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Fotos y Recuerdos

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Fotosyrecuerdos

"Fotos y recuerdos" (English: Pictures and Memories) is a song recorded by American recording artist Selena for her fifth studio album Amor prohibido (1994). It was released by EMI Latin on 14 February 1995, as the album's fourth single. Inspired by the Pretenders' 1982 song "Back on the Chain Gang", Selena's brother and music producer A.B. Quintanilla III asked Ricky Vela, the lead keyboardist of Selena y Los Dinos, to transform the song into a Spanish-language cumbia. Argentine arranger and composer Bebu Silvetti, produced "Fotos y recuerdos" alongside Quintanilla III. Recording sessions for "Fotos y recuerdos" was delayed because Selena and the band did not get a license to record the song, which stirred a controversy.

"Fotos y recuerdos" is a Spanish-language mid-tempo cumbia that contains influences of house and dance-pop. The central theme and lyrical content of the song is about a lonely women who, kisses the pictures of her beloved boyfriend every night before she goes to sleep, while reminiscing memories she keeps intact. "Fotos y recuerdos" peaked at number one on the US Hot Latin Tracks for seven consecutive weeks, giving Selena her fourth number one single from Amor prohibido. Selena became the first Hispanic singer to have an album produce four number one songs. It also peaked at number 34 on the Hot Singles Sales, number two on the Billboard Top Latin Songs Year-End Chart, and number one on the Latin 40 chart.

"Fotos y recuerdos" was praised by contemporary music critics, who believed that the song is an "improvement" and/or a "better" version of the Pretenders' original recording, while many agreed that "Fotos y recuerdos" is one of Selena's most "famous songs". With "Fotos y recuerdos" and thirteen other of Selena's top-ten singles in the Hot Latin Songs chart, she was named "top Latin artist of the 1990s" and "Best selling Latin artist of the decade" by Billboard magazine. There has been a number of covers that were done as a tribute to Selena after she was murdered.

Inspiration, production and songwriting controversyEdit

While on her tour for Live!, Selena's brother and producer of her music A.B. Quintanilla III heard on the radio the Pretenders' song "Back on the Chain Gang". Quintanilla III was mesmerized and took fond of the chants and musical arrangements the song had and believed that the song could be a really good cumbia. While being interviewed for the Selena: 20 Years of Music Collection, Quintanilla III stated that at the time he had a nervous breakdown because he was running out of songs that would "fit" with Amor prohibido (1994). Quintanilla III then asked Ricky Vela, the lead keyboardist of Selena y Los Dinos, to rewrite the Pretenders' "Back on the Chain Gang" into a Spanish-language cumbia.[1] Before recording sessions took place at Selena's father and manager Abraham Quintanilla Jr.'s recording studio Q-Productions. Quintanilla III had asked Selena if she wanted to record the song, she then supported the project. "Fotos y recuerdos" was one of the last songs to be produced for Amor prohibido. Brian "Red" Moore, a family friend, mixed "Fotos y recuerdos", while Vela was in charge pf sequencing the song.[2]

Vela, who was interviewed for the Selena: 20 Years of Music Collection, reminisced that he was awaken from his sleep by Selena and Quintanilla III about the license for the song. The music producers of Hynde's reported "Fotos y recuerdos" and halted any production to go on because it sampled the Pretenders' song. They told Selena and Quintanilla III that they needed a clearance in order to record the song. Vela then wrote down the lyrics for "Fotos y recuerdos" for the producers. After this, they were allowed to record "Fotos y recuerdos".[2]

