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1-Gurum Gudum
2-Woody Woodpecker (Everybody Thinks I'm Crazy)
3-LSD
4-To Burn Or Not To Burn
5-Bailarina
6-Deve Ser Amor
7-Nobody Knows
8-Cacilda
9-Imagino
10-Ai Garupa
11-Encantamento
12-Carrossel
13-Tacape


 

 

LET IT BED - (2004) – Produção: John Ulhoa

The idea of recording Let it Bed started to materialize itself when John Ulhoa of Pato Fu band went to Juiz de Fora to install a series of audio softwares in Arnaldo’s PC. John and Rubinho Trol started to show Arnaldo the possibilities of these new technologies, only available years before in very expensive studios and which were now perfectly off the shelf, to home use. “This is why this record is the encounter of Arnaldo with this technology”, explains John. “That was important for us. We did not want a CD that would sound as a modern type electronic music recording with samples from Arnaldo. That would be too easy. We wanted him to record his new songs on his own way and then we would just bring a finishing touch at the level of his talent”.
John and Rubinho took to Juiz de Fora enough equipment to make a good home studio. They soon noticed that Arnaldo wanted to play everything and that he would go from one instrument to another very quickly. So they scattered microphones all over the place with everything set to record and to keep up the creative momentum.
“Rubinho brought his PC from London. We recorded using software Cubase and an M-Audio Delta 44 interface, so we could record four channels at the same time. It sounds little but it would be enough for this record, since Arnaldo would play everything, one instrument at a time”, says John. “AKG lent us microphones and headphones and I took with me preamps, a mixer, a guitar and some other things. One curious item was the Pignose guitar with the loudspeakers on its body, which Arnaldo experimented and ended up using in some recordings”.
John gave Rubinho some basic instructions, “enough to avoid some irreparable technological wrongdoing.” But it was soon clear that the most important were the moment, the atmosphere, the tranquillity Arnaldo had to have to record everything he wanted as many times as he wanted and when he felt like it. And that Rubinho managed pretty well.”
“After all was recorded, we went back to my studio in Belo Horizonte were we translated all the Cubase sessions to my studio system, Logic Audio/Mac. We had nothing else to record. We only added some programs and virtual instruments,” explains John. All was edited and mixed piecemeal at John’s studio. “Every time Arnaldo visited, we would listen to the work and feel happier with it.”


 
 

1-Será Que Eu Vou Virar Bolor?
2-Uma Pessôa Só
3-Não Estou Nem Aí
4-Vou Me Afundar Na Lingerie
5-Honky Tonky
6-Cê Tá Pensando Que Eu Sou Loki?
7-Desculpe
8-Navegar de Nôvo
9-Te Amo Podes Crer
10-É Fácil

 

LÓKI? (Mad?) – ARNALDO BAPTISTA - (Philips, 1974) – Producer: Arnaldo Baptista

Loki, the Asgardian god of cheating and madness, couldn’t have predicted such insanity: in 1974, alone with his piano in his room in the Serra da Cantareira, a 26 year old boy, Arnaldo Dias Baptista, which all believed to be disoriented, nurtured the seed of the album which would forever change the face of Brazilian music.

“Loki?”, the album, was recorded in one single breath, with no repeated takes, at the Eldorado studio, in São Paulo, on 16 channels. The album has 10 tracks and lasts 33 minutes, it does not lend itself to one single guitar riff (a heresy for the times) and merges synthesizers with guitar, orchestral arrangements with clarinet and organ. Its musicality is visionary: there’s sambalanço, glam, British style pop balads, North American rockabilly, MPB, classical and progressive digressions. Invention is the album’s only frontier, but this is not a nerd’s Cartesian experimentalism – Arnaldo non- ceremoniously broke through the doors of perception.

“Loki?” houses an instrumental journey between Chopin and Elton John in the song “Honky Tonky”, and even a certain orientalism, that slides its way into the blues and arrives at traditional MPB on the 12 string guitar in “É fácil”. Arnaldo is a one man band unfolding himself in search of the right effect, as with the Moog synthesizer in “Desculpe” and “Te Amo, Podes Crer”. When he sings “where is my rock n’ roll”, that is pure Jerry Lee Lewis, until he adds a “I’m going back to Cantareiraaaaaa” which is pure MPB, anarchizing references on the way.

The ex-Mutante had the lucidity (financially supported by Robert Menescal, artistic director of Phillips and Marco Mazzola who produced him) to seek the help he needed. The maestro Rogério Duprat, at the time an ex-tropicalista, abominated what rock had become then: an old guitar, bass and drums formula, a musical label, a limitation of the imagination. Due to this conjecture, he left everything and went to live in a homemade woodwork shed in Itapecirica da Serra. While carving out two of Aranldo’s songs (“Only One Person” and “You Thinkin’ I’m Crazy?”), he had the feeling there was an entire world yet to unveil. He was our George Martin.

This is a record to be heard on high volume, Arnaldo recommends. No recommendation was needed: the album was so important, it would resonate eternally, while it’s time fell behind. Since January of that year there was an iron fisted general, conducting the military dictatorship, Ernesto Geisel. This permanent shadow made it so that all the art of that time had a combative, engaged feel to it. Lyrically, Arnaldo chose his own existential anguish as being the universe which needed to be understood, and left as his legacy the Bible of an alternative utopia. “We all stay together. Reunited as one person only”, he sang in “You Thinkin’ I’m Crazy?”

Arnaldo’s record came to Earth with an individual esthetic vision, which led him to be compared to Pink Floyd’s Syd Barret. There was no equivalent amongst his contemporaries, as there still isn’t. His original fuel was an amorous delusion, as in 90% of pop, but the result was universal illumination.

In the rest of the world, the promise of a brilliant technological future was hinted at. In that year, Kraftwerk released the classic “Autobahn”. The synthesizer family then received the revolutionary Moog Satellite, which would be very much used by Vangelis on the soundtracks of new movies.

Arnaldo Baptista transcended his dimension, he lived in a spaceship. He had gone to peaks of pop glory with The Mutantes, but as soon as he left the band, he kept his vision way beyond. On the cover photo, with his brown leather pants and no shirt, looking like he’s waiting for someone or something, he seems to be saying he has no voracity for the future nor reverence for the past. He created his reality alone, attached to his dreams and visions, and that is what prevails in “Loki?”.

