July 24, 2021

Ricky Martin: The Connection of ‘Livin’ la vida loca ‘with Frank Sinatra, Madonna and James Bond | LOS40 Classic

22 summers ago the song Livin ‘life crazy was sweeping the world. The ‘Spanglish’ title of this topic by Ricky Martin, anticipated the incursion of the Puerto Rican in the English-speaking market in style. Everyone knows the immense success of the composition of Desmond Child y Draco Rosa, or its unquestionable repercussion. But perhaps, what is not known so much is the connection of the hit with Frank Sinatra, Madonna o James Bond. We unravel the “mystery” of what was Ricky Martin’s fourth # 1 at LOS40.

“This is me, this is my album, this is my music”

Livin ‘the crazy life It was the presentation of the album with which Enrique Martín Morales broke into the English-speaking market after four albums in Spanish. In May 1999, coinciding with its launch, he offered a press conference in Madrid in which he explained the reasons that had led him to sing in English: “Many people ask me, you are Hispanic, why are you going to sing in English? . Well, look, I have had the opportunity to sing in French, to do it in Italian, in Portuguese … why am I not going to do it in English? I will never stop singing in my language, Spanish, it is an exquisite, wonderful language, and to stop doing it would be like fooling myself, it would be stupid. But we are going to communicate … for me the language is not a problem “

Again, the Puerto Rican decided to name the album after him. He had already done it when he debuted in 1999, and if now he re-baptized as Ricky Martin it was because “this is me, this is my album, this is my music, this is my life. It was not a science to choose the title for the album, there are many lines that could have been, I don’t know ‘Livin’ la vida loca ‘is a good title … I don’t know, there are many titles that could have been very good for the record, but I said you know what? let’s leave it alone, Ricky Martin “

Desmond Child, “definitely a teacher”

Livin ‘la vida loca is a composition by two internationally renowned musicians, Robi Draco Rosa and Desmond Child, who had already teamed up with Ricky in The Cup of Life. The adaptation to Spanish was carried out by Luis Gómez Escolar.

“I could say that during the process of recording the song we really did magic,” says the artist. In his presentation to the media in Spain, he was proud to have shared a studio with Desmond Child, who in addition to co-author, is the producer of Livin ‘la vida loca: Being able to work with Desmond Child, someone who worked for so many years with people like Bon Jovi, like Aerosmith, like Kiss … I can definitely consider him a teacher”. For his part, the Cuban-American musician (he is Olga Guillot’s nephew) is clear that Ricky Martin’s first single (1999) opened the doors of Latin artists to the US market: “I have produced 27 songs for Ricky Martin, but ‘Livin’ la vida loca ‘changed the course of popular Latin music forever. It was the fire that started the explosion of Latin music. “

Puerto Rican artist Ricky Martin, back in 1999. / RHONA WISE/AFP via Getty Images

“A tribute to the Rat Pack and swing” by Frank Sinatra

The birth of Livin ‘la vida loca coincided with the death of Frank Sinatra (May 14, 1998), and during those days, the songs of’ La Voz ‘did not stop playing on the radios. Desmond Child recounted in an interview with Songfact: “Frank Sinatra’s music would not stop playing on the radios, and we suddenly came up with the idea of ​​the Rat Pack … Draco Rosa and I made the verses a tribute to the Rat Pack and the swing ”.

Madonna: “I’m ready to go into the studio with you!”

If Livin ‘the crazy life exists, we owe it to Madonna. At least, that’s what Martin confessed in Attitude magazine. That first disc in English by the Puerto Rican contained a duet with Madonna entitled Be careful. Both spent 10 days developing and recording the song with William Orbit. “We were together, locked up,” explained the artist, for whom working with the ‘blonde ambition’ was unforgettable: Working with Madonna was a fascinating experience. We are talking about a living legend. Before the Grammys I had the opportunity to meet her on several occasions, including in Austria, we did a television show together. I live in Miami, she lives in Miami, it is a very small town, everyone knows each other. After the Grammys, we sat down to talk, and we said ‘let’s make music. She’s kind of allergic to duets, she’s never done duets. But yes, we were locked together, writing. I wanted her to sing something in Spanish. She very confidently said ‘yes, there is no problem’“.

Well, it was before the first of those sessions, when Madonna’s decision turned the tide of Livin ‘la vida loca. Martin told it like this in the popular British magazine: “This album was about to come out without ‘Livin’ la vida loca ‘, but three days before he entered the studio with Madonna, we had been doing the song. So I showed it to her and she said something like ‘Yep! I’m ready to go into the studio with you! ‘ It was a very beautiful moment. I always remember it”.

“I was always a frustrated James Bond”

In the video clip for Livin ‘la vida loca, directed by American Wayne Isham (the same as Vuelve, La copa de la vida or La bomba), Ricky Martin wanted to be “a little more aggressive” and become James Bond: We spent three days filming this video. I was always a frustrated James Bond, I wanted to be James Bond and I want to act like James Bond sometime. So I told the director that it is Wayne Isham (a great director with whom I have been working on several occasions) ‘look, we are going to do something that we have never done, we are going to work a little on sensuality, we are going to present fire to the public, I don’t know, something a little aggressive. ‘ It’s like saying ‘hey, I’m here, listen to me’. Later, I started working with Nina, a girl who is really a bomb and the sensual turns into the sexual and well … it does not matter, fuck you pussy“.

LOS40 # 1

Livin ‘la vida loca crowned the charts around the world and was the unquestionable trigger for the more than 15 million copies sold by the homonymous Ricky Martin.

In the extensive list of achievements harvested by the single, there is the one that has reached No. 1 in LOS40, thus becoming the fourth song of the Puerto Rican that was located at the top. After María (in 1996) and La copa de la vida or La bomba (in 1998), Livin ‘la vida loca reached the highest position between July 3 and 9, 1999. Later it would obtain the podium two more times: with She bangs (in 2001) and with Jaleo (in 2003)