Contra La Corriente (Marc Anthony album)

Contra La Corriente (Marc Anthony album)
Contra la corriente
Studio album by Marc Anthony
Released October 21, 1997
Recorded 1996-1997
Altamar Music Studio
(San Juan, Puerto Rico)
Genre Tropical, Salsa, Latin pop
Length 44:39
Language Spanish
Label RMM
Producer Angel "Cucco" Peña
Marc Anthony chronology
Todo a Su Tiempo
Contra La Corriente
Marc Anthony
Singles from Contra la corriente
  1. "Y hubo alguien"
    Released: October 1997
  2. "Me voy a regalar"
    Released: December 1997
  3. "Si te vas"
    Released: February 1998
  4. "No me conoces"
    Released: May 1998
  5. "Contra la corriente"
    Released: August 1998
  6. "No sabes como duele"
    Released: March 1999

Contra la corriente (Against the Current) is the third studio album released by American singer Marc Anthony on October 21, 1997 by RMM Records. The album was produced by Puerto Rican musician Angel "Cucco" Peña, with most of the songs written by Panamanian composer Omar Alfanno. The album was well-received by critics who praised the vocals of Anthony as well as the songs. The album produced six singles, four of which peaked on the top ten on the Hot Latin Tracks chart. Promoted by a sold-out concert in Madison Square Garden, Contra la corriente became the first salsa album reach number one on the Top Latin Albums chart and to chart on the Billboard 200.

Contra la corriente received a Grammy Award and a Latin Billboard Award, and was named the eighth best album of 1997 by Time magazine. The album received a gold certification for shipping of 500,000 copies in the United States. This was the last album that Marc Anthony recorded under RMM Records before switching over to Columbia Records to record his first self-titled English album.



Since Anthony's signing on with RMM Records, his first-two albums had been successful, selling over 600,000 copies combined.[1] His second album, Todo a su tiempo, was certified gold in the United States[2] and received a Grammy Award nomination.[3] Record producer Sergio George, who was credited for the success Anthony's earlier albums, left RMM Records in 1996.[4] Angel "Cucco" Peña, who has worked with salsa veterans such as Gilberto Santa Rosa and Willie Colón, took up the position as producer for the album.[5] Contra la corriente, the third studio album by Anthony, was released in October 1997. The album was distributed by MCA Records and was promoted at a sold-out concert in Madison Square Garden days before the release of the album.[6]

Recording and production

For the album, Anthony built a studio near his home.[7] Around that time, he was involved in the production of Paul Simon's musical play The Capeman and had to record the album in three weeks. Anthony chose nine songs out of 1,300 samples. He sent tapes to co-producer Peña at the Altamar Music Studios in San Juan, Puerto Rico to get feedback.[8] He made routine flights between New York and Puerto Rico to record the album hours and to rehearse for the play.[9] Panamanian composer Omar Alfanno, who wrote three songs on the last album, had composed five songs for the album.[10] Fernando Arias composed the boleros "No me conoces" and "Suceden". "Si te vas" is a cover of the Pedro Fernández song.[11] Manny Benito wrote the last track, "Un mal sueño".

Commercial release


During the Madison Square Garden concert, RMM executive producer Ralph Mercado presented an award to Anthony for selling over 350,000 copies just before release.[12] Contra la corriente was the released on October 21, 1997 in the United States. The album debuted at number-one on the Top Latin Albums chart on the week of November 22, 1997, and stayed at number-one for three consecutive weeks.[13] The album debuted at number-one on the Tropical Albums chart and remained on top for ten non-consecutive weeks.[14] Contra La Corriente was the first album Anthony to chart on the Billboard 200, peaking at number seventy-four.[15] The album was the fourth best selling Latin album of 1998 and was the second best selling tropical album after Buena Vista Social Club.[16] The album was certified gold in the United States for shipping of 500,000 units.[17] A remastered edition of the album was released on September 9, 2003 by Universal Music Latino.[18]


"Y hubo alguien" (And There Was Somebody) was the lead single from the album. Released in the same month as the album, the single reached number-one on the Hot Latin Tracks. It was his first number one single on the chart and the first single by a salsa musician to reach number one.[15] "Me voy a regalar" (I Am Going to Give Myself) followed later in the year.[19] "Si te vas" (If You Go) was the third single from the album, released in 1998; it reached number-eight on Hot Latin Tracks.[20] "Contra la corriente" (Against the Current) and "No me conoces" (You Do Not Know Me) both reached number-two on Hot Latin Tracks.,[21][22] "No sabes como duele" (You Do Not Know How It Hurts) was the last single to be released from the album in 1999 and reached number-eighteen on the Hot Latin Tracks.[23] Three of the six singles, "Y Hubo Alguien", "Si Te Vas", and "Contra La Corriente", reached number-one on the Latin Tropical Airplay charts.[19] Two songs from the album were made into music videos. The first music video was the lead single "Y hubo alguien" which was filmed in New York City.[24] The second music video was "No me conoces" which was directed by Bennny Coral.[25] Filming took place in México and featured Jennifer Lopez as the supporting actress.[26]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[27]
Wilson & Alroy's Record Reviews 4/5 stars[28]
Chicago Tribune 3.5/4 stars[29]
Los Angeles Times 2/4 stars[30]
Palo Salsero 4.5/5 stars[31]

