them and work began on a self-titled debut album that involved various songwriters and producers. When the LP was ready for release, this first single was issued out. It got attention in clubs first and the song was able to reach #13 on the Dance chart. That action led to the tune crossing over to the Pop chart. It got inside the top half of the chart, but stalled before cracking the Top 40. A second single, "Love Is on Her Mind," was able to get on the Dance chart at #29, but if failed to reach the Pop chart. Sa-Fire's third single would then be the one to break her further into the mainstream.

ReduxReview:  With freestyle revving up on the Pop chart, the time was right for more crossover action and this was another one in the bunch trying to make its way into the mainstream. It did fairly well, but stopped short of the Pop Top 40. I think the result was pretty much correct. While the tune was fine and the production solid, for me it just didn't have a strong enough hook. Weirdly, I kind of missed the song's title the first go-round. I then realized that the vocals from the verse overlap with the chorus opening and the title gets buried. Sa-Fire's vocals didn't really set her apart from the crowd either, but were totally appropriate for the song's style. Not a bad track, just a bit forgettable.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  If you look at the physical single of this song or check it on the album, the writing credit for the track goes to "M. Anthony." That just happens to be future music star Marc Anthony. The NYC-born Marco Antonio Muñiz would later update his name to just Marc Anthony when he began working as a session vocalist and songwriter. He would end up doing some work for the songwriting/production team the Latin Rascals, who just happened to be working with Sa-Fire on her debut album. At the time, Anthony was involved in the Latin Freestyle scene and had just released his first single, "Rebel," which got a Latin Rascal remix. Two of Anthony's songs that he solely wrote, including "Boy, I've Been Told," would be recorded by Sa-Fire along with another one he co-wrote. Anthony would stick with freestyle as the 90s began and would record an album in 1991 with Little Louie Vega titled When the Night is Over. The collaboration would produce the #1 Dance hit "Ride on the Rhythm." As freestyle music started to wane, Anthony would turn to salsa music. He would sign with RMM Records and between '93 and '97 would release three albums that resulted in nine Top 10 hits on the US Latin chart that including a #1. The success made him a major Latin music star. He then tried for a larger audience by signing on with Columbia and recording a 1999 self-titled English language album. It would end up being a #8 triple-platinum seller thanks to the hits "I Need to Know" (#3 Pop) and "You Sang to Me" (#2). A second English language album in 2002 would be a gold seller. Anthony then mainly stayed in the Latin pop market and continued to score Top 10 hits on the US Latin chart. Of course, he also became famous as the husband to singer/actress Jennifer Lopez. They married in 2004 and divorced in 2011. Over the years, Anthony has won three Grammys and eight Latin Grammys.


No comments:

Post a Comment