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Caetano Veloso

A true heavyweight, Caetano Veloso is a pop musician/poet/filmmaker/political activist whose stature in the pantheon of international pop musicians is on par with that of Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, and Lennon/McCartney. And even the most cursory listen to his recorded output since the 1960s proves that this is no exaggeration.

Born in 1942 in Santo Amaro da Purificacao in Brazil's Bahia region, Veloso absorbed the rich Bahian musical heritage that was influenced by Caribbean, African, and North American pop music, but it was the cool, seductive bossa nova sound of João Gilberto (a Brazilian superstar in the '50s) that formed the foundation of Veloso's intensely eclectic pop. Following his sister Maria Bethânia (a very successful singer in her own right) to Rio in the early '60s, the 23-year-old Veloso won a lyric-writing contest with his song "Um Dia" and was quickly signed to the Philips label. It wasn't long before Veloso (along with other Brazilian stars such as Gal Costa and Gilberto Gil) represented the new wave of MPB (musica popular brasileira), the all-purpose term used by Brazilians to describe their pop music. Bright, ambitious, creative, and given to an unapologetically leftist political outlook, Veloso would soon become a controversial figure in Brazilian pop. By 1967, he had become aligned with Brazil's burgeoning hippie movement and, along with Gilberto Gil, created a new form of pop music dubbed Tropicalia. Arty and eclectic, Tropicalia retained a bossa nova influence, adding bits and pieces of folk-rock and art rock to a stew of loud electric guitars, poetic spoken word sections, and jazz-like dissonance. Although not initially well received by traditional pop-loving Brazilians (both Veloso and Gil faced the wrath of former fans similar to the ire provoked by Dylan upon going electric), Tropicalia was a breathtaking stylistic synthesis that signaled a new generation of daring, provocative, and politically outspoken musicians who would remake the face of MPB.

This was a cultural shift not without considerable dangers. Since 1964, Brazil had been ruled by a military dictatorship (a government that would rule for 20 years) that did not look kindly upon such radical music made by such radical musicians. Almost immediately there were government-sanctioned attempts to circumscribe the recordings and live performances of many Tropicalistas. Censorship of song lyrics as well as radio and television playlists (Veloso was a regular TV performer on Brazilian variety shows) was common. Just as common was the persecution of performers openly critical of the government, and Veloso and Gil were at the top of the hit list. Both men spent two months in prison for "anti-government activity" and another four months under house arrest. After a defiant 1968 performance together, Veloso and Gil were forced into exile in London. Veloso continued to record abroad and write songs for other Tropicalia stars, but he would not be allowed to return to Brazil permanently until 1972.

Although his commitment to politicized art never wavered, Veloso went from being a very popular Brazilian singer/songwriter to becoming the center of Brazilian pop over the next 20 years. For decades he kept up a grueling pace of recording, producing, and performing and, in the mid-'70s, added writing to his résumé, publishing a book of articles, poems, and song lyrics covering a period from 1965 to 1976. In the '80s, Veloso became increasingly better known outside of Brazil, touring in Africa, Paris, and Israel, interviewing Mick Jagger for Brazilian TV, and in 1983, playing America for the first time. (He sold out three nights at the Public Theater in New York with shows that were rapturously reviewed by then-New York Times pop critic Robert Palmer.) This steady increase in popularity occurred despite the fact that Veloso's records were extremely hard to find in American record stores, and when one could locate them, they were expensive Brazilian imports. Still, the buzz on Veloso grew, thanks in part to Palmer, Robert Christgau, and other critics writing about pop music outside of the contiguous 48 states. But Veloso never seemed bothered by his low profile outside of Brazil, and his work over the years, even after he became a more well-known international pop figure, remained challenging and intriguing without being modified for American (or anyone else's) tastes -- that is, Veloso sang in English (most of his recorded work is sung in Portuguese) when he felt like it, not because he had to sell more records in America. He hung out with fairly trendy New York musicians (Brazilian native Arto Lindsay and David Byrne), but never made a big deal about it. Veloso was one of the rare musicians who was popular, sold a lot of records (at least in Brazil), and was a certifiable superstar, but never self-aggrandizing, narcissistic, or overly concerned with how hip he was.