Music, theme and lyricsEdit

"Fotos y recuerdos" is a mid-tempo cumbia that contains influences of house[3] and dance-pop.[4] Written in the key of D minor, the beat is set in common time and moves at a moderate 90beats per minute. Selena's vocal range in the song spans one octave.[5] Lori Beth Rodriguez wrote in her book Mapping Tejana epistemologies: Contemporary (re)constructions of Tejana noted that "Fotos y recuerdos" samples the Pretenders' song "Back on the Chain Gang" while adding that that "although the general musical form of this mainstream song is sampled, it is infused with a cumbia beat, while the lyrics are similar in theme, yet different from those in the original English version."[6] Milo Kearney and Manuel Medrano wrote in their book Medieval culture and the Mexican American borderlands that "Such a romantic view on the part of a woman for a man is echoed in Borderlands songs like "Fotos y recuerdos," sung by Selena of Corpus Christi. The song tells how a lonely woman kisses the photo of her beloved each night before falling asleep."[7] The New York Times senior editor, Joe Nick Postoksi, wrote in his book Selena: Como la flor that "Young rockers could identify with ["Fotos y recuerdos",] which took the melody of the New Wave act [the Pretenders]."[8] In Tucker Shaw's book The Hookup Artist, Shaw wrote that "Fotos y recuerdos" had used a "synth-violin" for its introduction.[9]

The song's lyrics are constructed in the verse-pre-chorus-chorus-verse form. It begins with the Spanish guitar and the violins playing in a down-tempo notation while Selena opens the song with the title before the electric guitar begins strumming. Selena sings the intro: Tengo una foto de ti, ohh whoa ohh oh, que beso cada noche antes de dormir, ohh whoa ohh oh, ya está media rota ya se está borrando, ohh whoa ohh oh, por tantas lágrimas que estoy derramando, ohh whoa ohh oh. (English interpretation: I have a picture of you with me, ohh whoa ohh oh, which I kiss every night before I go to bed, ohh whoa ohh oh, its semi ripped and its fading, ohh whoa ohh oh, so many tears I'm shedding, ohh whoa ohh oh.) She then sings that all she has left of her boyfriend's love is his pictures. The chorus follow with Selena telling herself that every time she looks at his pictures it makes her happy. She then sings that they meet at a club and shared "shy kisses". Selena sings the chorus and pre-chorus two times before the song concludes.[5]

Frank W. Hoffmann and Howard Ferstler wrote in their book Encyclopedia of recorded sound that "Fotos y recuerdos" is a "hard-edged rock" song.[10] An editor of Milenio believed "Fotos y recuerdos" is a "cumbia- rock" song.[11] Cary Darling of The Buffalo News wrote that "Fotos y recuerdos" has a mixture of house and ranchera music.[12] Rebecca Thatcher and Don McLeese ofAustin American-Statesmen wrote that "Fotos y recuerdos" is a "lilting ode to a lost love".[13] Antonio Morales of Gringo Gazette wrote that "Fotos y recuerdos" is a Tejano pop song mixed withreggae fusion flares.[14] Victoria Díaz of Grupo Reforma believed "Fotos y recuerdos" was destined for contemporary hit radios because of its contemporary R&B-feels.[15]

Released and receptionEdit

"Fotos y recuerdos" was released as the fourth single from Amor prohibido on 14 February 1995. A promotional single was later released in the US with "El chico del apartamento 512" (1995) serving as the B-side track. In Mexico, only a CD single and cassette single were released, while in South American countries, a 12" single was released.[16] "Fotos y recuerdos" debuted at number 12 on the US Hot Latin Tracks on 18 February 1995.[17][18] It later peaked at number one on its eleventh charting week,[19] for seven consecutive weeks.[20] This gave Selena her fourth number one single from Amor prohibido which then Selena became the first Hispanic singer to have an album spawn four number one songs.[21] At the time of Selena's murder, "Fotos y recuerdos" was posited at number four on the US Hot Latin Tracks.[22][23] According to disc jockeys, "Fotos y recuerdos" became the "most requested song" throughout South Texas in April 1995.[24] "Fotos y recuerdos" became Selena's sixth top-charting single for the month of April 1995.[25]