Sean Lennon’s and Kurt Cobain’s confessions on the influence that Arnaldo Baptista and The Mutantes’ music had on their work are famous, but the span of influence is wider still, moving through the likes of Devendra Banhart and Kevin Parker from Tame Impala. In Brazil, this influence stretches through generations, noticeable in songs by Boogarins and O Terno.

It is because of this that the Vinyl edition of the album, by Polysom (Universal Music, 180 grams, original art, unpublished sleeve complete with lyrics) is so symbolic:

Transcendental album, registers the waves of influence of that moment of transition – Arnaldo did this surrounded by his old companions, as if he were doing an intersection. There are support vocals by Rita Lee in two songs -- “Não Estou Nem Aí” (I Don’t Even Care) and “Vou Me Afundar na Lingerie” (I’m gonna drown in Lingerie) – and the musicians are Liminha (bass; Sergio Kaffa plays bass only on “Desculpe”) and Dinho (drums).

Don’t shoot the pianist, is what the posters would read in old Wild West saloons. It was a hard act to follow. In his case, a piano was all he needed to make one of the most fundamental records of Brazilian music.

By Jotabê Medeiros
Translation by Rebecca Sharp



 
 

1-I Fell In Love One Day
2-O Sol
3-Bomba H sôbre São Paulo
4-Hoje de Manhã Eu Acordei
5-Jesus Come Back To Earth
6-The Cowboy
7-Sitting On The Road Side
8-Ciborg
9-Corta Jaca
10-Coming Through The Waves Of Science
11-Young Blood
12-Train

 

  SINGIN’ ALONE – ARNALDO – II ÁLBUM – (Baratos Afins, 1982) – Produção: Arnaldo Baptista.

Arnaldo Baptista talks about the album “Singin’ Alone”

When I recorded this album, Singin’ Alone, I thought: what’s missing in my career? Something that’s capable of spanning all that I reach in the universe. So, I chose a kind of language, a certain spectrum, thoughts and entities… And everywhere I went , I tried to turn that into poetry. In other words, my personality is present in my day to day life, as part of the lyrics, as segments of my life during that time.

Another aspect is that I play everything in this album: bass, keyboards, guitar…sometimes I put in a harmonica, a pandeiro, a music box- one man band… In all the bands I’ve been there has always been a discordant factor for me: the bass sound, would be too high; the badly tuned amp; a very egocentric person…

In this album, however, I tried to insert a personal side, not only in the lyrics and songs, but also in the instrumental and musical side, which is very important. I laid down what was expected: the unexpected. I mix Yes, which is a classic side, with lots of bass, with ‘Caipira’ music, which is a very rural, peculiar aspect of Brasil. Something that spans everyone’s minds. I also have lots of songs in English, in order to reach that kind of mentality and philosophical thought.

Sometimes we get lost in creativity and find the objective is not only one, never! Both work. I wanted to expose and show my musical and poetic creativity. That’s why I added the English side to it.

About the songs on Singin’ Alone

Bomba H Sobre São Paulo” (H Bomb over São Paulo city) Is about what I did to reach this depth of lyric writing. I’d walk up to the Serra da Cantareira, a long way and I was interested in flowers, people, cars that passed by and also my mind, overcome by entities, planets and distant galaxies. On that day I thought about how walking through the Cantareira we can see the city as a separate entity, an H bomb – something would happen. That’s what I thought about.

Hoje de Manhã Eu Acordei” (This Morning I Woke Up) is about another part of my personal life, the place where I slept: the bedroom, the walls, this was a thought that was not so much about roads, cars and galaxies. A thought that was more about sheets, company, thoughts about food, exercise etc. The passion I had at that moment worked sometimes: “is it too good?”

Jesus come back to earth” is yet another part of my life. I was in the apartment with my mother on Avenida Angélica, in São Paulo city, and I didn’t feel open there, so I wrote this song.

Corta Jaca” (Cut jack fruit) has a rural side to it. Suzana Braga who is Portuguese descendant, did the ‘caipira’ voice – for her, it was hard to speak Brazilian Portuguese, to do the caipira accent (ah ah ah). It has a little to do with the interior of São Paulo city. My grandfather, coronel Orácio was mayor of Avaré so I tried to put this into music in the form of caipira and rock n’ roll – I made this contrast stand out.

There is an aspect between you and the instrument, which is translated to the piano, to the synthesizer…In “Cowboy” I recorded my personal side with the bass. So, I was able to make a song in which I explain everything I feel through the instrument… Jack Bruce.

Sitting on the road side” I hitchhiked to Catanduva…400km from São Paulo…I felt like a pilgrimage, like not being taken by anything except my exploration and see how much I could bear, resistance wise. Kind of hippy.

I fell in love one day” Like with “Cowboy” this one is about the bass, piano and synthesizer. I managed a greater depth of lyrics with the piano here, because with the bass the music is heavier. So I talk about highways and motors. Here I deeply explore more philosophy, reasons to live…

The piano aspect gave me more freedom with regards to my emotions. I also talk about my searches, inspirations, research…Thought about my mother, who played piano years ago. This part is for her: “take me to the best” As if she could interfere in my music, through channeling…My mother had a universe – hours and hours lying down, thinking about paradise. That’s why she said “I will not wait for your death”. I was more emotionally free with the piano. On the guitar I am not as inspired to passion and heart as I am with the piano.

There is this feminine presence in the lyrics…the lyrical, poetic, romantic side, about this importance that women have in people’s lives. It doesn’t matter what you think or what you are, you only have one sex as a person. So, in order to give continuity to an important factor of evolution, which is DNA, you need the feminine aspect that completes it. In my poetry, the girl is important as muse, in a platonic way…it lends to a colourfulness, a romanticism of sorts.

Ciborg” This is also a topic which propels me forward in life, as research, in this case human research, as in the cyborg. For example: for millions of years the human body uses in its ears, exponential numbers that have nothing to do with mathematics. Man discovered this number 50 years ago. Therefore, the human body is so much more evolved than our scientific reach! Ciborg is about us trying to make machines out of machines, which is what we are…It is also about me riding my bicycle and thinking: if I were a cyborg I’d have a lot more strength in my legs. “In vain, Ciborg!”

