Menudo (band)

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Menudo
Menudo por Amor LP.jpg
1982 lineup. L-to-R: (top left corner)
Miguel Cancel (top left corner)
Xavier Serbiá (middle)
Charlie Massó (top right corner)
Johnny Lozada (bottom left corner)
Ricky Meléndez (bottom right corner)
Background information
Origin Caguas, Puerto Rico
Genres Latin pop, teen pop, pop rock
Years active 1977–1997, 2007–2009
Labels Padosa, RCA, McGillis, Epic
Associated acts MDO
Past members
Further information: List of Menudo members
Original lineup (1977–1979):
Nefty Sallaberry
Carlos Meléndez
Fernando Sallaberry
Óscar Meléndez
Ricky Meléndez


Others (from 1979 until disbandment in 1997)
René Farrait
Johnny Lozada
Xavier Serbiá
Miguel Cancel
Charlie Massó
Ray Reyes
Roy Rosselló
Robi Rosa
Ricky Martin
Raymond Acevedo
Sergio Blass
Ralphy Rodríguez
Rubén Gómez
Angelo García
Robert Avellanet
Rawy Torres
César Abreu
Adrián Olivares
Edward Aguilera
Jonathan Montenegro
Alexis Grullón
Ashley Ruiz
Andy Blázquez
Abel Talamántez
Ricky López
Anthony Galindo
Didier Hernández
Daniel René Weider


Final lineup (2007–2009):
Carlos Emmanuel Olivero
José "Monti" Antonio Montañez
Emmanuel Jose Vélez Pagán
Christopher Nelson Moy
José Bordonada Collazo

Menudo was a Puerto Rican boy band that was formed in the 1970s by producer Edgardo Díaz. Menudo was also one of the biggest Latin boy bands in history, releasing their first album in 1977. The band achieved much success, especially during the 1980s, becoming the most popular Latin American teen musical group of the era. The group disbanded in 2009.

During its course, the band had several radio hits. Their success led them to also release two feature films: Una Aventura Llamada Menudo and Menudo: La Película.

The band was a starting point for superstars like Ricky Martin and Draco Rosa, who were members around the mid 1980s during their youth.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

Menudo was founded by Puerto Rican producer Edgardo Díaz on November 25, 1977. After successfully managing the Spanish teen-group La Pandilla (1973–1976), Díaz returned to Puerto Rico to form a new group: an all-male group where the members would rotate as they grew older, with the intention to keep the group young. A member would be replaced when he grew too tall or facial hair, his voice changed, or he reached his 16th birthday.

The first edition of the band included two groups of brothers: Díaz's cousins Ricky Meléndez, Carlos Meléndez and Óscar Meléndez; and brothers Fernando Sallaberry and Nefty Sallaberry. The group's name came from an incident during their second rehearsal: Diaz's sister entered the driveway of the house where it was taking place and, puzzled by finding 5 young boys dancing and singing in the garage, she exclaimed: "¡Cuánto menudo hay aqui!" ("What a lot of young folk we have here!"). The phrase stuck, thereby naming the group Menudo.[citation needed]

Menudo toured Puerto Rico during the next few years, performing at shopping malls, fiestas patronales (a citywide yearly celebration), and other events. In 1977 they released their first album, Los Fantasmas. The title track was a hit for the group and they were able to get a regular TV show on Telemundo Canal 2 every Saturday night. A second album, Laura, soon followed.

Success in the 1980s[edit]

In the late 1970s, the group released several moderately-successful albums and new members replaced the original ones. Then in 1981, the album Quiero Ser launched the group—now René Farrait, Johnny Lozada, Xavier Serbiá, Miguel Cancel, and remaining original member Ricky Melendez—into stardom. It included hit songs like "Quiero Ser", "Súbete A Mi Moto", "Rock En La TV", "Claridad", and "Mi Banda Toca Rock".

Menudo became very popular throughout Latin America, from Mexico to Argentina, including Brazil; they also had a fan base in Spain and the rest of Europe.[citation needed] They also became the first-ever boy-band that had its own private jet: Diaz was able to afford a Lockheed JetStar that had belonged to American President Richard Nixon and the Shah of Iran and to get Menudo's name emblazoned on both sides of the fuselage.

In 1982, Charlie Masso replaced René Farrait, debuting with Menudo on the album Por Amor. During this boom of popularity, fans started calling themselves contagious to the "Menuditis", similar to today's "Bieber Fever", or the "Menudomania". They were so popular that they starred in their own feature films: Menudo: La Pelicula, and Una Aventura Llamada Menudo. Aventura starred Gladys Rodríguez as "Señora Mía" and included songs such as "Clara" and "A Volar".

