Selena's 'amor Prohibido' Was Released 25 Years Ago
"Amor Prohibido" was Selena's crowning achievement.
The album was released in March 1995, 25 years ago this week. It solidified Selena's status as the leading voice in Tejano music and showcased a sound that was light years ahead of her contemporaries.
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It went far beyond the staid confines of Tejano music, incorporating pop, dance and R&B elements. "Amor Prohibido" was produced by Selena's brother A.B. Quintanilla, whose innovative approach still sounds fresh today.
The songs centered on the darker side of love, from heartbreak to betrayal to unrequited feelings. Four of its singles went to No. 1: "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom." "No Me Queda Mas," "Fotos y Recuerdos" and the title track.
It also set the stage for Selena's English-language crossover album. Sadly, that never came to fruition. But Selena's continues to influence a legion of artists, from Solange and Beyoncé to Becky G and Selena Gomez.
"Twenty-five years, and it still jams," says Kam Franklin of The Suffers. "'Amor Prohibido' is one of the greatest albums of all time, and I'm forever grateful to Selena for her voice and influence on young artists like myself."
The album won Tejano Music Awards for album of the year (orchestra); record, single, song and crossover song of the year. It also earned a Grammy nomination.
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It was the first Tejano album to reach No. 1 on Billboard's Top Latin Albums chart and remained in the top five for an astonishing 98 weeks. After Selena's death in 1995, the album catapulted back to No. 1 on multiple charts. "Amor Prohibido" is the best-selling Tejano album in history, the fourth best-selling Latin album of all time and the first album by a Tejano singer to chart on the Billboard 200.
But beyond numbers, "Amor Prohibido," like so much of Selena's music, was groundbreaking in its blending of genres, ability to reach multiple audiences and the way it connected with fans who saw themselves in the young singer from Corpus Christi.
Every song was a declaration, a moment to remember: the cumbia bounce of "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom" and "El Chico Del Apartamento 512," the reggaeton-lite of "Techno Cumbia," husband Chris Perez's guitar on "Ya No."
"No Me Queda Más" is the album's emotional center, a masterful blend of pop and mariachi. Selena sings to an unrequited love, but today, the lyrics could also be a message from fans to the late singer.
"No me queda más
Que perderme en un abismo
De tristeza y lágrimas
No me queda más
Que aguantar bien mi derrota ..."
"I have nothing left
But to lose myself in an abyss of sadness and tears
I have nothing left
But to accept my defeat ..."
A number of Selena tribute events are scheduled throughout Houston, including:
Fotos y Recuerdos, a drag tribute to Selena, 9 p.m. March 31 at Scandalo Nite Club, 6501 Chimney Rock.
Siempre Selena Loteria & Market, featuring vendors, music and a Selena bingo game, 1 p.m. at Ray's Ice House, 7504 Lyons
Bidi Bidi Birthday with Siempre Selena, featuring a live tribute band, 7 p.m. April 12 at House of Blues, 1204 Caroline.
Noche de Selena, live music and videos, 8 p.m. April 13 at Axelrad, 1517 Alabama.
Celebrate Selena, with Bidi Bidi Banda and a costume contest, 6 p.m. at The Rustic, 1836 Polk.
Joey Guerra writes about music and pop culture for the Houston Chronicle. He will be writing about every single RodeoHouston concert. Follow him onTwitter. Send him news tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.