Ricky Martin – “Ricky Martin” (1991)

Ricky Martin goes solo with a self-titled debut album and starts the decade of Ricky

One could say that the ’90s belonged to Ricky Martin, and it wouldn’t be a lie. After twelve albums in four long hard years with Menudo, Ricky said goodbye to the group and hello to himself. The year is 1991 when Ricky says hello to the world again as a soloist. His self-titled debut album goes hand in hand with the Mexican soap opera, “Alcanzar Una Estrella II.”

Ricky Martin starred as one of the members of the fictitious pop group, Muñecos De Papel in the soap opera. His character Pablo Loredo’s main solo song was a track from Ricky’s album, “Juego De Ajedrez” (Game of Chess). It was most obvious that the song was the first single from his album; it allowed him to promote both his career and the soap opera.

Back in the ’90s, music promotion was completely different than it is today. Albums came out almost every year or two, singles were promoted on top of each other, and there was no internet to tell us instant numbers. Ricky began promoting four other tracks while on his promotional tour of Mexico and South America. “Fuego Contra Fuego” and “El Amor De Vida” proved his romantic side, something that swooned his lady fans. “Popotitos” and “Dime Que Me Quieres” showed fans he still had the charisma that he had while in Menudo.

Ricky Martin 1991 album allowed him to take his first step toward world domination

Ricky wasn’t the best singer while in Menudo and I don’t think anyone would have guessed that he was going to be the one, out of all thirty-two members, who would become an international sensation. Ricky’s early success wasn’t anything to write home about. We saw similar success and fan bases with Proyecto M and Charlie Masso just a few years earlier.

The songs from the debut album were a lot like the other stuff coming out at the time. Produced by Mariano Perez, almost all the songs from the album were covers from either English or Portuguese singers and composers. Even his Menudo companion, Robby Rosa sang one of the same songs Ricky did on this album. Ricky’s voice was still juvenile and truly wasn’t all that strong to carry some of the ballads he performed.

Mexico’s ten-year delay in music equality to the US makes this album completely dated. Going back today to Mexico’s ’90s gives this album a very 80’s vibe. Some people like the ’80s, don’t get me wrong. For the time, fans loved the album. It sold over 500K copies worldwide and allowed Ricky his first step in taking over the world.

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