Category Archives: legião urbana

Legião Urbana (1985) by Legião Urbana

First album styled after U2, Joy Division and The Smiths

First album styled after U2, Joy Division and The Smiths

If you’re not Brazilian and is a fan of Joy Division and/or U2 you’ll probably not find any big originality on this album, but it’s worth a hearing if you want to understand the early 80’s momentum in this country.

In early 80’s Brazil was leaving behind a 20-year dictatorship that not only was against rock itself, but  was against their own pop heroes and intelectuals who had eventually fled to Europe.

In São Paulo there was a huge punk movement as well as in Rio de Janeiro and other major cities, that despized not only the Brazilian Pop Music (MPB), but the ‘old’ rock’n’roll itself and these bands were releasing singles and albuns and playing massively throughout the country.

From Brasilia, the capital city, came the Paralamas do Sucesso (already posted in this blog) a ska band that was part of the new wave scene and got popular in no time and was massively played on the radios and at teenagers parties all over the country. The Paralamas recorded a heavy Legião Urbana’s song called Quimica (Chemical) and soon the entire Brazil had adopted Legião (as well as every band from Brasilia) as the new big thing on the block.

Their leader Renato Russo, unlike most Brazilians, was very aware of the post-punk scene in the USA and in UK and managed to style his songs after U2, Joy Division and The Smiths singing his own clever lyrics about politics (after 20 years of political silence) existencialism and complicated teenage relationships. They did not smile and their bassist was a ‘skinhead’. they sounded weird, they had punk attitude.

In the years to come Legião Urbana would turn up to be one of the most outstanding acts influencing the youth of the 90’s who sing their lyrics by heart to present.

In early 80's they didn't use to smile

In early 80's they didn't use to smile

They split up when Renato Russo died on october the 11 th, 1996, as they no longer ressembled that serious, urgent and shoegazing band who changed the way Brazilian ‘rockers’ composed and played songs.

This first album is a testemony of the strong effect of the developed contries post punk onto Brazilian bands in early 80s.

  • Renato Russo – voice guitar, accoustic guitar, bass, keyboards
  • Dado Villa-Lobos – guitar, accustic guitars, drums
  • Renato Rocha- bass and eletronic drums
  • Marcelo Bonfá – drums

download – on the cover