Sunday, September 25, 2005

Marta Sanchez - Such A Mystery

Marta Sanchez comes from Madrid and Spain and began her career as a member of the band Olé Olé who started out in 1985. Their hits included "Lilli Marlen" and "Bailando Sin Salir De Casa" and they enjoyed a successful career until 1991 when Marta decided to try her luck at a solo career.

Her debut solo album "Mujer" was released in 1993, and the biggest hit from it was the first single "Desesperada". An English version of the album was also released in some territories. "Woman" contained translated versions of the tracks on the Spanish version, in fact some of the tracks were originally written in English and translated to Spanish! "Desperate Lovers" was the name of the English version of her debut single.

Marta's second album was released in 1995. "Mi Mundo" was a bit more mature than her debut and one of the tracks dealt with AIDS on a track which Marta wrote herself, quite daring for a very Catholic country like Spain. "Dime La Verdad" was the first and most successful single, which was "Such A Mystery" in it's original English version. Other hits included "Arena Y Sol" ("I Want Your Love") and "La Balleza", a typical Spanish track which remained in Spanish on the English album.

The song I've chosen is "Such A Mystery", the English version of "Dime La Verdad". See if you can work out what the lyrics mean. I'll be back later this week on Friday with the second instalment of Marta's career.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Mónica Naranjo - What About Love

The last Mónica track I'm posting was taken from her 2003 hard to find English-language album "Bad Girls". The Spanish version "Sacrificio" appeared on "Chicas Malas" in 2001, and was released as a single.

"What About Love" was written by Sam Watters and Louis Biancaniello from the band Color Me Badd. They have written for many other acts such as Jessica Simpson ("I Wanna Love You Forever") and Anastacia ("I'm Outta Love" and "One Day In Your Life"). In fact "What About Love" sounds like it could be a sister to the Anastacia tracks!

So there's three of my favourite Mónica songs. In a few days, I'll post some tracks from my other favourite Spanish diva, Marta Sanchez. Let me know what you think of the Mónica tracks and I'll see you soon....

Monday, September 12, 2005

Mónica Naranjo - Enamorada

Here we go with another track from Spanish diva Mónica. This track was released in 2000 on her third album "Minage", and was originally supposed to appear on her first English album, but the album was never released. I'm not sure how many tracks Mónica recorded for it, but only this and "If You Leave Me Now" appeared on the album, with both being released as singles. Both were produced by Brain Rawling who has worked with numerous other artists including Cher and Tina Turner to name just a few.

Of course, being Spanish, Mónica also later recorded both tracks into Spanish due to great demand, and they both appear on the re-release of Minage.

I've decided to go with the English version of the track this time, just to be a bit different. "Enamorada" means "In Love" and despite the Spanish title, only has a few words in Spanish. It's a nice typically Latino track, and I hope you enjoy it!

I'll have one more track from Mónica later in the week and then we will move on to a triple header from another of my favourite Spanish acts!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Mónica Naranjo - No Voy A Llorar

Welcome back to the blog after a break and we are back with a track from one of Spain's biggest gay icons! Mónica Naranjo Carassco hails from Figueras in Spain and was born in 1974. She has been releasing music since 1994 when her self-titled debut album was released, and was an instant hit, and included a cover of Donna Summer's "Love's About To Change My Heart" translated into Spanish as "Fuego De Pasion".

Mónica returned in 1997 with her sophomore release "Parabla De Mujer" which really broke her in the Spanish market and no less than EIGHT singles were released from the 10 track album, including "Desétame", "Pantera En Libertad", and "Entender El Amor". The fusion of uptempo gay anthems and Spanish ballads worked well, and when I visited Spain at the tail end of 1997, I heard her alum being played everywhere, and that's where I got my first Mónica CD!

After a break of a few years, she returned in 2000 with her next album "Minage" which was a tribute album to an Italian singer called Mina, and was a bit of a departute from her usual pop style. It also included 2 English language tracks, "Enamorada" and "If You Leave Me Now" which were originally meant for her first English album which was aborted, and it would be a further few years before her first English album was released. The tracks were also translated into Spanish for the Spanish audience and both were hits, along with "Sobrevivré".

A year later and Mónica was back with the pop she was famous for. "Chicas Malas" was clearly Mónica's attempt at going mainstream and was another success in Spain with hits including "No Voy A Llorar" and "Sacrificio", the latter of which was written by the same team behind Anastacia's "I'm Outta Love". Every track on the album was also recorded in an English version, the album of which was due to come out some time later. Diane Warren and Gregg Alexander also contributed to the album, so Sony Music were really pulling all the stops out.

The lead English single "I Ain't Gonna Cry" was remixed for release and was due to be released all over Europe, but ended up only being released in a few countries. Due to record politics, the album "Bad Girls" only received a limited release on the internet, and in Russia, Greece and Italy. Sadly, I was not able to get a copy and the album now goes for big bucks on Ebay. Guess I will have to make do with the Spanish versions for now...

Since then, Mónica has been rather quiet, but a greatest hits compliation "Colección Privida" was recently released in Spain containing all of her big hits, and an accompaning DVD was also released with a live concert and all her videos. A new track "Enamorada De Ti" featured on the album. She has now parted company (amicably) with Sony and is currently negotiating a deal, but I'm sure she will be back as she still has a large gay following, which was confirmed when I heard some of her music being played in a bar in Gran Canaria, the Spanish went wild!

"No Voy A Llorar" which means "I'm Not Going To Cry" (I think) was the biggest single from her "Chicas Malas" album, and the intro and chorus sound rather similar to Alcazar's "Not A Sinner, Nor A Saint" - but Mónica's track was released over a year before! I've posted the Spanish version, as I'm in a Spanish mood, but if anyone wants the English version too, let me know. The version I've posted is the single remix which was remixed by Eliot Kennedy. Mónica is due to make her comeback in 2006, and it will be interesting to see what she comes up with next!