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Group Members: Mikel Erentxun
All Music Guide:
Pop-meets-rockabilly group Duncan Dhu were formed in San Sebastian in 1984 by musicians Mikel Erentxun, Diego Vasallo, and Juan Ramon Viles. The band's debut disc, Por Tierras Escocesas, hit the market hard, selling more than 175,000 copies. The record's hit single, "Cien Gaviotas," was named song of the year thanks to its strong radio presence. Duncan Dhu's sophomore release, El Grito del Tiempo, met and exceeded the high sales expectations set by its predecessor, selling around 400,000 copies in 1987. In an unusual move toward exclusivity, the band's third release, Grabaciones Oldivada, was limited to only 50,000 copies. That same year, bandmember Viles left the group to pursue a solo career, marked by the release of his premier double-CD, Autobiografia. Vasallo followed suit with Cabaret Pop shortly thereafter, and Duncan Dhu were put on hold while the bandmembers branched out to explore their solo careers. The group made its return to the limelight in 1992 with the release of Supernova. The album's release was marked by an enormous concert in Sevilla, with more than 120,000 in attendance. A series of solo follow-up records soon followed, including Naufragios (Erentxun) and Realidad Virtual de Rock 'n' Roll (Vasallo). A collection of their works from 1985-1998 was released in 2000, followed by an original studio album entitled Crepusculo in 2001. In 2005, the band's impact on Spanish rock was honored by artists and groups such as Alex Ubago, Hombres G, and La Oreja de Van Gogh, the famous recording artists rendering their favorite songs from Duncan Dhu's enormous catalog of hits.
Duncan Dhu was a Spanish group created in San Sebastián, Spain in 1984. Its original members were Mikel Erentxun (former singer in "Aristogatos"), Diego Vasallo and Juan Ramón Viles (former members of "Los Dalton").
The group's style was based on an acoustic and simple pop-rock with a touch of rockabilly in great contrast with the more radical rock played in the area at the time. After being hired by 'Grabaciones Accidentales, S.A.' they contributed with two songs (Mi Amor and Bésame Mucho) to the new bands compilation La única alternativa (The Only Alternative).
In 1985 the group recorded its first album, Por Tierras Escocesas (Around Scottish Lands), and Canciones (Songs) a year later, both produced by Paco Trinidad. The songs were immediately successful and gave the group big popularity. After even more successful El Grito del Tiempo (The Cry of Time, 1984) and Grabaciones Olvidadas (Forgotten Recordings, a compilation of B-Sides, 1989) it became a duo and recorded the double album Autobiografía (Autobiography), with collaborations by Black and Sam Brown among others. The group later also had several hits such as Esos Ojos Negros ("Those Black Eyes"). The group finally ceased to exist as a band after the release of "Crepúsculo y Crudités" (Sunset and Crudités), which was more orchestrated and softer than its older music.
The group's most-known hit is En Algún Lugar ("In Some Place"). The song was initially featured in Canciones, but it was the remix included on El Grito del Tiempo that became widely popular.
The name Duncan Dhu comes from the book Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson, in which there is a character named Duncan Dhu, who is a lover of music. "I need not say if I was pleased to see him; Mrs. Maclaren, our hostess, thought nothing good enough for such a guest; and as Duncan Dhu (which was the name of our host) had a pair of pipes in his house, and was much of a lover of music, this time of my recovery was quite a festival, and we commonly turned night into day."