Our Top 10 Juan Gabriel Songs list takes a look at a successful Mexican singer, songwriter and actor. He broke barriers on the Latin music charts. He was one of the best Mexican composers in music. He wrote an impressive 1,800 songs during his lifetime. He sold over 60 million albums. Some of his biggest hits include “Amor Eterno,” “Querida,” “Hasta Que Te Conoci,” “No Tengo Dinero,” “Yo No Naci Para Amar,” “El Noa Noa,” “Abrazame Muy Fuerte,” “De Mi Enamorate,” “Pero Que Necesidad” and “En Esta Primavera.” In addition to singing, Gabriel was an actor. He appeared in Nobleza ranchera (1977), Del Otro Lado Del Puente (1978) and Hasta Que Te Conoci (2016) as well as others.
Alberto Aguilera Valadez was born on January 7, 1950 – August 28, 2016. He got his start singing in the church choir. He made his debut on the television show Noches Rancheras in 1965. In 1966 – 1968, he sang in a bar called Noa-Noa. During this time, he wrote his single “El Noa Noa.” He tried to get signed at different record labels, but he was rejected. He didn’t give up. He kept singing at different clubs until he got noticed. He ended up becoming a background vocalist for Roberto Jordan, Angelica Maria and Estela Nunez. He went back to singing in bars because he made enough money as a background singer. While he was trying to get signed to a label again, he was accused of robbery. He went to prison for a year and a half. Gabriel wrote singles while he was in prison. He met a prison warden who introduced him to a Mexican singer named La Prieta Linda. She helped him get a recording contract with RCA Victor. He changed his name to Juan Gabriel. His first hit was “No Tengo Dinero” in 1971.
Gabriel’s first album El Alma Joven came out in 1971. It features the singles “No tengo Dinero,” “Me he quedado solo,” “Lily,” “Como Amigos” and “La Mas Querida,” El Alam Jovan II came out in 1972. The album features the singles “Rosenda,” “No Puedo Olvidar,” “No Quiero Que Me Dejes” and “Tu Que Fuiste.” El Alam Joven III was released in 1973. It features the singles “Esta Rosa Roja,” “En Esta Primavera,” “No Quiero,” “Nada Ni Nadie,” “Volvamos Otra Vez” and Ya No Puedo Ser Posible.”
Juan Gabriel Con El Mariachi Vargas De Tecalitlan was released in 1974. It features the singles “Se Me Lovido Otra Vez,” “Esta Noche Voy a Verla,” “Si Dios Me Ayuda,” “Que Sea Mi Condena” and “La Muerta Del Palomo.” 10 Exitos de Juan Gabriel was released in 1975. It features the singles “No Se Ha Dado Cuenta,” “Me Gusta Esta Contigo,” “Gracias Por Vol Ver,” “Cuando Me Vaya De Tu Lado” and “Que Vuelvas.” A Mi Guitarra also came out in 1975. It features the singles “A Mi Guitarra,” “Quando Seas Mi Mujer,” “Un Adios Y Lagrimas” and “Eres Dificil De Ol Vidar.”
Juan Gabriel con Mariachi Vol II came out in 1976. It features the singles “17 Anos,” “Otra Vez Me Enamore,” “Nos Vemos Manana,” “Cuando Decidas Volver” and “Cuando Todo Se Acabe.”Recuerdos came out in 1980. The album features the singles “El Noa Noa,” “LaStima Es Mi Mujer,” “Nunca Lo Sabre, Nunca Lo Sabras,” “Busca Un Amor,” “Reza Siempre Por Mi” and “Yo No Naci Para Amar.” Ella was released in 1980. It features the singles “Ella,” “Esta Noche Hoy Por Fin,” Manana, Manana,” “Te Sigo Amando” and “Solo Tu y You.”
Con Tu Amor was released in 1981. It features the singles “Con Tu Amor,” “Karina,” “With Your Love,” “Canta Canta,” “Perla,” “No Me Tra Tes Mal” and “Maria de la Paz.” Todo came out in 1983. It features the singles “Todo,” “Yo Me Voy,” “Caray,” “Nada Mas Decidete” and “Tengo Que Olvidar.” Recurdos, Vol II came out in 1984. It features the singles “Recurdos,” “Bailan,” “Meche,” “Querrdo,” Besame” and “Que No Diera Yo.” The album sold over eight million copies. It’s considered one of the best selling Mexican albums of all time.
Juan Gabriel had a long career as a Mexican singer and songwriter. He opened the doors for other Latin American artists to achieve success in that genre. He was known for recording love songs. His music touched the hearts of all his fans. He was among the most influential Latino artists in history. Numerous Latin artists have covered his songs. This is an indicator of the impact he had on other artists. He left the world too soon, but his legacy lives on through his catalog of music.
# 10 – Amor Eterno (Eternal Love)
The first song on our Top 10 Juan Gabriel Songs list is “Amor Eterno” from the Juan Gabriel en El Palacio de Bellas Artes album. It has a Latin beat. The heartbreaking song is about depression. He talks about the way a person sees him or herself when they are looking in a mirror. People age because of the way loss affects them. Gabriel’s mother inspired the song. The song could be used for funerals. The lyrics are poignant and melancholy.
