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A progressive rock band formed in the early '70s in Rio de Janeiro by a core of musicians from the Minas Gerais state, the Som Imaginário developed an influential career and also backed artists like Milton Nascimento, Elis Regina, Gal Costa, Fafá de Belém, Sueli Costa, Carlinhos Vergueiro, and Jards Macalé in live performances and recordings. The group was formed by Wagner Tiso (keyboards), Zé Rodrix (organ/percussion/voice/flutes), Robertinho Silva (drums), Tavito (12-string guitar), Luís Alves (bass), and Laudir de Oliveira (percussion), around which Toninho Horta (guitars) and Nivaldo Ornelas (saxes) eventually performed. Their biggest hits were "Feira Moderna" (Fernando Brant/Beto Guedes), "Hey Man" (Zé Rodrix/Tavito), "Cenouras" (Fredera), and "Nova Estrela" (Wagner Tiso).
The group was formed to back up Milton Nascimento in his show Milton Nascimento, Ah! E O Som Imaginário, in 1970, at the Opinião theater (Rio de Janeiro). Soon afterward, Laudir left the group (he would work with Chicago), having been replaced by Naná Vasconcellos, who also left the group in the same year, while Fredera (guitar) joined it. In that same year, the group recorded its first LP, Som Imaginário, and participated in Nascimento's Milton. In 1971, the Som Imaginário did the film Nova Estrela, already without Rodrix. With Fredera, Alves, and Silva having left the group, Novelli (bass) and Paulo Braga (drums) were admitted. The third album, Matança do Porco (1973), had as its title track a Wagner Tiso composition that had been the theme of the Rui Guerra film Os Deuses e os Mortos (1970), and the album had as highlights "Armina" and "Nova Estrela," both by Tiso.