Many music critics believed that "Fotos y recuerdos" is an "improvement" and/or a "better version" of the Pretenders' original version.[13][26][27][28] While others agree that "Fotos y recuerdos" is one of Selena's most "famous songs".[28][29] One of the editors of El Nuevo Herald wrote that "Fotos y recuerdos" gives "chills" to the average listener.[26] Pat Barr-Harrison wrote in his bookJuntos Uno that the song was one of the "biggest hits" for Selena in the US.[30] Filip Huysegems and Luc Verheyen wrote in their book Latino's that "Fotos y recuerdos" was one of Selena's "biggest hits".[31] Ramiro Burr of San Antonio Express-News wrote that "Fotos y recuerdos" is "an interesting cover".[32] An editor of The York Dispatch believed that it "outshines" all other songs found on Amor prohibido.[33] Ed Morales wrote in his book Ritmo latino: la música latina desde la bossa nova hasta la salsa that the song has a lot of "personality".[34] Don McLeese of Austin American-Statesmen wrote that the song had become immensely popular in South Texas cities and believed that it was one of Selena's signature songs.[35] With "Fotos y recuerdos" and thirteen other of Selena's top-ten singles in the Hot Latin Songs chart, she was named "top Latin artist of the 1990s" and "Best selling Latin artist of the decade" by Billboard magazine.[36]

TributesEdit

Puerto Rican salsa singer José Alberto covered "Fotos y recuerdos" for his album Oro salsero.[37] Banda El Grullo, a Mexican mariachi band, covered the song for their album 30 mumeros 1 en banda.[38] Mexican singer Gerardo Williams covered "Fotos y recuerdos" for his album Nuevas voces de América.[39] Mexican singer Paulina Rubio performed "Fotos y recuerdos" live during theSelena ¡VIVE! tribute concert which was held on 5 April 2005.[40][41] Michael Clark of the Houston Chronicle wrote that Rubio used her "sex appeal" to perform that night.[42] Ramiro Burr of San Antonio Express-News believed that Rubio's re-creation of "Fotos y recuerdos" was a "techno/hip-hop number".[43] Rubio also sung the song live during her tour in Texas at Casino del Sol's AVA that same year.[44][45]

Formats and track listingsEdit

US Promo single[2]
  1. "Fotos y recuerdos" - 2:45
  2. "El chico del apartamento 512" - 3:29
Mexico CD single[2]
  1. "Fotos y recuerdos" - 2:45
Mexico cassette single[2]
  1. "Fotos y recuerdos" - 2:45
South America 12" single[2]
  1. "Fotos y recuerdos" - 2:45
  2. "El chico del apartamento 512" - 3:29

Credits and personnelEdit

Credits adapted from Amor prohibido liner notes.[2]

