La Ley Biography

This all-male Chilean pop group was formed in Santiago in 1987 by songwriter Andrés Bobe (Chile, d. April 1994; guitar), Rodrigo Aboitiz (keyboards) and Shia Arbulu (vocals). Following the departure of the latter in 1988, the line-up quickly expanded to include Mauricio Clavería (b. Mauricio Clavería Andrade, 7 August 1963, Chile; drums) and Luciano Andrés Rojas (bass). Although their debut release, Desiertos, was unsuccessful, within a few years La Ley had begun to find an audience. They became very popular in Chile and attracted favourable attention elsewhere in South America with their sometimes experimental music and against-the-trend style of stage presentation. The departure of Aboitiz was offset by the introduction of Beto Cuevas (b. Luis Alberto Cuevas Olmedo, 12 September 1967, Chile; vocals/guitar), completing the classic era La Ley line-up on Doble Opuesto (1991) and La Ley (1993).

A personnel change was forced upon the group following founder Bobe’s death in a 1994 motorcycle accident. He was replaced by guitarist Pedro Frugone (b. Pedro Frugone Poblete, 12 March 1968, Chile) and the line-up was expanded to a quintet by the return of Aboitiz. Later in the 90s, with a relocation of their base to Mexico, there were other personnel changes: Aboitiz left again, and Rojas also departed, in 1998, to be replaced by J.C. Cumplido until a current tour was over. Thereafter, the band continued as a trio, with occasional help from Archie Frugone.

The start of the 00s found La Ley moving more into the pop mainstream in both performance and presentation. In 2000 their gigs included prestigious appearances in the USA, one in Miami, at the Billboard International Latin Music Conference, and in New York City at the Latin Alternative Music Conference. The stylistic changes alienated some original fans but expanded audiences both at home and internationally helped them win a Grammy Award for Uno, in 2000, and they were similarly rewarded for MTV Unplugged. The group, whose name translates from Spanish into the Law, called it a day in the mid-00s, playing the final date of farewell tour in Buenos Aires, Brazil, towards the end of September 2005.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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