Rosendo Mercado Ruiz (born 23 February 1954 in Madrid) is a Spanish rock singer and songwriter. He was part of the groups Ñu and Leño, and is a prominent exponent of the so-called urban rock in Spain.
1.1 First steps,
1.2 Leño period,
1.3 Solo period,
3.1 With Leño,
3.2 As a solo artist,
5 External links,
His family was from Bolaños de Calatrava, in the province of Ciudad Real, but he was raised in Carabanchel, where he still resides (as of 2005). After giving up his studies in the ICAI engineering school, he joined the group Fresa, as a guitarist, in 1972. Fresa played covers of hits of the time, and sometimes accompanied other singers. After some changes, including introducing singer José Carlos Molina, the band changed its name to Ñu. In 1974 Rosendo discovered Rory Gallagher's music, who became one of his main influences, together with groups like Jethro Tull, Canned Heat, Cream, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath.
Main article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le%C3%B1o
After finishing the compulsory military service in 1975, he took part in the recording of the first album of Ñu. Molina and he were not in very good terms, so Rosendo left the group in 1977, and formed Leño, playing the guitar and singing. Chiqui Mariscal (bass player) and Ramiro Penas (drums) also left Ñu to join him in Leño.
They made their debut in 1978, as supporting band in a concert of Asfalto. They had been hired by Vicente Romero (producer), who was setting up Chapa Discos ("Chapa Records"), and published the collective disc Viva el Rollo, Vol. II. Rock del Manzanares, including two songs of the band: Este Madrid and Aprendiendo a escuchar.
In 1979 they published their first disc, by the title Leño. The album, produced by Teddy Bautista, contains songs with long instrumental sections, among which El tren and Este Madrid are remarkable. During the recording Mariscal left the group, and was substituted by Tony Urbano, as portrayed in the disc cover.
In 1980 they published their second album, Más madera. Teddy Bautista's influence can be seen in that the songs are shorter and have a lighter style.
In 1981 they recorded in the Carolina club the En directo live disc. The disc was very well sold, even though the recording quality was not very good. This disc includes one of Rosendo's best-known songs, Maneras de vivir. Luz Casal (chorus) and Teddy Bautista (keyboards) play with them.
The last official disc of Leño, ¡Corre, corre!, was made with more resources, thanks to the success of their previous one. It was recorded in London, with the production of Carlos Narea. Notable songs include Sorprendente and ¡Qué desilusión!.
In 1983 they took part in Rock de una noche de verano, a tour organized by Miguel Ríos that would become a milestone in the Spanish rock history, by organizing a long series of concerts all around Spain, with big sound and light resources. In the 1983 fall, in their best success moment, they decided to break up.
Rosendo's first solo disc (Loco por incordiar) was pushed back until 1985, due to problems with his former label, Zafiro (to which Chapa Discos belonged). The disc was edited by RCA, and produced by Carlos Narea. It marked the moment of greatest commercial success in his career, thanks to songs like Agradecido, Pan de higo or Loco por incordiar.
However, his next album, Fuera de lugar, edited next year, was negatively criticized. His last disc for RCA, ... a las lombrices, was published in 1987, and was received coldly. Jo Dworniak was the producer, and Rafael J. Vegas joined as a bass player.
After leaving RCA, Rosendo started recording with Twins. The first album with this label was Jugar al gua (1988), which features songs with a different style (e.g., the Del pulmón reggae), but also one of his key songs Flojos de pantalón. The second record for Twins was Directo (1989), a live disc including two songs by Leño.
Later Twins joined DRO, with whom Rosendo has kept on recording up to present (2005). The first album for DRO, Deja que les diga que no, appeared in 1991. Eugenio Muñoz took part in the production, as he did in later discs. Next year Rosendo published the disc La tortuga, containing a song that became quite popular: Majete.
With Para mal o para bien (1994), he recorded for the first time in the El Cortijo del Aire studio, in the Cabo de Gata. Some outstanding songs are ¿De qué vas? and Hasta de perfil. The latter criticizes the power, and three members of Celtas Cortos collaborate.
His next album, Listos para la reconversión was published in 1996. After that disc two of his musicians left, namely the keyboard player Gustavo Di Nóbile and the drummer Miguel Ángel Jiménez. Next year he recorded the soundtrack of Hector Carré's movie Dame algo, and in 1998 he changed the setup of the band to a trio (bass, drums and guitar, giving up the keyboard), and changed his lifelong Fender Stratocaster guitar for a Gibson, allegedly for its looks. The first disc of this stage is A tientas y barrancas (1998), followed in 1999 by Siempre hay una historia... en directo, which he recorded live in the yard of the Carabanchel prison.
In 2001 Canciones para normales y mero dementes was published. This disc features a harder sound, that was also present in Veo, veo... mamoneo (2002). In 2005 Lo malo es... ni darse cuenta was released.
In 2006 he was awarded the Medalla de Oro al Mérito en las Bellas Artes
His latest album, El endémico embustero y el incauto pertinaz, released in 2007, was recorded in the PKO (Madrid) and El Cortijo (Almería) studios.
Rosendo Mercado - Composer, singer, guitar, bass,
Rafa J. Vegas - Bass,
Mariano Montero - drums,
Miguel A. Jiménez - drums,
Gustavo Di Nobile - Keyboard, programmer