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TranceAddict Forums > Local Scene Info / Discussion / EDM Event Listings > USA > USA - Texas & S. Central USA > Artist Spotlight: Menudo (Puerto Rico)
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Team Westphal

Registered: May 2005
Location: San Antonio, USA
Artist Spotlight: Menudo (Puerto Rico)

Menudo's real boom came during the 1980s, after the Sallaberry brothers and Oscar and Carlos Melendez were replaced with Rene Farrait, Johnny Lozada, Xavier Serbia and Miguel Cancel. This revolving-door policy made Menudo different from other pop acts: a member would be replaced when he reached his 16th birthday or his voice changed.

The group became very popular throughout Latin America, from Mexico to Argentina, including Brazil, a difficult place for Latin pop acts. During that time, Diaz was able to afford a Cessna jet airplane that had belonged to American President Richard Nixon and the Shah of Iran. The plane carried Menudo's name on both sides of the fuselage and made it the first boy band ever with its own private jet.
Cover of the Quiero Ser album, which is often described as the most important album in Menudo's history
Cover of the Quiero Ser album, which is often described as the most important album in Menudo's history

At that time, their songs included "Subete A Mi Moto", "Ella A-A", "Quiero Ser", a Spanish version of "Voulez Vous", and "Fuego". The group also had a fanbase in Spain and the rest of Europe. "Menuditis" became a faux medical term, a diagnosis for girls who needed medical attention after attending a Menudo concert. Menudomania was compared to Beatlemania.

Eventually Rene, Xavier, and Miguel were replaced by younger Menudo members. Rene Ferrait was the first to leave, right in the middle of Menudomania. He was successfully succeeded by Charlie Rivera(aka.Charlie Masso) who made millions of fans for himself. When he entered the group, they recorded Por Amor'where he debuted his first lead song "La Chispa De La Vida;" and the soundtrack for Menudo's big screen adventure Una Aventura Llamada Menudo starring Gladys Rodríguez as "Señora Mía", where they also sang classics like "Clara" and "Señora Mía".

In 1983, Xavier and Miguel left about 6 months apart from each other, being replaced by Ray Reyes and Roy Rosello respectively. Miguel was the first member to quit the band before his time was due to pursue offers in California. With Ray and Roy, Menudo signed a multi-million dollar contract with RCA International. Their American fan base grew, especially among the young, as they sang the theme song for ABC's "Rubik, the Amazing Cube" and performed regular music videos during Rubik's half-hour show. This was also the year that they released the Spanish album A Todo Rock.

In early 1984, Johnny Lozada was replaced by Robby Rosa (a.k.a. Robi "Draco" Rosa, Ian Blake who would later be the mastermind behind Ricky Martin's hits "Maria,""The Cup of Life (La Copa de la Vida)" & "Livin' La Vida Loca." With Robby, Menudo released their first English 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. Tours took place in the U.S. and Brazil during the first half of 1984. Unavoidably in December of 1984, it was Ricky Melendez's turn to leave, and he did so in a great concert in his birth town Caguas, Puerto Rico, becoming the only Menudo member to last seven years. He was replaced with Ricky Martin. Martin, along with Charlie,Ray,Roy and Robby, released the Spanish album Evolucion which produced hits like "Sabes A Chocolate" and "Amor Primero." By this time, Menudo's popularity reached parts of Asia including Japan and the Philippines.

In 1985, Ray Reyes left the group due to a sudden growth spurt. He was replaced by Raymond Acevedo. With Raymond, Menudo recorded their second English album, their self-titled album Menudo [aka 'Hold Me/Explosion'), which scored the hit "Hold Me." Menudo also made English commercials for Pepsi, Scope, McDonald's and Crest during that time. Later that year, the group recorded their next Spanish album Ayer Y Hoy (Yesterday & Today). A full Portuguese version was also recorded, A Festa Vai Começar (The Party's Going To Start) to coincide with another successful tour in Brazil.

The Brazilian tour in 1985 was really successful, with more than a million fans, mostly teen girls, attending, but it was poorly organized. In a concert in Rio de Janeiro, the capacity was 60,000 but 70,000 tickets were sold and two women died. In São Paulo, a 100,000 capacity stadium was sold-out with 200,000 people. And in a stadium in Campinas, a city of São Paulo, it rained and the concert was delayed for 4 hours. In Fortaleza, the group had the same number of police around them as the Pope, when he visited the city.

