Ana Torroja / Mecano Bookmark and Share


- Ana Torroja: 28 December 1959
- Ignacio Cano Andrés (aka Nacho Cano): 26 February 1963
- José María Cano: 21 February 1959

Ana Torroja met José María Cano while studying economics at university. The two became good friends, and José María soon introduced her to his younger brother, Nacho. After hearing Ana sing José María's guitar compositions, Nacho suggested that the three form a band. In 1981, Mecano was formed. Drifting on La Movida the first single 'Hoy no me puedo levantar' ('I can't get out of bed today') became much aired. The first album established their name in the Spanish music scene. Most of the lyrics were written by one of the Cano brothers from a male perspective, and were mainly sung by Ana Torroja in a melodic, childlike voice while preserving that male perspective, which gave the group its distinctive, playful and sexually ambiguous style. Torroja's only lyricial contribution were the lyrics to the chorus of 'Mosquito'.

Having had another hit in 1986 with 'Me cuesta tanto olvidarte' ('It's so hard to forget you'). Their position in the industry was emphasized by the cover of 'Hijo de la Luna' ('Son of the Moon') by famous opera diva Montserrat Caballé. Their follow-up album, 'Descanso dominical' ('Sunday rest'), produced two of their most popular singles: 'La fuerza del destino' ('The force of destiny') and 'Mujer contra mujer' ('Woman against woman'). This song deals with a lesbian relationship, seen through the eyes of a friend, who only later realizes what is going on. 'Aidalai' (nonsense word meaning, 'Woe, Dalai (Lama)'), their following album, was published in 1991 and carried the same success of the previous two works. In 1993 the band announced a 'temporary split'. The brothers each went on to their own projects but Ana took some time to pick up a solo career. This happened in 1997 with 'Puntos cardinales' ('Cardinal points'). In 1998, partially due to the cost and commercial failure of José María's opera project, Mecano reunited for the double-disc greatest hits compilation 'Ana -José - Nacho' which also featured seven new songs.

After this Ana started focussing on a serious career outside Mecano. 'Pasajes de un sueño' ('Passages of a dream') was released in 99. Together with Miguel Bosé, Torroja initiated the tour 'Girados' in May of 2000, which took her to stages all over Spain, the United States and parts of Latin America.

In 2001 she releases 'Duetos 2' with the Mexican artist Armando Manzanero. They interpret the song 'Nada personal' ('Nothing personal'). This is followed by the 2003 album 'Fragile'. After this Ana makes a brief pause only broken for a collaboration with French electronic combo Deep Forest for their hit 'Sweet lullaby' and Aleks Syntek single 'Duele el amor' in 2004. In 2006, Ana released a new studio album called 'Me cuesta tanto olvidarte', again produced by Mexican singer, composer and keyboard player Aleks Syntek. In 2005, the members of Mecano released a double-cd/dvd package commemorating the 25th anniversary of the creation of the pop-group. In 2008 Torroja suffers a heavy car accident forcing her to stay at home for months. This experience is translated into the album 'Sonrisa' which is a much more rock-influenced and positive album then her previous material.

On the web:

- Mecano website: http://www.zonamecano.com
- Anna's website: http://www.anatorroja.info

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Matia Bazar (Italy)

What do we think:

DB: Contrary to most Spanish singers the voice of Ana Torroja is light and soft like a warm summer breeze. This becomes most evident in her solo material, since the synthesizers mask it somewhat in her Mecano period. Personally I'm more fond of her Mecano albums as being more various in sound.

PR: Very popular group that helped Spanish popmusic become mature, after the Franco-era. Mecano is the major representant of Spanish eigthies pop. While Pet Shop Boys, Eurythmics and OMD were topping the international charts, Mecano developed their own Spanish 'translation' with dramatic vocals and melodies spread over a blanket of synths and beats. It all adds up very well and they released some great records. Ana's solo albums are certainly worth listening, but without the freins from Mecano, her sound turned somewhat more middel-of-the-road.


♪♪♪♪ - Mecano - 1982

♪♪♪- ¿Dónde está el país de las hadas? - 1983

♪♪ ♪- Ya viene el sol - 1984

? - Entre el cielo y el suelo - 1986

♪♪♪♪ - Descanso dominical - 1988

♪♪♪ - Aidalai - 1991

♪♪♪♪♪ - Ana - José - Nacho - 1998

Ana Toroja albums:

♪♪ - Puntos cardinales - 1997

♪♪♪ - Pasajes de un sueño - 1999

♪♪♪ - Girados en concierto (with Miguel Bosé) - 2000

♪♪♪ - Ana Torroja - 2001
♪♪♪ - Frágil - 2003

- Me cuesta tanto olvidarte (comp) - 2006

♪♪♪ - Sonrisa - 2010

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided