BARON ROJO

Country Spain

Style Heavy Metal/Hard Rock

Barón Rojo are a Spanish heavy metal band, who reached international success in the 1980s.  Barón Rojo’s first line-up was made up by the two brothers Armando and Carlos De Castro (guitars and vocals), José Luis Campuzano (known as Sherpa – bass and vocals) and Hermes Calabria (drums). We must not forget about Carolina Cortés, Sherpa’s wife, who helped with the composition of some of the band’s lyrics. At present, the band is still around rockin’ and rollin’ with its best hits.

The Castro brothers had been part of the Coz band till 1980, so to say, after the releasing of the “Mas Sexy” album basically, when the relationship between the band/label fell through. The band split into two till the point there were two different bands with the very same name (name that was property of CBS label). After that, the Castro brothers, together with José Luís Campuzano and Hermes Calabria formed Barón Rojo, while the other half of Coz band went on with its career and the releasing of some other albums. The band released their debut album Larga Vida al Rock and Roll in 1981, and the first single taken from the LP was Con Botas Sucias. It achieved moderate success, earning them several coverage from the media after winning a gold record selling certification. To promote the album, Barón Rojo made a tour around Spain.

They moved to London for the recording of their second album Volumen Brutal (1982) on the Kingsway studios, owned by Deep Purple’s frontman Ian Gillan. This album was released in two versions: One with the lyrics in Spanish and another sung in English. Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden is credited for helping them with the translation. This led the band to international success specially in England, where they graced the cover of music magazine Kerrang!. The album, which included tracks like “Los rockeros van al infierno”, “Incomunicación” and “Resistiré” (Stand Up in English) sold two million copies in total. In 27 August 1982 Barón Rojo played at Reading music festival, along with renowned bands as Iron Maiden, Twisted Sister and Marillion.

In 1983 the band released their 3rd record titled “METALMORFOSIS” (Chapa/Zafiro), that was also recorded in Londonand that included tracks like “Casi me mato”, “El malo”, “Tierra de vándalos”, “Herencia letal” and “Invulnerable”, these songs were included in a single that was given away for free with the first 20.000 copies of the album.  That period the band toured inEuropetaking part in festivals like “Heavy Sound Festival- 83” (Belgium). In February 1984, they recorded a live album titled « Al Rojo Vivo », the album was recorded while the band was playing in the Real Madrid sport hall. 

In 1985 the band was out with a new album carrying the title “EN UN LUGAR DE LA MARCHA” (Chapa/Zafiro) including tracks like “Cuerdas de Acero”, “Hijos de Caín” and “Breakthoven”.  In 1987 they released the albums “SIEMPRE ESTÁIS ALLÍ” and “TIERRA DE NADIE” with great tracks like “Pico de Oro”, “Señor inspector” and “Tierra de nadie”, the latter was released in Koreaas well. From that moment the band reduced the number of gigs all aroundEurope, going for different tours in Spainor Latin America.

In 1987 they released the album “NO VA MAS” and in 1989, after having released the album « OBSTINADO », the band split-up. Hermes told the band that he couldn’t combine his personal projects with them and, for this reason, he decided to leave. Sherpa then told the others that if Hermes wanted to leave, he would have done the same. However, the Castro brothers didn’t want to put an end to the band and added new musicians to the project : Pepe Bao as bassist (Manzano), Maxi González (Tritón) on vocals, stayed in the band for just one year, and José Antonio del Nogal “Ramakhan” as drummer (Tritón), stayed for four years. “Desafío”, released in 1992 and recorded in Madrid was produced by guitarist Carlos de Castro with Niko del Hierro on bass and José Antonio del Nogal “Ramakhan” playing drums. In 1995 BMG/Zafiro/Ariola released a double compilation with the title “LARGA VIDA AL BARÓN” while in 1996 the new album “ARMA SECRETA” came out for selling. 

To record the album Arma Secreta, the Castro brothers added two new members to the crew : José Martos (drums) and Ángel Arias Guzmán bass ; the former was known to have played with Niagara, the latter with Goliath and Tritón. Starting from ‘93 Ángel was playing both with Niagara and Baròn.  In 1999 came out a double cd under the title “CUESTE LO QUE CUESTE” (BMG/Ariola), that included 26 classics by the band and 4 new ones. In 2000 Barón Rojo signed a contract with the label Zero Records and took part in a tribute album with the title “METAL GOODS” honouring Judas Priest with the song “You´ve got another thing coming”. 

2001 saw the release of the album 20+, an allusion to the more than twenty years of existence of the band  with incredible tracks such as Fronteras”, “Sobrenatural”, “Comoen la letra de un blues” and “Famosas”. That year the band, together with other Latin American bands, took part in the tribute album dedicated to the Argentinian band V8, its title was V8 NO MURIÓ” (Nems Enterprises) and the track “Parcas sangrientas”, and in 2003 the cover versions album Perversiones saw the light and featured cover versions from bands as Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and AC/DC.

In 2005 José Martos joined the band once again to replace Valeriano Rodriguez and in 2006 was released a compilation titled “LAS AVENTURAS DEL BARÓN”, that was made up by 2 cd : one was an audio cd with the band’s best tracks and the other was a dvd including the band’s performances in tv programs during the 80’s. In November 2006 came out the album “ULTIMASMENTES” under the Santo Grial label.

Ángel Arias and José Martos left Barón Rojo in 2007, just after the live CD and DVD Desde Barón a Bilbao was released, and Tony Ferrer left the band in September 2008. He was replaced by former Ñu bassist Gorka Alegre. They made a reunion concert on June 20, 2009 at the Metalway music festival in Zaragoza, with the original formation including José Luís Campuzano “Sherpa” doing vocals. That same year they released their last album yet: live album En Clave de Rock. After their successful reunion concert at Metalway’09 they reunited again for a tour, starting and finishing in Madrid, with its first concert at “La Riviera” the 30th of January 2010 and the last at former bullring “Palacio de Vistalegre” the 22th of October 2011, where they told the concurrence about the filming of a Baron Rojo documentary.

Even it is finished, the four original members will be on stage on 11 February in Barcelona at Palau Saint Jordi.  This means, that in the past years Baron Rojo has toured with both original and current formations, as well as with Mislata’s Symphonic with whom they recorded live album En Clave de Rock (2009).

 

– Larga vida al Rock And Roll [1981]
– Volumen brutal [1982]
– Metalmorfosis [1983]
– En un lugar de la marcha [1985]
– Tierra de nadie [1987]
– No va más [1988]
– Obstinato [1989]
– Desafío [1992]
– Arma secreta [1997]
– 20+ [2001]
– Perversiones [2003]
– Ultimasmentes [2006]

 

 

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