|Studio album by Selena|
|Released||September 1, 1990|
|Selena studio album chronology|
|Singles from Ven Conmigo|
Ven Conmigo (English: Come with Me) is the second studio album by American singer Selena, released on September 1, 1990, by EMI Latin. The singer's brother, A.B. Quintanilla remained her principal record producer and songwriter after her debut album's moderate success. Selena's Los Dinos band composed and arranged seven of the album's ten tracks; local songwriter Johnny Herrera also provided songs for Selena to record. Ven Conmigo contains half cumbias and half rancheras, though the album includes other genres. Its musical compositions are varied and demonstrate an evolving maturity in Selena's basic Tejano sound. The album's structure and track organization were unconventional compared with other Tejano music albums. The songs on Ven Conmigo are mostly love songs or songs following a woman's struggles after many failed relationships.
After Ven Conmigos release, the band hired guitarist Chris Pérez who introduced his hard rock sound to the band's music and performances, and further diversified Selena's repertoire. Her promotional tour for the album attracted upwards of 60,000 attendees to her shows, and critics praised the singer's stage presence. The album's single, "Baila Esta Cumbia" was the most played song on local Tejano music radio stations for over a month and helped Selena to tour in Mexico. Ven Conmigo peaked at number three on the US Billboard Regional Mexican Albums chart, her then-highest peaking album. It received critical acclaim, bringing Selena recognition as a Tejano singer and establishing her as a commercial threat.
In October 1991, Ven Conmigo went gold for sales exceeding 50,000 units, making Selena the first female Tejano singer to receive the honor. The event dissolved the male hierarchy in the Tejano music industry, which saw women as commercially inferior. Ven Conmigo received a nomination for the Tejano Music Award for Album of the Year - Orchestra at the 1992 annual event. The album peaked at number 22 on the US Billboard Top Pop Catalog Albums chart after it was ineligible to chart on the Billboard 200. In October 2017, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified the album triple platinum, denoting 180,000 album-equivalent units sold in the United States.
In March 1989, Selena signed with EMI Latin, which had opened a Latin music division with Jose Behar as president. Though EMI marketed her as a solo artist, the Los Dinos band continued to tour with her. Initially, Behar and Stephen Finfer asked Selena for a crossover album. After recording three demos for the heads of EMI Records' pop division, Charles Koppelman rejected them and suggested Selena perform songs that appealed to her fan base.
Before her debut album with the company, her brother A.B. Quintanilla had fought to remain the singer's principal producer and songwriter. Feeling they were "gambling" in the Latin music market, EMI Latin entered into an agreement with A.B. that if he failed to produce a successful record he would be replaced by an Grammy Award-winning producer and songwriter. Selena's debut album outperformed other recordings by contemporaneous female Tejano singers and enjoyed moderate success. A.B. was allowed to continue as the singer's producer and songwriter for Ven Conmigo.
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Ven Conmigo was recorded at record producer Joey Lopez' Zaz Studios in San Antonio. The band entered the studio "with more musical firepower than ever before". A.B. arranged the album and chose what would be included on it, "carefully select[ing] the songs [that would] jumpstart [Selena's] transition into a larger Latino market". Keyboardist Ricky Vela programmed the entire project, while band members contributed to the recording by composing seven of the album's ten songs.Ven Conmigo has been described as containing half cumbias and half rancheras. It includes musical influences from: salsa, rock and roll, rap and soul music,traditional Mexican music, Mexican folk, polka, country, and Colombian music.Abraham Quintanilla, Jr.--the group's manager (A.B. Selena, and their sister Suzette's father)--suggested the idea of having a variety of genres on the album: "I always felt that the buyer, the listener, would enjoy this and would not get bored hearing just one particular style of music." The compositions for the album were musically varied-- more "broader-based and more adventurous than any mainstream Tejano act" according to biographer Joe Nick Patoski. Selena and her band were "evolving a rhythmic style that demonstrated its prowess for catchy cumbias".
Ven Conmigo scrapped the conventional styles and track organization of the typical Tejano album of "a two-sided single sandwiched between a bunch of polkas and oldie-but-goodie [songs]". On "Yo Te Amo", the band decided to go with a bridge-interlude format rather than a typical chord progression they had recycled; "[W]e were growing, we were evolving" as Vela later put it. It was "neither Texan nor Mexican" in its form, but a representation of international Spanish music "under the guise of a slow cumbia". Similarly, "Yo Me Voy" has the same qualities as "Yo Te Amo". Vela enjoyed Rocío Dúrcal's 1987 version of "Yo Me Voy", a Juan Gabriel song. He wanted Selena to record it and played Dúrcal's recording to A.B. who agreed that the song would suit Ven Conmigo. A.B. collaborated on the arrangement with Vela. Local songwriter, Johnny Herrera, wrote "Aunque No Salga el Sol", which was originally written for Lisa Lopez as a follow-up to her 1982 number-one single "Si Quieres Verme Llorar". Lopez had rejected the song, finding it weaker than other recordings that were provided to her. Patoski though the song was "one of the most poetic works ever written by a Texas composer". It was given to Selena to record in 1985 for Bob Grever's record label; she later re-recorded it for Ven Conmigo. Vela used "more percussion and sequencing" than similar pop ballads.
