Rewind: The Rhythm Is Gonna Get You With This Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine 1988 Concert


For some reason I've been playing Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine's "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" every day for a good solid week, and I don't know what that says about me other than it's obvious that I'm a fun person with cheesy (but great) Latin-pop tastes ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Growing up in the Southern part of Texas, amid an exceptionally vibrant Latin culture, musical genres like Tejano and Freestyle were just something that I heard on a day-to-day basis, and with Estefan's fame at a fever pitch in the late '80s and early '90s, almost every song from 1989's Cuts Both Ways and 1991's Into The Light, permeated the radio waves with "Don't Wanna Lose You" being the BIG repeat offender (I'm more partial sing along with my air microphone to "Here We Are" and "Cuts Both Ways" though). So when that huge Latin-pop boom erupted during the late '90s and into the new millennium with Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, Enrique Iglesias, and Shakira at the helm, it wasn't a 'fad' for me --- that sound had always been around me.

Gloria Estefan is just special for me, as along with Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, she was one of the first divas that I whipped my hairbrush out for in order to sing-along to love pains my little young heart hadn't become alerted to yet. And when the prospect of falling in love (uh oh) really did come my way, I was prepared for it to "cut both ways" and have "words get in the way" about it, all thanks to Gloria.

Estefan and MSM often got a bad rap for making corny "cruise ship" music, mostly due to their pedigree of blending traditional Tropical Latin rhythms with the synthesized spunk of 1980s pop, but frankly my dears I don't give any got damns because if you comb through their earlier English-language albums like 1985's Primitive Love and 1987's Let It Loose there were a lot of great dance jams packed in them that are far from corny and, in my opinion, are mood lifters more than anything. No lie. I heard "Conga" at Chuy's the other day, and it made my Chuychanga and strawberry swirl margarita taste even better. Yes, I hear you laughing, but their music just improves any situation --- dentist appointments, waiting for your oil to be changed, scanning the discount racks at Sears...good times are a happenin' when MSM blast through the loud speakers.

"Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" could be viewed as an attempt to make "Conga Part 2", as the smash 1985 single broke new ground as one of the first mainstream Latin-Pop songs, but "Rhythm" exceeds it in my opinion as it builds upon the hit formula they latched onto. The intro of the song is the best part as there's all this tribal-esque chanting, and then this rainstorm of synths, and then WHAM! horns start blaring and we're now completely possessed by the rhythm (I mean they warned us in the song's title...). Sure this top 10 hit can be considered a little clunky or a processed slice of '80s pop cheese because of the silly lyrics and all those "whooo!" ad-libs jabbing through --- but I don't care, I love it --- and believe "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" is a definitive BIG '80s sound that is ostentatious for all the right reasons.

The music video, on the other hand, is downright stupid (as were most of MSM's music videos with the exception of the Cats version of "Bad Boy" which was brilliantante!) and features some To Catch A Predator creep-os in war paint...eh, just don't watch it....you'll have nightmares. Trust. I much prefer the live version, which took place during the band's 1988 Let It Loose Tour. It's hard not to get hyped when you watch it, and by the end you'll be swinging around a sweat towel like Estefan, even possessing an urge to get yourself a pair of leather chaps to throw over your jeans just to make the reenactment more authentic.


I thought to just leave this post with strictly talking about "Rhythm Is Gonna Getcha", but naw, I'm nice, because I truly implore you to view the concert in full as it is a non-stop party loaded with smash hits (including "Dr. Beat", "Bad Boy", "1-2-3"!), dancing, and mullets, and it's just god damn GLORIOUS. I wasn't expecting much when I dove into it some time ago, and I truly meant to just watch a bit and then finish catching up to Broad City the other night, but what a naive simpleton I am because I watched the whole dang thing, even the parts where Estefan and MSM whip out their earlier Spanish-language singles to impress Julio Iglesias as he "just so happened" to pop up in the audience (well, played Gloria...). So...yeah...my night was: MSM 1988, Concert 1; Broad City, 0.

Unapologetic I am because this show is oodles of fun right from the start when it opens things on "Hot Summer Nights" from Top Gun and leads up to an impromptu conga line happening right in the middle of the audience when "Conga" blasts in.

Ah, the days of non-PC and hipster conscious people...

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