Reinventing FANDANGO with Volver A Ser Feliz
I was able to finish most of the albums of FANDANGO before they released the new version of the single, HOLA QUE TAL; I did not have time to review the last album of the five-girl group from Monterrey, Mexico. Where we left on was on the album, Sueños Magicos, and Rocio, Liliana, and Moña welcomed new members Sandra and Janett. During the final days of the group’s promotion of the album, Liliana and Moña decided they were finished with the group. At that point, so was EMI Music.
The group had all disbanded until a man from Los Angeles found the group and fell in love with them. Ronald Correa decided that he wanted a go at bringing Fandango back and bigger than ever. During the initial exploration of the group, Ronald contacted me and we met prior to him taking control of the girls and the group. We spoke about each of the girls and where I thought the image of the group could go. He let me know that Liliana and Moña had left the group and he had to find two new girls.
Interest to be a part of the initial plans for the group’s return though I have no formal hand in where the group went and how they sounded at the end of their run. Ronald took control of the group and found two younger members of the group to bring youth to the group and hoped he could capture the teen scene in Mexico. Enters Anabella and Marlene and the album, Volver A Ser Feliz.
Up to the album, Sueños Magicos, the group had almost always promoted songs that were sung by the entire group. This is why we had four members leave the group and they had the same amount of success. It also could have been the downfall of the group, too. When Ronald took over the group and prepared for the new album, we decided that girls would be individuals in clothing and songs. No longer were the girls in matching outfits, but street clothes that fit their individual styles.
The album, Volver A Ser Feliz, worked the same way. Each of the girls had one to two solos, with two songs sung by the girls as a group. The album starts off with the weakest song of the album sung by my favorite, Rocio. “Dame Un Martillo” became the group’s first single. The second single was “Es Tu Voz”, which was led by the new member, Anabella, and a far better track to have kicked off the album than the first.
Oddly, as I sit here listening to the album some thirty years later, you can tell who Ronald favored and I think the choice of the songs and music showed that. Janett’s powerful and romantic voice had two beautiful tracks, “La Rosa” and “Te Quedaras Sin Mi.”
Sandra’s first track was not that great, “Estas Loco” but that is not because of her vocals. It just wasn’t a good song no matter who sung it. Sandra’s masterpiece is the title track and very high up on my favorite’s list. Rocio might have gotten the worst track on the album but she also got the BEST. Geisha is a song that you would never picture Fandango singing. Rocio is magnificent in the lead vocals and this track will go down in history as my favorite Fandango song, ever. There are just no words.
Anabella took lead on the group’s second single, while Marlene took the reigns of “Estoy Esperando Un Cuento.” Both tracks are quite good and the vocals are spot on. The girls were a great match for the vocal stylings of the others. As for the rest of the songs… we have a Spanish-style flamenco in “Es Mi Hombre” and we have a fun little number with “Locos En La Carretera,” which is classic Fandango.
This leaves only one more song on the album and it is worth mentioning all by its self. “Te Amo Despacio” is a song that is sung by all of them as a group but it’s a build. With each verse, the amount of voices increases until they all are singing. The music is Americanized and completely relevant to the era. The song is nothing like you would picture the group singing and each girl plays their own part in the song to create something that I can not pull away from. I love this song and it is actually my second favorite out of the group’s discography.
I loved the album as a whole and it is one of the group’s best albums, second best, with Hola, Que Tal coming in first. I do believe that this line-up of members was the best and I am glad three of the members from this era have chosen to be part of the reunion. Grab the best from the first edition, Alexa… and you have an incredible team of members.
IF you want to know what happened after the promotion of this album… here is the low down: *The group disbanded and went their separate ways. Ronald Correa did not want to say he failed so he hung on a little while longer. He convinced the marketing team of Target department stores to use Fandango in two different commercials. Janett stayed on with the return of Liliana. They added three new girls, one being Janett’s little sister. The commercials were filmed and aired, but that was the end of the group. Fandango finally said goodbye to Ronald and fame. All of the (now women) girls went on to be married with kids.
**If the end of this sounds like Wikipedia, it might be. I originally wrote the history of Fandango for the site decades ago. It has since been poked and prodded so many times that the original version no longer exists.
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