A.B. worked with Pete Astudillo on a concept melody he had thought of while the band was resting following a concert in West Texas. Called "Baila Esta Cumbia" it was recorded for Ven Conmigo. Beginning with this album, Selena started experimenting with vocal arrangements during recording sessions. She added an outro to "Baila Esta Cumbia", her first attempt at adding "counter melodies [sic]" to finished projects; "she would often change vocal [notes] to suit her and what she thought [sounded] better" recalled Pérez. "Baila Esta Cumbia" echoed works by Fito Olivares, and became a hit single in Mexico, "opening the doors" for the group in that country. Astudillo co-wrote the title track, "Ven Conmigo", with A.B. using the same stylistic sounds found in música norteña recordings. Vela and A.B. traveled to Poteet, Texas, and hired David Lee Garza, his brother, and father to play and record the accordion, drums, and bajo sexto, respectively for the track that gave it "a Tejano flavor". After discovering that Behar invited high-profile pop music executives to the 1990 Tejano Music Awards, Abraham argued that an hip-hop-esque song could impress them and solidify a crossover deal. A.B., Astudillo, and Vela worked on the idea through the night at a Motel 6 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, using eight keyboards, a mixing console, and monitor systems. "[B]ack then we didn't have the fancy computers with all the sequencing" A.B. recalled during a retrospect interview. They came up with "Enamorada de Ti", a freestyle dance-pop track that Suzette compared to a Top 40 recording that illustrated Selena's "soul side". Selena recorded the track before the Tejano Music Awards on March 9, 1990, and rehearsed a routine with backup dancers for the event. Abraham suggested the idea of reworking the popular Cuban song "Guantanamera" into a house music track. A.B. created an instrumental. Abraham liked it and encouraged A.B. to write lyrics for it, resulting in "No Quiero Saber". Astudillo recalled how he worked with A.B. on the track, noting that "No Quiero Saber" was lyrically different from their repertoire of love songs and the heartache of failed relationships.
The night before the photo shoot for the album, Selena cut and dyed her hair jet black and stained a small patch of skin behind her ear. She insisted on a black-and-white photograph of her posing with a mohawk to distract from the stain. EMI Latin was adamantly opposed to the singer shortening her hair and its styling. They wanted to market her based on beauty standards at that time, and believed the style would have a negative impact on Selena's "good girl" image.
Roger Garcia, the band's lead guitarist, got married before Ven Conmigo was released. A.B. discovered 17-year old Chris Pérez, who was the guitarist for Shelly Lares. He auditioned to be part of the group. A.B.'s music production style was Pérez' inspiration to become part of Selena y Los Dinos. At first, Quintanilla, Jr. dismissed Pérez, seeing him as more of a rocker, feeling he was ill-equipped for a Tejano band. Betty Cortina, editor-at-large for People magazine, wrote that Pérez was the antithesis of Abraham's "clean-cut good kids" image. A.B persuaded Quintanilla Jr. that Pérez was capable of performing Tejano music, adding that his rocker image was harmless. Pérez was hired as the band's guitarist after the band finished recording Ven Conmigo. Critics felt Pérez' hard rock style combined with Selena's basic Tejano sound, added to her already diverse musical repertoire.
Selena's concerts began to attract upwards of 60,000 attendees. She shared a Houston venue with La Mafia and Emilio Navaira that drew 9,000 spectators in the summer of 1991. She later shared another venue with Ramon Ayala, Olivares, and Pandora at the ninth annual Hispanic State Fair in San Antonio. Selena was invited to the Johnny Canales Show in 1991, her third appearance. The show introduced Pérez as the band's new guitarist. He seemed "unsure of himself as he practiced his Temptations-style dance steps in time to the music". Author Joe Nick Patoski described Pérez' choreography on the show as "tentative", however, "the rock licks he played on his guitar were like spitfire, bringing a hard edge to the band that it had previously lacked." Vilma Maldonado of The Monitor wrote that Selena can "sing [and] improvises [her] dances" calling her "unpredictable, attractive, and talented" afer an April 1991 concert. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram described Selena's performance at a Cinco de Mayo celebration as "electrifying". Selena performed the title track as a duet with A.B. which was called "one of the highlights of the performance". Three singles were released from the album including "Ya Ves", "Baila Esta Cumbia", and "La Tracalera". "Baila Esta Cumbia" was the most played song on local Tejano music radio stations for a month and a half, leading to the band touring Mexico for the first time. It was later certified six times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for 360,000 digital sales.Promotional single, "Ya Ves" was the most played song on KTXZ-AM for five consecutive weeks, beginning on October 25, 1990. While promotional singles "Yo Te Amo" reached number six, and "Yo Me Voy" reached number eight.