Even when he approached the age of normal retirement, Veloso showed no signs of slowing down. After his 1989 recording Estrangeiro (produced by Ambitious Lovers' Arto Lindsay and Peter Scherer) became his first non-import release in America, Veloso's stateside profile increased significantly, reaching its highest point with the release of 1993's Tropicália 2, recorded with Gilberto Gil. A brilliant record that made a slew of American Top Ten lists, Tropicália 2 proved once again that Veloso's talent (as well as Gil's) had not diminished a bit. His early-'90s recordings, Circuladô, Fina Estampa, and Circuladô ao Vivo (the latter of which includes versions of Michael Jackson's "Black and White" and Dylan's "Jokerman"), were uniformly wonderful, and in the summer of 1997 Veloso embarked on his largest American tour to date.

Two years later, Veloso was the subject of an extensive, flattering portrait in Spin on the eve of the American release of his acclaimed 1998 album, Livro. In 1999, he released Omaggio a Federico e Giulietta, a tribute to auteur Federico Fellini and his wife, actress Giulietta Masina. He also won a Grammy for the Best MPB Album for 1998's Livro at the first annual Latin Grammy Awards. At the beginning of the new millennium, Veloso delivered a live bossa nova album in collaboration with poet Jorge Mautner, the spirited Noites do Norte, and the songbook album A Foreign Sound. In 2006, Veloso returned with Cê, a typically diverse and interesting album co-produced by his son Moreno. Veloso took some time out to tour and begin another book; he released Zii e Zie in 2009 on Nonesuch through World Circuit. Live at Carnegie Hall, a record documenting a very special collaborative concert he and longtime friend David Byrne gave in 2004 as part of Veloso's residency at the renowned venue, was issued in 2012, a year that also saw the release of Abraçaço, the third part of the trilogy of studio albums -- Cê and Zii e Zie being the first two -- that placed the artist in the company of much younger players. The album was issued in North America by Nonesuch in March of 2014. The following year Veloso and Gilberto Gil embarked on a major world tour together called "Dois Amigos, Um Séc**o de Música" which translates to "Two Friends, a Century of Music." With each artist celebrating a remarkable 50-year career, the tour was commemorated by a live album recorded in their native Brazil called Dois Amigos, Um Séc**o de Música: Multishow Live. The extensive double album was released in April 2016 by Nonesuch. ~ John Dougan
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Abracaco

3. Estou Triste

5. Quero Ser Justo

6. Um Comunista

8. Vinco

9. Quando O Galo Cantou

11. Gayana

x

Track List: Zii E Zie

1. Perdeu

2. Sem Cais

3. Por Quem?

4. Lobao Tem Razao

5. Cor Amarela

6. Base De Guantanamo

7. Falso Leblon

8. Incompatibilidade De Genios

9. Tarado Ni Voce

10. Menina Da Ria

11. Ingenuidade

12. Lapa

13. Diferentemente

x

Track List: Ce

1. Outro

2. Minhas Lagrimas

3. Rocks

4. Deusa Urbana

5. Waly Salomao

6. Nao Me Arrependo

7. Musa Hibrida

8. Odeio

9. Homem

10. Porque

11. Um Sonho

12. O Heroi

x

Track List: A Foreign Sound

1. The Carioca

2. So In Love

3. Always

4. Come As You Are

5. Feelings

6. Love For Sale

7. The Man I Love

8. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

9. Cry Me A River

10. Jamaica Farewell

11. Nature Boy

12. (Nothing But) Flowers

13. Manhattan

14. Diana

15. Summertime

16. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)