Coming Through the Waves of Science” “I don’t know why I got so involved, when I could just be playing” This is so deep! At times, deeper than I am. When we talk about the feminine, we think about a stereotype, which would be the goddess. So, there is also a magical side, stronger channeling, greater consciousness of everything…Then I get into “Let’s Spend the Night Together”.

Young Blood” I only had a piano at home during this period and I ended up making a garage band. The people were younger than me, perhaps 10 years younger, so I wrote this song, inspired by this new blood. Their enthusiasm was great…”Lipstick kiss on you, model”. Then the inspiration came from the Rodhia fashion shows. I would see the models pass by and dream-all of them new blood… As if you could say no to the system, “your heart on the new blood”.

Train” This one’s interesting. I planned on calling it Blues in the Cantareira, then I went to London and took a bus to Germany and in the station I called it Train. Every now and then I listen to Jack Bruce, Elton John…talking about trains. “It was my choice to be here in the middle of the blues”.

Balada do Louco” (Ballad of the Crazy) I went to Rita’s brother in law’s house, who had a piano and wrote the song inspired by the differences that exist between people. For example, there is always someone superior to you. To be honest, in that week I had been kicked by a girl in Karate, which made my feet bleed…So, I thought, it was lack of support etc but it wasn’t that: she was actually better than me…I developed this concept further with entities which I thought were marvelous, like Alan Delon…Then I showed it to Rita, who gave it subtlety and a poetic side also…This new recording, from 1995 was surprising because I didn’t expect it to be so beautiful. I didn’t make any contribution to the musical side, but it came out beautifully. I loved it! Sounds like Elton John with an orchestra.
Translation by Rebecca Sharp


 
 

1-Eu
2-Rodas
3-Crazy Ones Ballad
4-Traduções
5-Ovni
6-Maria Lucia
7-Jesus Volte Até aTerra
8-Le foulle Balad
9-I wanna To Take off Every Morning

 

 

Disco Voador – UFO – (Baratos Afins, 1987, not yet launched in CD)

In 1987, Arnaldo created his most radical musical experience. Independent label Baratos Afins launched this home made record for experts and fans only: ‘Disco Voador Arnaldo Paz’ (UFO Arnaldo Peace). It is a songbook which captures the artist in his environment: his studio-workshop. It is roughly recorded, but translates Arnaldo’s musical world as it could. There you can find his sounds experiments and personal options for specific tones; his vibrato’s voice and his twisted keyboards. The great surprises are the two versions for ‘Balada do Louco’ (Ballad of the Mad’, by Arnaldo and Rita) translated into English by Arnaldo as ‘crazy one’s ballad’ and into French as ‘Le foulle balada’. ‘Jesus, come back to earth’ was translated into Portuguese as ‘Jesus volte até a Terra’. Six other songs complete the album: ‘Eu’ (Me); ‘Rodas’ (Wheels); ‘OVNI’ (UFO); ‘Maria Lucia’ and ‘I wanna to take off every morning’. All composed by Arnaldo, except ‘Traduções’ (Translations) in partnership with A.Alexandre.

The title turned into cover from a painting by Arnaldo is very Arnald-ish. It plays with double-meanings such as disco (disc=vinyl) and disco-voador (UFO in Portuguese). The painting brings two images which reinforce mixed ideas: the record is a disc (vinyl) and rare = UFO (disco-voador) since it was a limited edition and real. The word ‘peace’ drawn in the centre of the painting simulates the space’s centre and the vinyl’s hole. When the vinyl spins the sky also do so revealing where the UFO and the songs are. Comments by Marcelo Dolabela, Oct/Nov 1999.

 
 

1-Sunshine
2-Sexy Sua
3-Corta Jaca
4-Oh Trem
5-Emergindo da Ciência
6-Sentado ao lado da Estrada
7-É Um Pouco Assustador I
8-Fique Aqui Comigo

 

ELO PERDIDO (Lost Link) – ARNALDO & PATRULHA DO ESPAÇO – (Vinil Urbano, 1988, not yet launched in CD). Producers: Arnaldo & A Patrulha do Espaço
After Loki? (1974) and before Singin’ alone (1981) Arnaldo Baptista entered his hard rock phase, better, very hard rock phase alongside with the band A Patrulha do Espaco (Space Patrol). This trip started in 1975 when Arnaldo worked on a new project: the group Space Patrol initially with Ze Brasil and then with Rufino and Dudu (guitars); Cenoura (`Ccarrot`, nick name for the bassist); and Arnaldo playing drums with two hi-hats. They rehearsed at home, with small amplifiers and a TV puggled in mute mode all the time. In 1977 the group change its name to Arnaldo & Patrulha do Espaço carrying on rehearsing but now with John Flavin (guitar); Osvaldo Gennari ‘Cokinho’ (bass); Rolando Castello Junior (drums) and Arnaldo (piano and vocal). In the end of the year they recorded 13 songs using two channels and with the support of Rogerio Duprat. The material was expected to be launched by a record company but none were interested. Named Lost Link, the album would be released only in 1988, 11 years after recorded, even so in a rough mix and incomplete. There were 12 tracks: seven Arnaldo would re-record later in its solo Singin’ Alone (1981) keeping their original version or translating them into English or Portuguese with small but deep alterations in their lyrics. Therefore Elo Perdido repeats Singin’Alone: ‘O Sol’ named here ‘Sunshine’; ‘Corta Jaca’; ‘Oh Trem/Train’; ‘Emergindo da Ciencia/Coming through the Waves of Science’ and ‘Sentado ao lado da Estradal/Sitting on the Road Side’ (According to Arnaldo, the correct name of ‘Raio de Sol’ is ‘Sentado ao Lado da Estrada’, as in the previous English translation).
New songs included: ‘Sexy Sua’, song of love and sex inspired in Arnaldo’s ex-girlfriend Martha Mellinger and which can be read as a cult-exercise of libido. According to Arnaldo ‘Um Pouco Assustador’ (‘A Bit Frightening’) promotes a game of telepathic gatherings where the players get rather scared or end up knowing themselves better. In ‘Fique Aqui Comigo’ (‘Stay by Me’) Arnaldo dialogues with an unknown woman who could be partner or audience in a mental-show chat. Comments by Marcelo Dolabela Oct/Nov 1999.


