A couple of weeks ago, Enrique Iglesias became the male artist with the most Number One Dance Club Songs as he notched his 14th chart-topper with "Duele El Corazon." For the record (heh!), Señorita Madonna has 32 more Number Ones on that Billboard chart than Señor Iglesias, who has always referred to himself as just a pop singer though he's certainly had a run of sexually charged club bangers over the past decade. Over on the Hot Latin Songs chart, Enrique Iglesias positively owns - it's like the chart was created for his music. He's had 27 Number Ones on that chart over the past twenty-one years and his last three éxitos have spent a total of 83 weeks on top of the chart with one song "Bailando" accounting for nearly half that total with an astounding 41 consecutive weeks at #1. Being the gringo that I am, Iglesias first showed up on my musical radar with his first Dance Club Number One "Bailamos" during the great Latin Pop chart migration of the mid to late Nineties along with Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Selena, Jon Secada, and Gloria Estefan.
By the time Iglesias' second English-language album Escape dropped in October 2001, the advance single "Hero" was rising up six different Billboard charts on its way to topping three of them: Club Dance, Adult Contemporary, and Hot Latn Songs.
That smash single was followed up by four additional singles over the next year, none of which achieved the same chart success as "Hero" which became a well-intentioned if lyrically mismatched anthem two weeks after its initial release when the tragic events of 9/11 prompted New York radio stations to splice in news reports and other sound bites into makeshift memorial mixes of the song.
Escape has since become Enrique Iglesias' largest selling album not only in America but the entire world, with more than twelve million copies sold. It is also one of my 25 Favorite Albums of All-Time, a near perfect pop album marred only by the brickwall mastering that severely limits its dynamic range. I like the state of the chart pop songwriting, the polished production, and the fact that the base ten track album has just two ballads. The Spanish language tracks on the CD are a plus for me. All of these elements overcome Iglesias' papel-thin, rarely more than a whisper of a voice and just make me want to move whether I'm out walking in the desert, driving down the road or just standing here at my desk. I secretly hope that one day an Escape Global Deluxe Edition is released featuring the entire album in both Spanish and English, remastered and unbrickwalled (that's a thing, right?) as well as including all club mixes. It might turn out to be a massive four disc set and that would be alright with me.