In 1977 on the Spanish island of Fuerteventura, Maria Mendiola and Mayte Mateos were performing flamenco and singing traditional Spanish songs in cabaret for the many tourists who went there for the solitude and beautiful beaches, away from the commercialism of mainland Spain and the Costas. Their huge potential was spotted by RCA record company executive Leon Deane, who very swiftly signed a deal and named the duo after the Baccara rose. It wasn’t long before they were in touch with Rolf Soja, who co-wrote the song with which they are still synonymous today, “Yes sir I can boogie”
The song was an immediate hit, achieving number one status in the UK charts as well as huge sales and success in countries all round the world. Mayte and Maria went on to follow this with the also successful “Sorry I’m a lady” and the release of their first album, simply entitled “Baccara”.
Increased confidence in international performing and further albums followed, resulting in the release of such well known singles as “Darling”, “Ay ay sailor”, “The devil sent you to Loredo” and their 1978 entry to the Eurovision Song Contest when they represented Luxembourg, “Parlez-vous francais?” They were regularly seen on TV variety shows around the world and the UK saw them as resident musical guests on the weekly “Sacha Distel Show” on BBC2.
However with the record buying public being as transient in their taste as they are, success was time-limited. While achieving a huge fan base in Germany, the Scandinavian countries and Japan, the UK market largely ignored Baccara and they sadly faded away from public view after only a couple of years following the release of their third album for RCA “Colours”. In 1981 there was another album release as Baccara entitled “Bad Boys”, which was not released in the UK, although by then the ladies were beginning to work on solo projects.
Around 1983, the original Baccara duo had split and both Maria and Mayte had solo albums released, though these were mainly available in the countries where their fan base had remained loyal. Both achieved moderate success. Despite this, TV shows around the world still wanted Baccara and around the mid-1980’s, both ladies had formed their own version of the group, with Maria naming hers NEW Baccara in order to distinguish it from Mayte’s. She joined forces with the lovely Marisa and the duo are still together and performing today. Maria and Marisa are still managed by Leon Deane and are now based mainly in Germany, where they still have a solid fan base and from where most of their CD’s are now pressed.
It is perhaps this duo that are best known in HI-NRG circles, famous as they are for their 1988 euro-influenced hits “Fantasy Boy”, “Touch Me” and “Call Me Up” released on recently closed Bellaphon label, all of which went down a storm in the clubs and can still whip up a great deal of dancefloor participation. No wonder why, all of them were produced by one and only Luis Rodriguez (MODERN TALKING, C. C. CATCH and others)
NEW Baccara also released a re-recorded version of “Yes Sir I Can Boogie” on their 1989 “Fun” album. These vocals surfaced again just before Christmas 1997 as a UK white label 12” single with 6 excellent mixes on it, including the original 1989 remix (if that’s not a misnomer). This also sold well.
The recent release of the German “Die Highlights” CD was billed as being by Baccara, with the cover showing a picture of the original duo Mayte and Maria. This was in fact false, as the CD comprised all the tracks from NEW Baccara “Fun” CD as well as the 12” versions of both “Fantasy Boy” and "Touch Me” and their other successful single “Call Me Up”. There were no tracks featuring Mayte on the disc.
While Maria and her NEW Baccara partner Marisa were achieving a higher recording profile, Mayte was still working regularly. Looking at video clips of Mayte during the 1980’s, it appears that she had a couple of different partners throughout her particular Baccara metamorphosis. However she has now been firmly established with her new partner Jane Comerford, an accomplished Australian musician living and working in Hamburg, for some time. Although they have no discernible new hits to their credit as NEW Baccara have, they were still very much in demand for TV and live shows, trading on the back catalogue of hits from the original Baccara girls, as well as uptempo versions of traditional Spanish songs such as “Aranjuez” and “Granada”.
