"The Last of the Row" (1984-1998) was a Spanish pop-rock band formed by Manolo García (vocalist) and Quimi Portet (guitarist) and born in the city of Barcelona. It was one of the most successful musical groups in Spain during the 80s and 90s, years in which they recorded a total of seven albums and made numerous tours, usually in Spain, but also in various countries in Latin America.Available in English Available in Spanish
Before the formation of the group, the two components of it had parallel gaits in different musical groups. On the other hand Manolo Garci'a (New Town, Barcelona, 1955) began its musical walking like battery in groups of dance, acting in bars and local parties in sets like "Materia Gris". Soon after, together with other musicians such as Antonio Fidel or Esteban Martín, he started to create his own repertoire, giving life to "Los Rápidos", a group that only released an LP with the record EMI, Rapidos, in 1981, a simple pop rock album eighties Despite the good reviews, the album did not have enough sales and the record company did not publish a second album of which they already had the demo. Quimi Portet (* Vic, Barcelona, 1957), on the other hand,
Manolo and Quimi met at the Rock de Lluna festival, in June 1981, when both "Los Rápidos" and "Kul de mandril" were two of the invited groups. As Manolo was looking for a new guitarist for his group, they decided to incorporate Quimi Portet. For a time they performed in Catalonia, but the group would soon dissolve before the prospect of success.
Manolo García goes to the Basque Country with the intention of continuing his musical career away from Catalonia, meanwhile Quimi Portet and some of the musicians of the old "Los Rápidos" began to give shape to new songs for a group that ended up being called "Los Burros" "after the incorporation of Manolo, who was not successful in his search. They recorded an LP with the label Belter, called "Rebuznos de amor", with songs composed almost exclusively by Manolo and Quimi, some of them rescued from the models that were not published in "Los Rápidos". Although they did not have commercial success, they did leave some songs later important and remembered as «Bones» or «My girlfriend was called Ramón», and other songs with a touch more original and risky than in "Los Rápidos", thanks to the influence of the surrealist character of Portet. However, Belter sank and with it the future of the group.
After the little success of their latest project, Manolo and Quimi decided to try their luck in a new lineup with the small label PDI, taking the name "The Last of the Row", a name taken from a verse of a song by an Australian musical group, according to the components themselves. The success finally begins to smile when they win the contest of models of the magazine -Rock Spezial- playing only two themes: "When poverty comes through the door, love jumps out the window" and "Anyone can happen to him", what gave them a pre-contract with the multinational record company Virgin that they later refused to keep their word with PDI.
In 1985 they published their first LP: «When poverty comes through the door, love jumps out the window» which includes the two songs presented at the festival in which they won the victory. This record meant a change to the musical concept that they had been doing until now, giving their pop-rock a Southern, Arabic and flamenco touches until now only appreciable in the voice of Manolo, making clear the influences of Andalusian rock groups, such as "Triana "or" Medina Azahara ". The lyrics become more poetic, mixing lyrics with social themes and surrealism. Rock pieces stand out as "Sweet dreams" and other more intimate ones like the anti-war "Dear Miracles". With this disc they obtained the prize of revelation group granted by the program Pop News of Radio 3.
The following year they released their second album: «Enemigos de lo ajeno»; a collection of songs that seeks a continuist path with his previous LP, with songs that have become one of the most important in Spanish rock such as "Silver Planes" and "Insurrection", song that was named the best of the year in Spain by the specialized musical magazine -Rock de Lux-, a publication that also named him "Grupo del año en directo" and his album, "Disco del año". Given their triumph and their rise in sales, they began to be seen live more and more often, offering impeccable and energetic directives that increased their number of followers, which already counted by hundreds of thousands.
After their first two albums decided to give a facelift to their best songs in a new studio in London, since the sound achieved in the rudimentary studios of PDI was very improvable. In this way, he released his LP Nuevas mezcla (disc sometimes misnamed New Mix or El Último de la Fila), in which they re-recorded songs with a different touch, and sometimes even completely changing the music as in the case of «Son cuatro days "and modifying part of the letter as in" The madman of the street. " Also included was "Who are you?", A song that could only be heard as face B of one of his singles. The music gained in clarity although it lost in crafts. It became his best selling album so far, multiplying almost 6 sales of his previous album.
Parallel to this project, Quimi, who always wanted to collaborate with Catalan rock, recorded his first solo album, "Persones estranyes", sung in Catalan, composed by Quimi and produced by Quimi and Manolo. Its repercussion was scarce. Also, in that same year, Recordings Accidental SA (GASA) is made with the rights of "The Burros" and decided to reissue "Rebuznos de amor" and publish a new mini-LP called "Donkey Ham", which contained 6 songs very Variopintas, from a new version of "Bones" to one of "Monkey Ham", a song by Kul de Mandril, including discarded compositions from those years and some new songs. GASA also released a version of this mini-LP including Rebuznos de amor, all in a single disc.
PDI knew that the impact of the group was too much for their scarce resources, so he decided to leave them free to record wherever they pleased. In this way, in 1988 the group moved to France to record "Como la cabeza al sombrero", a more intimist, very acoustic and more commercial record, which may have disappointed its followers, but in a short time Time won the title of masterpiece and is, for many of his followers, his best album. Songs like "Sara", "Lament of passion" or "I no longer dance to the sound of the drums" sounded through all the stations in Spain, turning the album into a best seller. The group began to get used to hanging the "No tickets" sign in all the concerts of their tour.