Contra la corriente received mostly positive reviews from critics, who praised Marc Anthony's singing. Terry Jenkins of Allmusic gave the album a 4.5 out of 5 and praised Anthony's vocals as being "sexy" and "near-flawless" though he felt that it "doesn't quite match the dizzying heights of his breakthrough Todo a Su Tiempo".[27] David Wilson of Wilson & Alroy's Record Reviews called the tunes "solid" and praised Anthony's voice but criticized Peña's production as being "slavishly" similar to the previous album.[28] Achy Obejas of the Chicago Tribune names Contra La Corriente as Anthony's best album and felt that the influence of Cuban music was prominent "in the rhythms and harmonies" in comparison to Los Van Van.[29] Ernesto Lechner of the Los Angeles Times, who was more critical of the album, gave it two-out-of-four stars criticizing the arrangements as "unbearably soapy" and called the album a "flawed masterpiece in the saccharine genre of salsa romantica."[30] Nestor Louis of Palo Salsero was initially skeptic after finding out that Peña was involved in the production of the album instead of George. He expressed a surprised reaction to the album and referred to it as Anthony's best and named it the sixth best salsa album of 1997.[31] Contra la corriente was named the eighth best album of 1997 by Time magazine stating that "...whether you habla espanol or not, Anthony's talent comes through, no translation needed".[32]

At the 41st Grammy Awards, Contra la corriente was given a Grammy Award for Best Tropical Latin Album.[33] Billboard awarded the album "Tropical Album of the Year by a Male Artist", citing that the album became the highest selling salsa album when it charted the Billboard 200.[15] The single "Y hubo alguien" received a Billboard Latin Music Award and a Lo Nuestro award for "Tropical Song of the Year".[15][34]

This would be the last time that Anthony worked with the RMM label. After disputes with Ralph Mercado over business practices, he left the record label and later signed on with Columbia Records to record his first self titled English album.[35]

Track listing

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Y hubo alguien"   Omar Alfanno 6:30
2. "Contra la corriente"   Omar Alfanno 5:06
3. "Si te vas"   Pedro Fernández 4:48
4. "Me voy a regalar"   Omar Alfanno 5:25
5. "No me conoces"   Fernando Arias 5:25
6. "No sabes como duele"   Omar Alfanno 5:11
7. "La luna sobre nuestro amor"   Omar Alfanno 5:03
8. "Suceden"   Fernando Arias 4:07
9. "Un mal sueño"   Manny Benito 3:27

Credits and personnel

The following credits are from Allmusic.[36]

Performance credits

  • Tito Allen – vocals, coro
  • William Amparo – vocals, coro
  • Luis Aquino – trumpet
  • Wichy Camacho – vocals, coro
  • Jose Gazmei – bass
  • Gilda Gonzalez – vocals, coro
  • Angel "Angie" Machado – trumpet
  • Fernando Muscolo – arranger, keyboards, programming
  • Moisés Nogueras – trombone
  • Miguel Rivera – trombone
  • Antonio Gomez Salcedo – string contractor
  • Ito Serrano – guitar
  • Charlie Sierra – percussion, bongos, timbales
  • William Thompson – conga
  • Maximo Torres – guitar, requinto
  • Raffi Torres – trombone
  • Yanira Torres – vocals, coro

Technical credits

  • Ricky Gonzalez – arranger
  • Luis Berrios – engineer, assistant engineer, recording
  • Joe Caldas – engineer, mixing, recording
  • Juan G. "Pericles" Covas – engineer, recording
  • Pericles Covas – engineer, assistant engineer
  • Daniel Hastings – photography
  • Marta Ibarra – editing, editorial coordinator, publishing coordinator
  • Amaury Lopez – arranger
  • José Lugo – arranger
  • Damaris Mercado – producer, art direction, artistic director
  • Ralph Mercado – executive producer
  • Carlo Moralishvili – producer, artwork, art direction
  • Angel "Cucco" Peña – arranger, director, producer, musical director, musical direction, general director
  • Humberto Ramírez – arranger
  • Héctor Ivan Rosa – engineer, recording
  • Ronnie Torres – mixing engineer
  • Liliane Van Balberghe – graphic design

Chart performance

Chart (1997)[37] Peak
U.S. Billboard 200 74
U.S. Billboard Top Latin Albums 1
U.S. Billboard Tropical Albums 1


