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25 november 1955

Jose Ramon Marquez, Julio Martínez, later known as rocksinger Ramoncín was born in Madrid in 1955. In 1976 he replied on a an add by Jero Ramiro in Disco Express calling for a singer. The add said that: “it was no matter if you are very good singer you should be willing to mount the stage." Ramoncín was quite liked when the group performed 'Jumping Jack Flash' by the Rolling Stones in the local test. The group changed its name to 'WC', and thanks to contacts Ramoncín began to become known, making famous themes as ‘El rey del pollo frito’ ('The king's fried chicken'), ‘Marica de tercio pelo’ ('Marica third of hair') and ‘Cómete una paraguaya’ ('Eat a Paraguayan'). The press, however, begins to call the group 'Ramoncín and the toilet?', Something that bothers the rest of the band.

In 1977 the original members of the group decide to leave because of the course Ramoncín wants to take. Months later, Ramoncín signs with a record label, and records the album ‘Ramoncín and WC?’, with anonyumous instrumentalists. The debut is followed in 1979 by the album, ‘Barriobajero’, containing songs that impinged on social issues (especially in the portraits of marginal characters, as in ‘Chulia’). But it was in 1981 when it achieved a greater commercial success thanks to ‘Arañando la ciudad’ ('Scratch the city'), according to many his best record. It contained hits such as ‘Reina de la noche’ ('Queen of the night') and ‘Ángel de cuero’ ('Angel of leather').

In 1982 he published '¡Corta!' ('Cut!').  Also at that time makes its first appearance in the movie ‘Adolescencia’. In 1984 he publishes his fifth album, called 'Ramoncinco', with a change in its sound to more mature. Songs like ‘Nicaragua’ with its highly politically charge or ‘La chica de la puerta 16’ ('The girl from the number 16'), show this change. In 1987 he joins the board of the copyright society SGAE.

In 1990 he left the music with the double live album ‘Al límite, vivo y salvaje’ ('At the limit, living and savage') to begin his career as a television presenter in La 2 of TVE, with ‘Lingo’, which remained on the screen along a five years. In 1998 he returned to the recording studio to make ‘Miedo a soñar’ ('Scared to dream'). In 2006 he returned to the stage. In that year's edition of the Viña Rock in Villarrobledo (Albacete) Ramoncín breaks off his performance because a part of the audience launching various objects to the stage. The singer is known for its criticism of music piracy, even complaining about the alleged lack of commitment by other artists. Apparantly the audience did not take lightly to his crusade. In June 2007 he left the board of the SGAE after 20 years. In 2008 ‘Memoria audiovisual’ was released, a compilation that serves to commemorate the three decades that has been in the music world.

On the web:

- Ramoncín's website: http://www.ramoncin.com

If you like this, you probably like... / european counterparts:

Udo Lindenberg (Germany)

What do we think:

DB: Ramoncín may have been a big star in the eighties but his actions to do something about piracy didn't help his image. See the cartoon in the right picture gallert. He is claimed to have introduced punk to Spain. Mind you, this is punk latin style. His eighties material is still rock and more raw than most Spanish stars that made it across the border, but it still is much more melodic and the usual british punk band. He sounds like Lou Reed going Spanish. Don't expect anything exotic, straight forward rock.

PR: Interesting eighties icon from Spain, indicating how Spanish pop music in the post-Franco era was evolving. No bolero, no flamenco, but straight forward pop & rock music (Europop music, that is). He seems like a very sympathatic fellow and he managed to come back every few years.

Recommended abums:

♪♪♪ - ¡Corta! - 1982

♪♪♪ - Como el fuego - 1985

♪♪♪ - La vida en el filo - 1986

♪♪♪ - Fe ciega - 1987

Further listening:

Ramoncín y W.C.? - 1978; Barriobajero - 1979; Arañando la ciudad - 1981; Ramoncinco - 1984; Miedo a soñar - 1998; Memoria audiovisual  - 2008

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