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Mecano
Origin Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Genres Synthpop, Electro-pop, New Wave
Years active 1981–1993, 1998
Labels CBS, BMG
Former members
Ana Torroja
Nacho Cano
José María Cano

Mecano was a Spanish pop band whose debut coincided with La Movida Madrileña (Madrilenian Groove), a sociocultural movement that occurred in Spain during the 1980s. Although Spanish music critics do not consider the band one of the most representative ensembles of the aforementioned cultural wave,[1] Mecano found commercial success in the '80s and the early '90s, both in its native country and Latin America, France, and Italy with 25 million worldwide sales. Most of the lyrics were written by one of the Cano brothers from a male perspective, and were mainly sung by Ana Torroja in a melodic, childlike voice while preserving that male perspective; this gave the group its distinctive, playful and sexually ambiguous style.

Contents

History

The musical group was started as a synth-pop ensemble (música tecno in Spanish) by brothers Nacho and José María Cano, along with singer Ana Torroja, in Madrid in 1981. In a period of cultural experimentation in the newly democratic Spain, Mecano achieved its initial popularity with their debut single, Hoy No Me Puedo Levantar ("I Can't Get Up Today"), a song about youth boredom and hangovers. The initial album, named after the band, became a collection of classics that would later represent La Movida Madrileña.

At the same time, Nacho Cano branched out into producing other bands, and both brothers wrote songs for other pop up-stars. Although those secondary acts wouldn't achieve the level of success Mecano gained, they turned out to be new testing grounds for Mecano.

Having achieved another huge hit in 1986 with Me Cuesta Tanto Olvidarte ("It's So Hard to Forget You"), the band reformed its musical approach with the album Entre el cielo y el suelo ("Between heaven and earth"). The new style emphasized more pop over techno. It also facilitated the export of the music to Latin America. This new versatility was evidenced by the cover of Hijo de la Luna ("Son of the Moon") by Opera artist Montserrat Caballé. This song was also submitted by the band as a potential Eurovision Song Contest entry in 1986, however TVE selected the group Cadillac.

Their follow-up album, Descanso Dominical ("Sunday rest"), produced two of their most popular singles: La Fuerza del Destino (The force of fate) and Mujer Contra Mujer ("Woman against woman"). The latter deals with a lesbian relationship, seen through the eyes of a friend, who only later realizes what is going on. It was recorded in French ("Une Femme avec une femme"), English and Italian, giving Mecano their first truly global hit.

Aidalai (nonsense word meaning, "Woe, Dalai (Lama)"), their following album, was published in 1991 and carried the same success of the previous two works. In 1993 the band announced a "temporary split".

The songs La Fuerza del Destino and El 7 de Septiembre ("September 7") were dedicated to Coloma Fernández Armero, who was Nacho Cano's girlfriend for several years. Actress Penélope Cruz debuted in the video clip for La Fuerza del Destino. She later had a relationship with Nacho Cano for several years.

In 1998 the band released the album "Ana, Jose, Nacho" that mixed new songs with greatest hits. The band separated later that year and all three members went on to have solo careers, though only Ana found success as a singer. In 2005 keyboardist Nacho Cano wrote a musical based on 32 songs of the group, named after their first single: Hoy No Me Puedo Levantar.

In 2005, the members of Mecano released a double-CD/DVD package commemorating the 25th anniversary of the creation of the pop-group. The new CD/DVD, Mecanografia (Mecano-graphy), includes a compilation of all their singles, never-before released songs, and a DVD with videos and early concert appearances.

The Cano brothers, are among innovative musicians in the use of technology, Nacho was one of the first Ibero-American musicians to own a Fairlight keyboard. (The screen can be seen in the back cover of their only live album).

The Cano brothers have said in an interview for a Mexican magazine that they became known in this country via a television network rater than the "dying empire" of CBS records. This TV company made a special around the "Here comes the Sun" record, only seen in Mexico.

Jose Maria also commented, he often locked himself in a room with a dictionary and books to write his songs, while Nacho commented he starts with a rhythm machine, the melody and the lyrics in the last place.

In November 2009 the band reunited with a new song being released later that month.

Discography

Albums

Other releases

  • Mecano: Obras Completas - 2005 (collection, published in limited and numbered edition. The CDs inside box are in format digipack. The box contains 8 original-CDs of their official discography in Spanish; it isn't included albums in Italian and French. The box contains: 6 studio-albums + 1 live-album + 1 "CD Bonus" with unpublished songs)
  • Tripack: Mecano: Grandes Éxitos - 2005 (a pack in the shape of 3-gatefold that contains 2 audio-CDs (15 songs each one, singles and non-singles) + 1 DVD with 20 official videoclips)
  • Digipack: Mecanografía (La Historia En Imágenes) - 2006 (Luxury digipack with 4 DVDs, it contains presentations of Mecano in Televisión Española (TVE) + files extra unpublished)
  • Mecano contributed the song "Canción Cortita Para Antes que Nos Abandone el Mar" to the compilation album "Greenpeace, Salvemos al Mediterráneo" (1985).

