Album: Let It Loose (1987)
Charted: 9 3

Songfacts®:

  • Let It Loose was the first album from the Miami Sound Machine to give its lead singer, Gloria Estefan, star billing - a move that put Estefan on the path to stardom but also caused an irreparable rift within the group dynamic. By the time "1-2-3" climbed to #3 on the pop charts, her husband Emilio Estefan Jr. retreated to a producing role, and the band's drummer and lead songwriter Enrique "Kiki" Garcia, who also co-wrote the track with Estefan, had quit. "There is no Miami Sound Machine," he told Rolling Stone that year. "There is Gloria and Emilio telling a bunch of hired musicians what to do."

    In a USA Today interview, Emilio stood by the decision to put his wife front and center: "She's been the lead singer for years but no one knows her name. They always called her 'that girl from the Miami Sound Machine.' In the Grammys, she could only be nominated in the group category, not as a singer. This was the record company's idea, and I like it."
  • The song finds Gloria pining for a shy boy, and she'll keep on counting ("1-2-3-4 come on baby say you love me") until she snags him.
  • A remix that included more horns and a different intro was released outside of the US in 1989. This version can be found on the albums Gloria Estefan Greatest Hits and The Essential Gloria Estefan.
  • This was featured in the 1990 comedy Opportunity Knocks, starring Dana Carvey and Robert Loggia.

Comments: 1

  • Bill from UsCan you imagine what a party band MSM was before we all heard of them? I bet they blew some garage doors off and house parties turned in to block parties. I hate it for the rest of the bands ego's when she took star billing, but come on, we all wanted to see her and hear her sing!
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Gary Brooker of Procol Harum

Gary Brooker of Procol HarumSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer and pianist for Procol Harum, Gary talks about finding the musical ideas to match the words.

The Girl in That Song

The Girl in That SongFact or Fiction

Billie Jean, Delilah, Sara, Laura and Sharona - do you know who the girls in the songs really are?

Which Songs are About Drugs?

Which Songs are About Drugs?Fact or Fiction

"25 or 6 to 4" to "Semi-Charmed Life" - see if you can spot the songs that are really about drugs.

Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and Black Star Riders

Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and Black Star RidersSongwriter Interviews

Writing with Phil Lynott, Scott saw their ill-fated frontman move to a darker place in his life and lyrics.

James Bond Theme Songs

James Bond Theme SongsMusic Quiz

How well do you know the 007 theme songs?

80s Music Quiz 1

80s Music Quiz 1Music Quiz

MTV, a popular TV theme song and Madonna all show up in this '80s music quiz.