During their first visit to New York in early 1983, Ray Reyes replaced Xavier Serbiá. Their American fanbase grew, especially among the young, as evidenced by "Menudo on ABC", a series of 4-minute music spots that aired during the Fall 1983 season of the American Broadcasting Company's youth-oriented Saturday-morning programming block.[1] They also sang the theme song for ABC's Rubik, the Amazing Cube. Miguel Cancel became the first member to voluntarily quit the group. According to a 1998 interview, he was unhappy that a sudden voice change rendered him unable to sing his songs, so he opted to leave before his scheduled departure. He was replaced by Roy Rosselló. Menudo signed a 6-year multi-million dollar contract with RCA International and released their Spanish album A Todo Rock.

In 1984, Robi Rosa (now known as Draco Rosa) replaced Johnny Lozada just in time for Menudo to release their first English-language album, Reaching Out, which featured the theme track "Like a Cannonball" for the Hollywood movie Cannonball Run 2; and their first Portuguese album, Mania, both featuring versions of some of their Spanish hits. During the first half of 1984 Menudo toured the U.S. and Brazil.

In July 1984, Ricky Melendez, the sole remaining original member, left the group in a huge concert in his birth town, Caguas, Puerto Rico. The only Menudo member to last 7 years in the group, he was replaced by the group's most popular alumnus worldwide: Ricky Martin, whose Meundo debut was their next Spanish album, Evolución. During this time, Menudo's popularity reached parts of Asia including Japan and the Philippines, and the group made English-language commercials for Pepsi, Scope, McDonald's, and Crest. They also made a guest appearance on the popular American children's program Sesame Street. Then, much to the surprise of fans and himself, Ray Reyes was the next to leave the group due to a growth spurt and voice change. In a 1998 interview, Reyes stated he was caught off-guard, during a Menudo interview in 1985, the interviewer asked who was next to leave the group and Edgardo Díaz named Ray, considering that Charlie was the oldest and had been in the group the longest.

Raymond Acevedo took over Reyes' spot in 1985 and Menudo released their second English-language album, Menudo which contains the songs "Hold Me" (#62 Billboard Hot 100, RCA 14087)[2] and "Explosion", both with lead vocals by Robi Rosa. They also released their next Spanish album, Ayer Y Hoy, and their second Portuguese album A Festa Vai Comecar. They successfully toured Brazil, performing before hundreds of thousands of fans, but there were allegations of the tour being poorly organized: the capacity for a concert in Rio de Janeiro was 60,000 but 70,000 tickets were sold, and 2 women died. In São Paulo, a 100,000-capacity stadium was sold-out with 200,000 people, and in the São Paulo city of Campinas, rain delayed a concert for 4 hours. The film Mixed Blood featured scenes in which Menudo was indirectly showcased, such as one with a Menudo poster on a wall and one where characters shopped at a "Menudomania" store.[citation needed]

In 1986, Roy Rosselló was replaced by Sergio Blass; no farewell concerts were held. The group releasef several albums that year, starting with their only Italian album, Viva! Bravo!, which they showcased in Italy in the San Remo Music Festival. The Spanish album Refrescante, the English album Can't Get Enough, and the Portuguese album Menudo followed respectively, then came tours of the U.S., Latin America (including Brazil), and the Philippines.

Internal conflicts and image change[edit]

In January 1987, Ralphy Rodriguez replaced Charlie just as the group began facing internal conflicts. First, Robi quit without warning in the middle of a Brazilian tour, becoming the second member to quit voluntarily. Apparently, he had written a song and presented the idea to management and they turned him down, supposedly mocking him, which prompted him to leave; they did this so they could use his song without compensating him.[citation needed] Robi's lawyer prevented them from using his song. Also, the group was dropped from RCA International due to low record sales, so they signed a contract with Melody International Mexico. Charlie was asked to return to the group to complete the Brazilian tour and to embark on the Summer in the Street U.S. tour and introduce new member Rubén Gómez.

At this point, the group underwent a complete image makeover, changing their look to a rougher, more rugged, rock-like look. Their music, formerly described as bubblegum-pop, underwent a similar change. They released the Spanish album Somos Los Hijos del Rock, followed by an English-Tagalog album for the Philippines titled In Action with Ralphy and Rubén. In late 1987, Ralphy's parents pulled him from the group, citing improper treatment by management; this eventually came to light in 1991 when the Menudo sex scandal broke. Charlie was again asked to fill in during the Philippines tour, which would be their last as their popularity there waned.

