Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Menudo - "Hold Me"

Hold Me - Lo Mejor de Lo Mejor: Menudo

(Debuted May 11, 1985, Peaked #62, 11 Weeks on the Chart)

Menudo was a Latin group that was formed in Puerto Rico during the late 1970s who were specifically targeted towards the youth market. In order to keep the group "young," their members were rotated out as they grew older. The most famous alumnus of the group was Ricky Martin, who arrived in 1984 and replaced the last original member. He would go on to become a major star in the 1990s.

"Hold Me" would be Menudo's only appearance on the Billboard Hot 100. It appeared on the group's second English-language LP. Even though Martin was a member of the band, the lead vocals were performed by Robby Rosa. Rosa was born in New York and was the one member who could best handle most of the English lyrics.

In retrospect, "Hold Me" is a decent pop song. Done over a synthesized groove that is definitely a relic of its era, it was aimed at an audience of teenage girls (and not necessarily those who spoke Spanish as a first or second language). It doesn't sound much different than what New Kids on the Block offered just four years later. In that sense, perhaps Menudo's timing was just a few years off.

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