One of the highlights of the group was in that same year, when they were invited to participate in the concert -Human Rights Now! - (Concert for Human Rights), to share the poster with artists of the caliber of Bruce Springsteen, Tracy Chapman, Sting, Peter Gabriel and Youssou N'Dour.
The fame of the group grows exponentially, and they already sound in Latin America and some European countries. The tours of the group begin to be extremely long, extending them more and more, due to the demand. In this way, in 1989, "Como la cabeza al sombrero" was published in several European countries while the group moved to America to begin another tour of Hispanic countries and the United States.
PDI can no longer keep a group of the repercussion of "The Last of the Row", so the band decides to leave PDI to go to a major label, the multinational EMI, which allowed them to have their own record label: Perro Records. Manolo and Quimi kept the news secret until the release of their next album, so as not to detract attention from the strictly musical.
The premiere of his new label in 1990 was accompanied by the release of his next album "New small catalog of beings and beings", being the most strange and experimental album of the group, but they did not achieve less success, on the contrary, the Disco sales, far from stagnating, continued to rise, keeping it several consecutive weeks as number one on the AFYVE list. In this disc they give a greater protagonism to the keyboards and the background and atmospheric sounds, with successes like «When the sea has you», «Mad musician», «Sing for me» or «In my chest». They maintain the lyrical style that gave them success and reformed their musical style to a more pop genre. As a curious note, the group received a millionaire offer to join the name of the group to a certain commercial brand (which they never named), according to its components, they found it so inappropriate that they declined the offer and instead added their name to environmental organizations such as Greenpeace and NGOs such as Amnesty International as well as 18 other local environmental organizations scattered throughout Spain. It can be seen on the back cover of the disc.
The tour of the group was not long in coming, this time Dr. Music was responsible for managing it. Nearly 750,000 people saw the group live during the five months it lasted (later expanded, including Europe and America), and during which they exposed their ecologist nature and committed to nature and society, selling NGO merchandising and performing economic contributions. In a concert destined mainly to the ecological awareness, they agreed with Tina Turner with which they established a certain friendship, since later the group was opening for the singer in her concerts in Europe.
At the end of 1992 they recorded a new disc: "Astronomía razonable", a disc with which they consecrated their success with nearly a million copies sold in Spain since it went on sale, at the beginning of 1993. The disc contains some of the songs most known of the group as "Old Sea", "Like a donkey tied at the door of the dance", "Pencil and ink" or "He who sings his evil scares." He remained several consecutive months as number one of the AFYVE beating the record of consecutive weeks in that position. In their sound the guitars once again predominated (both electric and acoustic and Spanish) and the lyrics breathed a lyrical and surreal tone reminiscent of their final stage of the 1980s, it is also the album that included the most ballads. He had the collaboration in the production of David Tickle, famous international producer. The disc tour includes almost a hundred concerts and more than a million spectators. At the same time, a version of the album in Italy was also published, containing six of the songs sung in Italian.
After a sabbatical year, in 1995 they return with another album: «The rebellion of the frogmen», published by Chrysalis, an EMI brand, but always through Perro Records. Here the group decided to take a risk with a darker sound and slower rhythms, close to halftime, that did not come to like all the followers, but that hid prominent songs like "Without keys", "The leaves that laugh", " Grape of the old vine »or« How well the pines smell! ». Sales had a break from their previous album, but not enough to be worrying for the future. The tour that accompanied the album began even before the release of it, which did not prevent them from filling the venues where they performed.
That same year, Manolo García met with the former members of "Los Rápidos" and decided to publish the model that contained the songs that would give shape to his second LP, if it had been published. Thus, under the name of "The Rapids 2 - Scale Models", the label Perro Records took it on sale to make known songs that would otherwise fall into oblivion.
After their last album, the group members gave themselves some time. For his part, Quimi, published under Chrysalis and Perro Records another solo album: "Hoquei sobre pedres" in 1997, this time more worked and of higher quality than his other adventure and again in Catalan. For his part Manolo was working on personal compositions outside the group.
There was much speculation about the future of the band and on January 13, 1998 the group announced their dissolution, claiming that they had given everything they could together and that now they wanted to try their luck alone, following each one their own way. This response did not convince many, who speculated on a possible fight of the members, however, later collaborations showed that the relationship between the two is cordial. It was also speculated that the separation of the group was due to the birth of Quimi's daughter, and the attention it would require would be incompatible with the enormous tours, an issue in which Manolo was not willing to give way; subject to which they have responded with negative but without denying it at all.
After the separation, Quimi Portet has released six albums: "Cançoner electromagnètic" (1999), "Acadèmia dels somnis" (2001), "The Terra is flat" (2004), "Matem els dimarts i els divendres" (2007), «Viatge a Montserrat» (2009) and «Oh my love» (2012), with notable success within the Catalan-speaking territory; while Manolo García published "Arena en los poleras" (1998), "Nunca el tiempo es perdido" (2001), "So that my senses do not fall asleep" (2004), "Saldremos a la lluvia" (2008), « The days intact »(2011),« Everything is now »(2014) as well as individual boxes of singles from each of their albums, obtaining critical and public success, and continuing with the sound that gave character to the group but printing its nuance personal.
At the moment the components of the group continue working alone, although they share the record seal.
In an interview granted in March 2014, Manolo García said that the group was dissolved because Quimi Portet "began to be uncomfortable with the linguistic issue", since his songs were always in Spanish. Garcia added in that same interview: "I can speak Catalan, but I do not have that feeling of homeland, just as I do not have Spanish homeland." Wide ThumbClearartFanart Banner User Comments