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Grupo Manía

The quartet known as Grupo Manía was formed in 1993 and became one of the most popular young merengue bands at that time. It is composed of three brothers of the Serrano Matos family: Héctor Iván “Banchy”, Edwin and Oscar, along with young choreographer Alfred Cotto.

Banchy started his musical career playing guitar and later became a member of the bands led by Wilie Berríos and Leny Pérez. Oscar was a member of various amatuer bands and started professionally with Grupo Uno led by Leny Pérez.

Their debut album A bombazo… ¡sí! reached number one in Puerto Rico radio play with hits such as “Celos”, “Dos mujeres” and “Me sigue pareciendo frío”.

A year later, Elvis Crespo replaced Edwin, formerly with Lenny Pérez, Willie Berríos and Toño Rosario. The band then released Explotó el bombazo in 1994 which was a great success. The album included songs such as “La celosa”, “La manía” y “Por culpa de tus celos”. It sold over 50,000 copies as an independent production and became the group’s first gold recording.

In 1995, the band surpassed that with the release of Dance Mania which went platinum with over 100,000 copies sold. In addition, the band won the first of three successive “Tambora de Oro” prizes.

The band then signed with Sony Records and did a makeover in their image and style: with more aggressive and danceable. This was reflected in their first record with the Sony label: Está de moda, which went double platinum and included hits such as “La condena”, “Linda eh” and “A que te pego mi manía”.

But “Esta de Moda” album also marked the departure of the popular Elvis Crespo from the band. Despite this, the trio went on to release yet another hit album for Sony Records: Alto Honor, with hit song Mírala. In 1997 they also had a very successful concert debut in San Juan’s Centro de Bellas Artes, with three performances in a César Sáinz production called “Manía”.

In 1998, Reynaldo Santiago “El Chino” joined the band. He had ample experience including a stint with the well known merengue band: Zona Roja.

With the subsequent release of Dynasty, the group continued their successful position in the music scene. The album included such hits as “Niña bonita” and “Como baila”, which both went to the number one position in the charts. The album also showed the band breaking new ground by including songs in the styles of rhythm and blues as well as salsa. This continued a trend started in their earlier album which included the song “Traigo algo bueno”; a fusion of rap and reggae.

Following on the popularity of their Dynasty album, the band had a very successful concert engagement in the Coliseo Roberto Clemente, San Juan in March of 1999, which was later televised. The concerts were sold out but more importantly, was well reviewed by the critics.

Having won various awards, including Tu Música, Agüeybaná, Farándula and Paoli, and three triple platinum albums for Sony Records, the band performed at the Carnaval de Tenerife in the Canary Isalands and was later selected to help celebrate the end of the millenium party of San Juan.

At the start of the new millenium, the band released their fifth album for Sony: Masters of the Stage. At the same time, “Destiny” was nominated for a Grammy award and for an award at the first Latin Grammy awards celebration, in the Merengue category.

Discography

Serie Azul Tropical (2003)

Latino (2002)

Grupo Mania (2002)

Coleccion de Oro (2002)

22 Ultimate Hits (2002)

15 Exitos (2002)

Mania 2050 (2001)

Remixes (2000)

Oro Merenguero (2000)

Baila Mi Mania... Lo Mejor! (2000)

Masters of the Stage (1999)

20th Anniversary (1999)

Dynasty (1998)

Alto Honor (1997)

Esta de Moda (1996)

Exploto El Bombazo (1995)

Dance Mania (1995)

A Bombazo Si (1993)

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