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Barao Vermelho portrait Brazilian rock band Barao Vermelho


Barao Vermelho "Barao Vermelho" (Columbia/Som Livre, 1982)
One of Brazil's original "BRock" bands, led by singer Cazuza, who later went on to a successful solo career. These guys were rockers, pure and simple, and while their sound was several years out of date, at least they had their hearts in the right place. There's a slight waft of punkiness to them, but they seem to have had more in common with the countless American and British pre-punk bands that thrashed and thumped in the night while rock wrestled to find its soul in the era that found disco and AOR ascendant. Bands like the Tubes and Head East come to mind, with clear echoes of the Stones and Johnny Thunder in there as well. In the English speaking world, five years earlier, these guys still would have been a B-list band, but they would have done alright... Their appearance in a rock-starved early-'80s Brazil wound up being fairly electrifying. It's easy for folks looking in from the outside to look down on them, but in their defense, I will say that they were energetic and sounded pretty sincere. This is worth checking out, but don't expect it to be incredible, or anything.

Barao Vermelho "Barao Vermelho 2" (Columbia/Som Livre, 1983)
By contrast this album, which brought them their first big hits, sounds much more forced and bland, a more watered-down, calculated, more modern, New Wave-y affair, and much more tedious musically. I suppose this is where Cazuza's reputation as a great lyricist comes into play, and if I ever get around to translating these songs for my lil' old gringo self, I'll letcha know what I think. But as far as the musical end goes, it's pretty tedious and unexciting.

Barao Vermelho "Maior Abandonado" (WEA, 1984)
Not bad, actually. There's plenty of spazoid New Wave pop, but performed at a level that at least places them on a level alongside most of the crappy British and North American synth-pop bands that were crowding the MTV playlists at the time. And bluesier, grungier numbers like "Nao Amo Ninguem" and "Por Que A Gente E Assim?" have a sleazy, Stonesy, New York Dolls-ish feel to them that's a little surprising after you've heard a bunch of their fluffier stuff. It's monotonous, but less amatuerish than a lot of their rock-oriented contemporaries. Not really all that great, but better than the Brazilian BRock average, and worth checking out.

Barao Vermelho "Ao Vivo" (WEA, 1989)
This was the last album released with Cazuza as a member; afterwards the group went on through the 1990s, with several changes in lineup.

Barao Vermelho "Na Calada Da Noite" (WEA, 1990)

Barao Vermelho "Supermercados Da Vida" (WEA, 1992)

Barao Vermelho "Carne Crua" (WEA, 1994)

Barao Vermelho "Album" (WEA, 1996)

Barao Vermelho "Ao Vivo & Remixes" (Warner, 1997)

Barao Vermelho "Puro Extase" (Warner, 1998)

Barao Vermelho "Balada MTV" (Warner, 1999)

Barao Vermelho "Declare Guerra" (Som Livre, 2002)

Barao Vermelho "Barao Vermelho" (Warner, 2004)

Barao Vermelho "MTV Ao Vivo" (Warner, 2005)

Barao Vermelho "MTV Ao Vivo, v.2" (Warner, 2005)

Barao Vermelho "e-Collection" (Warner, 2002)

Barao Vermelho "Perolas" (Som Livre, 2002)

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