Os Mutantes Singer Bia Mendes Selects Her Top 5 Favorite Brazilian Albums

This is the third edition of our Brazilian Top 5 feature. Each week Cultural Cannibals will ask a different artist or musician to select their 5 favorite Brazilian albums. This week we spoke with Os Mutantes singer Bia Mendes, check out her list posted below.

I would hope São Paulo’s Os Mutantes need no introduction. Their revolutionary mix of Beatle-esque melodies and Brazilian rhythms made them influential players in the Tropicalia movement of the late 60’s. Initially the group had little impact outside of Brazil, but that all changed in the 90’s when artists like Beck, Kurt Cobain and David Byrne began to champion the band. The Mutantes’ reputation is now firmly set in the pantheon of influential cult rock icons. Today artists like Of Montreal, Flaming Lips and Davendra Banhart cite the band as an inspiration.

Bia Mendes joined Os Mutantes in 2008, and has contributed to making the current version of the band the strongest since Rita Lee split in 1972. It’s not an easy task stepping into the role of the legendary Rita Lee, but Bia had plenty of training. Mendes toured as a backup singer for Lee throughout the 90’s. Mendes voice is featured heavily on Haih or Barauna the first new Mutantes recording in over 30 years and a return to the experimental, kaleidoscopic pop of the group’s classic early work. Definitely recommended!

Bia Mendes – Top 5:

1. Elis Regina and Atonio Carlos Jobim – Elis & Tom 1974 Phillips

2. Chico Buarque – Chico Buarque – 1978 Phillips

3. Rita Lee – Rita Lee – 1979 Som Livre
4. Gilberto Gil – Realce – 1979 Warner Brasil
5. Os Mutantes – Tecnicolor – 2000 (recorded 1970) Universal

Check out Cultural Cannibals Tropicalia T-shirt featuring Os Mutantes, available for sale here.

– Kyle Long

classic Mutantes:

Mutantes circa 1969:

Mutantes circa 2009:

with Gilberto Gil:

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