 
 

1-Emergindo da Ciência
2-É Um Pouco Assustador II
3-Arnaldo Soliszta
4-I Feel In Love One Day
5-Cowboy
6-Hoje de Manhã Eu Acordei

 

 

FAREMOS UMA NOITADA EXCELENTE (We will have a great night out) - ARNALDO & PATRULHA DO ESPAÇO – (Vinil Urbano, 1988, not yet launched in CD). Live. Producer: Roberto Takaharu Oka.
In May 1978 Patrulha do Espaço played with an extra guitarist Eduardo Chermont in São Pedro theatre (São Paulo city). The show was roughly recorded and again launched only in 1988 (10 years later) named ‘Faremos uma Noitada Excelent’ (we will have a great night out).
It included the already known ‘Emergindo da Ciência’, ‘Um Pouco Assustador II’, ‘I Fell in Love One Day’, ‘Cowboy’ and ‘Hoje de Manhã eu Acordei’ (This morning I woke up’), with Arnaldo improvising on the piano as Hermeto Paschoal would do. The title was given later by Rolando Castello Junior and embraces several Arnaldo’s skills and insights: pianist; soloist; Franz Liszt fan (the Hungary classic composer) and sunshine/LSD’s lover.
These two records with Patrulha do Espaço are two fake drafts, actually songbooks, which tell Arnaldo’s fights and survivals. Arnaldo builds a mosaic of his revolutionary masterpieces created in his own universe of mad lucidity. The songs reminds projects of dialogues between audience and artist, past and future, life and art, science and dream revealing that there is always something missing, something never to be found and that at each moment we realise that it is this incompleteness that makes us entire entities. The solo works of Arnaldo are that: hiatus and lost links which complete each other permanently. So let’s get new ears and welcome this Garden of Dreams and this New Science which is this eternal music so called Arnaldo Baptista. Comments by Marcelo Dolabela, Oct/Nov 1999.


 

 


1-Panis Et Circenses
2-A Minha Menina
3-O Relógio
4-Maria Fulô
5-Baby
6-Senhor F
7-Bat Macumba
8-Le Premier Bonheur Du Jour
9-Trem Fantasma
10-Tempo No Tempo
11-Ave Gengis Khan

 

 

MUTANTES (Polydor, 1968) – Producer: Manoel Barenbein

Mutante’s first album. The band’s tropicalist record. Kind of ‘our principles’ letter. There are 11 songs showing their proposals and further possibilities. Arranged by Rogerio Drupat and with contributors such as Jorge Ben (vocal and acustic guitar) and drummer Dirceu, the album is a mix of Tropicalia fundamental stones - ‘Panis et Circenses’, ‘Bat Macumba’ and ‘Baby’ - and the Mutantes anarchic irreverence. They treaded all sorts of absurd and inconsequence. They challenged Luiz Gonzaga’s collaborator, Humberto Teixeira, in ‘Adeus Maria Fulô ‘ (Goodbye Maria Fulô) and dressed Françoise Hardy as pop-existentialist in Le Premier Bonheur du Jour. The record mixes Jorge Ben’s trade mark ‘A Minha Menina (‘My Girl’); a version of a not well known Mamas and The Papas’ song ‘Tempo no Tempo’ (Once There was a Time I Thought), which is actually a non credited version of Cesar Dias Baptista, father to Arnaldo and Sergio. They added a pre-historic shout, a tribute to Gengis Khan ‘Ave Gengis Khan’ and the Kafkanean ‘Senhor F’ (Sir F). The album finishes with ‘O Relogio’ (The Clock) and ‘Trem Fantasma’ (Ghost Train). Comments by Marcelo Dolabela, Oct/Nov 1999.


 
 

1-Dom Quixote
2-Não Vá Se Perder Por Aí
3-Dia 36
4-2.001
5-Algo Mais
6-Fuga Nº II Dos Mutantes
7-Banho de Lua
8-Ritta Lee
9-Mágica
10-Qualquer Bobagem
11-Caminhante Noturno

 

 

 

 

 

MUTANTES (Polydor, 1969) - Producer: Manoel Barenbein

During the next year the Mutantes (now without the article ‘Os’ - The) launched the truly Mutants-tropicalist aesthetic. This is the most experimentalist album of their career. There are no limits. Everything is possible. Everything is functional in its strangeness. On the cover the trio is dressed as Don Quixote (Arnaldo), Sancho Pancha (Sergio) and the bride Dulcinéia (Rita). They included a jingle recorded for Shell ‘Algo Mais’ (Something Else). They recorded their two big hits ‘Fuga No 2’ and ‘Caminhante Noturno’ (Fugue No 2 and Night Walker). They ranged from a version of ‘Banho de Lua’ (Moon Shower) originally recorded by popular singer Celly Campello to concrete poetry (‘Dom Quixote’) with a little help of father Cesar Dias Baptista. There is also a magisterial dialogue with the Tom Ze’s insided out version of Tropicalia in ‘2001’ and ‘Qualquer Bobagem’ (Any Foolery). You can still find the iê-iê-iê ‘Não vá se perder por aí’ (Hei do not get lost!) and the psychedelic ‘Dia 36’ (Day 36) this last in partnership with hippie Johnny Dandurand. Last but not least, perhaps the first metaphoric Brazilian song talking about Rita Lee. This album brings even subliminally the collaboration of those who would become the 4th and 5th Mutantes – the drummer Dinho (Ronaldo Leme) and bassist Liminha (who is this record played viola). Comments by Marcelo Dolabela Oct/Nov 1999



 
 

1-Ando Meio Desligado
2-Quem Tem Mêdo de Brincar de Amor
3-Ave Lúcifer
4-Desculpe Babe
5-Meu Refrigerador Não Funciona
6-Hey Boy
7-Preciso Urgentemente Encontrar Um Amigo
8-Chão de Estrêlas
9-Jôgo de Calçada
10-Haleluia
11-Oh! Mulher Infiel

 

 

 

 

A DIVINA COMÉDIA OU ANDO MEIO DESLIGADO (The Divine Comedy or I Feel a Little Spaced Outt’ (Polydor, 1970) – Producer: Arnaldo Sacomani

After re-inventing Miguel Cervantes’s Dom Quixote, the Mutantes turned Italian poet Dante Alighieri ‘s The Divine Comedy into a pop-psychedelic inferno. Roughly summarising, the 1969’s album was experimental, this is revolutionary. Never before in Bazilian music history had a group or artist gone so far and radical. The Divina Comedia… buried all divisions and musical segments. It is a fusion of pop, experimentalism, vanguard, kitsch, rigour, informality, rock… There is a version of ‘Preciso Urgentemente Encontrar um Amigo’ (I need to find a friend urgently) from Roberto and Erasmo Carlos (the kings of the so called Brazilian iê-iê-iê). Rogério Duprat presented his best ever arrangement for the classic ‘Chão de Estrelas’ (Floor of Stars) from Silvio Caldas and Orestes Barbosa. The Mutantes hit their head with Dante in ‘Ave Lucifer’ and ‘Oh! Mulher Infiel’ (Oh! Unfaithful woman). Dinho and Liminha were already part of the group. This album also had collaborators such as Raphael Vilardi (vocal and acoustic guitar) and Naná Vasconcelos (percussion). All arranged by the magisterial touch of Rogerio Duprat.
Comments by Marcelo Dolabela, Oct/Nov 1999.