In early 1988, Angelo García replaced Ralphy Rodríguez and they released their final English-language album, Sons of Rock, scoring an international hit, "You Got Potential." Another song, "TLC," featured lead vocals by Ricky Martin. In August 1988, Raymond Acevedo's contract was about to expire, but he decided to leave before auditions were held for his replacement, and Menudo performed as a quartet for a few months before Robert Avellanet took over. The album Sombras Y Figuras was released at the end of the year.

After 5 years with Menudo, Ricky Martin left in July 1989 and was replaced by Rawy Torres. Martin's last concert with Menudo was in the Centro de Bellas Artes de Santurce in San Juan.[citation needed] The album Los Últimos Héroes soon reestablished Menudo's popularity in Latin America, especially in Venezuela, where a 5-part miniseries was shot to promote the album.

1990s[edit]

Despite their newfound success, the group kept facing problems: Angelo García left the group, breaking his contract; he was replaced by César Abreu, who only lasted 7 months. Before Abreu left, management was preparing for Sergio's departure and the debut of the first non-Puerto Rican member, Adrián Olivares of Mexico, but Abreu's exit delayed Sergio's departure. Management decided to keep Sergio for another Spanish album, No Me Corten El Pelo, featuring the Sergio/Rubén/Robert/Rawy/Adrián lineup.

In 1991, two new non-Puerto Rican members joined the group: Edward Aguilera of Spain replaced Sergio González, and Jonathan Montenegro of Venezuela replaced Rubén Gómez. Both members left a few months later.

Edgardo Díaz left Puerto Rico and held auditions in Miami, Florida, signing Miami teens Alexis Grullón, Ashley Ruiz, and Andy Blázquez, and Pecos, Texas resident Abel Talamántez. The first album with the new lineup was Detrás De Tu Mirada, which was very successful in the whole continent, especially in Peru. From then on, the Peruvian fanbase was the most important one.

Menudo continued to work, releasing an English single titled Dancin', Movin', Shakin', and a follow-up in 1993, Cosmopolitan Girl, the first of several English albums on McGillis Records. They also continued to travel through Latin America.

In March 1992, Menudo filmed in New York City "The Making of Dancin, Movin, Shakin" on YouTube for Darrin McGillis Productions. In August 2012, the film was released for free viewing on Video on YouTube.

In 1992, they released 15 Años, which would be Adrián's last album with the band (he decided to leave in 1993). Ricky López replaced Adrián and the group released their 5th Portuguese album Vem Pra Mim (1993), and their 22nd Spanish album, Imagínate... (1994).

In 1995, Ricky López quit the group without warning, and again the band performed as a quartet for a few months. Ashley had also decided to leave, so auditions were held and Didier Hernández and Anthony Galindo were chosen. Ashley's farewell concert was in Panama, where the new members were presented.

In 1996 the group released their last Spanish album under the Menudo name, Tiempo De Amar. The album was very successful, producing several hit singles. In 1997, the rights and the name Menudo were sold and the band changed the name to MDO,[citation needed] at the time Andy Blázquez was replaced by Daniel René Weider. A self-titled Spanish album was released, increasing the group's popularity in Latin America and the U.S. MDO has continued to release albums despite some changes in management (see main article: MDO.)

In 1998 Ricky Meléndez, René Farrait, Miguel Cancel, Johnny Lozada, Ray Reyes, and Charlie Massó re-joined to celebrate the 15th anniversary of their success in Latin America, North America, Spain, and several other countries in the world. They planned the reunion concert to take place at Centro de Bellas Artes de Santurce in San Juan, as an experimental project. The show sold out so quickly and the demands for more shows was so huge they had to change the venue for a bigger one. They ended up doing the shows at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum. They had an unexpected success and continued to this day through North and Latin America. They named this El Reencuentro since Edgardo Díaz threatened to take legal action if they used the "Menudo" name.

2000s[edit]

In 2000, MDO released their album Subir Al Cielo with critical success. The album lead track "Te Quise Olvidar" topped the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks for several weeks and became the group signature' song. The group follow-up singles "Sin Ti" and "Me Huele A Soledad" also went top 10 in the U.S., showing that they are a real group.

