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La Ley

La Ley

Rock group

The world of rock en español took a highbrow turn with the evolution of a Chilean ensemble called La Ley in the late 1980s. This group (whose name means "the law") originated as a trio, initially featuring keyboard, guitar, and vocals. A bass player and a new vocalist joined the group within two years, and the turnover proved to be only the first in a succession of new iterations of La Ley that appeared throughout the 1990s. In 1994 the untimely death of La Ley founder and songwriter Andrés Bobe created a serious quandary for the surviving group members, yet La Ley maintained a dynamic stance in the face of tribulation. Even though random group members continued to shift allegiance, the band withstood the relocation of its home base from Chile to Mexico in 1996. At that time, La Ley diverged into techno-rock and emerged as a stronger presence in the international music arena. Mainstream music organizations recognized the band's hard-earned efforts and showered awards on the group. The band released a series of hit albums during its initial decade together, and its songs generated a keen intellectual awareness and provocative attitude. La Ley continued to create timely new music and tour widely until going on extended hiatus at the end of 2005.

La Ley originated in Santiago, Chile, in 1987 under the guidance of Bobe. He collaborated initially with vocalist Shia Arbulu of Spain and Rodrigo Aboitiz on keyboards to create an experimental recording. Positive feedback from that album inspired Bobe to expand La Ley into a quintet and release an independently produced full-length debut album called Desiertos in 1989. The expanded personnel lineup on Desiertos included a new lead vocalist, Alberto "Beto" Cuevas. Also heard on that album were drummer Mauricio Claveria and bassist Luciano Andrés Rojas. The album featured two hit singles, "Desiertos" and "Que Va a Suceder," and brought La Ley to local prominence.

Due to an internal dispute, the album's independent producer recalled Desiertos— even as it picked up momentum in the marketplace. This dispute ultimately led to severed relations between La Ley and management. Soon after the split, however, La Ley released a music video that helped to maintain La Ley's media presence and contributed to the group's rising popularity. The band received an invitation to perform at the prestigious Viña del Mar Festival in 1991, and a follow-up release appeared on Capitol Records in 1991. The Capitol release Doble Opuesto met with a receptive Chilean audience. It brought the band recognition in Latin America beyond its native Chile, and La Ley fans emerged in both Mexico and Argentina. Desiertos stayed unreleased for a time, but resurfaced as a rare cult classic some years later as the band came to international attention.

Aboitiz quit the band shortly before the release of Doble Opuesto, but the band continued successfully nonetheless and released its self-titled La Ley album on Philips Records in 1993. The album was distributed internationally, and a hit video from the album, "Tejedores de Ilusion," earned a nomination from MTV for Best Latin Video. La Ley accepted an invitation for a return appearance at Viña del Mar in 1994.

Rejuvenation Followed Tragedy

La Ley was in the midst of mounting success when tragedy struck in 1994. Bobe died in a motorcycle accident, an event that brought the group to a major crossroads. Cuevas ultimately figured most prominently in the group as it weathered the disaster. He assumed the dual function of bandleader and spokesperson, steering the band through the catastrophe. Some months passed before the band regenerated in the form of a quintet featuring Cuevas, Rojas, and Claveria. The members brought in a new guitarist, Pedro Frugone, and La Ley's former keyboard player Aboitiz rejoined the group.

Soon after the resurrection of La Ley, the band, under the guidance of Chilean producer Humberto Gatica, traveled to the Record Plant studio in Los Angeles, California, to record Invisible. The new recording, a tribute to Bobe, featured an eclectic selection of tracks, ranging from acoustic to hard rock, and served to emphasize the band's versatility. Upon their return to Chile, however, the group encountered daunting legal problems both with their distributor, PolyGram, and with Bobe's family regarding the copyrights to his compositions. An out-of-court settlement ensued, resulting in the demise of La Ley's relationship with PolyGram.