 
 

1-Top Top
2-Benvinda
3-Tecnicolor
4-El Justiciero
5-It’s Very Nice Pra Xuxu
6-Portugal de Navio
7-Virgínia
8-Jardim Elétrico
9-Lady, Lady
10-Saravá
11-Baby

 


JARDIM ELÉTRICO (Electric Garden) (Polydor, 1971) - Producer: Arnaldo Baptista


After three albums – one tropicalist, one experimentalist and one revolutionary – the Mutantes launched their weirdest record. It is very much what the cover suggests: the group messing around with their electric paraphernalia, acoustic instruments and some stimulants. Just have a look at this: for the first time, when Rita Lee and Sergio Dias are also composers, the sequence for the credits is: L for Lee, S for Sergio and D for Dias, like in Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Jardim Eletrico is an album inside a party. It brings another hit: ‘Top Top’ an infernal hard rock; ‘Jardim Eletrico’ a sweet English version of ‘Baby’; and a tribute-parody of Tim Maia’s Bemvinda (Welcomed Lady). Completing the album are ‘Technicolor’; ‘El Justiceiro’; ‘It’s Very Nice pra Xuxu’; ‘Virginia’; ‘Lady, Lady’; ‘Batmacumba’ and ‘Sarava’ (both a references to the Brazilian afro religious rituals). Comments by Marcelo Dolabela, Oct/Nov 1999.

 
 

1-Posso Perder Minha Mulher, Minha Mãe,
Desde Que Eu Tenha O Meu Rock and Roll

2-Vida De Cachorro
3-Dune Buggy
4-Cantor de Mambo
5-Beijo Exagerado
6-Balada do Louco
7-A Hora e a Vêz do Cabelo Nascer
8-Rua Augusta
9-Mutantes e Seus Cometas No País do Baurets
10-Todo Mundo Pastou II

 

 

 

 

MUTANTES E SEUS COMETAS NO PAÍS DO BAURETS (Mutants and its Comets in the Baurets’ Land) (Polydor, 1972) – Producer: Arnaldo Baptista

1972 is a key year for the rest of Mutantes’ life. With the Baurets, Rita Lee said good bye to the group. Before leaving she recorded the group’s most rock’n’roll album. From ‘Posso perder minha mulher, minha mãe, desde que eu tenha meu rock'n'roll’ (I can loose my woman, my mother as soon as I have my rock’n’roll) to ‘Rua Augusta’ (São Paulo city’s famous street) the album is pure TNT. There is a waterfall of rock’n’roll in ‘Dune Buggy’, ‘Beijo Exagerado’ (Too Much of a Kiss), ‘A Hora e a Vez do Cabelo Nascer’ (The Time for the Hair to be born’), re-edited in a brilliant version by Sepultura in 1989. Although surrounded by pure rock’n’roll, there were also the acid smoothness of ‘Vida de Cachorro’ (A Dog’s Life) and what would become the group’s biggest hit ‘Balada do Louco’ (Balad of the Mad). The psychedelic side brings the surreal-progressive opera in ‘Tempo no Tempo’ (Once There was a Time I Thought) from the first album; and the Dada teaser ‘Todo Mundo Pastou I e II’ (Everybody got messed up I and II). Last comment on the album goes for the title inspired in Lewis Carroll famous Alice in the Wonderland and, of course, a reference to Bill Harlley and Its Comets.

Comments by Marcelo Dolabela, Oct/Nov 1999.

 

 
 

1-A e o Z
2-Rolling Stones
3-Você Sabe
4-Hey Joe
5-Uma Pessôa Só
6-Ainda Vou Transar ComVocê

 

 
O A E O Z (The A and the Z) Philips, 1992; recorded in 1973. Producer: Mutantes

After Rita Lee left Mutantes, Arnaldo, Sergio, Dinho and Liminha recorded a new album in 1973 unknown to the public until 1992. O A E O Z exacerbates the surrealist-progressive opera Mutantes e Seus Cometas no País dos Baurets. Although independents, its six tracks remind a long soundtrack for a movie the kind of Atonioni’s Zabriskie Point. It is a trip, a good trip. From the autobiographic (by Arnaldo Baptista) ‘Rolling Stones’ to ‘Uma Pessoa So’ (One Only-Lonely Person, which would be re-edited in 1973 in his solo Loki?), O A E O Z sounds, as the title suggests, the last breath of the wonderful history of Mutantes. After a while, Arnaldo would leave the group and Sergio, Dinho and Liminha would carry on with the new Mutantes. But this is another history, another mutation and another trip.
Comments by Marcelo Dolabela. Oct/Nov 1999

 


 
 

1-Panis Et Circenses
2-Bat Macumba
3-Virginia
4-She’s My Shoo Shoo ( A Minha Menina)
5-I Feel A Little spaced Out (ando Meio Desligado)
6-Baby
7-Tecnicolor
8-El Justiciero
9-I’m Sorry Baby (Desculpe Babe)
10-Maria Fulô
11-Le Premier Bonheur Du Jour
12-Saravah
13-Panis Et Circenses (reprise)

 

TECNICOLOR (Universal, recorded in 1970 and launched in 1999) - Producer: Carl Holmes


