Grupo Mania is a group from Mexico, categorized as part of the genre’s Latin American scene. They’re known for their fusion and eclectic musical style that includes rancheras and cumbias with hip-hop beats and electronica sounds. Their most popular singles include “Bésame Mucho”, “La Bamba” and “The Monster”.
The “banchy serrano y su esposa” is a Spanish singer who was born in Madrid, Spain. He has released many albums and singles. His most popular song is “Maldita sea”.
Grupo Mana was one of the most popular merengue groups of the 1990s, reaching the top of the charts during the style’s peak in the mid-’90s. Even as their star power faded over time, they continued to produce albums for their core fan base and were nominated for Latin Grammys on a regular basis. Grupo Mana (also GrupoMana or Grupomana) was founded in 1993 in Puerto Rico by three brothers — Héctor (called Banchy), Edwin, and Oscar Serrano — and Alfred Cotto. Banchy had previously played in bands headed by Willie Berros and Leny Pérez, while Oscar had previously played in Grupo Uno, which was also led by Pérez.
The Serrano brothers made their music debut with A Bombazo…Si!, billed as Grupo Mana. The record did well in Puerto Rico, owing to a lot of radio exposure, and the band was off to a good start. At this time, one of the brothers, Edwin, was replaced by Elvis Crespo, who, like Banchy, had previously worked with Berros and Pérez in bands, and the trio recorded Explotó el Bombazo (1994), which went on to sell over 50,000 copies. While this was a significant achievement for an independently published record, Grupo Mana’s following album, Dance Mana (1995), sold twice as many copies. Furthermore, the album contained their greatest success yet, “Como Me Haces Falta,” and the trio received a Tambora de Oro award for the third year in a row. As a result, Sony Discos approached the lads, and they decided to join the label’s Sony Tropical division.
Grupo Mana’s debut album for Sony, Está de Moda (1996), had a more commercial approach. Está de Moda produced many singles (“La Condena,” “A Que Te Pego Mi Mana,” “Linda Eh,” “Deja Que la Gente Diga”), topped the Tropical/Salsa album chart, and entered the Top Ten of the Top Latin Albums. Grupo Mana recorded Alto Honor (1997) as a trio when Crespo departed to pursue a solo career. The album didn’t have the same level of popularity as Está de Moda, but it was nonetheless a smash, with many singles (“Me Miras y Te Miro,” “Corazoncito,” “Que Loco,” “Mrala”) and a return to the Top Ten of the Latin Albums list. Reynaldo Santiago (aka El Chino), a former member of rival merengue group Zona Roja, filled the void left by Crespo’s departure on the follow-up, The Dynasty (1998). The Dynasty was nominated for Best Merengue Album at that year’s Latin Grammy award ceremony, and “Como Baila,” “Nia Bonita,” “Voy a Ganar Su Amor,” and “Magia” all charted.
Grupo Mana only released one more album for Sony Discos, Masters of the Stage (1999), before signing with Universal Latino and releasing Grupomana 2050 (2001), their first Latin Grammy-winning album. During this period of transition, Sony shamelessly flooded the market with a bewildering array of compilations — 20th Anniversary (1999), Baila Mi Mana…Lo Mejor! (2000), Mana Mixes (2000), Oro Merenguero (2000), Bombazos (2001), Colección de Oro (2002), 22 Ultimate Hits (2002), 15 Exitos (2002), Remixes (2002), and subsequently more — clearly milking the group for all it
Regardless, Grupo Mana continued their recording career. Following Grupomana 2050, they released many more albums for Universal, starting with Latino (2002), which was their first Grammy nomination. During these latter years, Grupo Mana’s membership shifted, with Banchy and Oscar being the sole constants. Following their departures, Cotto and Santiago formed Grupo Stars, a competing, though less popular, merengue trio that also included Gabby Kenton. Despite frequent Grammy nominations, Grupo Mana’s fan base started to decline in the 2000s. Grupo Mana went to the depths of re-recording an album’s worth of Sony-era songs for release, Re-Haciendo la Historia: Los Exitos!, in the middle of the decade (2006).
- elvis crespo