In 1986, Roy Russello was replaced by Sergio Blass. With Sergio, Menudo recorded their only Italian album Viva! Bravo! with versions of earlier Spanish and English hits like "No Te Reprimas," "Hold Me," "Sabes A Chocolate," among others. They made a moderate splash in Italy. As usual, Spanish, Portuguese, and English albums Refrescante(Refreshing), Menudo'(portuguese), and Can't Get Enough respectively, were released during this time.

Menudo later went on to perform the new theme for Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea on Nickelodeon.

Then came 1987, which by this time was what some fans described the beginning of the fall for Menudo. In January, it was time for Charlie to leave Menudo. He'd been singing and dancing with them for the past 5 years (and was the only member left from the golden era.) He was replaced by Ralphy Rodriguez. With Ralphy, Menudo was preparing for a Summer Tour through the U.S., but without warning, Robby became the second member ever to quit the group. Apparently, he had written a song and presented the idea to management. They turned him down and supposedly mocked him. Insulted, Robby decided to leave. The management filled Robby's absence with Ruben Gomez. Charlie was asked to come back one more time for the tour, which was quite successful, but it was apparent that the group's popularity wasn't the same.

With Ruben Gomez, Menudo also went through a complete image makeover. They began to be portrayed with a more rough,rugged, rockish look. This was also applied to their music which was described before as bubble-gum pop. They released the Spanish album Somos Los Hijos del Rock (We are the Sons of Rock), followed by an English-Tagalog album for the Philippines titled In Action. The Philippine tour proved successful, but the fans missed Ray, Roy, Charlie, and Robby. It wasn't the same with the Philippine fans, and Menudo never returned after that tour.

In September 1989, after 5 years with the group (from Dec.84-Sept.89), Ricky Martin (the most famous Menudo member) left and was replaced by Rawy Torres. Ricky Martin's last concert with Menudo was in the Centro de Bellas Artes in San Juan, Puerto Rico. With Rawy, Menudo recorded the Spanish album Los Ultimos Heroes (The Last Heroes). This production re-solidified Menudo's popularity in Latin America, especially in Venezuela where a 5-part miniseries was shot to promote the album. (This lineup would reunite years later as "Los Ultimos Heroes" for a series of concerts in Puerto Rico and Latin America.)


# 1977 Los Fantasmas [Original Members]
# 1978 Laura [Original Members]
# 1979 Chiquitita [New Member: Rene]
# 1980 Mas Mucho Mas [New Member: Johnny]
# 1980 Es Navidad [New Member: Xavier]
# 1981 Fuego [Same as above]
# 1981 Quiero Ser [New Member: Miguel]
# 1982 Por Amor [New Member: Charlie]
# 1982 Una Aventura Llamada Menudo (Movie Soundtrack) [Same as above]
# 1982 Feliz Navidad [Same as above]
# 1983 A Todo Rock [New Members: Ray and Roy]
# 1984 Reaching Out [New Member: Robby]
# 1984 Mania [Same as above]
# 1984 Evolucion [New Member: Ricky Martin]
# 1985 Menudo (English) [New Member: Raymond]
# 1985 Ayer y Hoy [Same as above]
# 1985 A Festa Vai Começar [Same as above]
# 1986 Viva! Bravo! (Italian) [New Member: Sergio]
# 1986 Refrescante [Same as above]
# 1986 Can't Get Enough [Same as above]
# 1986 Menudo (Portuguese) [Same as above]
# 1987 Somos Los Hijos del Rock [New members: Ralphy and Ruben]
# 1987 In Action (English-Tagalog) [Same as above]
# 1988 Sons of Rock [New member: Angelo]
# 1988 Sombras Y Figuras [New member: Robert]
# 1989 Los Ultimos Heroes [New member: Rawy]
# 1990 Os Ultimos Herois [New member: Adrian]
# 1990 No Me Corten El Pelo [Same as above]

Originally posted by Dirk W.
People in Dallas aren't *ssholes. Just look at me, I live in Dallas.

Meat is Murder...tasty, tasty murder.

Old Post Aug-07-2006 21:10  United States
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D Dubya

Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Over there

hahaha oh ricky....

Helping girls make bad decisions since 1979

Old Post Aug-07-2006 22:37 
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TranceAddict Forums > Local Scene Info / Discussion / EDM Event Listings > USA > USA - Texas & S. Central USA > Artist Spotlight: Menudo (Puerto Rico)
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