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Gilberto Passos Gil Moreira (born June 26, 1942 in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil), better known as Gilberto Gil, is a Grammy Award-winning singer, guitarist, songwriter, and the current Brazilian Minister of Culture. Gil has held the post of Minister since 2003, although he has declared his intention to resign in 2008 due to a vocal cord polyp.[1] He began his performance career as a bossa nova musician, but soon began writing songs that reflected a new focus on political awareness and social activism, becoming part of the Música Popular Brasileira movement with artists including Caetano Veloso, a longtime collaborator.

Born in Salvador, he began playing music early in life and joined his first band as a teenager in the 1950s. After meeting Caetano Veloso in 1963 Gil began performing and touring regularly, but earned his living at the time primarily through non-musical pursuits. He joined Veloso regularly in performances and recordings and became a major figure in the 1960s Tropicalismo movement with him. However Gil was eventually imprisoned by the Brazilian military government of the time, along with Veloso. The two moved to London, England in the late 1960s after being instructed to leave the country of Brazil.

Gil eventually returned to Bahia in 1972 and continued his musical career, as well as working as an advocate for environmental issues. In the following years, Gil made over 20 recordings and toured constantly. During the late 1980s he ran for public office in Salvador and Bahia at large, becoming mayor of his home city, but left office to further his career in music. Gil returned to politics in 2003, however, when he was appointed Minister of Culture by the newly elected President of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Gilberto Gil’s second album is packed with some of the best songs of his career — jubilant pop extravaganzas like “Domingo No Parque,” “Pega a Voga, Cabeludo,” and “Frevo Rasgado” that were equally inspired by the irresistible, brassy bombast of Carnaval and intelligent rock & roll from America and Britain. Even more than the other Tropicalistas, though, Gil blends his rock and native influences seamlessly, resulting in songs like “Ele Falava Nisso Todo Dia,” which chart an intriguing fusion of Brazilian and British Invasion (before he breaks into Portuguese for the first verse, the intro sounds exactly like a few early Rolling Stones productions). Gil’s occasional backing band, the teenage Tropicalia breakouts known as Os Mutantes, join in on the feel-good Brazilian pop anthem “Domingou.” Enjoyable and never as experimental as his work would soon become, Gilberto Gil 1968 is one of the best Tropicalia albums ever released.

by Richard Skelly, Allmusic.com, also Wikipedia.

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Gilberto Gil-S/T (1968)
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