For the Record …

Members include: Rodrigo Aboitiz (original member; left group, 1991; re-joined group, 1994), keyboards; Shia Arbulu (original member; heard on 1987 mini-album), vocals; Andrés Bobe (original member; died on April 10, 1994, in Santiago, Chile), guitar, keyboards, composing; Mauricio Claveria (joined group, c. 1989), drums, percussion; Alberto "Beto" Cuevas (joined group, c. 1989), lead vocals, lyrics; J. C. Cumplido (joined group, 1998), bass; Pedro "Archi" Frugone (joined group, 1994), guitar; Luciano Andrés Rojas (left group, 1998), bass.

Formed as a trio in Chile, 1987; recorded first mini-album, 1987; released first full-length album produced independently as a quintet, 1989; major label debut on Capitol Records, 1991; toured Chile, 1991; performed at Viña del Mar Festival, 1991, 1994, 1995; First Latin Rock Meet, Puerto Rico, 1995; Latin American tour, 1996; released Vertigo, 1998; appeared at Billboard International Latin Music Conference, 2000; released live album MTV Unplugged, 2001; released Libertad, 2003; toured Western Hemisphere; went on indefinite hiatus, 2005.

Awards: Revista Eres magazine, Best Rock Group, 1997; Nuestro Rock magazine, Best Song, for "Dia Cero," 1997; Grammy Award, Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album, for Uno, 2001; Latin Grammy Award, Best Rock Album, for MTV Unplugged, 2002.

Addresses: Management—Estela Casali, 11485 Moorpark St., North Hollywood, CA 91602-2058. Website—La Ley official website: http://www.laleysite.com.

The band remained in Santiago and signed a contract with Warner Music Mexico, which in turn released Invisible in 1995. In September of that year, La Ley toured Mexico, taped a segment of House of Blues for TBS, and made a stop in Buenos Aires on the Chilean-Argentinean border. Soon afterward, during a Chilean tour, the band announced a pending relocation to Mexico City, a move that was completed in 1996. Invisible had sold more than 40,000 copies by that time, surpassing the platinum level (25,000 units) in Chile, and the album had European releases scheduled for England, France, Germany, and Spain.

Uno a Success

For three years after moving to Mexico City, La Ley worked under the direction of manager Julio Galman of Argentina, releasing two albums by the end of the decade. In search of an explosive new sound, La Ley turned to a modern, avant-garde techno sound. The band traveled to New York City to produce and record a new album called Vertigo in 1998. It was the band's fifth release. The album, with its haunting "Guerrillero" track and assorted reflections on urban chaos, was billed as a concept album, according to Cuevas. A commentary in Hispanic praised the La Ley musicians and described their output as "visionary." A promotional tour ensued, during which the band lost its bass player, Rojas, who quit the group after ten years of participation. A replacement musician, J. C. Cumplido, was called in to complete the tour, after which La Ley reverted to a foursome. A follow-up album called Uno was recorded in Los Angeles, produced by Gatica, and released on WEA in 1999. Uno met with particular success and won several awards.

In April of 2000, the members of La Ley appeared at the eleventh annual Billboard International Latin Music Conference in Miami, Florida. La Ley—minus keyboard player Aboitiz—appeared on the bill as a trio including Claveria, Cuevas and Frugone. La Ley shared the program with other popular stars, including Los Lobos and Charlie Bravo. The trio toured extensively for the duration of 2000 and into 2001 in promotional efforts for Uno. Appearances included a Central Park concert in August of 2000, which served as a promotional opening attraction for the first annual Latin Alternative Music Conference. Jon Pareles of the New York Times compared La Ley's headline performance in Central Park to Depeche Mode and likened Frugone's guitar styles to those of Irish band U2.

In July of 2000 Uno received four nominations at the Latin Grammy Awards, and at the mainstream Grammy Award ceremonies in March of 2001 the Recording Academy honored La Ley with the award for Best Latin/Rock Alternative Album, for Uno.