BACCARA recorded a HI-NRG version of Bette Midler’s hit “Wind beneath my wings” for the UK based Loading Bay record company which was a big hit in gay clubs. They also recorded new versions of both “Yes sir I can boogie” and “Sorry I’m a lady” for the Italian Discomagic record label in 1994, with a distinctive ‘90’s feel to them. The songs did not chart as they were pressed only in sufficient quantities for the club scene and could therefore not achieve the necessary sales. The fact remains that these 12” singles are extremely rare and hard to find, a measure of their commercial success and of Baccara continued global support.
Before starting to write this page, it's author (Mark Fell) asked the management from both Baccara camps for relevant information that he might include. Although he did hear from Mayte and Jane’s management right at the outset, we still have nothing concrete from them. They offered to send information, although despite three reminders to them we have yet to hear anything further. This is a shame, as this page is a celebration of the work Baccara do and is in no way biased towards one duo or the other. We know of no new material from Mayte since her solo album in the early ‘80’s and very much hope that this may soon be remedied. So what of the future? It is without a doubt that Baccara have still maintained a loyal fan base. The “Highlights” CD prompted many positive comments.
We were informed by Leon Deane that Maria and Marisa are now also called Baccara and have dropped the “New” from their title. There are hopes that they are about to record new material, although this has yet to be confirmed. As soon as we hear anything, we will post it. However, Leon has informed us that he too hopes to have a fully functioning web site for the ladies later this year. We can only hope.
Whatever happens, there are many of us out here who still find the Mediterranean melodies of the Baccara ladies a sound to enjoy. With the correct songs and a little media manipulation, there is no reason that Baccara should not remain in the public domain. While they may never again be the internationally renowned stars of 1977, so few groups these days achieve the recognition that occurred back then. Record buying trends have changed with more emphasis on localised (some would say “ghetto-ised”) buying. So, in the case of Baccara, who have firmly set their sights on a largely gay-friendly dance sound, there is nothing to stop that sound being brought into 1998 with fresh melodies and fresh success.
In June 1999 newly created label Majic Music by previous filars of Loading Bay Records Mike Coppock and Tony Spalding released new Baccara single "Wind Beneath My Wings" originally released in 1993. This beatiful single contains four brand new versions with updated sound to late 90's including PROGRESSIVE synths. Also in June BMG-Ariola released "Yes Sir, I Can Boogie '99 with RAP performed by Michael Universal. It sounds like Baccara will be bringing back the sound we love! Pure EURODANCE/NRG sound to die for!
Also in the end of summer BMG-Ariola released a full album by this group called "Baccara 2000", featuring 13 tracks both their classic sound as well as new versions. I am really confused what's going with the group, but Baccara in this album consists of Mayte Mateos and new to me Cristina Sevilla. Back to the album. You will also find there a very interesting "HIT MIX" that features Michael Universal. Really looks like Baccara is back and more fabulous song are on the way !!! The only quation I have what is happening with Maria Mendiolo these days?
In March 2004 a new album will be released and a few months later an album in Spanish. Now their journeys once again have begun to the top of the international charts. Baccara has today a lot of fans all over the world and is constantly performing around the globe.
BACCARA performed the song “Soy tu Venus” in 2004 Swedish Eurovision Song Contest and even though they didn’t make it to the finals, Baccara`s performance was a huge success. The song is written by Robert Olausson, Robert Habolin and Mats Jansson. Also in this summer released with the same name an Album with great success.
2007 At the 30th Stage anniversary takes Baccara again with the former producer and songwriter "Rolf Soja and Frank Dostal" a new album in Hamburg. This album is the 2008 German Stores, and hopefully the success comparable, Mayte Mateos and Paloma Blanco deserve. Furthermore Baccara gets the "Radio Regenbogen Award" as the most successful of the Ladies duo in the seventies, which Mayte Mateos on 9. 3. 2007 receives.
In 2008, the success of Baccara are not stop. They are in all of Europe and Russia, very popular