What’s in a name? When it concerns the true pioneers of Brazilian psychedelic rock, the answer is just about everything. Os Mutantes are much more, in fact, than “the mutants” of São Paulo's late ’60s Tropicália scene; since their founding in 1966 by brothers Arnaldo Baptista and Sérgio Dias with singer Rita Lee, they’ve pursued evolution, revolution, musical activism and extreme experimentation at every bend in the road. They’ve also weathered lineup changes, near-death tragedy, break-ups, years of silence, bumpy reunions and tiring but triumphant world tours, often fueled (in the early days, to be sure) by all manner of hallucinogens. And these are just the broad strokes.
Even if the band had never made another album—and they almost didn’t—after 1974’s prog-rock obscurity Tudo Foi Feito Pelo Sol (“Everything Was Made by the Sun”), there’s little doubt that the likes of Kurt Cobain, David Byrne, Beck, Devendra Banhart, the Flaming Lips and ma...[more]