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I should really have put these up sooner. One of my favorite bands of all time and all are must listens. -Ian!

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, 1970s 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 or Amortecedor, followed one year later.

-John Bush,




  1. Dammit you're uploading cool music faster than I can listen!I can't keep up with this insane pace.Got any Killing Joke?

  2. Mutantes (1969) requires a password. Could you tell us or re-up? I haven't heard that one. Anyway, really enjoying your blog. (To Editor B: One way to keep up is to not check any other music blogs, possibly?)

  3. I wish I could check right now, but if it really requires a password it was an accident. Can you try another rar program and let me know for sure?

  4. Ian, I re-unrar'd via the command line and saw the problem is actually with the CRC of the first track ('failed'). I re-dl'd (for crazies sake), retried and got the same result. So, I'm pretty sure that's what is wrong.

  5. Well turds, let me get it re-upped when I get home.It's funny, the reason I switched to rars is because I kept making zips with errors and now the same thing is happening.

  6. Thanks Ian :)About the errors, I know, wtf, right? Do you find you're getting less with rars? I run an incredibly small virtual label and of the handful (literally) of things we've put out I've gotten some very weird and mysterious rar errors too. Maybe tar or gzip is better, I'm not sure – though I do know they are less known.

  7. Huh. It worked for me. I'm using UnRarX for Mac.

  8. Oh wait, the first track is missing!


  10. If that doesn't work I give up.

  11. Thank you! That worked perfectly. YAY!!!!

    • Sra. Tuppence Beresford
    • Posted August 21, 2009 at 4:20 pm
    • Permalink
    • Reply

    Hi!I must say once again I'm a fan of your blog, and also that I'm impressed with so many Brazilian music featured here… Really hard to find someone outside this country that actually knows about our music….Unless you're Brazilian! Oh my, are you?!? :DCheers from… Brasil.Marianna

  12. so great that you've posted these. i've been on a major tropicalia kick lately, particularly gilberto gil.

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