‘Tecnicolor’, the pre-last trip of the Mutantes.
There are compilations and successful compilations. Most of the times, they are a pain. They follow the will – or bad will – of the record companies, which are almost always trying to fit the artist’s work into a new trend. If being romantic pushes up the sales, the compilation shall highlight the melting side of the artist. Hardly the artist manages it themselves so the compilation is a masterpiece. Beatles, Madonna, Prince, Roberto Carlos, Marisa Monte, Paralamas do Sucesso are no exception to this rule. Particularly in Brazil, the contracts giving rights of use are still written as per in Stone Age. Although the artist can get some advantages, broadly speaking, the record companies win and the artists loose. This is common in the rock and pop industry, one of the most profitable fields. It hardly happens in literature, theatre, cinema and fine arts – the artist has always a grip on his/her work, manages it more efficiently. Therefore, the artist’s big revenge is when the compilations are presented as a conceptual work and not as a cheap puzzle to increase the record companies’ profits. Without doubt Tecnicolor follows this conceptual format when recorded in 1970. It was, at the same time, a joke and one step ahead: a compilation and a carrier’s album. Mutantes re-dressed songs already recorded in really new outfits, not only a new thread here or a new bottom there. The Mutantes alongside with their permanently revolutionary vision and in its third year of recordings, without fear or shame, re-visited and re-wrote the inners of their history.
According to the Brazilian journalist Carlos Calado, author of the non-authorised but acclaimed Mutantes’ biography, ‘Tecnicolor’ is a virtual title, probably named well after created. The album was recorded in November 1970 in Paris in the Des Dames Studio. It was produced by Carl Holmes. Following a concept of that time, one can say that Tecnicolor was a compilation of poems-processes: versions of masterpieces that turn into new masterpieces.
Tecnicolor is a special anthology. It brings ‘new’ songs of the most recent albums, such as ‘Jardim Eletrico’(1970); ‘Virginia’, ‘Tecnicolor’, ‘El Justiceiro’, and ‘Sarava’ all mixed with old works. There you can find Tropicalist’s hits such as two versions of ‘Panis et Circences’; ‘Bat Macumba’; ‘She is my Shoo Shoo’ (an English version for Jorge Ben’s hottest hit ‘Minha Menina’) and ‘Baby’ (their mostly recorded song with 3 versions). Tecnicolor also houses classics such as ‘I feel a little Spaced Out’ (Ando Meio Desligado); ‘Adeus Maria Fulô’; ‘I’m Sorry, Babe’ (Desculpe Babe); and a tribute to the host France offering a new version of ‘Le Premier Bonheur Du Jour’ from their first album.
They translated all songs into English, except ‘Bat Macumba’, ‘Adeus Maria Fulô’ and of course the French song. ‘She’s my Shoo Shoo’ got even closer of Jorge Ben’s original. They kept only the chorus in Portuguese (Oba Oba she’s my shoo shoo).
Tecnicolor was launched only in 2000. It surprised the audience for sounding so modern. It surprised also because of Sean Ono Lennon’s drawings and handwriting used for the album’s design. The Brazilian critics did not see Sean’s collaboration with good eyes. They said he was not the right person for the job. Bullshit. Brazilian prejudice only confirms Arnaldo Baptista’s theory, our ‘released astronaut’ who every day is immortalised in the international rock-pop scenario. We hope the lesson will one day be learned: as Tom Jobim would put it: The Mutantes, as well as Brazil, are not for amateurs. Comments by Marcelo Dolabela, Oct/Nov 2005.



 
 


CD I
01 - Don Quixote
02 - Caminhante Noturno
03 - Ave Gengis Khan
04 - Tecnicolor
05 - Virginia
06 - Cantor de Mambo
07 - El Justiciero
08 - Baby
09 - I'm Sorry Baby
10 - Top Top
11 - Dia 36

CD II
01 - Fuga nº II
02 - Le Premier Bonheur du Jour
03 - Dois Mil e Um
04 - Ave Lucifer
05 - Balada do Louco
06 - I Feel a Little Spaced Out
07 - A Hora e a Vez do Cabelo Nascer
08 - A Minha Menina
09 - Bat Macumba
10 - Panis et Circensces


 

 

MUTANTES AO VIVO - BARBICAN THEATRE - LONDRES
(Sony & BMG, 2006) - Producer: Sérgio Dias.


A volta do Mutantismo

O Rock and Roll já é um senhor de mais de 50 anos. Enfim, o tempo lhe permitiu começar a acertar uma dívida histórica. Isto é, uma dívida futura: “como entender, assimilar e conviver com seu passado?”. Como viver e entender o “sofrer”, como cantou Tom Zé, “de juventude”?
O escritor Rubem Braga, falando sobre a crônica jornalística, comentou: “A verdade não é o tempo que passa, a verdade é o instante”. Se o Rock é volátil, um gás, como cantou Jimi Hendrix, como viver a eternidade do instante? Como viver esse único tempo?
B. B. King completa, este ano, 83 anos. Para os fãs do Blues, ele não está velho. João Gilberto está com 76 anos. E ainda é o grande nome da Bossa Nova.
O Rock, enfim, começa a entender o jogo dialético entre “tempo” e “instante”, entre o que já está inscrito na história e o que ainda esgarça, com inventividade, a história.
A volta dos Mutantes vem, em boa hora, saldar essa dívida e responder, de vez, a questão: “se o grupo foi e é o exemplo mais perfeito da revolução do rock brasileiro e um dos maiores nomes do rock internacional, por que encapsular sua trajetória em apenas cinco anos (1968-1972) de produção fonográfica?
O acervo do Beatles, vez ou outra, é bem revisitado por Paul McCartney e George Martin. Por que não permitir que a revolução-Mutantes continue?
Tirando o fogo amigo (as críticas de Rita Lee e a recusa de Liminha), quando foi anunciada a volta do grupo, as expectativas foram as mais diversas, da dúvida ao medo, de alívio ao “até que enfim”.
Mas o que poderíamos esperar dessa volta? Como o núcleo Arnaldo Baptista – Sérgio Dias & Dinho se comportaria “quimicamente” trinta e cinco anos depois? Quem e como substituir a voz emblemática de Rita Lee? De que instrumental e de quais arranjos vestir “clássicos” que trazem o grupo em seu apogeu sob a maquinaria sonora do maestro Rogério Duprat?
A resposta foi sábia. O grupo ressurgiu no “exílio”, longe das expectativas e das ansiedades, em um evento em Londres que comemorava a Tropicália para além dos muros musicais, a mostra/exposição “Tropicália – a revolution in brazilian culture”. Que fez um mapeamento amplo do movimento: música + poesia + artes plásticas + cinema + teatro + arquitetura + dança + política + teoria + história. Com um show no The Barbican Center, em Londres, Inglaterra, em maio de 2006.
O material-show/disco, lançado agora em CD/DVD, é impecável. O grupo, sob a batuta de Sérgio e a criatividade de Arnaldo, conseguiu unir o mais experimental da Tropicália aos melhores elementos da psicodelia, de ontem, hoje e sempre.

