New York: Marc Anthony calls his latest album, ‘Iconos,’ one of his most satisfying, but the crooner acknowledges experiencing a roller-coaster of emotions while he was recording it.
"I felt the gravity of the responsibility ... and also in the studio I felt the insecurity, the absolute bliss, uncertainty, total satisfaction, fear," he recalled in a recent interview. "You invest all these years in this project. ... You go to the studio and you say, `What do I have to offer? This song is perfect! Am I gonna fall short?` ... And then it`s over, and wow."
The finished album, released in late May, was on top of Billboard`s tropical albums chart for several weeks. It includes covers of romantic classics by Mexicans Juan Gabriel and Jose Jose and Spaniard Jose Luis Perales, and Spanish ballads like "El triste," "Y como es el" and "Amada amante."
Anthony said he listened to these songs as a kid growing up in New York City.
"I was raised with these songs that my parents listened to never realizing it was going to be the soundtrack of my life," he said, speaking in a mixture of Spanish and English. "Today I realize it and I get amazed by their importance."
The album, produced by Marc Anthony and Julio Reyes, features 10 songs, two of them original. While he sings songs by his favorite singers, Anthony said the selections were not made because of the artist but because of the song.
His favorite is "Almohada," a Jose Jose hit from the 1970s.
"The arrangement is so cinematic. ... Even if you take the lyrics off there is a story," said the 41-year-old musician. "The song challenged me. ... It captures the challenge that making this album was."
The order of the songs was chosen by his superstar wife, Jennifer Lopez.
"Jennifer absolutely loved it! She was there every step of the way. She actually sequenced the album. She`s my muse," he said proudly.
Lopez was not the only star to appreciate the album. Anthony has received positive comments from some of the original singers of the ballads.
"Perales wrote me immediately the sweetest note saying he was proud of the song. ... Juan Gabriel sent me a beautiful letter saying he was honored that I chose his songs, that he was very proud of me. It really took me by surprise," he said.
Anthony, who has enjoyed great success singing both English pop and Spanish salsa, is on a tour of Latin America that will take him to Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and Chile. He returns to the United States on Sept. 10 with a concert at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Before the year ends, he plans to release a salsa album.
"That time has come: I can`t sleep anymore. That`s when I know I`m ready, when I can`t sleep thinking of the next project," he said, laughing. "We have the pot on the stove and we`re getting the ingredients together to cook that salsa."