Birthed from Bossa Nova, Tropicalia was a politically driven music movement against a tyrannical military government in Brazil.
Of all of our program for Hispanic Heritage Month 2018, this will be the shortest, but it may be the most important one to remember in a historical context.
Tropicalia was a movement in the arts culture in Brazil, much like psychedelic rock was in the United States. Both were dramatic, bold statements against an oppressive government. In Brazil, Tropicalia encompassed theatre, poetry and music, with the latter being the most wide-spread of the genre’s influence. Because of the movements anti-fascist leanings, the artists involved in it were often targets of government censorship.
In 1968, all of the movements main artist released an album entitled Tropicalia ou Panis et Circencis, loosely translated from Latin as “Bread and Circuses”, and is considered the manifesto of the Tropicalia movement, and the second most important album in Brazilian music history, according to the editors of Rolling Stone magazine there.
The artists involved in various writing, performing and arranging duties were Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Tom Zé, Os Mutantes (Arnaldo Baptista, Rita Lee and Sérgio Dias), Gal Costa, Rogerio Duprat, Nana Leao and Torquato Neto. All would work on or release seminal albums in the Tropicalia movement individually. Tropicalia encompassed not just Bossa Nova, but Western influences as well, notably psychedelica.
The movement and its musicians were often met with hostility during live performances, and in February of 1969, Gil and Veloso were arrested by the authorities for “anti-government propaganda”. They were released two months later, and fled to London in exile.
Today, these artists and their music are considered cornerstones of all modern Brazilian culture and a symbol of resistance during a truly dark time during its history.
Tropicalia ou Panis et Circencis
- Miserere nóbis, Gilberto Gil
- Coração materno, Caetano Veloso
- Panis et circencis, Os Mutantes
- Lindonéia, Nana Leao
- Parque Industrial, Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa and Os Mutantes
- Geléia geral, Gilberto Gil
- Baby, Gal Costa and Caetano Veloso
- Três caravelas (Las Tres Carabelas), Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil
- Enquanto seu lobo não vem, Caetano Veloso
- Mamãe, coragem, Gal Costa
- Bat macumba, Gilberto Gil
- Hino do Senhor do Bonfim, Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa and Os Mutantes
Love to you all.
Ben “Bear” Brown Jr., owner
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