In an industry increasingly dominated by disposable artists and short-term careers, Gloria Estefan continues to thrive and firmly command the ardent praise of fans worldwide. With the release of Greatest Hits Volume 2 she ascends to a rarified plateau that affirms her status as one of pop music's true and enduring originals.
"As an artist, you dream about accumulating enough successful music to someday do just one greatest-hits album, but to reach the point where you're releasing your second collection of hits is beyond belief," Estefan says. "I'm so proud and so grateful to have reached this point."
In addition to providing diehard fans with a nicely woven collection of Estefan's best-loved English-language hits from the past nine years, Greatest Hits Volume 2 also effectively illuminates the most creatively plush period of the artist's career to date. It also leaves the listener appropriately enthusiastic about the next phase of Gloria's musical career, thanks to the inclusion of the three sterling new tunes: "You Can't Walk Away From Love," "Out Of Nowhere," and "I Got No Love." "These are songs that allow me to remain true to the sounds and musical concepts that I've developed over the last few years, while also experimenting with a lot of fresh, new ideas," she says.
For added zest, Greatest Hits Volume 2 also features a new-millennium take on the Miami Sound Machine classic "Conga." Renamed "Y-Tu-Conga," the evergreen tune has been masterfully reinvented into an underground house anthem by none other than Gloria's son, Nayib, with club veteran Little Louie Vega. "There weren't all the various current types of dance music back when we first did 'Conga,' so there weren't any different versions of the song," Gloria notes. "So, the song was ripe for remixing. Nayib has always thought it should be done, so he decided to go into the studio and give it a try.
He's been working as a DJ part time, and that's put him in close touch with the sounds that are cutting-edge. I think he's done an amazing job of bringing 'Conga' up to date, while retaining the original essence of the song. And I'm not just saying that because I'm his mother," Gloria adds with a prideful smile. The remixed version of "Conga" provides the perfect bridge between Estefan's salad days and the new tunes that hint at where the artist is headed in the future.
Among the hottest cuts on Greatest Hits Volume 2 is the energetic pop-disco anthem "Out of Nowhere." Produced by Emilio Estefan Jr. and Randall Barlow, the track showcases a decidedly different style of belting from the venerable performer. "The vocals are far more layered than on anything I've ever recorded before," she says. "It was a chance to play with texture, as well as create different vocal personalities. It's a playful track, kind of sexy. It was a blast to record. And I love that it's reminiscent of 'Conga,' in terms of the percussive feel of the verse and the speed of lyric delivery. It has a nice wrap-around feeling. It just swirls around you."
Estefan also enjoyed experimenting on "I Got
No Love," another new composition, co-written with long-time Estefan
collaborator Jon Secada. "I'm crazy about the R&B vibe of that
song," Gloria says. "It's a little more raw, street than people
might be used to hearing from me. I love the idea of working on relatively
empty tracks, wherein you have to really come up with some fresh vocal
ideas. There's some really nice vocal layering on this song, which I think
works well within the rhythmic context that Jon, Emilio and Sebastian
Krys, (one of the song's Co-producers) created."