Barón Rojo is formed in 1980 after the Spanish 70's Hard Rock band Coz split up just after releasing their first LP, called Más Sexi on CBS. It is then when brothers guitarists Armando and Carlos de Castro form the best Spanish-speaking Heavy Metal band of all times: Barón Rojo. The de Castro brothers' bandmates are very experienced musicians: José Luis Campuzano Sherpa, who had played bass on Módulos, and Uruguayan drummer Hermes Calabria, who had played on Psiglo. These four musicians, with the help of lyric-writer Carolina Cortés, Sherpa's wife, made the name of Barón Rojo fly as high as any NWOBHM band.

Their debut LP Larga Vida al Rock and Roll (Chapa/Zafiro 1981) was mixed and produced by rock DJ Vicente Mariscal Romero for Chapa Records. This album made a few eardrums burst with songs like Con Botas Sucias, El Pobre, Los Desertores del Rock or Barón Rojo, very hard songs -both thematically and musically speaking- which began to build up the legend. Both Sherpa and Carlos de Castro took charge of the record's lead vocals.

The band's second album was recorded in England after a very successful English tour under the name of Red Baron, a name the band didn't like at all -and was changed immediately. In England they met Iron Maiden's brand new singer Bruce Dickinson, with whom they played a jam session at the Greyhound Club, one of London's Rock and Roll cult places. During this first visit to England they recorded the best Spanish Heavy Metal album ever: Volumen Brutal (Chapa/Zafiro 1982). It was recorded at Ian Gillan's Kingsway Studios with such special guests as Colin Towns (Ian Gillan Band) on keyboards and Mel Collins (ex-King Crimson), who played sax on Son Como Hormigas; as well as a few visits from Bruce Dickinson and John Sloman (ex-Uriah Heep) to jam between takes. The album quickly reached Platinum in Spain, as well as reaching good sales figures in Europe and Japan, where an English version of Volumen Brutal was released.

After a small tour around England, a second visit to the Greyhound saw them jamming with Michael Schenker, with whom they developed a close friendship, especially Sherpa, who co-wrote with Schenker the song Red Sky, which appeared in MSG's Built to Destroy album. After a couple of warm-up shows at the Marquee, Barón Rojo played in front of 18,000 people at the Reading Rock Festival'82, sharing the bill with Iron Maiden, MSG, Yesterday & Today, Marillion, Gary Moore and Twisted Sister, and it was one of the very few bands the audience asked to play an encore. They are the only Spanish band that has ever played in such an important Rock Festival. Later that year, the band embarked successfully in a tour of Great Britain that confirmed their status as one of the greatest Heavy Metal bands ever, playing a legendary show at the famous Hammersmith Odeon in London.

While songs like Los Rockeros Van al Infierno, Resistiré, El Barón Vuela Sobre Inglaterra or Las Flores del Mal can still be heard on the Spanish radio, the band goes back to England with DJ Mariscal Romero to record their third album, called Metalmorfosis (Chapa/Zafiro 1983). This album was released only in Spanish, but the first 1,000 copies had an extra 7-inch single with two inedit songs, Invulnerable and Herencia Letal, both very popular among the fans. On the other hand, the LP's two hit singles, Casi me Mato and El Malo put the band at the peak of its popularity in Spain and in the rest of Europe, where they played at the Heavy Sound Festival'83 in Belgium, being co-headliners with Gary Moore.

They come back to Spain to record their first live album, Barón al Rojo Vivo. All the songs were taken from two shows the band played in Madrid on February 1984 in front of 24,000 people. The production was one of Chris Tsangarides's best works ever. In these two shows, they played not only the best songs from their three albums, but five new songs the fans really loved: Campo de Concentración, El Mundo Puede Ser Diferente, Mensajeros de la Destrucción, Atacó el Hombre Blanco and the instrumental Buenos Aires. Shortly after recording this live album, they return to Belgium to play at the Heavy Sound Festival'84, which would prove a good warm-up show for what came next: Their first tour of South America. In nearly all the South American countries, Barón Rojo were compared in quality and popularity to rock gods like The Rolling Stones or Queen. All the shows were sold out and the fans treated them like the Spanish Metal Gods they are.

The Baron flies higher than ever. In Autumn 1985 the band release En un Lugar de la Marcha (Chapa/Zafiro 1985), which quickly reached Gold in Spain and South America. The band wanted a change of sound, so they mixed and produced the album themselves. Most fans disagreed with the change, but songs like Breakthoven, Cuerdas de Acero or Hijos de Caín make this album one of most fans' favourites. The stage shows also changed. It became a bit more spectacular with a big puppet Motörhead's Bomber-like with a big Don Quixote from Outer Space, like the one on the En un Lugar de la Marcha record sleeve.
For five years, Barón Rojo had succeeded in Spain and nearly the rest of the world with every record they made and every tour they did, reaching Gold and Platinum several times.
But in 1986 their record company did not want to renew their contract -and prevented EMI from signing them. Therefore, the big tours of Europe and South America were a thing of the past. For the next thirteen years, their international tour consisted in a few shows in Colombia, Mexico and France, although they still kept a big audience in Spain. In that same year, their record company released a live album with 9 tracks not included on the Al Rojo Vivo album. It was called Siempre Estáis Allí (Chapa/Zafiro 1986) and it was one of the causes for the band's loss of popularity in their own country.

