It cuts both ways

Cuts Both Ways

Cuts Both Ways is the first studio album credited to Gloria Estefan as a solo artist, but is the twelfth overall for her and her band the Miami Sound Machine, released in 1989 (see 1989 in music); on the spine label of the album's vinyl LP format, it credits Estefan and the band, just like its predecessor album, Let it Loose.


By 1989, Gloria Estefan was recognized as the Best Female Latin artist in the world. As the lead singer of Miami Sound Machine she had been credited in the group's actual name – Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine – on their 1987 Let It Loose album. With "Cuts Both Ways" many believed Gloria to have gone solo, but that is not true, Epic Records still credited Gloria as Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine. It would not be until 1991 when Miami Sound Machine became a backup band for Gloria. On the Cuts Both Ways album she combined a lot of pop, contemporary music, rock, dance music and of course, like all the past albums, Latin rhythms. The album is considered one of the best albums of her entire career, and has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide to this day, topping the album charts in several countries such as UK.

The first single from the album was "Don't Wanna Lose You", which became a great success; in the USA it reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for a week, becoming only her 2nd number one in the USA. The song also became one of her best-known ballads and the single was certified Gold in the USA, while in countries such as The Netherlands, Ireland, Brazil and the UK it reached the Top Ten.

The following single was "Get on Your Feet", another great success. Though it didn't reach number one, it became one of the fans' favorite songs, while the tour of the album was named after the song as "The Get on Your Feet Tour". (It was this tour that later brought Gloria to the edge of death, when the tour bus crashed near Scranton, Pennsylvania en route to Syracuse, New York.)

The third single was "Here We Are", another successful song: it topped the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart and reached the Top Ten in the USA, and Top 20 in Australia.

The fourth single, "Oye mi Canto (Hear my Voice)", received a little less attention, but was the most 'danceable' song of all the singles, having a lot of Latin Rhythm influence. The song didn't do well in the US charts, not even reaching the Top 40, but in the UK reached the Top 20. Though it wasn’t a great success, thanks to that song Gloria received her first MTV Music Award for "Best Pop Video". The Spanish version reached the Top Ten on Hot Latin Tracks.

Finally, the last single to be released was the title track, "Cuts Both Ways". The single reached top 40 in Australia, while topping the Billboard Adult Contemporary Charts in the USA, but failing to reach top 40 in either the US or UK.

The name Cuts Both Ways was a reference to Estefan's desire to appeal to both English- and Spanish-speaking fans.

The artists Betty Wright and Jon Secada were part of the background vocals of this album, and also both appeared helping Gloria on her next LP Into the Light.

Track listing

  1. "Ay, Ay I" (Estefan) – 3:49
  2. "Here We Are" (Estefan) – 4:51
  3. "Say" (Secada, Duncan) – 3:41
  4. "Think About You Now" (Casas) – 4:20
  5. "Nothin’ New" (Estefan) – 3:50
  6. "Oye Mi Canto (Hear My Voice) (English Version)" (Estefan, Casas, Ostwald) – 4:52
  7. "Don't Wanna Lose You" (Estefan) – 4:12
  8. "Get on Your Feet" (De Faria, Casas, Ostwald) – 3:38
  9. "Your Love Is Bad for Me" (Estefan) – 3:50
  10. "Cuts Both Ways" (Estefan) – 3:16
  11. "Oye Mi Canto (Hear My Voice) (Spanish Version)" (Estefan, Casas, Ostwald) – 4:58
  12. "Si Voy a Perderte" (Estefan) – 4:07


  • Gloria Estefan - vocal, background vocals
  • Jon Secada - background vocals
  • Rita Quintero - background vocals
  • Donna Allen - background vocals
  • Jorge Casas - background vocals, acoustic guitar, electric and fretless basses
  • Randy Barlow - background vocals
  • Teddy Mulet - background vocals, trumpet, trombone
  • Clay Ostwald - background vocals, synthesizers, piano
  • Betty Wright - background vocals
  • Emilio Estefan Jr. - additional congas
  • John de Faria - electric and acoustic guitars
  • Paquito Hechevarria - piano
  • Paco Fonta - acoustic guitar
  • Robert Rodriguez - live drums
  • Michael Thompson - electric guitar
  • Mike Scaglione - saxophone
  • Rafael Padilla - percussion
  • Randy Barlow - trumpet


  • Producers: Emilio Estefan Jr., Jorge Casas & Clay Ostwald
  • Arrangers (all songs): Jorge Casas & Clay Ostwald
  • Additional Arrangers: Gloria Estefan, John Haag, Tom McWilliams, Scott Shapiro, John de Faria, Efrain Enriquez
  • Engineers: Eric Schilling
  • Engineers Assistant: John Haag, Ted Stein, Andrew Roshberg
  • Mixing: Humberto Gatica, Phil Ramone, Eric Schilling,
  • Mixing Assistant: Greg Laney, Mauricio Guerrero, Carlos Nieto, John Haag
  • Additional Assisting: Dana Horowitz, Steve Whaley, Roger Hughes
  • Sinclavier Programming: Clay Ostwald
  • Sinclavier Additional Programming: John Slick
  • Horn Arrangements: Teddy Mulet


  • Art direction: Nancy Donald, David Coleman
  • Photography: Randee St. Nicholas
  • Gloria Estefan’s Hair & Makeup: Eric Bernard
  • Band Hair & Makeup: Samy
  • Wardrobe: Vivian Turner


Chart performance

Cuts Both Ways became on a great successful album reaching the number one on several countries.

Chart (1989) Peak
Australia albums chart 1
Belgium albums chart 1
Swiss albums chart 13
UK albums chart 1 (6 weeks)
U.S. Billboard Top 200 albums chart 6
U.S. Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums 80
U.S. Top Latin Pop Albums 11


Country Certification
Australia 4x Platinum
Germany Gold
Switzerland Gold
UK 3x Platinum
U.S. 3x Platinum


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