La Ley's 2001 live release, MTV Unplugged, brought the group success across the Spanish-speaking Americas, cracked the top five of Billboard's Latin pop chart in the United States, and won a Latin Grammy Award for Best Rock Album. A single, "Mentiras," also garnered a Best Rock Song nomination. Although Ramiro Burr of the Houston Chronicle observed that La Ley was "derided by some critics as a group of lightweight techno-rockers," guitarist Pedro Frugone pointed out to Burr that the new album avoided heavy production and "showcased our music in a very fresh, stripped-down manner."

La Ley's music once again took a serious turn with the album Libertad, which was partially shaped by the terrorist attacks on New York's World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and tackled themes of social justice and personal freedom. Beto Cuevas told Burr that "I'm not here to say through my music what to say and what to think. … My responsibility in this case … is to wake people up …. Entertainment is a great thing. But when you mix education with communication, it's a great combination, and people end up appreciating that a lot."

Libertad turned in another strong chart performance, again reaching the Billboard Latin pop top five. But it was to be the last La Ley studio album, at least for a while. The group did release a 2004 compilation album, Historias e Histerias, that contained several new songs. After that, however, several group members became involved with individual projects, and they agreed to go on indefinite hiatus. After a 2005 tour of the Western Hemisphere, they gave a farewell performance at the Latin Grammy Awards on November 4, 2005.

Selected discography

Desiertos (independent release), 1989.

Doble Opuesto, Capitol, 1991.

La Ley, Philips, 1993.

Doble Opuesto, PolyGram, 1993.

Invisible, WEA Latina, 1995.

(Contributor) Red Hot + Latin: Silencio=Muerte, PolyGram Latino, 1989.

Vertigo, WEA Latina, 1998.

Los Clásicos del Rock en Espanol (compilation), PolyGram, 1998.

Uno, WEA Latina, 2000.

MTV Unplugged, WEA International, 2001.

Solo para fanáticos, Universal, 2002.

Uno, WEA International, 2003.

Historias e Histeria, WEA International, 2004.

Crónicas, Universal Latino, 2007.

Sources

Periodicals

Billboard, April 30, 1994, p. 32; August 5, 1995, p. 34; September 2, 1995, p. 72; December 9, 1995, p. 36; April 29, 2000, p. LM-10; November 11, 2000, p. 47; March 24, 2001, p. 44.

Hispanic, July-August 1998, p. 98.

Houston Chronicle, September 22, 2002, p. 7; July 8, 2004, p. 5.

New York Times, August 6, 2000, p. 2.

Online

"La Ley," All Music Guide,http://www.allmusic.com (September 22, 2007).

"La Ley," Eritmo.com, http://www2.eritmo.com/eritmoclubs/laley/biography.htm (April 19, 2001).

—Gloria Cooksey and James M. Manheim

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Ley, La

La Ley

Rock group

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

The world of rock español took a highbrow turn with the evolution of a Chilean ensemble called La Ley in the late 1980s. This group (whose name means the law) originated as a trio, initially featuring keyboard, guitar, and vocals. A bass player and a new vocalist joined the group within two years, and the turnover proved to be only the first in a succession of new iterations of La Ley that transpired throughout the 1990s. The band regenerated persistently as a result of members who quit or were rehired, as well as management shifts. In 1994, the untimely death of La Ley founder and songwriter Andrés Bobe created a more serious quandary for the surviving group members, yet La Ley maintained a dynamic stance in the face of continual tribulation. Even as random group members continued to shift allegiance, the band likewise withstood an international relocation of its home base from Chile to Mexico in 1996. At that time, La Ley diverged into techno-rock and emerged as a stronger presence still in the international music arena. Mainstream music organizations recognized the bands hard-earned efforts and showered awards on the group. Not only had the band released a series of hit albums during its initial decade together, but its songs

For the Record

Members include Rodrigo Aboitiz (original member; left group, 1991; re-joined group, 1994), keyboards; Shia Arbulu (original member; heard on 1987 mini-album), vocals; Andrés Bobe (original member; died on April 10, 1994, in Santiago, Chile), guitar, keyboards, composing; Mauricio Claveria (joined group, c 1989), drums, percussion; Alberto Beto Cuevas (joined group, c. 1989), lead vocals, lyrics; J. C. Cumplido (joined group, 1998), bass; Pedro Archi Frugone (joined group, 1994), guitar; Luciano Andrés Rojas (left group, 1998), bass.