If you have ever lost someone close to you, the lyrics may hit close to home. The ballad will move listeners to tears as it draws memories of personal loss. The music has a somber beat. It features the guitar, trumpet, violins, drums and an orchestra. The tender music fits perfectly with the somber mood of the lyrics. Gabriel’s vocals are superb. He expresses his pain convincingly.
You can tell he’s lost someone based on how he sings it. He’s not just singing a song. He is singing it from experience. He sounds similar to Marc Anthony. They have the same powerful vocals. If you listen carefully, it sounds as if Gabriel is crying while he’s singing the lyrics. He sounds like he’s choking up while he’s singing. The song touches his heart and it will touch the listeners’ hearts as well.
# 9 – Querida (Honey)
The next song on our Top 10 Juan Gabriel Songs list is “Querida” from the Recuerdos, Vol. II album. The song has a slow Latin and pop beat. The longing song is about a man who wants a former flame to come back to his life. He can’t get over losing her and wants her to come back to him. Anyone who has loved and lost someone can relate to the lyrics. It’s relevant for anyone who is pining over a former relationship. The beautiful ballad will make you feel emotional. He incorporated the bolero musical style for this particular track.
The drums give the song a pop sound. It also gives the song tempo. The guitar riffs almost give the song a rock edge. There is sort of a Laura Branigan feel to it. The horn section stands out on the track. The music has a late 70s and 80s feel to it, but it can still be appreciated today. Gabriel pours his heart out in this song. He doesn’t break down the way he does in “Amor Eterno” but you can tell that he wants the love of his life back. He sings it with passion just like our previous entry. He doesn’t belt the way he did in the previous song, but he gives it his all. He performs little runs when he sings the chorus of the song. The track is worth a listen.
# 8 – Abrazame Muy Fuerte (Hug Me Very Tight)
The poetic song is from the album of the same name. It has a Latin and pop sound. The sweet song is about seeking love from someone. He wants someone to show him affection. The lyrics are loving and tender. He’s pleading for something that most of us want. Most of us want to feel loved and be held tightly. The song is based on plateaus and build-ups. The music starts off softly and builds up to a climatic crescendo. It begins with the tender melody of the piano and the violins. They carry out the music in the beginning until the trumpet enters the song.
The music picks up in volume once the trumpet is added. The song builds to an orchestral swell two-thirds into the song. Gabriel’s vocals are the point of the track. He’s full of emotion as he recites the lyrics. His voice tends to break at points during the song. The breaking conveys the emotion he tries to express. Most singers would have the breaking edited out of their songs, but he chose to leave them in the song. You can hear the rawness in his voice and it makes the song sound real. He belts as he gets louder in the song. He was singing for a long time when this track was recorded, but he sounded just as good as ever.
# 7 – Pero Que Necesidad (But What Is the Need)
The fun song is from the album Gracias Por Esperar. It has a Latin and pop beat. The meaningful song is about loving people all over the world. He wants you to love people no matter what. The theme of the song is similar to Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World.” The song was recorded in the 90s, but it’s relevant today. There is a lot going on in the world today so the song still works now. The music is upbeat. It has a 90s pop sound, but the catchy beat can still be appreciated today. The rhythmic drumbeat drives the beat. The guitar and piano are fire. The beat allows you to move around to it. He takes you to church with the song.
Juan Gabriel has background singers that sound like a choir. They make the song sound like a gospel song. Juan Gabriel sounds soulful on the track. He sang the lyrics without using any vocal tricks. He sang straight from his heart. He didn’t belt or do any runs, but they weren’t needed. The message still came across without him using vocal tricks to impress the listeners. This is a case where less was definitely more. The lyrics were powerful enough that he didn’t need to rely on big notes to sell it.
# 6 – El Noa Noa (The Noa Noa)
The celebratory Juan Gabriel song is from the album Recuerdos. The song has a Latin and pop sound. The nostalgic song is about the bar he worked at before he became a singer. He wanted to do a dedication to the bar that helped him become a star. The music is upbeat. It sounds like a cross between Latin, pop and country music. It doesn’t have a typical Latin beat to it. It sounds like something you would hear at a bar. The beat will grab your attention and hold it until the very end of the track. The guitar riffs are impressive. The drumbeat will have you out of your seat. There’s no way to sit still listening to the music.
He proved he could sing more than just ballads. He also proved he could record songs about something other than heartbreak and romance. The song gave him a chance to branch out lyrically. He stepped outside of his wheelhouse and it paid off for him. The bouncy song was a great fit for him. Gabriel’s vocals are strong. He sounds similar to Marc Anthony on this song. Marc Anthony could have easily recorded it. He commands you to want to sing along with him. It sounds like it could be a novelty song, but it works.
