Os Mutantes Os Mutantes… The way they were

Os Mutantes: A chronological playlist

Published on April 18th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams

To celebrate the impending release of the new Os Mutantes album Fool Metal Jacket, Rocksucker sifts through their back catalogue and picks out a selection of favourites for the uninitiated to acquaint themselves with, or even for the initiated to squabble about…

“A Minha Menina” (from 1968 LP Os Mutantes)

Written by Jorge Ben, this joyous ditty evidences all the exuberance and lateral thinking that would go on to characterise the band…(oh, and dig the visuals on this presumably fan-made video)…

“Caminhante Noturno” (from 1969 LP Mutantes)

The final track on their second LP, this tangential mini-epic boasts a chorus worthy of The Mamas & The Papas and surrounds it with a string of seemingly disparate motifs, all strung together with astonishing ingenuity…

“Desculpe, Babe” (from 1970 LP A Divina Comédia ou Ando Meio Desligado)

Translating as “Sorry, Baby”, this is just perfect: meticulously executed harmonies that incorporate synchronised tremolo, shimmering guitar à la George Harrison’s “I Need You”, sweet tenderness leading seamlessly into the sheer splendour and unexpected key change of the “glória, glória!” section. The psychedelia may have been reined in a tad by this point, but Mutantes shone every bit as much as a pop group…

“Benvinda” (from 1971 LP Jardim Elétrico)

The way this goes from exquisitely luxurious, Bacharach-esque crooning to brass-assisted harmony pop – and, at the song’s apex, some fantastically unorthodox vocables (“choo noo noo noop noo”?) ascending to heaven on a lysergically soaked golden staircase – well, along with album opener “Top Top”, it makes for one of the most brilliant introductory one-two hits ever committed to record. Jardim Elétrico is arguably Os Mutantes’ finest hour, as in Rocksucker would argue it…

“Balada do Louco” (from 1972 LP Mutantes e Seus Cometas no País do Baurets)

Another with a killer transition between sections and moods, this hits that sweetest of sweet spots between melancholy (“E não é feliz”) and playfulness, all while referencing “Hey Jude” and wigging out on a wibbly synth that would crop up on Supergrass classic “Sun Hits the Sky” decades later…

“Tudo Foi Feito Pelo Sol” (from 1974 LP Tudo Foi Feito Pelo Sol)

On an album comprised largely of proggy instrumentals (well, at least for the first half of it), this splendorous sort of comedown ballad finds Sérgio Dias in fine voice – he had to be, since his brother Arnaldo Baptista and Rita Lee had left by this point…

“Ainda Vou Transar Com Você” (from 1992 LP O A e o Z)

Probably the most accessible track from their also-proggy 1992 comeback album, featuring Arnaldo but not Rita…

“Anagrama” (from 2009 LP Haih Or Amortecedor)

The predecessor to Fool Metal Jack returned to the pop with glorious results, not least this utterly, utterly sublime number featuring the sweet-as-honey tones of Zélia Duncan on lead vocal duty…

Click here to read Rocksucker’s interview with Sérgio Dias of Os Mutantes, or here to read our review of Fool Metal Jack!

Os Mutantes - Fool Metal Jack

Fool Metal Jack will be released on 30th April through Krian Music. Os Mutantes will be touring the US at the end of April and first half of May: click here for dates. For more information, please click here to visit the official Os Mutantes website or here to visit Os Mutantes on Facebook.

Artists:

About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.


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    I love chronological lists… ‘specially ones featuring my favourite group. Great choices.
    A couple of corrections for you: “OAeoZ” was made in 1973 not ’92. The record company passed on it as too uncommercial and so its 1992 release was retrospective. Also, it’s not Zelia Duncan singing on ‘Anagrama’, but Bia Mendes. Duncan did the amazing reunion show in 2006 and toured with Mutantes through 2007 but her replacement, Mendes, is the singer on both the 21st century Mutantes studio albums.

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