Formed as a trio in Chile, 1987; recorded first mini-album, 1987; released first full-length album produced independently as a quintet, 1989; major label debut on Capitol Records, 1991; toured Chile, 1991; performed at Viña del Mar Festival, 1991, 1994, 1995; First Latin Rock Meet, Puerto Rico, 1995; Latin American tour, 1996.

Awards: Best Rock Group, Revista Eres magazine, 1997; Best Song for Dia Cero, Nuestro Rock magazine, 1997; Grammy Award, Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album for Uno, 2001.

Addresses: Record company; Warner Music Mexico, SA, de C.V., P.O. Box 7-1238, Mexico City, Mexico 7, D.F. Website La Ley Official Website:http://www.laleyweb.com.ar/ (Spanish language).

also generated a keen intellectual awareness and provocative attitude.

La Ley originated in Santiago, Chile, in 1987 under the guidance of Bobe. He collaborated initially with vocalist Shia Arbulu of Spain and Rodrigo Aboitiz on keyboards to create an experimental recording. Positive feedback from that album inspired Bobe to expand La Ley into a quintet and subsequently to release an independently produced full-length debut album called Desiertos in 1989. The expanded personnel lineup on Desiertos included a new lead vocalist, Alberto Beto Cuevas. Also heard on that album were drummer Mauricio Claveria and bassist Luciano Andrés Rojas. The album featured two hit singles, Desiertos and Que Va a Suceder, and brought La Ley to local prominence.

Ironically, the albums independent producer recalled Desiertos even as it picked up momentum in the marketplacedue to a dispute that ultimately led to severed relations between La Ley and management. Soon after the managerial split, La Ley released a music video, which effectively helped to maintain La Leys media presence and contributed to the groups rising popularity. The band received an invitation to perform at the prestigious Viña del Mar Festival in 1991, and a follow-up release appeared on Capitol Records in 1991. The Capitol release, Doble Opuesto, met with a receptive Chilean audience and brought the band recognition in Latin America beyond its native Chile; La Ley fans emerged in both Mexico and Argentina.Desiertos meanwhile remained in metaphorical mothballs and resurfaced as a rare cult classic some years later as the band came to international attention.

There followed for La Ley a string of discouraging happenstance involving personnel turnovers, legal wrangling, and even death, beginning with the departure of Aboitiz, who quit the band shortly before the release of Doble Opuesto. The band continued successfully nonetheless, and released its self-titled La Ley album on Philips Records in 1993.La Ley was distributed internationally, and a hit video from that album, Tejedores de Ilusion, earned a nomination from MTV for Best Latin Video. La Ley accepted an invitation for a return appearance at Viña del Mar in 1994.

As Mexicans and Argentineans joined the ranks of La Ley fans in the wake of the bands early albums in the 1990s, La Ley was in the midst of mounting success when tragedy struck. In 1994, Bobe died in a motorcycle accident, an event that brought the group to a major crossroad. It was Cuevas who ultimately figured most prominently in the group as it weathered the disaster. He assumed the dual function of bandleader and spokesperson, steering the band through the catastrophe. Some months passed before the band regenerated in the form of a quintet once again, featuring Cuevas, Rojas, and Claveria. The members brought in a new guitarist, Pedro Frugone, and La Leys former keyboard player, Aboitiz, rejoined the group at that time.

Soon after the resurrection of La Ley, the band, under the guidance of Chilean producer Humberto Gatica, traveled to the Record Plant studio in Los Angeles, California, to record a new album, Invisible. The recording, a tribute to Bobe, featured an eclectic selection of tracks, ranging from acoustic to hard rock selections, and served to emphasize the bands versatility. Upon their return to Chile, however, the group encountered daunting legal snafus both with its distributor, PolyGram, and with Bobes family, regarding the copyrights to his compositions. An out-of-court settlement ensued, resulting in the demise of La Leys relationship with PolyGram.