From 1987 to 1990 the band release their weakest albums: Tierra de Nadie (Zafiro/BMG 1987), No Va Más (Zafiro/BMG 1988) and Obstinato (Zafiro/BMG 1989), this last album being a failed intent to return to the original sound of the band.

In 1990 musical disagreements within the band lead to bassist José Luis Campuzano Sherpa and drummer Hermes Calabria leaving the band and -due to their agents' lack of human feelings- start a legal fight for the right to use the name Barón Rojo. Brothers Armando and Carlos de Castro won the battle and Barón Rojo became a quintet with Maxi González on vocals, Pepe Bao on bass and José Antonio del Nogal Ramakhan on drums.
In 1992 -and back as a quartet (Carlos de Castro on rhythm guitar and vocals, Armando de Castro on lead guitar, Niko del Hierro on bass guitar and Ramakhan on drums)- the band releases Desafío (Avispa 1992), which is a very good album, but it was undermined by the company's lack of interest in its promotion.

On the other hand, their old record company, Zafiro, released without the band's consent a "Best of" double compilation CD called Larga Vida al Barón (BMG Ariola/Zafiro 1995) with good sales numbers. Meanwhile, the touring did not stop, playing in both small clubs and big stadiums. In 1996 the band's formation stabilises with bassist Ángel Arias and drummer José Martos, releasing an album called Arma Secreta (Clave Records 1997).

In 1999 the band releases Cueste lo que Cueste (BMG Ariola 1999), a compilation of remastered old tracks with five brand new songs: Cueste lo que Cueste, El Trepa, Más de Ti, Cielo e Infierno and a new recording of their 1982 classic Resistiré with their new drummer, Valeriano Rodríguez.
The best Spanish rock band ever is still flying high, thanks to the fans who had supported them through the years, in their highs and lows, for richer and for poorer, opening the gates of Europe and America to other Spanish bands like Héroes del Silencio and writing in gold letters the name of Barón Rojo in the History of Rock and Roll. Cheers, Barones!


The band that recorded "Desafío": Armando, Ramakhan, Carlos y Niko.

The Rock and Roll brothers getting into history.

Barón Rojo head lined one of the best festivals in Spain, the Viña Rock, in 1998, playing in front of a record audience of 20000 people.

Armando was voted best Spanish guitarrist of the century at the Special Reader's Poll of the Heavy Rock magazine, where "Volumen Brutal" was voted best album, "Resistiré" was voted best song, "Metalmorfosis" best cover and Barón Rojo, best band.

Barón Rojo recording "You've got another thing comin" for the tribute to Judas Priest called "Metal Gods".


Signed picture back cover of "Larga vida al Rock & Roll" of Mausoleum, Belgium.

Picture back cover of greatest hits "Metalmorfosis" of Musart/EMI, Mexico.

Pictures of the English tours 1981-1982. Collage of images from the Heavy Rock magazine.

In 1981, Barón Rojo playing at the London Marquee.

Baron Rojo playing with Bruce Dickinson at the Greyhound Club in London on the recording sessions of "Volumen brutal" in 1981.

Picture of Armando of Castro with Rob Halford when he was recording the album "Defenders of the faith" in the summer of 1983.

In 1984, recording the live album "Baron al Rojo vivo".

In 1984, playing at the biggest festival in Belgium, Heavy Sound Festival. The same festival where Metallica played for the first time in Europe.

Picture published in the Heavy Rock magazine to promote the exceptional album "En un lugar de la marcha" in 1985.

Sherpa won the Readers' Poll of the Heavy Rock magazine for best bassist.

If Uruguayan drummer Hermes Calabria didn't come to Spain, the de Castro brothers wouldn't probable found their ideal drummer. He was a pioneer in Spain in the use of the double-pedal bass drum.

The de Castro brothers will have to reorganise the band to face the Nineties. In this decade a lot of musicians played in the band, which was a challenge.

Very funny picture of the Rock and Roll brothers.

Do you know that the de Castro brothers have a huge collection of electric guitars?

Armando wearing Baron Manfred von Richthofen's glasses when Barón Rojo opened for Deep Purple in Madrid in 1999.

Carlos playing at the Leganés Rock Festival, where they played alongs side Ten Years After and The Snakes.

The current line-up: the de Castro brothers, drummer Vale Rodríguez and bassist Angel Arias.

Viña Rock Festival 2002.

Barón Rojo head lined one of the best festivals in Spain, the Viña Rock, in 2002, playing in front of a record audience of 40000 people.

Met@lmorphosis, Baron Rojo Website... I'll stand up to the end! :-D
Resolution 800x600. Webmasters: Eddie666 and Obstinato

Juan Carlos Laguna Jiménez (translator). Email: "Eddie666"

J. Fco. Fdez. de Guevara Ferri (programmer).
Email: "Obstinato"

Since: 28 February 2002. Last update: 6 January 2004.