Hoje o grupo tem dez integrantes: os oficiais: Arnaldo Baptista, teclados e voz; Sérgio Dias, guitarra e voz; Dinho Leme, bateria; mais a voz, em participação mais do que especial, de Zélia Duncan, uma mutante por natureza; os backing vocals de Fabio Recco e Esmérya Bulgari; os teclados de Vitor Trida e Henrique Peters; o contrabaixo de Vinicius Junqueira; e a percussão de Simone Soul.
O repertório é um “the best”. Há música dos cinco álbuns, da fase heróica, do grupo. Do primeiro disco, “Os Mutantes”, de 1968: “Panis et circencis”; “Minha menina”; “Bat macumba”; “Le premier bonheur du jour” e “Ave Gengis Khan”. Do álbum “Mutantes”, de 1969, “Dom Quixote”; “Dia 36”; “Fuga n.2” e “Caminhante noturno”. Do “A divina comédia ou ando meio desligado”, de 1970, “Ando meio desligado”; “Ave Lúcifer” e “Desculpe, babe”. Do “Jardim elétrico”, de 1971, “Top top”; “Technicolor”; “El justiciero” e “Virgínia”. E do “Mutantes & Seus Cometas No País do Baurets”, de 1972, “Cantor de mambo”; “Balado do louco” e “A hora e a vez do cabelo crescer”.
Sérgio Dias está em uma forma impressionante. Zélia Duncan, mesmo participando pouco, mostra que a escolha foi acertada. Arnaldo aparece com suas tiradas surreais e seu vocal característico. Dinho continua preciso e fundamental. Os demais músicos assumem, com louvor, a função de co-participantes.

A caixa – com dois CDs e um DVD –, lançada pela Sony & BMG, mostra na íntegra o show de Londres. CDs e DVD trazem a mesma seqüência, como em um jogo de mise-en-abyme, de bonecas russas, dentro da maior, outra e outra e outra...
Começa com a poesia concreta (à maneira mutantista) de “Don Quixote”, com suas aliterações e paronomásias, e termina com a crueldade tropicalista de “Panis et circensis”, de Gilberto Gil & Caetano Veloso. Ao longo do show, o tempo vai e volta. Pára e retorna. Como coisa móvel, flexível, sem cronologia. Como se o grupo, na verdade, em seu período áureo (68-72), tivesse lançado um longo álbum quíntuplo. As canções embaralhadas mostram melhor a planta baixa o plano-piloto do estilo-Mutantes.
Provando, mais uma vez, que o grupo não é apenas um nome na plêiade-Rock. Mas um “modo de fazer”, um estilo, um subgênero, para usarmos uma terminologia de Roy Shuker (“Vocabulário da música pop”), dentro do próprio Rock: o Mutantismo.
O que explica a admiração de artistas tão diferentes em relação à obra do grupo. De David Byrne a Kurt “Nirvana” Cobain. Passando por Beck, Sean Lennon, Beastie Boys, Pizzicato Five e Belle & Sebastian.

Afinal, o que foi apresentado nessa “reestréia” é apenas um pequeno – mas significativo – extrato do “baú dos Mutantes”, ainda há material para pelo menos dois novos lançamentos.
O que virá, ainda não sabemos. Mas, com certeza, é mais combustível (não-poluente).
Provando que, ainda vale a pena continuar com e na revolução-Mutantes.

(Marcelo Dolabela - bhz out/nov 1999).

 
 

1-Sucesso, Aqui Vou Eu
2-Calma
3-Viagem ao Fundo de Mim
4-Precisamos de Irmãos
5-Macarrão Com Linguiça e Pimentão
6-José
7-Hulla-Hulla
8-And I Love Her
9-Tempo Nublado
10-Prisioneira do Amor
11-Eu Vou Me Salvar

 

 

Build Up – Rita Lee (Polydor, 1970) – Arrangements: Arnaldo Baptista

Pop music is a mix between novelty and redundancy. In this dialectic game we can measure the relevance of an artist and its work. Rita Lee’s two first solo albums, ‘Build Up’ (1970) and ‘Hoje é o primeiro dia do resto de sua vida’ (Today is the first day of the rest of your life – 1972), can only be understood through this relationship.
You can not classify them. They are solo albums and, at the same time, complementary to Mutantes’s non-official discography.

In these two moments, Rita Lee was still part of the Mutantes. Even so, she launched herself into a solo project. So far, nothing wrong especially when we understand the option working as oxygen in their way.

But what really surprises here is that Rita Lee’s two first solo albums do not follow the obvious path taken by other artists when going from a band to a solo career, which is ‘an individual approach distant from the group’s proposes’. In Rita Lee’s case, it was the same innovative work – or an innovation under the same theme. Apart from the name and label stamped on the vinyl, Rita Lee by Mutantes, nobody would notice that they were actually listening to a solo record. Even so those are Rita Lee’s solo records, which would only exist as so. Therefore they deserve a comment with distance from Mutantes works. Especially if we compare ‘Build Up’ with the tropicalia-super-experimentalist ‘A Divina Comedia ou Ando Meio Desligado’; ‘Hoje é o primeiro dia do resto de sua vida’; and with the lysergic-psychedelic ‘Mutantes e seus cometas no Pais dos Bauretz’, launched at the same time. Are there two characters looking for an author? Or would be one character multiplied into two authors? Both albums’ blueprints are quite the same:

1) Basic core composers: Arnaldo Baptista, Rita Lee and Sergio Dias plus Liminha;
2) Arranged by Arnaldo and played by Mutantes.

