REVIEW: Menudo – Menudo (1979)
The third Menudo album, again self-titled at the time of release, featured the first member change. Nefty left the group and Rene Farrait entering in his place. This follows up the album, Laura which started to see success in South America with an official album release in Columbia, where distribution was handled by RCA Records.
Still working as an indie band, this album which would go on to be dubbed, “Chiquitita” based on the song that Menudo recorded that was a cover of the ABBA song by the same name. The boys have grown tremendously and their harmony is becoming much better.
The problem I have with this album is not necessarily the issue of the music in general but with how this album can be very confusing and I don’t think I, or fans, are actually listening to it. I have never owned this album during my collecting days. I had a CD copy that was given to me years ago and I doubted then as I doubt now, that what I have is real.
Menudo recorded this album in 1979 with Rene, Ricky, Oscar, Carlos, and Fernando. In a couple of years, the band will release the albums Fuego and Quiero Ser with a lot of the same songs. The vocals sound exactly the same. How can you have vocals matching when you change three of the five members? The music is the same, the vocals are the same, in my opinion.
This means one of two things in my book.
- Menudo never recorded the songs again in 1981 when those albums were released and they used the original versions recorded in 1979.
- The original music was lost over the years and fans pieced together the album based on titles.
Right now, you can listen to the album on Apple Music but the quality of the stream makes you feel like you are in a tunnel. It is hollow and of horrible quality. You also can hear the cracks and pops from a vinyl record. Someone clearly used a record to make the digital files and did not enhance the sound quality or remaster it. The only song that I can hear a big difference is the song, “Sueños” which is clearly a different member singing.
While I want to go out and buy the vinyl, I don’t have a way to listen to it. I am stuck with not really knowing what I am listening to when it comes to this era of the group.
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