Category Archives: Brazil

Eduardo Araújo

Eduardo Araújo had an early career in 1961 and 1962 as a rock ‘n roller, with three singles and an EP on Philips. Two of the singles were released on 78 rpm discs, as late as March 1962!

When the Philips contract ran out he returned to his home in Minas Gerais for a few years until signing with Odeon in time to hit with the Jovem Guarda pop movement. Eduardo topped the charts with his very first single on Odeon, the upbeat but trite “O Bom”, from March, 1966. It was written by Carlos Imperial, a producer and presenter of the TV show O Clube do Rock.

His band on that single, Os Fevers, also shows up on some of the records of another Imperial protégé, Erasmo Carlos, including “Deixa de Banca”, a version of Nino Ferrar’s “Les Cornichons” with Portuguese lyrics by Araújo. Carlos’ version was released as a single in June, 1966. Araújo’s the following month on an EP with “O Bom”.

Araújo and Imperial co-wrote over a dozen songs in the next year. His second single “Goiabão” is one of his very best, hooking you with a funky opening beat and Eduardo’s “unh”s, every tossed-off phrase answered by horns and a chorus that keeps the rhythm exciting.

Where did that vocal style come from? The emphasis on the gritty and guttural may derive from listening to American soul recordings, but there’s also a distinctly Brazilian lyrical agility and grace, not to mention a sense of humor that borders on camp or hysteria. I can’t think of any US singer that quite matches it.

“Vem Quente Que Eu Estou Fervendo” (this could be translated as “It’s So Hot I’m Boiling”) was one of the greatest Araújo and Imperial collaborations. The first released version was (as far as I can tell) by Erasmo Carlos and his band Os Tremandões, for their January, 1967 LP on RGE, O Tremandão, soon followed by Araújo’s version in March on his first LP, O Bom.

Both artists would release the song as the A-side of singles in April. I have to give the edge to Erasmo Carlos, as his version sounds so unhinged. I’ve also heard a shorter version credited to just Os Tremandões, though Erasmo is definitely singing on that one too. Apparently it comes from Os Tremandões own LP on the Palladium label. Carlos also sang a Spanish version of the song, “Estoy Hirviendo”.

(Does anyone have good scans of Araújo’s single versions of “Goiabão” and “Vem Quente Que Eu Estou Fervendo” – or the Palladium LP by Os Tremandões?)

By late 1967 Araújo had found a new collaborator, Chil Deberto, who I can’t find much info about. In November 1968 Araújo released an EP featuring a surprising cover – Lulu’s 1967 single “Love Loves to Love, Love” with new lyrics from Deberto, titled “Amor Amor Amor”. Araújo and Deberto give the song a completely different feel, keeping the tough funkiness of the verses without Lulu’s rasp, while giving the chorus a dreamy, hallucinogenic quality.

Of the other songs on the EP, “Ela Era O Meu Amor” has a hard-driving soul sound, while “Se Alguem Fez Voce Me Esquecer” begins with a heavy dose of distorted guitar and finds a good groove on the verses then sacrifices that to a conventional chorus. “Com Muito Amore Carinho” shows the smoother pop side of Araújo’s singing.

None of these four songs were picked for single release or used as album tracks. Araújo’s next project, the 1969 LP A Onda é Boogaloo took his r&b leanings further, notably with a version of Arthur Conley’s “Funky Street” titled “Rua Maluca”.

Note: my understanding of Jovem Guarda is limited. The sources for this article are mainly the excellent discographies listed on jovemguarda.com.br/, and credits on what labels I could find. Any further background or info would be appreciated. Some biographical info on Araújo from Túnel do Tempo.

Thanks to Bossy Boots for playing “Amor Amor Amor” at one of our Magnetic Field nights a few years back – it took me this long to track down a copy!

Special thanks to Borja for the scan of the Erasmo Carlos single.




Erasmo Carlos’ version of “Eu Estou Fervendo”


Lulu’s single adapted by Araújo as “Amor Amor Amor”

Os Baobás

The best track I’ve heard from Os Baobás is undoubtedly “Down Down”, an original by guitarist Ricardo Contins. It was the b-side of their second single, a cover of “Happy Together”.

Another fine track by them is their first 45, “Bye Bye My Darling”. The band was named by Ronnie Von, who is also credited with naming Os Mutantes.

Garage Hangover’s Brazilian correspondent Ayrton Mugnaini Jr. wrote this history of the band for the Arquivo do Rock Brasleiro:

Os Baobás formed in 1966 in São Paulo, SP, by Ricardo Contins (rhythm guitar), Jorge Pagura (drums), Carlos (bass), Renato (lead guitar) and Arquimedes (percussion), first under The Rubber Souls name, then adopting the name Baobás (from “baobab”, an African tree whose trunk is the thickest in the world).

The group distinguished themselves because of his repertoire, almost entirely made of USA and UK pop rock covers, but not the most obvious songs, by such artists as The Kinks, Love and Turtles, whose originals had not been released in Brazil at the time (or ever!).

They participated in the first Jovem Guarda festival in April 1966, playing “Pintada de Preto”, their own version of the Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black”. Backed Ronnie Von and Caetano Veloso on TV and stage all over Brazil. In 1968, with singer Raí (not the same artist who recorded a LP named A Máquina in 1971), they participated in the Festival Universitário, on TV Tupi, with the song “O Tigre” (not the homonymous rock song played by Os Mutantes in the As Amorosas movie), which got second prize (after “Que Bacana” by Suely & Os Kantikus).

Os Baobás released four singles and one LP, all for the Rozenblit record company. Other members were guitar players Raphael Villardi (ex-O’Seis and Os Tremendões) and Tuca (ex-Lunáticos, then Beatniks, Galaxies, Watt’s 69 and Sunday – and who is sometimes confused with the female singer-songwriter-guitarist of the same alias who later relocated to France and wrote & recorded with Françoise Hardy), Nescau, Tico Terpins (later of Joelho de Porco) and Liminha (later of Os Mutantes and who can be seen on the cover of the single of “Light My Fire”, their cover of the Doors song, released in Brazil ahead of the original).

Thanks to Ayrton for the history, and to Borja for playing this track for me when I was in Valencia.

Dirceu

The late, great Dirceu Glaeser was a singer, songwriter and radio presenter from the city of Curitiba.

This little concise (one-and-a-half minute long) gem, “Pura Asneira” (“sheer rubbish”), was co-written with Antonio Aguilar, one of the most important record producers, managers and radio & TV hosts in the history of Brazilian rock (oh for Elvis to have met someone like him instead of Tom Parker). The record (credited simply as by Dirceu) was released on the Rozenblit label in 1967.

So far I have not yet discovered who played on the record, but special mention goes for the guitar solo (while most 1960s guitar players followed the Jimmy Reed and Chuck Berry leads – no pun intended -, some, like the one on this recording, went for the James Burton school of virtuosity, like Tony Hicks, Dave Davies and Jimmy Page).

Altafini com We Four

Singer-songwriter Celso Altafini is very obscure. Search as I may, I have unearthed thus far only one indie single, with accompaniment by a group called We Four.

This song, “Eu Lutarei Pela Paz” (“I Shall Fight For Peace”), written by Altafini, is nothing much by itself, but a fuzz (and I mean fuzz!) guitar elevates matters.

The Sparks

Today I introduce a new contributor, Ayrton Mugnaini Jr., with some fascinating Brazilian artists unknown to me previously. Ayrton’s blog (in Portuguese) is www.ayrtonmugnainijr.blogspot.com.

The Sparks were formed in São Paulo in 1964 and are still active today, albeit with only one member from original lineup, drummer Edison Della Monica. Their recording history is regrettably scant: less than ten records between singles, albums and CDs. They had disbanded in 1972, reuniting in 1989, under a new name, Raio-X (“X-Ray”), recording an LP of Shadows-styled instrumental rock; in 2000 they reverted to the name Sparks for good.

This track, “Ilusão” (“Illusion”), is a group-penned composition from a 1968 untitled EP (on the medium-sized Beverly label, presently owned by EMI).

The Pop’s

The Pop’s are one of the best and most underrated Brazilian pop-rock groups from the 1960s. Like Renato e Seus Blue Caps, The Sunshines and The Fevers, they are from our fun-in-the-sun postcard land, Rio de Janeiro; but, unlike them, they didn’t rely much on covers of current hits or their own material, being best remembered for their unlikely but very good rock versions of Carnaval evergreens and Christmas, birthday and suchlike songs, as well as having been purveyors of the samba-rock fusions backing the late, great singer-songwriter Oswaldo Nunes or on their own. But their least remembered albums are the ones on which they ventured into their own songwriting.

They formed late 1964 with Julio Cesar “J.C.” (lead guitar), Pippo (rhythm guitar) and brothers Silvio Jose Parada (bass) and José Henrique Parada (drums). They did not chose the name The Pop’s inspired by “pop music”, but rather from “popcorn”, when someone commented they were so full of energy they kept jumping around while playing. When the Brazilian ye-ye wave hit full stride in 1965-6, The Pop’s started appearing on TV programs and were immediately contacted by no less than nine record companies simultaneously, and they decided to sign to the first one who called, and it was the medium-sized Equipe (by chance favoured over RCA, CBS and other biggies!)

Around 1968 their line-up started changing; former members started spinoff groups like Parada 5 (led by drummer José Henrique Parada) and Os Populares (led by J. C. and acknowledging The Pop’s meant “pop music” too); the group became somewhat of a revolving door around guitarist Pippo. They deserve a bigger feture than this, but other members of renown include guitarist Euclides (from Os Santos and Luziinho e Seus Dinamites), drummer Zezinho and keyboard player Neguinho. By 1973 even Pippo had left – but in the early 2000s the original line-up os Pippo, J.C. and the Parada brothers reformed – and decent official reissues of their first albums are due late in the year.

I decided to include here three works from their authoral period plus one samba-rock gem. From a 1968 single we have “Mina Malu” (“Malu The Gal”), written by Pippo and Morais; the song was also included in their Rio Amigo album from 1971, from which we can hear two further tracks, the instrumental “O Apocalipse” (“The Apokalypsis”, by Pippo and Cerdeira; imagine “20000 Light Years From Home” on the Ventures In Space album) and folk-rockish “Só Minha” (“Only Mine”, by Pippo and Deofranci). And “O Que É Isso, Menina?” (literally “What’s That, Girl?”, in the sense of “Come Now, Girl” or “Do Me A Favour, Girl”), the samba-rock number, is a group composition from around 1968.

Ayrton Mugnaini Jr.

www.ayrtonmugnainijr.blogspot.com

Editor’s note, April 2010: I just heard the Pops’ single “Som Imaginario de Jimmi Hendrix”, on Equipe CS-580-B. It’s a cool mix of the James Gang’s “Funk #49” with the Meters’ “Cissy Strut” and some Hendrix type riffs. I don’t know if this was the flip of a well known single or just a promotional-only release. Hear it on Joel Stones’ new compilation Brazilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas.