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Os Mutantes

Though rarely heard outside their Brazilian homeland (especially during the first phase of their career), Os Mutantes were one of the most dynamic, talented, radical bands of the psychedelic era -- quite an accomplishment during a period in which most rock bands spent quality time exploring the outer limits of pop music. A trio of brash musical experimentalists, the group fiddled with distortion, feedback, musique concrète, and studio tricks of all kinds to create a lighthearted, playful version of extreme Brazilian pop.

The band was formed by the two Baptista brothers, Arnaldo (bass, keyboards) and Sérgio (guitar), whose father was a celebrated São Paulo concert pianist. In 1964, the pair formed a teenage band named the Wooden Faces. After they met Rita Lee, the three played together in the Six Sided Rockers before graduation broke up the band. Yet another name change (to O Conjunto) preceded the formation of Os Mutantes in 1965, the final name coming from the science fiction novel O Planeta Dos Mutantes. With a third Baptista brother (Cláudio) helping out on electronics, the group played each week on the Brazilian TV show O Pequeno Mundo de Ronnie Von and became involved with the burgeoning tropicalia movement. Mutantes backed the tropicalista hero Gilberto Gil at the third annual Festival of Brazilian Music in 1967, then appeared on the watershed 1968 LP Tropicalia: Ou Panis et Circenses, a compilation of songs from the movement's major figures: Gil, Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa, Tom Zé, and Nara Leão.

By the end of 1968, Os Mutantes delivered their self-titled debut, a raucous, entertaining mess of a record featuring long passages of environmental sounds, tape music, and tortured guitar lines no self-respecting engineer would've allowed in the mix (especially at such a high volume). After time spent backing Veloso and recording a second LP of similarly crazed psychedelic pop, the band ventured to France and Europe for a few music conference shows. Upon returning to Brazil, they set up their own multimedia extravaganza -- complete with film, actors, dancing, and audience participation. Despite distractions of all kinds, the group also managed to record LPs in 1970 (Divina Comedia Ou Ando Meio Desligado) and 1971 (Jardim Eletrico), both of which charted the band's shifting interests from psychedelic to blues and hard rock.

After 1972's E Seus Cometas No Pais Do Baurets, Rita Lee departed or was fired from the band (accounts vary), and resumed a solo career that ran concurrently with Os Mutantes (her debut, 1970's Build Up, had been co-produced by the Baptistas). Later Mutantes LPs displayed influences from prog rock, and after Arnaldo Baptista left the fold as well, the band's LPs included a succession of bandmembers -- later-to-be-legendary producer Liminha, keyboard player Túlio, and drummer Rui Motta. Except for a 1976 live record, 1974's Tudo Foi Feito Pelo Sol was the band's final LP. Sérgio later moved to America, where he played with Phil Manzanera, among others. After recording a 1974 solo album, Arnaldo played with a new band (Space Patrol) during the late '70s and spent time in a psychiatric hospital before emerging for his second solo work, 1982's Singin' Alone. Meanwhile, though Rita Lee's solo career began sputtering near the end of the '80s, the band turned down a request for a 1993 reunion show by Nirvana's Kurt Cobain. Six years later, the Omplatten label reissued the first three Mutantes records, and David Byrne assembled the Everything Is Possible compilation through Luaka Bop.

In 2006, the band reunited for a performance in London. Both Rita Lee and Liminha sat the reunion out, however, and newcomer Zélia Duncan handled lead vocals. A year later, the band collaborated with DJ J.D. Twitch for Trocabrahma, a cultural exchange program, and 2008 found Os Mutantes releasing their first new song in three decades, "Mutantes Depois." A full album, Haih...Ou Amortecedor..., followed one year later. In 2013, the rebooted band returned with Fool Metal Jack, another full-length of dire antiwar sentiments and oddball sounds. ~ John Bush
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Fool Metal Jack

1. The Dream Is Gone

2. Fool Metal Jack

3. Picadilly Willie

4. Ganja Man

5. Look Out

6. Eu Descobri

7. Time And Space

8. To Make It Beautiful

9. Once Upon A Flight

10. Into Limbo

11. Bangladesh

12. Valse Lsd

x

Track List: Haih Or Amortecedor

2. Querida Querida

3. Teclar

4. 2000 E Agarrum

5. Bagdad Blues

6. O Careca

7. O Mensageiro

8. Anagrama

9. Samba Do Fidel

11. Nada Mudou

12. Gopala Krishna Om

x

Track List: Barbican Theatre, London, 2006 (Live)

