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Arbex formed Barrabás in 1971 when his previous band, Alacrán, split. He and Alacrán's bass guitarist and vocalist Ignacio "Iñaki" Egaña were joined by several other musicians in preparation for the recording of their debut album Wild Safari released later that year. These were Filipino guitarist brothers Ricky and Miguel Morales; Portuguese keyboard player Juan Vidal and Cuban percussionist, saxophone and flute player Ernesto "Tito" Duarte.Wild Safari spawned the hit singles "Woman" and "Wild Safari" which were successful in various countries across Europe and the Americas, including the USA and Canada.Egaña left the group in 1973 after his involvement with drugs was made public, and Arbex decided to further reduce his own involvement as a musician, hiring two new members, José Luis Tejada and José María Moll, as vocalist and drummer respectively. Moll had played live with Barrabás from the beginning, with Arbex only playing on Wild Safari. This new line-up recorded two albums, Power in 1973 and ¡Soltad a Barrabás! in 1974. Moll then left the band after disagreements with the other members, and was replaced by Daniel Louis. With the popularity of disco in the mid-1970s, Barrabás moved in that direction and produced a number of minor hits. They disbanded in 1978, and Arbex moved fully towards writing and producing music for other artists.The group reformed in 1980 with a new line-up. The Morales brothers, Vidal and Louis were replaced by the returning Moll, Costa Rican guitarist "Koky" Maning, bassist "Susy" Gordaliza and keyboard player Armando Pelayo. This line-up recorded two albums before being dropped by their record label, RCA, and subsequently Tejada, Maning, Gordaliza and Pelayo all left. Miguel Morales and Iñaki Egaña then returned for the recording of the 1983 album Forbidden for CBS.Barrabás continued on a smaller scale afterwards under the leadership of Moll, still accompanied by Egaña and Miguel Morales, with Duarte and other musicians helping out both live and in the studio. A number of albums were recorded in the 1990s, consisting of re-recordings of songs from the 1970s and 1980s.Barrabás founder Fernando Arbex and multi-instrumentalist Tito Duarte both died in 2003.

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