27th February, 1993
This is Jon Secada's third single, and third appearance at the top of this chart; a skeptic might be forgiven for thinking that Latin Pop was so devoid of new ideas or talent that a single shirtless Cuban-American singing adult-contemporary fluff with a vaguely urban beat represents a tidal wave of the New and the Now, and a general dissatisfaction with what the rest of the Latin universe was offering up.
There are two responses to make to this: first, an acknowledgement that Jon Secada's charms are beginning to pale. We've seen him run through his paces, and there are no surprises here, unless you count the shift from muted, ballady piano chords to snapping not-quite-new-jack-swing beats which does for an intro here. Even the melody is familiar, and Secada's bag of tricks — oh, look, he's going into falsetto on the third chorus — is starting to sound like a cheap copy of himself. If "Otro Día Más Sin Verte" was a breath of fresh air, this is that same air after having been recycled a couple dozen times through the system, a photocopy of a photocopy that retains the outline but loses the distinctiveness and clarity of the original.
The other response is, of course, that the number one spot is a very narrow, and in a lot of ways unrepresentative, stripe on any chart. At this point in history, reggaetón was being popularized by El General, rock en Español was being popularized Stateside by Maná and Café Tacuba, and cumbia was beginning to make waves outside of South America and rural Mexico. Not to mention the first hits of a new generation of pop stars — Mexican, Puerto Rican, Colombian, estadounidense — who won't crest up to the number one spot for several more years, and who will profoundly transform Latin Pop into something modern and sleek and danceable, and change Anglophone pop too, in the process. That Jon Secada happened, during these weeks, to sell the most records, is no indication of the earth-and-sea-shaking shifts under way elsewhere on the charts.
But even Secada, in his way, was transformative: before him, it was a relative rarity to find an American — that is, a United States of American — at the top spot on the main US Latin chart. It will not be a rarity from here on out. Latin Pop is growing more American, and America is growing more Latin. This is a change which will not slow down in the years to come.