# 5 – De Mi Enamorate (Fall in Love With Me)
The next song on our Top 10 Juan Gabriel Songs list is “De Mi Enamorate” from the Juan Gabriel en El Palacio de Bellas Artes album. It has a Latin and pop sound to it. The romantic song is about falling in love with someone. He wants the person to fall in love with him. The lyrics are sincere and sweet. It sounds like something that would be featured on a telenovela. If you close your eyes, you can practically hear the song being featured on a telenovela. The track is a remake of Daniela Roma’s song. He wrote the song for her, but he also recorded it.
Their versions of the song aren’t that different from each other. The music is soft and romantic. It has a typical Latin beat. The hypnotic music will hold your attention until the song is done. Gabriel starts the song with a build up of a note. He starts the note low and rises up vocally. He sings in time with the musical changes. The background singers do a great job supporting Gabriel. They manage to keep up with him in the song. His version is just as good as the original version of the song.
# 4 – Yo No Naci Para Amar (I Wasn’t Born to Love)
The yearning song is from the Recuerdos album. It has a Latin beat. The sad song is about never finding love despite everyone else finding it. He feels he wasn’t born to love anyone. This is a sad song that anyone who has been unfortunate not to find love can relate to. The song will touch your heart if you have been looking for love and couldn’t find it. This song may be personal to Gabriel because he was unlucky in love. He didn’t get a chance to find true love. The music is pretty and mellow. It matches the darkness of the song. The music was soft.
It begins with a harmonica and the drumbeat. The music picks up the pace somewhat while he’s singing the verses. There is a musical pause that gives you a chance to focus on the music. Gabriel starts the song softly. The music was soft so he didn’t need to sing too loud. He gets louder the longer the song goes on. He belts a little in the chorus. His vocals go up and down like a roller coaster. He knows when to sing loudly and when to pull back and let the song marinate. The chorus will stay in your head after it’s done.
# 3 – Hasta Que Te Conoci (Until I Met You)
The anthemic song is from the Pensamientos album. The track has a Latin and pop beat. The heartbreaking song is about living a happy life until he met the person who destroyed it. Everything was fine until the new lover came along and treated him badly. The lyrics mean so much that it was covered by many artists. The lyrics sound like the plot of a play or a soap opera. The music is haunting and it matches the pain he describes in the song. The music builds up some when he gets halfway through the track.
The drumbeat gives the song some tempo. The music practically puts you into a trance. Gabriel’s vocals will snap you out of the trance because they will grab your attention. He tells a convincing story about a love gone wrong. He shows a vulnerable side as he describes what happens when the person he thought he loved destroys his life. His voice breaks after the bridge and that shows his vulnerable side. He holds a note after the bridge. Once he holds the note, he lets loose vocally. He reaches for the stars while he’s belting. Juan Gabriel sounds like Marc Anthony on this track. Marc Anthony covered this track so it makes sense that he sounds similar to him.
# 2 – En Esta Primavera (In This Spring)
The alluring song is from the album El Alma Joven Vol. III. The song has a Latin and pop beat. The heartwarming song is about him falling in love in the springtime. The song was recorded in the 1970s when disco music and the Bee Gees were dointaing radio around the world., but the message is still relevant today. People fall in love all of the time so they can relate to this song. The music is energetic and bouncy. It sounds a little like disco music mixed with a Latin beat. The music will hook you as soon as you hear the first couple of bars. The music is perfect for dancing. The horn section and drums drive the beat.
Juan Gabriel sounds a little different on this one. His voice is higher than it is on the other entries on our list. He sings in time with the beat. His phrasing is impeccable. He doesn’t miss a beat. He starts holding notes early in the song, which was a nice treat. His vocals are stacked so he sounds like he’s using a double. His harmonies are excellent. Everything about the song works. You will want to put this song on repeat so it won’t end. The only complaint is that the song is too short other than that it’s flawless.
# 1 – No Tengo Dinero (I Have No Money)
The number one song on our Top 10 Juan Gabriel Songs list is “No Tengo Dinero” from the album El Alma Joven. The song has a Latin beat. The emotional song is about him not wanting to get married because he’s poor. He doesn’t feel worthy of marrying someone when he can’t support the person. He said he could only offer love since he doesn’t have any money. People can relate to this song if they feel that they can’t give their lovers anything other than their love. This is the song that helped put Gabriel on the map. It’s one of his signature songs. It’s such a beautiful songs that sounds like something Burt Bacharach might have written. It also reminds us a little of Jose Feliciano in the vocal groove.
The music is melodic and catchy. It has a classic sound, but the music can still be loved today. It doesn’t sound dated at all. This song gave Juan Gabriel a chance to spread his wings. He has a lot of ballads so this track gave him a chance to sing a fast song. He sings fast songs just as well as he sings his ballads. He gave the song his all. He started the track softly and slowly turned it into a showstopper. He belted the chorus after he hit the bridge. He takes you on a ride and you don’t want to get off of it. It’s not a surprise this song was a hit because everything about it works.
Feature Photo: Julio Enriquez, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Top 10 Juan Gabriel Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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