Luis Miguel and his relationship with tango: the reinvention of Carlos Gardel's classics and a special nod to Argentina

Luis Miguel and his relationship with tango: the reinvention of Carlos Gardel’s classics and a special nod to Argentina

Towards the end of the first season of Luis Miguel; the Series, a decisive event takes place in the singer’s career. At the age of 20, when many artists take their first steps in the environment, he has spent almost half of his life singing professionally, and he is at a key moment. You have no songs for the next material and you don’t know how to move on

In the version of the Netflix biopic, Luis Miguel starts from a premise that arises from a chat with his girlfriend. “The classics never go out of style,” he says in a hasty phone call to his Argentine representative. Hugo Lopez and proposes to sing a repertoire of the time.

The idea of ​​a twentysomething singing what his grandparents liked does not seem to convince his manager at all, however the musician insists. “I’m going to sing new versions of classic songs. Imagine, a ranchera or a bolero. A tanguito Argentinian, boludo,” he adds, provoking the laughter of Hugo, who little by little begins to convince himself of the idea.

Matías, the son of Alex McCluskey Hugo López’s right-hand man, gives a different version and attributes the idea of ​​the album to his father: “Originally, they were off the program. Micky, who was vain, just sang them so that women don’t yell at him and listen to him.

Dad had the initiative to dedicate a record to them and the event was impressive, “Matías said a few days ago to Teleshow. Beyond fictions, realities and authorship of ideas, Romance it was released in 1991 and was an overwhelming success.

It sold 9 million copies and was a hit in the Spanish-speaking world. The tanguito had to wait to appear in the singer’s repertoire, but his income was going to make it big.

Second Romance

In the sixth chapter of the new season, the series again poses a similar dilemma. It was 1994 and many things had happened in Luis Miguel’s life. While finishing the mega-successful tour of his album Aries, who had established him as a stadium artist, Micky debated his new artistic step when another loss hit him deep inside.

Yes Aries it had been built from the death of its biological father, Luis Rey, This time the Sun of Mexico was orphaned again, now due to the death of his manager Hugo López, a kind of adoptive father.

López’s death meant, in addition to the emotional blow, the lack of a helmsman to guide his next musical step. That ear trained for the industry but also always attentive to its most diverse requirements. The question, broadly speaking, was where to face the new album.

Would you follow the Anglo and modern route of Aries, more danceable, with romantic breaks and nods to R&B? Or would he resume the archaeological path of the Romance, tracking boleros, rancheras and other Latin American songbook rhythms

To do this, he gathered the best he had on hand. Teacher Armando Manzanero would repeat his role as Romance as curator of the songs, in addition to contributing the only new song on the album. Juan Carlos Calderon, the key composer of his adolescent stage, would handle the strings and some arrangements with his clinical eye for popular taste.

Kiko Cibrián, your bra on recording Aries, I was going to give a general hand in production. Simplifying, they constituted a perfect tripod: the classic, the ganchero and the modern, all orchestrated under the baton of Luis Miguel himself, who pointed all the cannons of production and marketing towards that hypothetical talk he had had with his manager.

A tango for the Sun of Mexico

The day you love me ”, with music by Carlos Gardel and letter of Alfredo Lepera, was composed in New York in 1934 and premiered the following year in the film of the same name, shortly before the plane crash that ended their lives in Medellín.

It is one of the most recognized tangos in the world, although purists do not agree so much that it is a full-fledged tango. Perhaps in that slight abhorrent rhythm of the melody is the justification for his choice. Perhaps, it is also a posthumous tribute to the roots of his adoptive father and a further contribution to the mystery around his mother’s whereabouts.

In the ’70s the song had a generational revival in the interpretation stripped of Roberto Carlos. Perhaps to differentiate himself from the Brazilian King, the Mexican Sun put all the musical paraphernalia at the service of the subject. Not only did he cut the broadcast and put it first in the order of the album, but he also filmed the corresponding video clip and spared no expense.

To reinforce the concept of time, the video was recorded at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. In an impeccable black tuxedo, Luis Miguel moves with a ghostly step among the marble statues, while interpreting the song with growing feeling.

In different timelines, two shadows from the past move to the beat of the tango while an orchestra of 36 musicians performs Gardel’s immortal melody. At the end, a surprised Luismi leaves the palace and seems to understand everything.

A woman drives away in a vintage car while the marquees announce a concert by Carlos Gardel with an eternal smile, watched by the young man of the romances.

Tango on stage

“The day you love me” occupied a key place in the album tour, but nowhere else was it lived like in Argentina. On November 11 and 12, 1994, the Vélez Sarsfield stadium witnessed two unforgettable nights. When it was his turn on the list, for more than a minute the stadium was silent and only Coco Potenza’s bandoneon was heard, which kept the 50 thousand souls in suspense. At the time of the performance, Luismi lent the microphone to his audience for long intervals and at the end he melted into an emotional hug with the owner of the bellows. while the cry of “Argentina! Argentina!” rumbles through Liniers and surroundings.

With the success of “The day you love me”, tango earned a deserved place in the repertoire of the Latin star and little by little it entered his universe with more and more depth.

Following the alternation logic, after the pop of Nothing is the same (1996) came the third volume of Romances (1997). On this occasion, he added to his list “Uno”, the classic with lyrics by Enrique Santos Discépolo and music by Mariano Mores with a much more introspective lyric that shows his artistic and personal maturity.

Micky performs the shortened version of the song, omitting the second verse, in an album in which he further expands his geographical curiosity, including covers of bossa nova and French song.

When I arrive My romances, his fourth album of classical songs released in 2001, tango was going to have the place it had earned on its own merit, but it was going to find a different Micky. On this occasion he would return to the Gardel and Lepera songbook to interpret another of their hymns, “Volver”.

Now safer when it comes to approaching the genre, he desecrates it and makes it sound like “Luis Miguel”, another of the catchwords of the series. It doesn’t seem like a random decision.

Life is a blow, twenty years is nothing and no one like him can account for it: these are the years he has been singing at that time, with overwhelming success throughout the continent and carrying many of the worst blows on his shoulders. life can offer.

Luis Miguel’s story with tango has a bonus track, outside of his official discography and only reserved for pirated material. In each concert in Argentina, the segment dedicated to the genre presented in potpourri mode had a very special emotional content.

And there he was encouraged to add another classic, outside of his official discography. The chosen one was again a piece by Gardel y Lepera, in the most argentinized of its versions. Is about “By a head”, that story of equestrian disappointments written by Lepera’s pen that Carlitos sings with passion from his renowned burrera hobby.

And in these hooks he sums up his entire relationship with the genre: there is classical tango and tango. luimiguelized; there is a bellows that grunts while a couple takes chips from the floor; there is a luxurious orchestra and an extraordinary voice.

And there is an audience that appreciates each of these winks and renews, once again, their vows of passion.

Ben Oakley
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