Blame it on Emilio Estefan. Not the Boogie!
With Indigo, Matt Bianco's third album, Warner Brothers wanted to create an international top act in 1988, able to crack the notoriously difficult market in the U.S.. So, what does the company do? Hire a producer known for making big bucks in the US.
Enter Emilio Estefan, husband of Gloria Estefan, hot shot latino producer and seller of about 60 million records. Taking the two englishmen, putting them into a studio in Miami with a couple of cuban studio musicians and Estefan was Warner's idea of making big bucks, but unfortunately, the album was pretty much the worst they've done so far. The songwriting was at times abysmal ("Don't blame it on that Girl", "Slide", "Jack of Clubs", "R&B") and the attempts of making these tracks sound more attractive with some rare groove samples really didn't work at all. The two Estefan produced singles "Don't blame it on that Girl" and "Good times" didn't have the impact Warner hoped for and were quickly forgotten, although top ten hits both in the UK and US.
So far, so crap.
What rescues this albums are exactly two tracks, which couldn't be more different from each other and the rest of the album:
"Wap Bam Boogie" was created pretty much in an afternoon, when Mark Fisher played around with some samples he found on one of Pete Waterman's keyboards. After adding a jazzy flute solo,an extremely danceable drum loop, some sequenced bass and a bit of piano improvisation, the club hit of '88 was finished. Released as a B-side to Don't blame it on that girl, this track was far more popular than the rather lame "Don't blame it", done with Estefan.
The other outstanding track is "Say it's not too late", recorded with the usual posse of studio musicians from London which features one of the most beautiful alto saxofone soli ever, courtesy of all-star Ronnie Ross and some damn clever brass arrangements. This is one of the tracks Mark Fisher, the musical brains behind the band, is most proud of. Ever.
I would concur. But forget about the rest.
- Don't blame it on that girl
- Say it's not too late
- Wap Bam Boogie
- Good times
- Hanging on
- Jack of Clubs
You'll find this album in any record shop as a give-away for ca 1 dollar. Buy it just for Wap Bam Boogie and Say it's not too late, but don't judge the band by the rest...