Caetano Veloso is a Bahian poet and composer who was born in
1942 in a small town in the interior of Bahia with a picturesque name:
Santo Amaro da Purificação. There he had his first dreams
as a poor child of a modest family with lots of children. In a small town,
far away from civilization, when a child is born, his parents always hope
that the child will choose a profession, but since chilhood, Caetano wants
to be an artist. Anyhow, soon after Caetano's birth, the family moves to
Salvador, and there, little Caetano falls in love with music. Knowing that
his fellow Bahian Dorival Caymmi is settling down to Rio de Janeiro, he
feels like studying the guitar and wait for the opportunity to go to Rio
too; he spends his free time composing poetry and music. However, things
happen sooner than he thought... In 1965, in Rio de Janeiro, singer
Nara Leão is the major star in a musical play called Opinion.
This play is sold out during several months with unprecedented success.
However, due to previous commitments throughout the country, Nara Leão
is forced to leave the show, and without her partecipation, the show would
have to close down, unless a substitute of equivalent stature is found.
The hit song of the show is "Carcará" (Hawk) by João do Vale.
Suddenly Nara herself remembers a unique singer she had heard in Bahia
named Bethania and reccomended her for the part. When Bethania comes to
Rio, her brother Caetano Veloso also sprouts wings and does the same, bringing
his songs and dreams as only baggage. Thanks to his sister's voice, he
records his first songs, and inevitable first hits.
Festival time is at a Climax in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo,
between 1965 and 1969.
Still in 1965, Caetano presents his composition "Boa Palavra" to the
Popular Music Festival organized by TV Excelsior.
In 1966 he wins the prize of Best Lyricist with the composition
"Um Dia" at the TV-Record Festival. Soon after, he signs his first contract
with the Philips label, together with Gal Costa with whom he records their
first album, Domingo of which the main title is "Coração
Vagabundo", dedicated to the girl who would soon be his wife, Dede.
1967. Through the TV program "Esta Noite Se Improvisa", he is
getting more and more popular and his song presented to the 3rd Music Festival
of TV-Record, "Alegria", is awarded 4th prize, for the first time accompained
by electric guitars. From one day to the other he becomes a national star,
gets married to Dede (a very original hippie wedding ceremony, the very
first to be realized in Brazil), and moves to São Paulo.
1968. There, guided by his manager Guilherme Araujo, Caetano,
Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa and Tom
Zé a new appearance. They now wear hippie clothes, long hair,
and create a musical movement called "Tropicalia". He records his first
individual LP on Philips, accompained by the Mutantes group and by Roberto
Carlos' combo, RC-7. He sings a lot on television and is simultaneously
applauded and woowed at the International Song Festival with his controverted
- and meaningful - composition "É Proibido Proibir" - (It is forbidden
to forbid). Then, with Gilberto Gil, he writes "Divino Maravilhoso", awarded
3rd prize at the TV-Record Festival in the interpretation of Gal Costa.
1969. For political reasons, he has to leave the country. Before
going to London, Caetano and Gilberto Gil perform at the Castro Alves Theater
in Salvador and the show is recorded live, Barra 69. Then he records
2nd individual LP.
From London, Caetano sends his composition to Elis Regina ("Nao Tenha
Medo"), to Gal Costa ("London London", and "Voce Nao Entende Nada"), to
Erasmo Carlos ("De Noite Na Cama"), to Roberto Carlos ("Dois e Dois").
He records a single himself, which becomes a very big hit ("Irene Re")
and then he records his first album in English, partecipates at the show
of Sergio Mendes, and performs in several European cities.
In 1971, back in Brazil to visit his parents, he sings "Coração
Vagabundo" in a program at TV Globo and starts rehearsing with his own
combo headed by Macalé.
Early 1972, Caetano comes definitely back to Brazil, performs
in Rio and São Paulo, records Transa album, directs his sister
Bethania in her new Lp Drama - Anjo Exterminado, containing several
works of his, and performs throughout Brazil in Universities. In November
1971, he performs in Salvador with Chico Buarque and that show, too, is
recorded live Caetano E Chico Ao Vivo Na Bahia. End of November,
his wife give birth to their first son, Moreno.
July 1975. Caetano records on Philips two albums: Joia
and Qualquer Coisa, containing several compositions of the Beatles.
He then premieres at the João Caetano Theater a show containing
songs of both albums.
