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Cidade Negra portrait Cidade Negra are one of Brazil's most popular reggae bands, with a long career rooted in the early 1980s... The band's original lead singer, Ras Bernardo, was replaced by Toni Garrido in 1992. Here's a quick look at the group's work...


Cidade Negra "Lute Para Viver" (Sony, 1991)
The first album by the soul-reggae band Cidade Negra, who hail from the Baixada Fluminense region, in the state of Rio De Janeiro...

Cidade Negra "Negro No Poder" (Sony-Epic, 1992)
(Produced by Nelson Meirelles)

Many fans rate this as Cidade Negra's best album... It was the last recorded with the original lead singer, Ras Bernardo, and features a more straightforward, traditional reggae sound (lover's reggae with dancehall and dub in the mix as well...) This is fairly unique for the absence of indigenous Brazilian influences, although it does include a reggaed-up cover version of Jorge Ben's "Zumbi" and rocker Raul Seixas' "Mosca Na Sopa" ("Fly In The Soup"). It's a pretty solid set, and though it has pop overtones, it's far less poppy than the albums that would follow. Worth checking out!

Cidade Negra "O Ere" (Epic, 1996)
Good-natured, Ziggy Marley-esque samba-reggae. This is a little too slick and mainstream to hold my attention the whole album through, but it's certainly not unpleasant. Includes a cover version of Jorge Ben's "Negro e Lindo," though, honestly, it sounds a lot like all the other tunes on here.

Cidade Negra "Sobre Todas As Forcas" (Epic, 1998)
(Produced by Liminha)

More poppy, Brazillified reggae from Toni Garrido and his crew. This is pleasant, slick pop material, produced by Liminha with an ear to unchallenging melody and rhythms galore. Shabba Ranks guests on one track, and early on the album features a Portuguese-language cover of Jimmy Cliff's "I Shot The Sheriff," just so we all know that these fellas have their bases covered. This doesn't totally blow me away, but it's nice & anyone interested in the internationalization of reggae will want to check it out.

Cidade Negra "Quanto Mais Curtido Melhor" (Sony-Epic, 1998)

Cidade Negra "Enquanto O Mundo Gira" (Sony-Epic, 2000)

Cidade Negra "Acustico MTV" (Sony-Epic, 2002)

Cidade Negra "Perto De Deus" (Sony-BMG, 2004)

Cidade Negra "Direto -- Ao Vivo: 2006" (Sony-BMG, 2006)


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