Mecano was a Spanish pop band formed in 1981 and active until 1992. Mecano became one of the most successful Spanish pop bands of all time. The band is still the best-selling Spanish band to this date. They had a brief comeback in 1998. They were considered by some to be avant-garde for their time and part of la Movida Madrileña countercultural movement. They had a brief comeback in 1998.
The unprecedented success also hit Hispanic America. Also, thanks to adaptations to other languages of several of their songs, they influenced non-Spanish speaking countries such as Italy and France, as with their song “Une femme avec une femme“.
The band started as a synthpop ensemble (tecno pop in Spanish) by brothers Nacho and José María Cano, along with singer Ana Torroja, in 1981 in Madrid influenced by English new wave band Spandau Ballet. In a period of cultural experimentation in the newly democratic Spain, Mecano achieved its initial popularity with its debut single, “Hoy no me puedo levantar” (“I Can’t Get Up Today”), a song about youth boredom and hangovers. Their first, self-titled album became a collection of classics that would later represent Spanish 1980s pop music.
At the same time, Nacho Cano branched out into producing other bands, and both brothers started writing songs for other pop up-and-comers. 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 the Sky and the Ground). Their new style emphasised pop over techno. It also facilitated the export of their music to Latin America. This new versatility was evidenced by “Hijo de la Luna” (“Son of the Moon”). This song was also submitted by the band as a potential contestant for Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest 1986, but TVE selected another band, Cadillac.
Their follow-up album, Descanso Dominical (Sunday Rest), produced two of their most popular singles. One was, “La fuerza del destino,” (“The force of fate”) in which actress Penélope Cruz debuted in the video clip for it. She later had a relationship with Nacho Cano for several years. The other single “Mujer contra mujer” (“Woman against woman”), is about a lesbian relationship, seen through the eyes of a friend, who only later realises what is going on. It was recorded in French (“Une femme avec une femme“), English and Italian, giving Mecano their first global hit. The single which was released in Latin America in 1989, became a number one hit, it also remained seven consecutive weeks on the French number one position from 10 November to 22 December 1990; the song became one of the greatest hits of all time in that country.
Video: Mecano – Une Femme Avec Une Femme (Mujer Contra Mujer)
1. Une Femme Avec Une Femme (Mujer Contra Mujer)
2. Hijo De La Luna (Dis-Moi Lune DArgent)
3. Dalai Lama
4. No Hay Marcha En Nueva York
5. Le Club des Modestes (El Club de los Humildes)
6. Otro muerto
7. Toi (Tu)
8. Une Histoire a Trois (El Uno, El Dos, El Tres)
9. Corps et Cœur (Cuerpo y Corazón)
10. Le 7 Septembre (El 7 de Septiembre)
12. Esto No Es Una Canción
13. El mundo futuro
14. Los piratas del amor
15. El Blues del Esclavo
16. Frère Soleil, Sœur Lune (Hermano Sol, Hermana Luna)