14 Songs, 53 Minutes

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About Blitz

With a formula based on theatrical performances and sketches, cartoon humor, beauty, and pop lightness, the Blitz successfully conjured the evolution which, since the '50s, adapted rock & roll to the Brazilian language, yielding the first band in the new style which would bring later bands like Os Paralamas do Sucesso, Legião Urbana, and many others.

In the end of 1980, the theatrical group Asdrúbal Trouxe o Trombone was performing in the Teatro Ipanema (Rio). After their performance, vocalist/composer Marina was doing her show. Actors and musicians were already acquainted, being part of the relatively small community of artists in Rio, more specifically of the south side (zona sul), compared to the rest of the population of that city. Actor Evandro Mesquita was one of those who weren't ashamed of singing a few notes, usually with Ricardo Del Priore Barreto, cousin of Regina Casé's, Asdrúbal's actress. Marina's drummer, Lobão, also was present in those improvised sessions. When Mesquita received an invitation (on a sunny day at the beach -- a typical Carioca arrangement!) to play in the Caribe bar with his band (which, not existing until then, was another typical setup), invited Barreto, Lobão, Guto Barros (guitar), Junno Homrich (bass), and Zé Luis (sax) and joined a team. They rehearsed for five days and opened in February 1981. The theater experience yielded a performance that combined music with humor and contemporary themes much like a live cartoon, which immediately became the hit of that Carioca summer.

The Circo Voador (a kind of circus that mixed the usual attractions with music and theater) raised its canvas on Ipanema's beach in January 1982. Theatrical groups (Asdrúbal, Banduendes Por Acaso Estrelados) and musical groups (Barão Vermelho, Brylho, Blitz) promoted an explosion of golden youth enthusiasm. It was when Márcia Bulcão (Márcia Bulcão de Morais, Barreto's girlfriend) and her friend, dancer Fernanda Abreu were accepted into Blitz as vocalists/actresses. The first single, Você Não Soube Me Amar (EMI-Odeon), sold 100,000 copies in three months with the following lineup: Antônio Pedro Fortuna (Antônio Pedro de Medeiros Correia Fortuna, who had been the bassist for Os Mutantes), William Forghieri (keyboards), the two new vocalists, and Lobão, Barreto, and Mesquita. The formula of a charismatic male singer delivering almost-spoken lines in alternation with female voices had been launched by vanguard composer/musician Arrigo Barnabé, but the Blitz, with its light-minded connection to Carioca youth, knew very cleverly how to capitalize on that and make it theirs.

In September, 1982, the LP As Aventuras da Blitz was released. The album had two songs ("Ela Quer Morar Comigo na Lua" and "Cruel, Cruel Esquizofrenético Blues") that were censored due to profanity, but were included in the album -- with a big scratch preventing play. The LP quickly sold 100,000 copies.

At the same time, Lobão had recorded his first independent LP, Cena de Cinema. In the live performances, the group interpreted some of its songs, but they weren't included in the album, nor was Lobão seeing any chance of having them included in a future release. After an interview for the magazine Isto É, which featured the band on the cover, Lobão threw his sarcasm in the face of the other members and departed for his solo career.

With the new drummer Juba (Roberto Garrido Gurgel), the Blitz opened the season at the Roxy Roller (Rio) in January 1983. Their success was immense, and onstage they received the gold record for 100,000 copies sold of As Aventuras da Blitz and the platinum record for 250,000 copies sold of the single Você Não Soube Me Amar, one of the biggest hits in Brazil up to that time.

In May, 1983, the two censored tunes, "Ela Quer Morar Comigo na Lua" and "Cruel, Cruel Esquizofrenético Blues," were released as singles, making way for the second LP, Radioatividade, which was made of old material put together in the format of a radio show. In that period, the Blitz was already a national phenomenon, touring the entire country. The show at the important Canecão (the most respected popular venue in Rio, which measures a band's success) had 54,000 spectators in less than two months.

In that period, a nationally successful TV series (Plunct Plact Zuum) had released two LPs of its soundtrack, and the second one had a big hit in the song written by Mesquita and the poet Chacal, "A Verdadeira História de Adão e Eva." Mainstream TV presented to all Brazil the special in which Blitz performed for 30,000 people at Rio's Praça da Apoteose, where Carnival parades are held.

The third album, Blitz 3, was released in December 1984. Amid suspicions of plagiarism (the song "Egotrip" had several expressions in common with "Eu Me Amo," released soon after by the paulistano group Ultraje a Rigor), the album sales were lackluster. Even so, the group was successful at the first and memorable 1985 Rock in Rio (when each show was applauded by some 250,000 people). They also participated in the recording of Chico Buarque/Edu Lobo's musical O Corsário do Rei. In July, they performed in the then-U.S.S.R. during the 12th World Meeting of Democratic Youth. Continuing the on-the-road routine while waiting to record the new album, the group toured Argentina under severe stress, as Ricardo Barreto left the group, together with his wife Márcia Bulcão. One week before the recording of the new album, the band was dissolved. In 1994, Mesquita, Ricardo Barreto, Antônio Pedro, Forghieri, and Jubá, together with three new vocalists (Carla Morais, Germana Guilherme, and Eliane Tassis) tried to resurrect the band without Fernanda Abreu, since the late '80s a successful solo artist in the dance music territory. The new lineup made a live recording, the independent CD Línguas, which was unsuccessful. ~ Alvaro Neder

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