Cateano Veloso – Cateano Veloso (1968)

Album no. 129/1001

We’re taking a trip back to Brazil! This time with the tropicalia virtuoso Cateano Veloso.

Unsurprisingly, Cateno did have some involvement with our other Brazillian mates, Os Mutantes – and wrote one of their more well-known tunes ‘Panis et Circenses’. Everyone is friends in Brazil.

Despite sounding relatively tame nowadays, back in 1968 the Brazilian authorities thought Cateano was a bit of a wild-child and a threat to the very fabric of society. They consequently arrested him in 1969 and he was exiled for 2 years. That’s what you get for combining the keyboard and bongos back in the 60s.

Have you listened to this album before?

CL: No. What is this genre tropicalia/tropicalismo? It sounds made up.

NK: My mates Os Mutantes were tropicalismo I think? However I have never heard of Cateano. I don’t even know if this is a band or a person.

CL: I just looked it up. Tropicalismo or ‘tropicalia’ was a Brazilian musical movement that was basically a combination of popular, avant garde and traditional Brazilian culture. Well. That clears everything up, thanks.

Standout track

CL: Just when I thought we’d left this sort of thing behind, it creeps back up and takes me by surprise – and not in a good way.

NK: ‘Alegria, Alegria’ is pretty good! Some nice melodies, some fun guitar. I found the drums on this album a bit samba-y, to be honest (maybe it’s not the drums, but the rhythms?). Hard to pick another winner.

CL: I found this really hard to get into. I think the only one I really can remember is ‘Superbacana’. It’s basically old mate Cateano just saying words like ‘Copa Capana’ and ‘Superbacana’ over and over again. It’s not super-banana which is what I thought first time I read it.

When would be the best time to listen to this?

CL: See, by the genre ‘tropicalismo’ I imagine a lot more kettle drum, probably more of a Caribbean sound. This is not that. It does have a traditional vibe to it – it doesn’t sound like it’s from 1968. It seems like everywhere outside of America and the UK was really doing everything in a vacuum back then.

NK: I don’t know. I probably wouldn’t recommend this if I’m completely honest. Give ‘Alegria, Alegria’ a go, and if you REALLY like that… listen to Os Mutantes instead.

Why has this album been included on the list?

CL: I suppose to appreciate this tropicalismo movement – but to be honest, I think unless you’re from Brazil, it’s impact is sort of lost. I don’t know. A lot of the songs sound like they could also be in The Sims.

NK: Old mate Caetano wrote Penis at the Circus, my favourite track off Os Mutantes! Alas, that’s better than anything here. I really liked Os Mutantes, but I couldn’t get into this.

Will you be listening again?  

CL: Nah, it’s not for me. I tried, but I just can’t get into it.

NK: No, sorry Caetano. I MIGHT put on ‘Alegria, Alegria’, but I wouldn’t count on it.


CL: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

NK: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

Listen to Cateano Veloso on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.

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