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Mecano began as a Spanish language synth-pop (in Spanish música tecno) band from Madrid, Spain. Brothers Nacho and José María Cano, along with singer Ana Torroja, formed the band in 1981. Mecano's debut coincided with La Movida Madrileña, a sociocultural movement that occurred in Spain during the 1980's. Soon after forming, they achieved wide-spread popularity with their debut single, "Hoy No Me Puedo Levantar". Nacho Cano branched out into producing other bands, and both he and his brother wrote songs for other pop up-starts. Mecano had another hit in 1986 with "Me Cuesta Tanto Olvidarte". In 1991, the band members decided to set out on solo careers.

Prior to their international success in 1986, Mecano had three successful albums in Spain and Europe. However, it was not until the release of their 1986 album, Entre el Cielo y el Suelo that they achieved international success beyond the Spanish-speaking world. One of their most important songs, "Hijo de la Luna", was covered as an aria by one of Opera's greatest contemporary singers, Montserrat Caballé. Their follow-up album, Descanso Dominical, produced their biggest single ever, "Mujer Contra Mujer", which deals with a lesbian relationship, seen through the eyes of a male friend, who only later realizes what is going on. The song was recorded in French, English, and Italian, giving Mecano their first truly global hit.

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