REVIEW: Dinarama + Alaska – Canciones Profanas (1983)
Sometimes it is good to go back and revisit complete discographies of your favorite bands in chronological order. We just spent some time discussing Alaska Y Pegamoides and their album, Grandes Exitos, so now we jump to the next evolution of Alaska, which is actually Dinarama + Alaska.
Dinarama was originally a side project that began while Pegamoides was disbanding. Originally just known as Dinarama, the band’s original members were: Carlos Berlanga (vocals and guitar), Nacho Canut (Bass and background vocals), Johnny Canut (drums), Javier de Amezua (sax), and as backup singers and dancers were Mavi Margarida (ex-singer for the group Línea Vienesa) and Javier Furia. When Pegamoides finally ended, Alaska came aboard as the front-woman for the band which was why at the time of release, the album was Dinarama with Alaska.
The group still embraced the punk/new wave scene that Spain was embracing with the popularity of Siouxsie Sioux and also glam-rock. “Canciones Profanas” is totally 80’s, you either love it or hate it. While Fangoria embraced the experimental, Dinarama didn’t even know they were being experimental at the time. There still was nothing like them in 1983 in Spain or Latin America at the time. The band’s first single was “Crisis” which had limited promotion and acceptance as it felt a little too dark for mainstream pop music. It wasn’t until the second single, “Perlas Ensangrentadas” that the band had a hit on their hand. The song is an 80’s pop dance perfect for the club scene. It is still a song that Fangoria sings to this day in their concerts.
Dinarama’s third and fourth singles followed in step with similar sounds and beats. “Deja De Bailar” and “Rey Del Glam” both had much success and filled a place in the musical history of the short-lived group. For the most part, the group’s singles are the best parts of the album as a whole. Add “Nativos,” a filler track, and those are the highlights of the album.
While Alaska’s participation is more as an accent to the band, the album is more of a base for Carlos Berlanga to show off as the king of 80’s pop music. If it wasn’t for Berlanga, I don’t think there would have been a huge following for the group for as long as it was. Yes, Nacho and Alaska have proven that they can run new pop very well, it was Berlanga that showed them the way.
In 2006, EMI reissued the album on CD with a special collector’s edition version which contained B-sides, demos, and remixes. There are some gems hidden in the collector’s edition such as “Mujeres Rusas” and “Tormento”, but also some duds. Some of the demos are pretty interesting but I wished they would have been enhanced a little more. The quality sounds like they were recorded off of the radio, with technology the way it is now, so much more could have been done with them. But again, they were demos.
In 2014, the album was reissued on 180-gram vinyl which included a CD of the album but did not include songs from the collector’s edition.
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