ChartsEdit

Weekly chartsEdit

Chart (1994/1995) Peak

position

US Latin Songs (Billboard)[47] 1
US Hot Singles Sales (Billboard)[48] 34

Year-end charts[edit]Edit

Chart (1995) Peak

position

US The Latin 50 (Billboard)[49] 1
US Latin Songs (Billboard)[51] 2

ReferencesEdit

  1. Jump up^ "Ex-Fan Club President Held In Singer's Slaying".Chicago Tribune (Tribune Company). 2 April 1995. Retrieved 26 December 2011. (subscription required)
  2. Jump up to:a b c d e f g Amor prohibido (Media notes). Selena. EMI Latin. 2002. 724354099403.
  3. Jump up^ "Crossover Dreams Selena's New Album"San Jose Mercury News (MediaNews Group). 17 July 1995. Retrieved 26 December 2011. (subscription required)
  4. Jump up^ "Tucson goes wild for Selena album"Arizona Daily News. 28 July 1995. Retrieved 26 December 2011.(subscription required)
  5. Jump up to:a b Hynde, ChrissyVela, Ricky (1994). "Amor prohibido: Selena Digital Sheet Music". Musicnotes.com (Musicnotes).EMI Music Publishing. MN092893 (Product Number).
  6. Jump up^ Rodriguez, Lori Beth (2008). Mapping Tejana epistemologies: Contemporary (re)constructions of Tejana identity in literature, film and popular culture. ProQuest. p. 284. ISBN 0549510613.
  7. Jump up^ Kearney, Milo; Medrano, Manuel (2001). Medieval culture and the Mexican American borderlands (1st ed.). Texas A&M Univ. Press. ISBN 1585441325.
  8. Jump up^ Patoski, Joe Nick (1996). Selena : como la flor (1st ed. ed.). Boulevard Books. ISBN 1572972467.
  9. Jump up^ Shaw, Tucker (2007). The hookup artist (1st ed.).HarperCollins. p. 208. ISBN 0060756225.
  10. Jump up^ Hoffmann, Frank; Ferstler, Howard (2005). Encyclopedia of recorded sound (2nd ed.). Routledge.ISBN 041593835X.
  11. Jump up^ "Selena en Milenio"Milenio (in Spanish) (Diario de Monterrey) (389). 2005. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
  12. Jump up^ Darling, Cary (30 July 1995). "Death Only Fuels Selena's Climb Up The Charts"The Buffalo News (Berkshire Hathaway). Retrieved 26 December 2011. (subscription required)
  13. Jump up to:a b Thatcher, Rebecca; McLesse, Don (1 April 1995). "Fans mourn loss of Tejano favorite"Austin American-Statesmen. Retrieved 26 December 2011. (subscription required)
  14. Jump up^ Morales, Antonio (15 March 2007). "The Life and Legacy of Selena Quintanilla". Gringo Gazette.
  15. Jump up^ Díaz, Victoria (11 May 1996). "No Ver El éxito De La Reina Del Tex-Mex (en Notas)". Grupo Reforma (in Spanish).
  16. Jump up^ "Remembering Selena 2 Denver fans review her legacy"Denver Post (MediaNews Group). 31 July 1995. Retrieved 26 December 2011. (subscription required)
  17. Jump up^ Tarradell, Mario (5 February 1995). "Selena all the way Superstar likely to win more Tejano Awards"The Dallas Morning News (A. H. Belo Corporation). Retrieved 26 December 2011. (subscription required)
  18. Jump up^ "Billboard > Top Latin Songs > Week of 18 February 1995"BillboardRovi Corporation. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  19. Jump up^ Bronson, Fred (15 April 1995). "Selena's Tragedy Echos On Charts"Billboard (Prometheus Global Media) 107(15): 96. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  20. Jump up^ Burr, Ramiro (17 June 1995). "Artists & Music"Billboard(Prometheus Global Media) 107 (24): 94. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  21. Jump up^ Encyclopedia of World Biography SupplementGale Research. 1998. p. 500. ISBN 0-7876-2945-6. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  22. Jump up^ "Selena's Fotos y recuerdos"Hispanic link weekly report (Hispanic Link News Service) 13. 1995. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
  23. Jump up^ Commire, Anne; Klezmer, Deborah (2001). Women in world history: a biographical encyclopedia. Yorkin Publications. p. 936. ISBN 0787640735.
  24. Jump up^ "Latinos Want Shock Jock Taken Off"NPR. National Public Radio, Inc. Retrieved 26 December 2011. (subscription required)
  25. Jump up^ Lannert, John (10 June 1995). "Beloved Selena Enters The Latin Music Hall of Fame"Billboard (Prometheus Global Media) 107 (23): 112. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  26. Jump up to:a b "Muerta A Trios La Cantante Selena"El Nuevo Herald (in Spanish) (The McClatchy Company). 1 April 1995. Retrieved 26 December 2011. (subscription required)