Following the album's release, Selena was called the Gloria Estefan, Janet Jackson, and Madonna of Tejano music. Selena responded to these comparisons saying she did not like to be stereotyped. She explained: "I think it's good to be different, and if you're first at it, it's even better." Selena's popularity "surged" following Ven Conmigos release. It was the first album to bring her recognition within her field of music, and established her name on the Tejano music scene "as a true artist to be reckoned with". The album expanded Selena's "vocal talents", and made her "unstoppable".Ven Conmigo was nominated for the Tejano Music Award for Album of the Year - Orchestra, while its single "Baila Esta Cumbia" was nominated for Single of the Year and Song of the Year. The single "Yo Te Amo" was nominated for Vocal Duo of the Year at the 1992 Tejano Music Awards. Selena received her third consecutive win for Female Vocalist of the Year and Female Entertainer of the Year.
Ven Conmigo debuted at number eight on the US Billboard Regional Mexican Albums chart the week ending November 3, 1990. It was the highest debut album of that week, and surpassed Selena as her highest debuting album on the chart at the time. The following week, the album fell to number ten. It reached number six on the Regional Mexican Albums chart in its sixth week, surpassing Selena as her highest charting album,  before peaking at number three.Ven Conmigo remained in the top ten on the Regional Mexican Albums chart for 16 consecutive weeks before falling into the top 15. It surpassed the record for most weeks on the chart for a female Tejano album--56 weeks. At the same time "Baila Esta Cumbia" reached number eight on local Tejano radio stations' list of the most requested songs for that week.Ven Conmigo ended 1991 as the fourth best-selling Regional Mexican Album.
In October 1991, Ven Conmigo went gold for sales exceeding 50,000 units, the first Tejano album by a woman to receive a gold certification. This dissolved the male hierarchy in the Tejano music industry where women were seen as commercially inferior. It also ended the long-standing view that a female performer could not draw comparable audiences to a man. Selena later said in an interview: "[T]he more doors they shut on us, the more determined we became. We've just started seeing a change."  She credited the gold certification to EMI Latin's marketing team, and felt it inspired other women in the field to believe they were capable of producing gold records. Following the album's certification, Selena performed at a 2,000-seat McAllen, Texas venue owned by Nano Ramírez who had denied her the opportunity to play there earlier in her career.
On March 31, 1995, Selena was shot and killed by Yolanda Saldívar, her friend and former manager of her boutiques. The resulting media attention helped increase sales of Ven Conmigo. It debuted at number 24 on the US Billboard Top Pop Catalog Albums chart. It was ineligible to chart on the Billboard 200 following a revision that excluded titles older than 18 months appearing on it. The following week, Ven Conmigo peaked at number 22, while her 17 Super Exitos (1993) compilation album spent its second week at number one. In 1995, catalog titles made up nearly 50% of the music consumed in the United States. Ven Conmigo and 17 Super Exitos contributed to the $5 billion revenue reported that year by the music industry. The RIAA certified the album platinum for shipments of 200,000 units in the United States; her fifth platinum record. In October 2017, the RIAA updated the certification to triple platinum, denoting 180,000 album-equivalent units sold.
Credits adapted from the liner notes of Ven Conmigo.
|1.||"Ya Ves"||A.B. Quintanilla||3:13|
|2.||"Aunque No Salga el Sol"||Johnny Herrera||A.B.||3:24|
|4.||"Yo Te Amo"||A.B.||3:39|
|5.||"Enamorada de Ti"||A.B.||4:05|
|7.||"Baila Esta Cumbia"||A.B.||A.B.||2:57|
|8.||"Yo Me Voy"||Juan Gabriel||A.B.||3:28|
|9.||"No Quiero Saber"||A.B.||A.B.||2:54|
|10.||"Después de Enero"||Herrera||A.B.||2:57|
|2002 re-release bonus tracks|
|11.||"No Quiero Saber (2000 Mix)"||A.B.||A.B.||2:56|
|12.||"Enamorada de Ti (Club Mix)"||A.B.||6:07|
|13.||"Spoken Liner Notes" (commentary recollections provided by Selena's family, friends, and her band.)||Nir Seroussi||Suzette Quintanilla||13:39|
|14.||"No Quiero Saber" (music video)||A.B.||3:37|
Credits adapted from the liner notes of Ven Conmigo.
|United States (RIAA)||2× Platinum (Latin)||500,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||3× Platinum (Latin)||180,000|
^shipments figures based on certification alone