More than a billion viewers in 187 countries across the globe
felt the power and energy of Ricky Martin's electrifying
performance of "The Cup Of Life" at the 1999 Grammy
Awards ceremony; "La Copa de la Vida," the official song of
the World Cup France '98, has been a #1 single in more than
30 countries. That same night, Ricky's latest full-length Latin
recording, Vuelve, won the Grammy for Best Latin Pop
Performance. With his magical career-defining performance,
Ricky Martin -- an international superstar who has sold more
than 15 million records worldwide and packs stadiums from
Buenos Aires to Beijing to New Delhi and beyond-- was
suddenly a recognizable name and presence in more than 24
million U.S. households. Ricky Martin, his first English
language album, is the next step in the evolution of this
"It's all about communicating," Ricky says by way of
explaining his decision to record in English. "I will never stop
singing in Spanish -- that's who I am -- but this was always part
of the plan." A labor of love and passion, Ricky Martin has
been two years in the making. "I was not going to release this
album until I was completely content with what I'd be
presenting," admits Ricky, the consummate professional and
painstaking artist. "I want to listen to my music in 30 years and
say, 'Great album!' The time for this album is now, not
because I'm ready now and I wasn't before, but because now
the music is ready."
The first track off Ricky Martin is "Livin' La Vida Loca," a
sensuous celebration of life driven by a loaded rock bass line,
sexy-smart lyrics, raw vocals and pulsating rhythms.
According to Ricky, "that's the single because I want to say,
'Hey! Boom! I'm here! Check this out!' The song has a little bit
of Latin, a little bit of ska, a little bit of rock, there's even a
little bit of the '60s, sort of a James Bond sound."
Like the single, Ricky Martin explores an eclectic musical
range. "Yes, I come from Puerto Rico," he says, "I grew up
listening to Boston, Cheap Trick, Journey, David Bowie. When
I was a kid, my brothers and I were all into rock, rock, rock."
Ultimately, however, Ricky got a lesson in Latin music he
couldn't ignore. "One day our mother got tired of rock," he
recalls with a smile. "She said, 'I can't stand it anymore!' and
grabbed us by the ears and took us to a Celia Cruz concert. It
really affected me."
Today, Ricky says, "I listen to everything. I'm like a sponge.
I'm in this creative moment that feels like, 'Let's get it out!'" On
one end of the spectrum, Ricky delivers the stripped-down, yet
impassioned, sitar-laced "She's All I Ever Had," while on the
other there's "Shake Your Bon-Bon," a tantalizing Latinized
funk-rock-confection with hyper-horns, sly female background
vocals, and vocal hook that's absolutely irresistible. Far less
libidinous, yet still sensual, is the soaring and imploring "I Am
Made of You," Ricky's favorite cut because it "describes
perfectly where I'm at today in my spiritual search."
One track that's bound to attract attention is "Be Careful
(Cuidado Con Mi Corazуn)," a true summit meeting of
musical superpowers: Ricky Martin and Madonna. "People
said, 'It won't match! You're Latin and the sound she's working
in at the moment is very English-techno,' but we felt we had to
do it," Ricky says. "We didn't want to think about deadlines or
why we were doing it. If it works for my album, great. If it winds
up on a soundtrack or something else, great. If it's just for us
to go into the studio and have fun, great." As it turned out, the
track blended the worlds of Latin music and electronica in a
groundbreaking techno-acoustic ballad and wound up fitting in
perfectly with the rest of Ricky Martin.
One of the unexpected stand-out surprises on Ricky Martin is
the sensuous "Private Emotion," another duet, this one
pairing Ricky with the Swedish songstress Meja.
"I had the dream team!," he enthuses about his producers:
Robi Rosa (with whom he's been working for years); Emilio