Foreign language recordings

Mecano recorded some of their songs in English, one of which was published as a single: "The Uninvited Guest", which is the English version of "Me Colé en una Fiesta". Other songs recorded in English by Mecano were: Hawaii-Bombay and You, but these were never published on official discs.

Mecano also recorded many of their songs in Italian, such as: Figlio Della Luna (Hijo De La Luna), Croce Di Lame [Cruz de Navajas ("Cross of Knives")], Un Anno Di Più [Un Año Más ("One More Year (is gone)")], Uno Di Quegli Amanti [Los Amantes ("The Lovers")], Per Lei Contro Di Lei [Mujer Contra Mujer], Il Cinema [El Cine], Vado A Nuova York [No Hay Marcha En Nueva York ("Though Luck in New York")], Fermati A Madrid [Quédate En Madrid ("Stay in Madrid")], Mi Costa Tanto di Scordarti [Me Cuesta Tanto Olvidarte], Responso Positivo [El Fallo Positivo ("Positive Sentence")], Anna e Miguel [Naturaleza Muerta ("Still Life")], Una Rosa e Una Rosa [Una Rosa es Una Rosa ("A Rose is a Rose")], Tu ("You") (Italian version), "Dalai Lama" (Italian version), Il 7 Di Settembre [El 7 De Septiembre] and "La Forza Del Destino" [La Fuerza del Destino].

Songs that Mecano recorded in French include: Une Femme Avec Une Femme [Mujer Contra Mujer], Dis-Moi Lune D'Argent [Hijo De La Luna], "Une Histoire À Trois" [El Uno, El Dos, El Tres ("The One, The Two, and The Three")], Nature Morte [Naturaleza Muerta], Le Paradis Artificiel [El Lago Artificial ("The Artificial Lake")], Toi [Tú], "J.C." (French version) and "Le 7 Septembre" [El 7 de Septiembre].

Unpublished Songs

Some unpublished Mecano songs are Me Do Parle Vous Français ("I You Speaks Français"), Me he declarado en guerra ("I 've Declared War"), Cristóbal Colón ("Christopher Columbus"), El Caballo de Espartero ("Espartero's Horse"), Solo ("Alone"), Lía, El Pez ("The Fish"), El Romance de la Niña María Luz ("Romance of Miss María Luz"), Arlequín ("Harlequin"), Al Alba ("At the Crack of Dawn"), ¿Qué Haces Tú en el Mundo? ("What Are You Doing in the World?") among others.

Covers by other artists

Due to the popularity of their songs, Mecano has been covered by other artists in the Spanish-speaking, as well as in the non-Spanish-speaking world. Songs from Entre el cielo y el suelo have been covered by Montserrat Caballé and Celia Cruz. Also, the unpublished song Lía was sung by Ana Belén. The euro-dance-band Loona covered the song "Hijo de la luna" in 1998 and achieved a major hit with it. Laura Branigan recorded a version of "Mujer Contra Mujer" on her flop 1993 album Over My Heart. In 2008, Daniela Romo included the song on her album, Suenos de Cabaret.

In 2004, Mexican pop singer Fey recorded the album La Fuerza Del Destino, an album consisting of 12 Mecano covers. This album was nominated for the Latin Grammy Awards in 2005. Costa Rican Latin grammy winners, Editus covered the song "Hijo De La Luna" in their album Siempre....

Non-Spanish covers include Sarah Brightman, who covered the songs "Tú", "Hijo de la luna", "Naturaleza Muerta". Mario Frangoulis covered "Hijo de la luna" and "Naturaleza Muerta." The Belgian-Spanish Belle Perez did the same.

The Spanish Heavy Metal band Stravaganzza covered the song "Hijo de la luna" in their most recent studio work: an EP called "Hijo del Miedo" (Son of Fear).

Recently the crossover soprano Geraldine Larrosa covered a French/Spanish version of "Naturaleza Muerta".

In their 2008 album, Tales of Ithiria, the German symphonic metal band Haggard made a cover for "Hijo de la Luna".

Bibliography of Mecano

  1. Book: "Mecano: La Explosión Del Pop Español", Author: Joan Singla, editions: "Martínez Roca", 144 pages, 20 × 13 cm., ISBN 84-270-0871-6.
  2. Book: "Mecano (El Libro)", several authors, editions: "Luca", 128 pages, 24 × 20 cm., ISBN : 84-87491-05-7. Includes a CD-PROMO with two Audio-tracks, "track 1" sung in Italian; "track 2" sung in French. Date of publication: August 1, 1992.
  3. Book: "Mecano: La Fuerza Del Destino", authors: Carlos Del Amo and Javier Adrados PopAdrados, publishing house(editorial): "La Esfera De Los Libros", edition: 1st: 436 pages, ISBN 8497341775. Date of publication: April 20, 2004.

External links

References

  1. ^ Javier Adrados et alii, La fuerza del destino, Madrid: La Esfera de los Libros, 2004, p. 41.







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