Mid 1976, Caetano Veloso and his Bahian friends, Gilberto Gil
and Gal Costa, as well as his sister Maria Bethania (the so-called grupo
Bahiano), perform a unique and exuberant show Doces Barbaros, which
they tour all over Brazil. An album is recorded, as usual, and this time
also a documentary film.
Early 1977, Caetano is invited to go to the Negro Festival of
Art and Culture, in Lagos, Nigeria. In contact with the local culture,
he discovers the pleasure of dance and this will influence his next work:
Bicho. As Caetano says, "the record contains sweet melodies on
a hot rhythm". The same characteristics as his show, with the Banda
Black Rio, called Maria Fumaca,
Bicho Baile Show, which he
performs in Rio and in São Paulo. Between one musical creation and
others, he writes a book, Alegria, Alegria, gathering articles,
poems, interviews, speeches, remembrances, opinions, in a period of 11
years, from 1965 to 1976. Year after year, Caetano composes and records
one or two songs for each Carnival: "Atras Do Trio Eletrico", "Deixa Sangrar",
"Frevo Novo", "Deus e Diabo", "Cara A Cara"...
In 1978, an Anthology is released gathering his best. All over
Brazil, boys and girls sing these tunes during Carnival time. Same year,
he performs for the first time alone with Maria Bethania. The show meant
to be a small one to be presented only in Salvador, tours all great cities
in Brazil and is recorded live in Salvador: Caetano & Bethania.
It is defined by the critics as the encounter of creativity, talent, hard
work and, above all, feelings. One month before, Caetano releases his album
as usual, his work is at the same time poetic and polemic. His song on
São Paulo, "Sampa", is one of the most impressive. He pays a tribute
to the Great City. The show becomes a record, a best-selling record. Caetano
Veloso, these last years, performs in France at the Olympia Theater and
is highly praised by public as well as critics. He also performs in Argentina
where he becomes a star from one day to another. His records are being
sold in Europe, Latin America, North America, without speaking of Israel
1979. Release of Cinema Transcendental. The sleeve shows
Caetano Veloso seen from the back, with his now famous curly hair, lying
on the sand and watching the sea and sky of Bahia. The repertoire is varied:
sweet melodies, ballads, boleros and baiao. Above all in this record he
is deeply influenced by his Bahian origin. In the album, several songs
become individual hits: "Lua De São Jorge", "Beleza Pura", "Menino
Do Rio". As usual the show containing the songs tours the main cities of
1980. Caetano does not release any LP solo, but he partecipates
in a production of João Gilberto / Gilberto Gil / Maria Bethania,
which Lp record called Brasil is released successfully all over
the world. In Brazil this album is considered anthological and historical.
In 1981, he releases Outras Palavras. Although critics
make restrictions, considering the record a little eclectic, public transform
various songs in hits and for the first time in Caetano Veloso's career
a Gold Record is awarded to him, as well as Trophee Vinicius de Moraes/1982,
in the category of Best Singer.
Title "Queixa" is in the hit parade during several weeks, and the record
is released outside of Brazil, as well. Here is the opinion of a famous
Brazilian journalist, Luiz Carlos Maciel, on Caetano Veloso: "Caetano
can be compared to John Lennon and Bob Dylan in what they represented for
1983 is the most international year of Caetano Veloso's career.
1st invitation: interview Mick Jagger in New York inauguration TV program
"International Connection" for the recently founded Brazilian TV Manchete.
Upon his return, Caetano finishes the recording of Lp Uns, officially
released at Canecão, Rio, in a short season in June. Then Caetano
goes to Europe and Israel. He performs at Paris Olympia and in Israel he
partecipates in a caravan of various Brazilian artists (such as Elba Ramalho
and Ney Matogrosso). After Israel, together with João Bosco and
Ney Matogrosso they perform an unforgettable Brazilian Night at the Montreux
Jazz Festival. From Switzerland, Caetano crosses the Atlantic to perform
for the 1st time in the US: the 3 performances at Public Theater in New
York are sold out in advance and Robert Palmer of the New York Times praises
him highly in his July 20 colum "Life is Pop". "Veloso brings newest
beat from Brazil", says he. "Veloso a winner". (Daily News)
Back in Brazil, after celebrating his 41st birthday, Caetano goes back
to Europe where with Gal Costa, Gilberto Gil, João Gilberto and
other Bahian artists, he performs at the Roman Summer Festival "Bahia De
Todos Os Sambas". "Bahia has always been extremely meaningful in Brazilian
Cultural and Artistic Fields..." say the promoters.
