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Lateinamerika - Erschienen am 1. Januar 1984 | Legacy Recordings
1100 Bel Air Place was designed as Julio Iglesias' breakthrough to the American audience, finding the Latin superstar recording with producer Richard Perry -- the architect behind blockbusters by Barbra Streisand, Ringo Starr and Harry Nilsson -- and duetting with such established American superstars as Diana Ross, Stan Getz, the Beach Boys and Willie Nelson. The latter, of course, provided Iglesias with the key to his crossover with a duet on Hal David and Albert Hammond's "To All the Girls I've Loved Before," a song that became ubiquitous in 1984. If 1100 Bel Air Place is a bit too tied to that year -- not just through the presence of its blockbuster hit, but also through Perry's cavernous '80s production, a brittle affair where even studio pros sound like synthesizers -- it is nevertheless a testament to the commercial savviness of all involved. Perry captured the sound of adult contemporary radio circa 1984 just perfectly, creating the ideal vehicle for Iglesias' smooth vocals, which skirted just on the edge of being schmaltzy but never went over that edge. The material was well selected -- heavy on Hammond songs, including his other signature song "The Air That I Breathe" and "Moonlight Lady," and it was expertly executed according the conventions of mid-'80s soft rock. As a matter of fact, apart from "Me Va, Me Va" (also written by Hammond) and the accent in Iglesias' voice, this could pass as a straight-up adult contemporary record from the '80s -- which is why it was a hit, turning Iglesias into a true star in America, the one market he hadn't conquered -- but it's also why 1100 Bel Air Place may sound a little too dated to some ears: it is truly, thoroughly, an artifact of its time. But according to those standards, it works very well, and even if the sound of the record don't necessarily hold up, it's still easy to listen to this and realize exactly how it made Julio Iglesias a star in 1984. [1100 Bel Air Place was reissued in 2006 in a remastered version containing a bonus track, "I Don't Want to Wake You."] © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo