So many well-known albums turn 30 this year and Steve Taylor-Bryant and Susan Omand travel back to 1987 to revisit some of the sounds of their youth that made parents shout "Turn that noise down!" This week, the rhythm gets Steve as he looks back at Let It Loose by Gloria Estefan...
Of all the albums Susan and I are remembering for our series on things that are thirty years old it's Let It Loose by Gloria Estefan that has surprised me the most. Whilst for most of my life I've stuck within my favourite genres for bands and artists, as a drummer and percussionist from a very early age sometimes I dip into something different because, well, the rhythm gets me.
After relative success as Latin music band Miami Sound Machine, when the time came to really break the English speaking market, the record company wanted to produce a star and pushed vocalist Gloria Estefan front and centre with equal name billing for Let It Loose. Estefan had everything, looks, moves, marketability, but most importantly the voice to back it all up. My surprise comes from not realising this album is thirty until I got the list of what we'd be covering. Certain tracks on the album have a timeless quality and I still listen to them now meaning I'd lost sight of its age. Tracks like Anything For You and Surrender are epic in production, showcasing a voice confident in its delivery which could easily break into any top ten chart today. Let It Loose also contains high quality in the form of I Want You So Bad, almost on a par with Anything For You for a wonderful listen, and the epic Rhythm Is Gonna Get You which was a great way for non-Latin music fans to discover beats and beauty of performance albeit in a more commercial setting.
Whilst, like Primitive Love before it, Let It Loose contains its share of bubblegum filler (Betcha Say That, I'm looking at you) it also allows a great musical experience to happen. 1,2,3 and Rhythm make for great party tunes and, as a percussionist, you learn some great licks and tricks. On a listen back to the album in its entirety, it's maybe not the classic I thought it was for all these years but certain tracks and singles will never see my love for them diminish. Welcome Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine and let that rhythm really get you.
Image - Amazon