Yo ho! Nightrider here!

Spanish composers and songwriters Manuel Alejandro and Ana Magdalena produced albums that made international hits for singers. Notable examples include Emmanuel, Luis Miguel, Plácido Domingo, Julio Iglesias, and José José. In this session of Hidden Gems, we’ll take a look at British-born Catalan-Spanish singer Jeanette; she worked with Manuel Alejandro to create her fourth album Corazón De Poeta.

Released in June 1981, Jeanette intended to reinvent herself after an unsuccessful attempt at disco music for the markets in Germany and The Netherlands. She didn’t like disco and refocused on the Spanish market. With the direction of Alejandro and Magdalena, Corazón De Poeta became Jeanette’s most successful album. Like Emmanuel’s album Íntimamente where every song is a big hit, Corazón De Poeta has a track list that is a mega-hit with no errors from start to finish.

Here are a few pieces for us to look into:

Corazón De Poeta is the title song for the album. Departing from a child-like image, this album has an erotic tone. At first, the song title was Corazón De Piedra (Heart of Stone). Due to Jeanette’s pronunciation of the word piedra, the word was changed to poeta. The song itself is about a man of stone who is willing to warm up and change because the love his girlfriend is giving him.

Frente a Frente is an unlove song about disagreements that are beginning. This was a big issue at the time because Spain enacted its Divorce Law in 1981. Frente a Frente is a classic and is a staple in Jeanette’s repertoire. This track has a lasting legacy such that several artists sampled this song in their works: Noreaga’s Gangsta’s Watch and Cartel De Santa’s El Dolor Del Micro.

El Muchacho de los Ojos Tristes is simply about a guy with sad eyes that needs some love now and then. Alongside Frente a Frente and Corazón De Poeta, this song remains popular among fans to this day.

Corazón De Poeta solidified Jeanette’s career with Latin America and continues to influence artists to this day. This album is another example of talent over name, substance, and style.