17. Love Me Tender

18. Body And Soul

19. If It's Magic

20. Detached

21. Something Good

22. Blue Skies

x

Track List: Noites Do Norte

1. Zera A Reza

2. Noites Do Norte

3. 13 De Maio

4. Zumbi

5. Rock'n'raul

6. Michelangelo Antonioni

7. Cantiga De Boi

8. Cobra Coral

9. Ia

10. Meu Rio

11. Sou Seu Sabia

12. Tempestades Solares

x

Track List: A Bossa De Caetano

1. Samba De Verao

2. Chega De Saudade

3. Desde Que O Samba E Samba

4. Coisa Mais Linda

5. Get Out Of Town

7. Chuvas De Verao

8. Lindeza

9. Chora Tua Tristeza

12. Samba E Amor

14. Na Baixa Do Sapateiro

x

Track List: Prenda Minha

1. Jorge De Capadocia

2. Prenda Minha

4. Terra

5. Eclipse Oculto

7. Bem Devagar

9. Saudosismo

10. Carolina

11. Sozinho

12. Esse Cara

13. Mel

15. Na Linha Do Equador

16. Odara

17. Nao Enche

18. A Luz De Tieta

20. Vida Boa

x

Track List: Livro

1. Os Passistas

2. Livros

3. Onde O Rio E Mais Baiano

4. Manhata

5. Doideca

6. Voce E Minha

7. Um Tom

8. How Beautiful Could A Being Be

9. O Navio Negreiro

10. Nao Enche

11. Minha Vos, Minha Vida

12. Alexandre

13. Na Baixa Do Sapateiro

14. Pra Ninguem

x

Track List: Circulado

1. Fora Da Ordem

2. Circulado De Fulo

3. Itapua

4. Boas Vindas

5. Ela Ela

6. Santa Clara, Padroeira Da Televisao

7. Baico Da Penha

8. Neide Candolina

9. A Terceira Margem Do Rio

10. O Cu Do Mundo

11. Lindeza

x

Track List: Sem Lenco Sem Documento

1. Alegria, Alegria

2. Soy Loco Por Ti, America

3. Tropicalia

4. Superbacana

5. Atras Do Trio Eletrico

6. Lua De Sao Jorge

7. Shy Moon

8. Queixa

9. Sampa

10. Podres Poderes

11. Voce E Linda

12. O Leaozinho

13. Odara

14. Qualquer Coisa

15. Eclipse Oculto

16. Trilmos Urbanos

17. Trem Das Cores

18. Outras Palavras

19. Beleza Pura

x

Track List: Caetano Veloso

1. Trilhos Urbanos

2. Homem Velho

3. Luz Do Sol

4. Ca Ja

5. Dindi / Eu Sei Que Vou Te Amar

6. Nega Maluca / Billie Jean / Eleanor Rigby

7. O Leaozinho

8. Coracao Vagabundo

9. Pulsar

10. Get Out Of Town

11. Saudosismo

12. Odara

13. Terra

x

Track List: Personalidade

1. Beleza Pura

2. Coisa Mais Linda

3. O Quereres

4. O Leaozinho

5. Muito

6. Chuvas De Verao

7. Lua E Estrela

8. Eu Sei Que Vou Te Amar

9. Menino Do Rio

10. Sampa

11. Podres Poderes

12. Soy Loco Por Ti America

13. Superbacana

14. Lua De Sao Jorge

15. Lua, Lua, Lua, Lua

16. Eclipse Oculto

x

Track List: Uns

1. Uns

2. Musical

3. Eclipse Oculto

4. Peter Gast

5. Quero Ir A Cuba

6. Coisa Mais Linda

7. Voce E Linda

8. Bobagens, Meu Filho, Bobagens

9. A Outra Banda Da Terra

11. E Hoje

x

Track List: Cinema Transcendental

x

Track List: Caetano E Chico Juntos E Ao Vivo

1. Bom Conselho

2. Partido Alto

3. Tropicalia

4. Morena Dos Olhos D'agua

5. Rita - Esse Cara

6. Atras Da Porta

7. Voce Nao Entende Nada - Cotidiano

8. Barbara

9. Ana De Amsterdam

10. Janelas Abertas No.2

11. Os Argonautas

x

Track List: Transa

1. You Don't Know Me

2. Nine Out Of Ten

3. Triste Bahia

4. It's A Long Way

5. Mora Na Filosofia

6. Neolithic Man

7. Nostalgia

x

Track List: Caetano Veloso (White Album)

1. Irene

2. The Empty Boat

4. Lost In The Paradise

5. Atras Do Trio Eletrico

6. Os Argonautas

7. Carolina

8. Cambalache

10. Chuvas De Verao

11. Acrilirico

12. Alfomega

x

Track List: Caetano Veloso (1968)

