"Bésame Mucho" is a Spanish-language song written in 1940 by Mexican songwriter Consuelo Velázquez.
According to Velázquez herself, she wrote this song even though she had never been kissed yet at the time, and kissing as she heard was considered a sin.
She was inspired by the piano piece "Quejas, o la Maja y el Ruiseñor" from the 1911 suite Goyescas by Spanish composer Enrique Granados, which he later also included as Aria of the Nightingale in his 1916 opera of the same name.
There are slight differences in the wording at the end of the chorus, regarding the words perderte después meaning "to lose you afterwards". Considering that Velázquez may have been fifteen years old when she wrote the song, this sentence reflects inexperience and innocence. Indeed, a video from "TV Mexicana"shows Consuelo Velázquez playing the piano while the singer sings perderte después. However, many interpretations use perderte otra vez ("lose you once again") instead of the original perderte despues ("lose you afterwards"). This may have been modified to touch a more grown-up, experienced audience.
An English-language version of the song was written by Sunny Skylar. The lyrics are different from the direct English translation of the original, but retain the Spanish Bésame mucho.
"Bésame Mucho" is also known by translated names such as "Kiss Me Much," "Kiss Me a Lot," "Kiss Me Again and Again," "Embrasse-moi fort," "Stale Ma Bozkavaj," "Suutele minua," and "Szeretlek én."
Emilio Tuero was the first to record the song, but the Lucho Gatica version made the song famous. Pedro Infante sang the song in English in his 1951 movie A Toda Maquina. The Beatles covered the song numerous times, both on stage and in the studio, including during their audition for Decca Records, their first EMI recording session and the Get Back sessions. A performance from the Get Back sessions was included in the documentary film Let It Be, while one from the EMI audition appeared on the Anthology 1 compilation. The Beatles sang their rendition of the song with English lyrics that do not correspond to the original Spanish lyrics. The Coasters released a version of the song that featured King Curtis on the saxophone.
Jet Harris made an instrumental version (bass guitar) in 1962. Alejandro Fernández included the song in the live album Un Canto De México. In 1997, Luis Miguel recorded the song for the album Romances.
The composition has been used in the soundtracks of numerous other films, including Great Expectations, Moon over Parador, Arizona Dream, Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears, The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear, In Good Company, Paid, Juno, Mona Lisa Smile, Mivtza Savta, Ljubav i drugi zločini, and Santa Sangre.
Fastball's hit 1998 song "The Way" was inspired by "Besame Mucho" and uses much of the same melody.
In 2007, composer/arranger and jazz trombonist Steve Wiest was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement for his version of "Besame Mucho" that was recorded by Maynard Ferguson on The One and Only Maynard Ferguson.
In January 2010, at the 52nd Grammy Awards, Herb Alpert was nominated for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.
Summer 2011, award winning singer & songwriter Arsi Nami released the first Latin Dance and duo version of Besame Mucho in the history.