Region Certification Sales/shipments
United States (RIAA)[17] Gold 500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also


  1. ^ Lopetegui, Enrique (May 1, 1996). "Marc Anthony's Putting a Real Kick in His Salsa". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  2. ^ "American album certifications – Marc Anthony – Todo a Su Tiempo". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  3. ^ "38th Grammy Awards – 1996". Rock On The Net. February 28, 1996. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  4. ^ Louis, Nestor. "The Sergio George Interview Part II". Palo Salsero. Retrieved April 96, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Artists – Peña, Angel "Cucco"". Music of Puerto Rico. Retrieved August 8, 2010. 
  6. ^ Watrous, Peter (October 20, 1997). "POP REVIEW; Hard-Driving Salsa, With a Sense of Humor Added". New York Times. Retrieved June 5, 2010. 
  7. ^ Contra La Corriente (CD liner notes). RMM Records & Video. October 1997.
  8. ^ Lechner, Ernesto (June 14, 1998). "His Heart Belongs to Salsa". Los Angeles Times. pp. 1–2. Retrieved June 5, 2010. "It was a time crunch, I had three weeks to record it. I picked those nine tunes after listening to 1,300 of them, so I knew [they] would work." 
  9. ^ Lannert, John (December 20, 1997). "RMM SALSA STAR MARC ANTHONY BUILDS INT'L CAREER". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 109 (51): 108. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  10. ^ "Sony/ATV Publishing: Omar Alfanno" (in Spanish). Sony Music Entertainment. Retrieved August 6, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Si Te Vas – Pedro Fernández". Allmusic. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  12. ^ Friedler, Marla (October 18, 1997). "Marc Anthony – Off To Broadway Concert". SalsaWeb. Archived from the original on April 12, 2008. 
  13. ^ "Top Latin Albums – Week of November 22, 1997". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. November 22, 1997. Retrieved August 5, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Tropical Songs – Week of November 22, 1997". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. November 22, 1997. Retrieved August 5, 2010. 
  15. ^ a b c d Lannert, John (April 4, 1998). "Latin Music Award Winners, Include First-Timers, Familiar Faces". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 110 (15): LM-66. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Billboard: 1998 Year-End Chart-Toppers". Rock On The Net. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  17. ^ a b "American album certifications – Marc Anthony – Contra La Corriente". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  18. ^ "Contra La Corriente: Marc Anthony". Retrieved October 19, 2010. 
  19. ^ a b "Contra La Corriente > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Si Te Vas – Marc Anthony". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. March 21, 1998. Retrieved August 9, 2010. 
  21. ^ "No Me Conoces – Marc Anthony". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. May 30, 1998. Retrieved August 9, 2010. 
  22. ^ "Contra La Corriente – Marc Anthony". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. September 26, 1998. Retrieved August 9, 2010. 
  23. ^ "No Sabes Como Duele – Marc Anthony". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. May 1, 1999. Retrieved August 9, 2010. 
  24. ^ Anthony, Marc (actor, singer) (in Spanish). Y Hubo Alguien by Marc Anthony Music Video on Yahoo! Music (Music video). Yahoo! Music. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  25. ^ Pérez, María. "Mario Sacasa en Ritmosonlatino" (in Spanish). El Nuevo Diario. Retrieved September 11, 2010. 
  26. ^ Friedler, Marla. "Marc Anthony In Los Angeles after shooting a new video with Jennifer Lopez and before his June 27th concert at the Greek!". SalsaWeb. Retrieved September 11, 2010. 
  27. ^ a b Jenkins, Terry. "Contra La Corriente > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  28. ^ a b Wilson, David. "Wilson & Alroy's Record Reviews – Marc Anthony". Wilson & Alroy's Record Reviews. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  29. ^ a b Obejas, Achy (December 12, 1997). "Music. Album Reviews – Marc Anthony". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  30. ^ a b Lechner, Ernesto (November 2, 1997). "In Brief". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved May 10, 2011. 
  31. ^ a b Louis, Nestor. "Best of Ness - 1997". Palo Salsero. Retrieved May 10, 2011. 
  32. ^ "MUSIC: THE BEST MUSIC OF 1997". Time. December 29, 1997.,9171,987617,00.html. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  33. ^ "41st Grammy Awards – 1999". Rock On The Net. February 25, 1999. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  34. ^ "Lo Nuestro 1998 – Historia de Premio lo Nuestro". Univision. Retrieved August 31, 2010. 
  35. ^ Caputo, Matt (2010). "Cover Story – Marc Anthony". Urban Latino. Retrieved August 4, 2010. 
  36. ^ "Contra La Corriente – Credits". Allmusic. Retrieved June 5, 2010. 
  37. ^ "Contra La Corriente – Marc Anthony". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved August 9, 2010. 

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