Disc 1

1. Don Quixote (Live)

2. Caminhante Noturno (Live)

3. Ave Gengis Khan (Live)

4. Tecnicolor (Live)

5. Virginia (Live)

6. Cantor De Mambo (Live)

7. El Justiceiro (Live)

8. Baby (Live)

9. Ia*M Sorry Baby (Live)

10. Top Top (Live)

11. Dia 36 (Live)

Disc 2

1. Fuga No. 11 (Live)

2. Le Premier Bonheur Du Jour (Live)

3. Dois Mil E Um (Live)

4. Ave Lucifer (Live)

5. Balada Do Louco (Live)

6. I Feel A Little Spaced Out (Ando Meio Desligado) (Live)

7. A Hora E A Vez Do Cabelo Nascer (Live)

8. A Minha Menina (Live)

9. Bat Macumba (Live)

10. Panis Et Circenses (Live)

x

Track List: Tecnicolor

1. Panis Et Circenses (English Version)

2. Bat Macumba (English Version)

3. Virginia (English Version)

4. She's My Shoo Shoo (A Minha Menina) (English Version)

5. I Feel A Little Spaced Out (Ando Meio Desligado)

6. Baby (English Version)

7. Tecnicolor (English Version)

8. El Justiciero (English Version)

9. I'm Sorry Baby (Desculpe, Babe)

10. Adeus Maria Fulo (English Version)

11. Le Premier Bonheur Du Jour

12. Saravah (English Version)

13. Panis Et Circenses (Reprise) (English Version)

x

Track List: Everything Is Possible!

1. Ando Meio Desligado

2. Ave, Lucifer

3. Dia

4. Baby

5. Fuga No II

6. Cantor De Mambo

7. Adeus Maria Fulo

8. Desculpe, Babe

9. El Justiciero

10. Panis Et Circenses

11. A Minha Menina

12. Bat Macumba

13. Le Premier Bonheur Du Jour

14. Baby

x

Track List: Tudo Foi Feito Pelo Sol

1. Deixe Entrar Um Pouco D'Agua No Quintal

2. Pitagoras

3. Desanuviar

4. Eu So Penso Em Te Ajudar

5. Cidadao Da Terra

6. O Contrario De Nada E Nada

7. Tudo Foi Feito Pelo Sol

8. Cavaleiros Negros

9. Tudo Bem

10. Balada Do Amigo

x

Track List: 'A' E O 'Z'

1. 'A' E O 'Z'

2. Rolling Stones

3. Voce Sabe

4. Hey Joe

5. Uma Pessoa So

6. Ainda Vou Transar Com Voce

x

Track List: Jardim Eletrico

x

Track List: A Divina Comedia - Ou Ando Meio Desligado

1. Ando Meio Desligado

2. Quen Tem Medo De Brincar De Amor

3. Ave, Lucifer

4. Desculpe, Babe

5. Meu Refrigerador Nao Funciona

6. Hey Boy

7. Preciso Urgentemente Encontrar Um Amigo

8. Chao De Estrelas

9. Jogo De Calcada

10. Haleluia

11. Oh! Mulher Infiel

x

Track List: Mutantes (1969)

1. Don Quixote

2. Nao Va Se Perder Por Ai

3. Dia 36

4. Dois Mil E Um

5. Algo Mais

6. Fuga No. 2

7. Banho De Lua (Tintarella Di Luna)

8. Rita Lee

9. Magica

10. Qualquer Bobagem

11. Caminhante Noturno

x

Track List: Os Mutantes (1968)

1. Panis Et Circenses

2. A Minha Menina

4. Adeus Maria Fulo

5. Baby

6. Senhor F

7. Bat Macumba

8. Le Premier Bonheur Du Jour

9. Trem Fantasma

10. Tempo No Tempo (Once Was A Time I Thought)

11. Ave, Gengis Khan

x

Track List: Ao Vivo

1. Anjos Do Sul

2. Benvindos/Misterios

3. Trem/Danca Dos Ventos

4. Sagitarius

5. Esquizofrenia

6. Rio De Janeiro

7. Loucura Pouca E Bobagem

8. Hey Tu

9. Rock'n Roll City

10. Tudo Explodindo

11. Grand Finale

12. Anjos Do Sul

13. Cidadao Da Terra (Faixa Bonus)

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Brazilian teenagers... f i r s t 2 albums are up there among the best of anything else going on in 68' n 69'....brill i a n t
Report as inappropriate
crap
Report as inappropriate
the best ever, os mutantes!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Report as inappropriate
oleskratch
I heard them when I was in Rio in '75 and have loved them ever since!
Report as inappropriate
fo sho
Report as inappropriate
I love their stuff.

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