Erasmo Carlos is a historic figure in Brazilian rock, acknowledged by many as the father of Brazilian style. Extremely important as a composer, mainly because of his creations with longtime partner Roberto Carlos, he has been intensively recorded by many top artists. He also has an extensive solo discography. Heavily influenced by rock & roll, he learned his first chords with Tim Maia in 1957. In the same year, he became a member (together with Roberto Carlos) of Maia's seminal band Os Sputniks, a precursor to Brazilian soul music. The next year, he joined the group the Snacks as a vocalist, again with Roberto Carlos. Until the mid-'60s, he performed on radio and TV shows like Os Brotos Comandam (Rádio Guanabara and TV Continental) and Festival de Brotos (TV Tupi), which became important precursors to the Jovem Guarda movement. From 1965 to 1967, he joined the group Renato e Seus Blue Caps as a vocalist and guitarist. His first composition, "Eu Quero Twist," was recorded by Agnaldo Rayol for Copacabana. His first recording as a singer was in 1962, with "Terror Dos Namorados," written with Roberto Carlos. Soon the duo released "Parei na Contramão," and the two hits consecrated them permanently. "Festa de Arromba" (with Roberto Carlos) was a big hit in 1964. In September 1965, TV Record launched the show Jovem Guarda, directed toward their younger audience. The show would give birth to the eponymous movement that provoked the precocious demise of bossa nova. In Jovem Guarda, Erasmo Carlos was the Tremendão, and shared the hosting with Roberto Carlos and Wanderléa. Many of Roberto and Erasmo's songs became big hits, with "Quero Que Tudo Vá Para o Inferno" becoming the anthem of a whole generation. Carlos' career continued after the end of Jovem Guarda with the recording of many albums and performances; at the same time, his compositions continued to be recorded by many top artists. In 1968, he made his first appearance in film, in Roberto Carlos em Ritmo de Aventura. The same year, he was sued for the corruption of youngsters due to his sensual performances and was prohibited from performing for two years. In the next year, he appeared in Roberto Carlos e o Diamante Cor-de-Rosa and, in 1970, in A 300 km por Hora. In 1972, he was awarded with the Coruja de Ouro award for his performance in the film Os Machões (1971). In 1974, he formed the rock band Companhia Brasileira de Rock with guitarist Liminha, saxophonist Yon, bassist Rubão, pianist Sérgio Kaça, and drummer Dinho. This was followed by a performance in the Hollywood Rock Festival and, in 1985, the historic Rock in Rio Festival in front of 250,000 people. In 1997, he and Roberto Carlos were awarded the Shell prize for the entirety of their works.
Erasmo remained active, playing live, re-recording hits, and participating in and contributing to others. In 2001, at the age of 60, he released Pra falar de amor, a collection of songs by other songwriters. Its single "Mais um Na Multidão," was a duet with Marisa Monte -- a tune she co-wrote with Carlinhos Brown. A year later, a 40th anniversary box was issued titled Mesmo Que Seja Eu. It contained his entire discography between 1971-1988 as well as a wealth of unreleased material. Santa Música appeared in 2004, and marked his return to all-original material. In 2007, Erasmo Carlos Convida II continued his duets with a host of prominent guests including Monte, Milton Nascimento, Los Hermanos, and Lulu Santos. Two years later, his memoir Minha Fama de Mau was published and his album Rock 'n' Roll was released. The recording was nominated for a Grammy and won Brazil's Album of the Year award. Sexo followed in 2011. Not only was the explicitly themed album regarded as provocative, it resonated with critics for its creativity and boldness, and its support tour won many "show of the year" accolades as well. In subsequent years, live albums and compilations dominated his discography. In early 2017, the U.S. label Light in the Attic simultaneously reissued three '70s albums: 1971's Erasmo Carlos E Os Tremendões, Carlos, Erasmo (1972), and Sonhos e Memórias 1941-1972 (1974). ~ Alvaro Neder