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[Excerpts from Billboard August 5, 1995]

Selena's 'Dreaming Of You' Set Is Bittersweet Hit For Late EMI Star

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BY JOHN LANNERT

    As Selena's bilingual, posthumous set, "Dreaming Of You," makes 
its historic debut at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 this week, the Latino        
singing idol seems bound for the crossover stardom for which she longed. 

    Released jointly by EMI Latin and EMI Records on July 18, "Dreaming
Of You" has already achieved two unprecedented chart achievements. It
is the first album recorded mostly in Spanish to debut at No. 1 on The 
Billboard 200, and it is the first by a Latino artist to accomplish that 
feat. Moreover, Selena, whose full name was Selena Quintanilla Perez, follows
Santana and Los Lobos to become only the third artist of primarily Hispanic 
descent to climb to the top of the chart in the rock era.

    "Dreaming Of You" also is No. 1 on The Billboard Latin 50, joining 
five other titles by Selena that have remained entrenched in the top 10 
of the chart since she was shot March 31 by an ex-employee (Billboard, 
April 15). "Dreaming Of You" supplanted Selena's long-running platinum
smash "Amor Prohibido" in the top spot on that chart.

    According to SoundScan, in its first week "Dreaming Of You" sold 
331,000 units, the second-highest weekly sales tally this year after Michael 
Jackson's two-record, set "HIStory," which rang up 391,000 units. Though 
EMI shipped nearly 2 million units of the album on July 18, retailers almost 
immediately began asking for reorders, prompting EMI to press an additional 
500,000 copies.

    With retailers throughout the U.S. scrambling to replenish stock, 
many store executives say that Anglo customers are buying "Dreaming Of You."

    Debra Villalobos, Latin music buyer at the 347-unit Wherehouse 
Entertainment web in Torrance, Calif., says she is surprised by the 
interest of Anglo buyers in the record.

    "I had some stores run out of the album that I didn't think would 
run out, because they normally don't sell Latin product at all," says 
Villalobos. Like other retailers, Villalobos reports that cassette sales 
are outpacing CD sales, thus far.

    Its retail success assured, "Dreaming Of You" is now beginning to 
heat up at radio, as well. Two of the album's tracks-"Tu Solo Tu" and 
"I Could Fall In Love"-are No. 1 and No. 3, respectively, on the Hot 
Latin Tracks chart.

    "I Could Fall In Love" is the second most-played record at KISS-FM 
Los Angeles. Station music director Tracy Austin says that the top 40 
oufset was rotating Selena's former Latino chart-topper, "Fotos Y Recuerdos," 
before adding "I Could Fall In Love."

    "We've been getting a lot of requests," says Austin. "The Anglo 
section of the community seems to like this song. It seems to be a 
mass-appeal hit."

    In addition, "I Could Fall In Love" is breaking in Kansas City, 
Mo., Oklahoma City, Miami, and Boston, where WXKS-FM PD John Ivey says 
that "after the first play we had tons of requests. It sounds like a 
No. 1 record to me."

LONG-RANGE INFLUENCE

    Predictably, executives at EMI Records and EMI Latin are elated 
with the out-of-the-box prosperity of "Dreaming Of You." However, both 
the president/CEO of EMI Records, Davitt Sigerson, and the president of 
EMI Latin, Jose Behar, stress the long-range influence that Selena will 
have on the market as opposed to the expanding sales potential of "Dreaming 
Of You."

    "This is a crossover dream that may be realized not just by Selena, 
but also for a whole new wave of artists," says Sigerson, noting that 
Spanish-language albums by Gloria Estefan and Linda Ronstadt have helped 
"soften up America's linguistic chauvinism. This is one more piece of that 
process."

    "The idea," says Behar, "was to create a retrospective package 
that would enable her fans to appreciate the music that made her popular, 
as well as introduce them to new Spanish- and English language music 
that would have taken her into the future."

    The 13-song set features four English-language songs that were to 
be included on Selena's English-language debut, two new Spanish-language
tracks, and a Spanish/English duet with David Byrne. Rounding out the
balance of the record are several of Selena's No. 1 Latin hits, including
a reggae cover of "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom."

    Among the noted producers, songwriters, and recording artists who 
appear on the album are Keith Thomas, who wrote the leadoff single, "I Could 
Fall In Love"; Diane Warren, Franne Golde, Tom Snow, and Full Force; 
Selena's brother, producer/songwriter A.B. Quintanilla III; the Barrio 
Boyzz, mariachi producer Jose Hernandez and K.C. Porter, keynote speaker at 
BiUboard's recent International Latin Music Conference. Highly regarded 
designer Margo Chase produced the artwork for the album jacket and 
merchandising materials.
    
    In May, People magazine published a 76-page commemorative issue 
on Selena that sold more than 600,000 copies. One month later, People ran 
another high-profile story on Selena, as did Good Housekeeping magazine. 
Throughout June and July, numerous networks and cable channels broadcast 
stories about Selena.

    Adam Sexton, VP international, EMI Records, says that "Dreaming Of 
You" will be released Aug. 14 in Germany, with most of the rest of Europe 
putting out the record later in the month or in September. Similarly, 
Japan and other Asian countries are set to ship the record within the next 
two months.

    Selena's tragedy, however, could again come under the microscope 
in the not-so-distant future. Under current negotiation is a forthcoming 
biopic of Selena, scheduled for release in 1996. In addition, 
notes Behar, there is still enough previously unreleased material recorded 
by Selena to make another album or two.

    "Given the way the public has embraced this record, it all indicates 
that maybe next year there will be a followup album, as well as a 
soundtrack," says Behar.


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