A seminal rock band in Brazil, Os Mutantes used their solid musical background to take major pop/rock contributions from the Beatles and American bands and mix everything with deep electronics knowledge, Brazilian music, '60s psychedelia, and irreverent attitude, creating a result that can be discerned in today's Brazilian pop.
Brothers Arnaldo and Sérgio Dias Baptista formed Mutantes with Rita Lee Jones in 1965. The bizarre outfit was backed by competence and inventiveness, such as insecticide cans which were perfect to simulate cymbals -- and were used effectively in recording sessions. It was evident that their path was linked to tropicália -- which had the same ideals proposed by Os Mutantes, in its salad of philosophy, cultural industry, and pop culture. Gilberto Gil was immediately attracted by their anarchic attitude, and invited them to back him and record their single "O Relógio." In 1968, they performed in the album-manifesto Tropicália: Ou Panis et Circensis, with Gil, Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa, and Tom Zé. Soon after, they recorded their first LP (Os Mutantes), an unexpected translation of Sgt. Pepper's to the Brazilian idiom. In 1969, they recorded their second album, also self-titled. Among the band's own hits, they shamelessly included in that album the jingle "Algo Mais," which they had written for Shell Combustibles. The LP A Divina Comédia appeared in 1970, and ^O Jardim Elétrico the next.
Though Rita departed from the group not long after, the duo continued to play together, and advanced a progressive rock direction with A E o Z. In 1975, Os Mutantes recorded Tudo Foi Feito Pelo Sol. In the '90s, David Byrne began promoting their old recordings, which provoked a revival movement with plenty of reissuing of their albums. ~ Alvaro Neder