In 2002, former members Sergio, Rubén, Robert, Angelo and Rawy reunited under the name "Los Últimos Héroes" giving numerous concerts in Venezuela.

In early 2003, MDO officially broke up on amicable terms. The members wanted to pursue other projects. Edgardo Diaz introduced the new MDO in January 2005.

In 2004, Edgardo Diaz announced that he will be bringing a new group with the Menudo formula into the music industry. Initially expecting this new group to be named Menudo, he surprised the press and general public by naming them Tick Tock.

Also in 2004, former Menudo members Roy, Raymond, Rubén, Sergio and Andy reunited under the name and banner: Menudo: La Reunion. They were based and focused primarily on a series of 'Brazilian' tours. Sergio left due to his prior commitment with "Los Últimos Héroes", and was replaced with Anthony Galindo. Andy would later be replaced by former MDO member Caleb Avilés before disbanding in late 2005, early 2006.

In January 2005, producer Edgardo Díaz introduced the new MDO with four new members: Daniel Rodríguez, Luis Montes, Elliot Suro, and Lorenzo Duarte. The first three were among the contestants of Puerto Rican reality/talent show Objetivo Fama. This latest incarnation of the group achieved great success with their single "Otra Vez" which took them all across Latin America.

Also, in 2005, former Menudo members René, Johnny, Miguel, Ricky, Charlie, and Ray reunited once again to perform the songs that Menudo popularized during their era under the name and banner El Reencuentro: Momento del Adios making this their farewell tour. Plans are on the way to bring this production to Latin American and the U.S. Also in 2005, Sergio, Angelo, Robert, Rawy and Adrián reunited again under the name Los Últimos Héroes after their successful reunion concerts in 2002.

In 2006, former Menudo: La Reunion members, Anthony and Rubén reunited and formed the duo Blacksheep and continue touring in Brazil. To date the duo has grown a large fan base in both Brazil and Hispanic America.

In 2007, a re-release of the 1992 VHS film of Menudo The making of Dancin', Movin', Shakin'" was released on McGillis Records. Entitled Triple Threat DVD/CD Combo[1], the box set included the Film on DVD for the first time, along with two music CDs, Latin Teen Stars and Dance Music All Night Long, featuring hit songs by Menudo, ex-Menudo members. The single, "Dancin', Movin', Shakin'", and "Cosmopolitan Girl" was released digitally on iTunes in May 2009.

The New Menudo[edit]

In 2007 it was announced that Menudo would return after signing a multi-album contract with SonyBMG label Epic Records.

The recasting of the band was profiled in a MTV reality series entitled Making Menudo that had launched as a primetime series on October 25, 2007, but was later pushed to afternoons due to low ratings.[3] The series ended on November 20, 2007. The new members were José Bordonada Collazo, Chris Moy, Emmanuel Vélez Pagan, José Monti Montañez, and Carlos Olivero. The group disbanded in early 2009.

2011 Compilation Release[edit]

Menudo released in January 2011 a compilation of English songs on iTunes, some of which had been previously unreleased. The album is titled Enchanted Island.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Farewell albums[edit]

Films[edit]

Singles[edit]

Single[4] Year Hot 100[5] Latin Songs[6]
"A Volar" 1982
"Sabes A Chocolate" 1984
"If You're Not Here (By My Side)" 1984
"Não Se Reprima" 1984
"Like A Cannonball" 1984
"Motorcycle Dreamer" 1984
"Hold Me" 1985 62
"Please Be Good To Me" 1985
"Viva! Bravo!" 1985
"Come Home" 1985
"Besame" 1986 21
"Baci Al Cioccolato" 1986
"Diga Sim" 1986
"Te Vere A Las Tres" 1987 45
"You Got Potential" 1988
"Historia Del Primer Amor" 1988 34
"Besame En La Playa" 1991 26
"Dancin, Movin, Shakin" 1992
"Juras De Amor" 1993
"Cosmopolitan Girl" 1992

Members[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Andersen, Kurt; Simpson, Janice C. (June 27, 1983). "Show Business: A Puerto Rican Pop Music Machine". Time. Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  2. ^ Top Pop Singles 1955–1999. Joel Whitburn. 2000. Record Research Inc. p. 429. ISBN 0-89820-139-X
  3. ^ Tubular: Three big helpings of Menudo, with a twist
  4. ^ "Menudo Discography at Discogs". discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  5. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/310549/menudo/chart?f=379
  6. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/310549/menudo/chart?f=363

External links[edit]