Again in Rio, at public's request, show Uns starts another short
season at Canecão. In the meantime, Caetano is awarded his 3rd Golden
record for LP Uns. From this LP, title "Voce e' Linda" is the latest
hit in all Brazilian radio stations. Title "Eclipse Oculto" is also very
popular. A first Brazilian "Compact disc" (laser disc) is released in Germany
for worldwide distribution, containing Caetano's hit song "Queixa".
1984. With his new band, "Banda Nova", Caetano premieres at
São Paulo's "Palace", his most recent show Velo. It is considered
by critics as Caetano's best work in the last few years. Velo presents
new songs which are almost a public statement about his political and existencial
beliefs. Rio de Janeiro's opening night at Canecão arises the same
enthusiasm from public and critics. Recording of Lp Velo - started
in August - was interrupted for a few weeks when Caetano toured North and
Northeast Brazil, and then Buenos and Rosario, Argentina. The record, released
in November, gathering the most successful songs of the show, immediately
became a best seller.
1985. After two performances in São Paulo city, Caetano
flew to Europe: three nights at the Coliseu in Lisbon (6.000 people per
show) and one in Madrid, together with Maria Bethania, when they sang for
8.000 people. In June a TV special, recorded live at the Castro Alves Theatre
in Salvador, was aired all through Brazil. Simultaneously, Caetano put
the final touch to two projects: participating as composer and singer in
the musical score of a TV series to be aired by Globo TV network "Tenda
dos Milagres", and production of Jorge Mautner's new LP, to be released
on label Nova Republica, distributed by Poligram. August/September '85:
Tours in the South of Brazil and São Paulo state are forecast. November
'85: Caetano performs at the Golden Room of Copacabana Palace Hotel in
the Luz do Solo project accompained only by his guitar.
In the beginning of '86 he presents the Luz Do Solo's Show
in São Paulo and Salvador. Due to its huge success, Caetano comes
back to Rio and performs for a month in the João Caetano Theatre.
The show turns into the record Totalmente Demais, that gives the
artist, in his 20 years career, his first Platinum record. In October,
Caetano performs at Praça da Apoteose to an audience of 60 thousand
people. Still in 1986 he makes his debut as film director and his movie
Cinema Falado, like everything that he does, brings up a lot of
discussion, when shown at the "Fest-Rio" cinema Festival in November.
In February '87 he takes his film to the Rotterdam's Film Festival.
After a tour in Spain, Portugal and New York in April '87, Caetano
works at the project of his 24th Lp. In June he records it to be released
in September. Caetano is the title of the album and before it leaves
Polygram's factory, it sells more than 100.000 copies (Golden Record).
In October he started his Brazilian tour by staying a month at the Palace
(SP) and in November he came to Scala (Rio) where he performed daily for
an overloaded audience. With several invitations to perform abroad, Caetano
prepared his agenda for 1988.
During the year of 1988, Caetano toured Brazil presenting his
show Caetano. He also performed in New York where, in November,
he started recording his new album, produced by duo Ambitious Lovers.
In March, 1989, Caetano returned to New York to finalize the
record, which he decided to call Estrangeiro (Foreigner).
This is Caetano first album to be released abroad (excluding compilations),
and it has striking international flavour, being at the same time an unmistakable
picture of Brazilian musical culture.
Biography courtesy of Saudades
1967 Domingo (with Gal Costa)
1969 Caetano Veloso
1970 Caetano Veloso
1971 Caetano Veloso
1972 Caetano Veloso e Chico Juntos Ao Vivo
1975 A Arte de Caetano Veloso
1975 Qualquer Coisa
1976 Doces Barbaros (Caetano, Gal Costa, Gilberto Gil e Maria Bethania)
1977 Muitos Carnavais
1978 Maria Bethania & Caetano Veloso
1979 Cinema Transcendental
1981 Outras Palavras *
1981 O Avarandado do Amanhecer (4-Lp bos)
1982 Cores Nomes *
1983 Uns *
1983 O Prestigio de Caetano Veloso
1983 A Arte Maior de Caetano Veloso
1983 Brazil Night Montreaux '83
1984 Velo *
1986 Totalmente Demais * **
1987 Caetano *
* Golden Record
** Platinum Record