Now an album in Spanish on the PolyGram label entitled La Mujer (The Woman) the brainchild of Grammy Award winning Leonardo Schultz. The album was demoed in Spain, and recorded in California. As preparation for the recording Shirley even has Spanish lessons. The album brings together new Spanish versions of some of Shirley’s former classics such as “Without You” and “I Who Have Nothing” along with new material written especially for the album. The album’s debut was an amazing performance by Shirley at the Viña Del Mar Song Festival in Chile in February, 1989, and further appearances in South America will follow.The world has only a mere handful of great stars…Shirley Bassey is one…she is Europe’s female superstar…she is in a class of her own.
It is noteworthy that the album producer Leonardo Schultz was also the writer or co-writer (translator) of every song. So it seems that he was the one who had the idea for this album and he has been the driver behind the project, because he was personally engaged very much.
Mexican journalist Carlos, who transcribed all the Spanish songs for this site, wrote: Giving you my point of view as a music critic, “La Mujer” is a well done production, Bassey’s voice sounds very fresh for Latin people, but on the other hand, some of the lyrics are not well structured in its form as a simple way we Latin people use the language in songs. For example, “no es vivir” (is not living) This phrase is never used in any Spanish language country! (I mean Spain or any Latin American country.) We could say “no es vida” (is not life) or “no vivo” (I don’t live)… Like this example there are other ones.
Translating songs from a different language is no easy task, but in the case of tracks from this album, the passion and sentiment of the original pieces have been retained, in some cases one could even go as far as saying that they have been improved!
Shirley Bassey fan Oscar, who also transcribed and translated some of the songs of this album, said about this album: I think she did a very good job of singing those lyrics, and her pronunciation is very good and clear. It’s difficult to translate Spanish lyrics into English, they never sound quite right. Keep in mind, the same thoughts are quite beautiful as written in Spanish. (Written by Ed).
Below you can listen to all the songs of this superb and hard to find album. It was only released on an LP in South America at the time and in the rest of the world on CD. One single was released from this album. Below also a video with an interview with Shirley Bassey about the recording of this album plus a few live versions of some of the songs.
|By Shirley Bassey. Paris, January 1989|
I have to tell you that this album was not easy for me to make for the simple reason that I do not speak Spanish. No, really I do not, but I did invest in twenty hours of Spanish lessons which proved invaluable because I was able to sing the actual Spanish words and not use phonetics. I also have to tell you that I am very proud of my first effort! No matter what language you speak the language of love is universal. I dedicate this album with all my love to you.