  27. Jump up^ Tarradell, Mario (16 July 1995). "Dreaming of Selena A new album celebrates what she was but only hints at what she could have become"The Dallas Morning News (A. H. Belo Corporation). Retrieved 26 December 2011. (subscription required)
  28. Jump up to:a b "Gunshots Silences Singing Sensation Selena At Age 23"Orlando Sentinel (Tribune Company). 1 April 1995. Retrieved 26 December 2011. (subscription required)
  29. Jump up^ Tarradell, Mario (30 March 2000). "A Decade of Selena 10 albums showcase the music behind the legend"The Dallas Morning News (MediaNews Group). Retrieved 26 December 2011. (subscription required)
  30. Jump up^ Harrison, Pat Barr (1996). Juntos (Teacher's ed. ed.).Prentice-Hall. p. 360. ISBN 0134155718.
  31. Jump up^ Huysegems, Filip; Verheyen, Luc (1997). Latino's (in Dutch). Atlas. p. 302. ISBN 9025423841.
  32. Jump up^ Burr, Ramiro (17 April 1994). "La Mafia, Selena top new releases Ramiro Burr, Latin Notes"San Antonio Express-News (Hearst Corporation). Retrieved 26 December 2011.(subscription required)
  33. Jump up^ "Selena's legacy still drives Tejano music"The York Dispatch. 1 April 2005. Retrieved 26 December 2011.(subscription required)
  34. Jump up^ Morales, Ed (2006). Ritmo latino : la música latina desde la bossa nova hasta la salsa (in Spanish). Ma Non Troppo. p. 320. ISBN 8496222470.
  35. Jump up^ McLeese, Don (13 July 1995). "Selena crosses over `Dreaming' could be multicultural hit she sought"Austin American-Statesmen. Retrieved 26 December 2011.(subscription required)
  36. Jump up^ Mayfield, Geoff (25 December 1999). "Totally '90s: Diary of a Decade"Billboard (Prometheus Global Media) 111(52): YE-16–18. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
  37. Jump up^ "iTunes > Music > Oro Salsero"iTunes StoreApple Inc. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  38. Jump up^ "iTunes > Music > 30 Numeros 1 en Banda"iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  39. Jump up^ "iTunes > Music > Nuevas Voces de América"iTunes Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  40. Jump up^ Martin, Marisara. "Univision’s ‘Selena ¡Vive!’ Breaks Audience Records"Hispanic PR Wire. Univision Communications. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  41. Jump up^ Marte, Franklin (5 June 2005). "Paulina Rubio triunfa con el último concierto de "Pau-Latina 2005""Hoy (in Spanish). Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  42. Jump up^ Clark, Michael (8 April 2005). "Modern, traditional mix in vibrant Selena tribute"Houston Chronicle (Hearst Corporation). Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  43. Jump up^ Burr, Ramiro (14 April 2005). ""Selena ¡VIVE!" Celebrates A Musical Legacy". San Antonio Express News.
  44. Jump up^ "Rubio may salute Selena during AVA stop"Arizona Daily Star (Lee Enterprises). 12 May 2005. Retrieved 26 December 2011. (subscription required)
  45. Jump up^ Burr, Ramiro (2 May 2005). "Bland and forgettable, but Rubio fans love it"San Antonio Express-News (Hearst Corporation). Retrieved 26 December 2011. (subscription required)
  46. Jump up^ "Billboard > Hot Latin Tracks > Fotos y recuerdos".Billboard. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  47. Jump up^ "Selena Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Latin Songs for Selena. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  48. Jump up^ "Hot Singles > Week of 27 May 1995"Billboard 107(21): 116. 27 May 1995. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  49. Jump up^ "No. 1 Song Credits"Billboard (Prometheus Global Media107 (17): 104. 29 April 1995. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
  50. Jump up^ "Year-End Charts, Billboard"Billboard (Prometheus Global Media) 110 (48): 104. 28 November 1998. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  51. Jump up^ "Selena Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Latin Songs for Selena. Retrieved 26 December 2011.

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