‘Build Up’ was created as a soundtrack for Rodhia’s event ‘Build Up Electronic Fashion Show’, an important fashion show of those days called Fenit (Textile Industry International Fair). The album tells the story and moves of an artist heading to the stardom. There are songs by Arnaldo & Rita: ‘Sucesso, aqui vou eu’ (‘success here I go’ or ‘Build Up’) and ‘Macarrão com Linguiça e Pimentão’ (‘pasta with sausage and pimento). Elício Decário, who has collaborated in ‘A Divina Comedia’, ‘Ave Lucifer’ and ‘Hey Boy’, appears again in ‘Build Up’ and in partnership with Rita in ‘Hulla-Hulla’, ‘Tempo Nublado’ (Clouded Weather) and ‘Eu Vou me Salvar’ (I will save myself). He also contributed as solo writer in ‘Precisamos de Irmãos’ (We need brothers’) and ‘Prisioneira do Amor’ (Prisoner of Love). Arnaldo wrote ‘Calma’ (Stay Cool). ‘Build Up’ also brings the first solo songs arranged and/or written by Rita only: ‘Viagem ao Fundo de Mim’ (Inner Deep Trip) and ‘Jose’, a second version of George’s Moustaki’s original song, also recorded by tropicalist-bossa nova Nara Leão. ‘Build Up’ also houses the bolero Beatles inspired ‘And I love Her (And I love Him)’.

Build Up, the song, works as a script for the whole album. Although Build Up, the album, establishes the idea of ‘building up a public image’, its songs suggest ‘building the individual, intimate side of Rita’, an inner trip as showed in ‘Ao Fundo de Mim’ (Me in depth). Apart the non-sense ‘Macarrão com Linguiça e Pimentão’ (Pasta with sausage and pimento) and the lyricism of ‘Jose’ (Joseph), all other songs are written using the ‘I’ pronoun, with variations of its plural WE and unfolding into I + YOU. “I can even see/ my name flashing/ and the world clapping/ when I am singing/ when I am dancing/ I wanna be a star…/ I would say good bye/ to my dreams/ Success, here I go…/ I will fight/ I will get there…Hold on a minute/ what I really want/ is to escape from you…”

“In slow motion I will fly/ and feel your love…”
“I need songs and friends/ Love, flowers and shelter…”
“I am going to an island…”
“Where would you be, my love?/ Where would you be?”
“I will save myself/ I will save myself/ To guarantee my eternal life”
(Comments by Marcelo Dolabela – Jul/Aug/ 2005.

 
 

1-Vamos Tratar da Saúde
2-Beija-me Amor
3-Hoje é o Primeiro Dia do Resto da Sua Vida
4-Teimosia
5-Frique Comigo
6-Amor Branco e Preto
7-Toroleite
8-Tapupukitipa
9-De Novo Aqui Meu Bom José
10-Superfície do Planeta

 

 

 

 

HOJE É O PRIMEIRO DIA DO RESTO DE SUA VIDA (Today is the first day of the rest of your life) (Polydor - 1972) - Arrangements: Arnaldo Baptista.

Two years after ‘Build up’ Rita Lee launched her second solo album. That was a different history all together. Before Rita was still a member of Mutantes. Now, with Mutantes taking the progressive rock path influenced by Yes, the group would send her off to the Bauretz’s Planet. Her second record is a farewell album and, at the same time, the one that sounded more Mutantes than any other. None of the six records from the first phase – 1968-1972 – were composed exclusively by Mutantes themselves: Arnaldo-Rita & Sergio+Liminha. All others counted with external collaborators.

The strong censorship regime of those days cut up some lyrics that from acids turned into lyric. In “Beija-me, amor” (Kiss me, love) we hear: “…To feel your taste/ mixed with a taste of love/ chewing between my teeth” actually originally was: “To feel the saliva/ the spit’s taste/ melting through my teeth…”, told us Carlos Calado, in his Mutante’s biography, page 285.

The only collaborator (and for the first time as part of the band) was that of the singer, composer and player Lucia Turnball as backing vocal. In 1973, Lucia would become Rita Lee’s partner in the project Cilibinas do Éden. This duo would also work as a base for Rita Lee’s further group, Tutti Frutti, which included Luiz Sergio (guitars) and Lee Marcucci (bass). Their first album, “Atrás do porto tem uma cidade” (behind the port there is a city), was a come back or very similar to Mutantes first album. As in the 1968’s album, “Atrás do porto…” stamps a drawing made by Rita. Its graphic simplicity hides a basic element of the new group: the humour. This was hided or simply abandoned in the new Mutantes driven by progressive rock.

‘Hoje é…’ can be translated into final-solo-collective-catharses towards this element. If in “Bauretz” the humour is submerse, in this solo album it is explicit. Its musical texture sometimes sounds also progressive.

The album has two distinctive chapters:
1) Biographic, following the path of ‘Vamos tratar da saúde’ (Let’s take care of our health) and ‘Hoje é o primeiro dia do resto da sua vida’.
2) Humoristic in “Amor em branco e preto” (love in black & white, a non-official anthem to Corinthians Football Club); “Tapupukitipa” and “Tiroleite”. This was perhaps the only successful attempt to make a joke out of the hippie generation’s values. This song, although not turned into a radio-TV success, is one of the big hits in open microphone sections.

If this album is a return to Mutantes’ beginning it is also an album-project of what would be Rita Lee’s solo career. It was an amalgam of the anthropophagic formula created by Brazilian poet and writer Oswaldo de Andrade: love/humour.

After 1972, neither Rita nor Mutantes would be the same again. Each one followed their own paths. All, however, within a path that was trailed before. From that we can understand that the group’s first phase does not compile five albums but eight – their five plus the later ‘Technicolor’, recorded in 1970 and launched only in 1990, and Rita’s two solo albums.

Is this discography completed? Not for me. Actually, this phase has nine records. I would include the first Arnaldo’s solo album, ‘Lóki?’ (1974). What? Please, just re-read the above. All that was said for Rita’s two solo albums applies, in minor or greater degree, to ‘Lóki?’. I would stop there but you can still include the album-manifesto ‘Tropicalia – ou Panis et Circensis’; ‘A Banda Tropicalista de Rogerio Duprat’ (The Tropicalist Band of Rogerio Duprat - 1968); and the single by Caetano Veloso with four songs: ‘A Voz do Morto’ (The Death’s Voice); “Baby”; ‘Saudosismo’ (nostalgia) and ‘Marcianita’. All these songs were recorded live in 1968. Comments by Marcelo Dolabela, Jul/Aug 2005.

 

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