1. Tropicalia

4. Alegria, Alegria

7. Superbacana

8. Paisagem Util

10. Soy Loco Por Ti, America

11. Ave Maria

12. Eles

x

Track List: Araca Azul

x

Track List: Bicho

1. Odara

2. Two Naira Fifty Kobo

3. Gente

7. Tigresa

8. O Leaozinho

x

Track List: ITunes Session

1. Livros (ITunes Session)

2. 13 De Maio (ITunes Session)

3. De Manha (ITunes Session)

4. Coracao Vagabundo (ITunes Session)

5. Por Quem? (ITunes Session)

6. Samba Da Cabeca (ITunes Session)

7. Lost In The Paradise (ITunes Session)

8. Cu-Cu-Ru-Cu-Cu Paloma (ITunes Session)

Comments

Report as inappropriate
werica
Caetano Veloso is a legend, his music is amazing!
Report as inappropriate
werica
Caetano Velose is a legend!!! His music is amazing!
Report as inappropriate
I.will listen
Report as inappropriate
LA SUA MUSICA E BELLA ! ! GRAZIE !
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eu amo a sua musica! que eu amo Brasil!
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Brazilian music has so much meaning give love to everyone
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Ondo o rio e mais baiano...awe s o m e song!!!!
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dmansur000
Caetano was able to break the time, you cannot measure his art throughout the years. Is lyrics, voice, songs are timeless, besides the innovation and talent to break rules and still not loose the personality and his Midas touch in what he does. With Gilberto Gil and Chico Buarque, Brazilian music open doors worldwide and laid ground to many other talent that did not have their vision and understandin g the Brazialian culture and art. Salve Caetano.
Report as inappropriate
Caetano Veloso , e molto piacevole ! grazie !
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caetano vc e demais a cAda dia melhor adoro
Report as inappropriate
rausilveira
Salvador, de tardezinha.. . . .
Report as inappropriate
barbferry1
Caetano may be considered the Bob Dylan of Brazil, but he certainly has a better voice.
Report as inappropriate
lrangel689
Me encanta, por eso voy a Brasil every year.
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Minha cidade My city thank you Caetano I love u
Report as inappropriate
i'm so in love with him. get out of town is such a great song. beautiful artist!
Report as inappropriate
i love this!
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One of the greatest musicians ever. I've been listening to his music since I was a little kid in Buenos Aires. My father was passionate with Brazilian music and with jazz. Caetano, um grande.
Report as inappropriate
This is a great music right here give it a listen. Even if you don't understand the words you will feel the "Sentido."
Report as inappropriate
In a word, Veloso is blessed w/ an abundance of talent, and one of the finest male voices in recorded sound. In my humble opinion he is absolutely the most important singer/songw r i t e r that Brasil has produced!
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I love this station
Report as inappropriate
ldasilva39
I grew up listening to Caetano in Brazil and at 43 is like you are listening to his songs for the first time every time. I have never seen music stay so fresh and transgress time like his songs/melodi e s .
Report as inappropriate
Love it!!! Great artist
Report as inappropriate
vdersahak
I don't think anybody has rendered "Cucuru Cucu Paloma" like Mr Veloso. I am big fan of his. Just wish I knew Portugese!!! !
Report as inappropriate
Super cool ! Thank you Caetano
Report as inappropriate
like buttah.
Report as inappropriate
rosiemadalen a
The best of the best
Report as inappropriate
kk2000_90505
I now have another favorite to listen to...just love this song...and thank you for playing this...Khin Khin
Report as inappropriate
wow - that voice!
Report as inappropriate
THANK YOU!!!!!!!
Report as inappropriate
jlja21
Bahia!!!! Que bom que CV ta no circuito internaciona l !
Report as inappropriate
maristela.sp i e g e l
"Olodum" would be the word, but that was pretty good ;) I am very proud to say that my father was born in Bahia, which capital is Salvador. My family absolutey loves that State and its artists.
Report as inappropriate
fantastic musician.saw him on pbs going around salvator showing off carnival bands.banda oludum?hope i spelled that corectly was incredible.g o o d music is everywhere.
Report as inappropriate
Gosto muito de voce leaozinho.
Report as inappropriate
virago2004
What the heck is a "Bahian"!? We are Baianos!
Report as inappropriate
what can I say as a Bahian myself he is just briliant!!!

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