The band remained in Santiago and signed a contract with Warner Music Mexico, which in turn released Invisible in 1995. In September of that year, La Ley undertook a tour of Mexico, taped a segment of House of Blues for TBS, and made a subsequent stop in Buenos Aires on the Chilean-Argentinean border. Soon afterward, during a Chilean tour, the band announced a pending relocation to Mexico City, a move that was complete in 1996.Invisible, having realized 40,000 units sold by that time, had well surpassed the platinum level (25,000 units) in Chile, with European releases scheduled for England, France, Germany, and Spain.

For three years after moving to Mexico City, La Ley worked under the direction of manager Julio Galman of Argentina. With Galman as manager, La Ley released two albums by the end of the decade. In search of an explosive new sound, La Ley turned to a modern, avant-garde, techno sound. The band traveled to New York City to produce and record a new album called Vertigo, which appeared in 1998. It was the bands fifth release. The album, with its haunting Guerrillero track and assorted reflections on urban chaos, was billed as a concept album, according to Cuevas. A commentary in Hispanic praised the La Ley musicians and described their output as visionary. A promotional tour ensued, during which the band lost its bass player, Rojas, who quit the group after ten years of participation. A replacement musician, J. C. Cumplido, was called in to complete the tour, after which La Ley reverted to a foursome. A follow-up album, called Uno, was recorded in Los Angeles, produced by Gatica, and released on WEA in 1999.Uno met with particular success and won several awards.

In April of 2000, the members of La Ley were honored to appear at the eleventh-annual Billboard International Latin Music Conference in Miami, Florida. La Ley minus keyboard player Aboitiz at that timeappeared on the bill as a trio including Claveria, Cuevas and Frugone. The event is renowned for its history of catapulting Latin artists further into the media spotlight. In 2000 La Ley shared the program with other popular stars including Los Lobos and Charlie Bravo. La Ley toured extensively for the duration of 2000 and into 2001 in promotional efforts for Uno. Appearances included a Central Park concert in August of 2000, which served as a promotional opening attraction for the first annual Latin Alternative Music Conference. Jon Pareles in the New York Times compared La Leys headline performance in Central Park to Depeche Mode and likened Frugones guitar styles to those of Irish band U2.

In July of 2000, Uno received four nominations at the Latin Grammy Awards; the categories were Best Rock Song, Best Rock Album, Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with vocal, and Best Video. At the mainstream Grammy Award ceremonies in March of 2001, the Recording Academy honored La Ley with the award for Best Latin/Rock Alternative Album for Uno.

Selected discography

Desiertos (independent release), 1989.

Doble Opuesto, Capitol, 1991.

La Ley, Philips, 1993.

Doble Opuesto, PolyGram, 1993.

Invisible, WEA Latina, 1995.

(Contributor) Red Hot + Latin: Silencio=Muerte, PolyGram Latino, 1989.

Vertigo, WEA Latina, 1998.

Los Clasicos del Rock en Espanol (compilation), PolyGram, 1998.

Uno, WEA Latina, 2000.

Sources

Periodicals

Billboard, April 30, 1994, p. 32; August 5, 1995, p. 34; September 2, 1995, p. 72; December 9, 1995, p. 36; April 29, 2000, p. LM-10; November 11, 2000, p. 47; March 24, 2001, p. 44.

Hispanic, July-August 1998, p. 98.

New York Times, August 6, 2000, p. 2.

Online

La Ley, All Music Guide, http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=Bjmkxu3y5an4k (April 19, 2001).

La Ley, Eritmo.com, http://www2.eritmo.com/eritmoclubs/laley/biography.htm (April 19, 2001).

Gloria Cooksey

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Ley, La." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Ley, La." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/ley-la

"Ley, La." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/ley-la