By Instituto Gilberto Gil
Text: Chris Fuscaldo*, journalist and music researcher
Gilberto Gil na época do disco Luar (A Gente Precisa Ver O Luar) (1981)Instituto Gilberto Gil
Gil dove deep into issues connecting heaven and Earth. Albums such as Luar (A Gente Precisa Ver o Luar), in 1981, Um Banda Um (1982), Extra (1983), and Raça Humana (1984) are examples of his search for a scientific materialness with spiritual transcendence.
Capa do álbum Brasil, de Gilberto Gil, João Gilberto, Caetano Veloso e Maria Bethânia (1981)Instituto Gilberto Gil
At the beginning of the 80s, more specifically in 1981, Gil recorded another collective album: Brasil, with Maria Bethânia, Caetano Veloso and João Gilberto.
Film Corações a Mil, with Gilberto Gil (1983)Instituto Gilberto Gil
But it is the sequence of albums such as Luar (A Gente Precisa Ver o Luar), in 1981, Um Banda Um (1982), Extra (1983), and Raça Humana (1984) which are examples of his search for a scientific materialness with spiritual transcendence.
Capa do álbum Luar (A Gente Precisa Ver o Luar), de Gilberto Gil (1981)Instituto Gilberto Gil
Heaven and Earth
In Luar (A Gente Precisa Ver o Luar), Gil recovers the poetry of the Moon through a human perspective, not supporting it in scientificism, which he explores instead in songs like “Lunik 9” (1967) or “Futurível” (1969). This album also brings Gil closer to a religiousness which has always been a part of him.
“Se eu quiser falar com Deus” is a kind of prayer isolating vanities and humanizing his relationship with the divine. In the album, he pays homage to his wife with Flora and celebrates the audience in “Palco”, a hit that made him turn back on giving up music, something that had been in his thoughts.
Capa do álbum Um Banda Um, de Gilberto Gil (1982)Instituto Gilberto Gil
In Um banda Um, Gil shows his relationship with Umbanda, a religion which, to him, was a kind of introduction for the Candomblé rituals. “Esotérico” reinforces his syncretic tendencies. And he reiterates the importance of Faith in “Andar com fé.”
Gilberto Gil e Sandra Gadelha durante o exílio do artista baiano (1970)Instituto Gilberto Gil
A bit late, but still on time to honor his ex Sandra Gadelha, in Um Banda Um he records “Drão,” a song about the separation that happened three years before.
Capa do álbum Extra, de Gilberto Gil (1983)Instituto Gilberto Gil
Something else to worry about
In the album Extra, Gil goes back to themes related to the extraterrestrial or extrasensory that appeared in his life during the exile, when he went to ufology meetings. The cover is a montage with animals, which are irrational beings of planet Earth.
Gilberto Gil em show do álbum Extra (1983)Instituto Gilberto Gil
Rock starts to appear strongly in his repertoire, with “Punk da Periferia”. The return to rationality is in Raça Humana, released in 1984.
Capa do álbum Raça Humana, de Gilberto Gil (1984)Instituto Gilberto Gil
Thinking about the human using electric instruments
Raça Humana brought on a Gilberto Gil who wanted to use his human potential and ability to understand the time in which he lived to innovate: according to current trend, Gil records only electric guitars for the first time (before, he used acoustic guitars).
Gilberto Gil na Jamaica durante as gravações da canção Vamos Fugir para o álbum Raça Humana (1984-04-27)Instituto Gilberto Gil
The greatest successes were the incredibly human “Pessoa Nefasta,” “Índigo Blue,” and “Vamos Fugir.” A very human problem, “time” is praised in the also successful “Tempo Rei.”
Gilberto Gil, o produtor Liminha, e os integrantes da banda The Wailers Calvin Bubbles Cameron, David Madden e Lloyd Wiilis, durante gravação da canção Vamos Fugir para o álbum Raça Humana (1984-04-27)Instituto Gilberto Gil
With Liminha, he embarked on a trip to Jamaica to record “Vamos Fugir” with The Wailers. When he came back, he decided to take more liberties in his production, setting up a studio with the producer, called Nas Nuvens [On the Clouds] (the audio is from one of the takes of recording the song).
Capa do LP Dia Dorim Noite Neon, de Gilberto Gil (1985)Instituto Gilberto Gil
Between Guimarães and glitter
Dia Dorim Noite Neon came on the same year as Bem, his sixth child, the first with Flora. Still in 1985, Gil was one of the stars at Rock in Rio, and Brazil had a president elected for the first time after over 20 years under military dictatorship.
Gilberto Gil, Flora Gil e o filho Bem Gil durante ensaio fotográfico para capa e encarte do álbum Dia Dorim Noite Neon (1985)Instituto Gilberto Gil
The title Dia Dorim Noite Neon is an homage to writer Guimarães Rosa and his classic The Devil to Pay in the Backlands. Rosa’s themes and aesthetic are present mostly in “Casinha feliz,” “Febril,” and “Logos versus Logo.”
Gilberto Gil em apresentação no Rock in Rio (1985-01)Instituto Gilberto Gil
Rock with glitter—from the look he wore to the festival—comes in “Roque Santeiro – o rock,” while black activist reappears in “Oração pela libertação da África do Sul.”
Capa do álbum Gilberto Gil em Concerto, de Gilberto Gil (1987)Instituto Gilberto Gil
Another phase, new changes
In 1987, Gil was productive and released the albums Gilberto Gil em Concerto, Ao Vivo em Tokyo and Soy Loco Por ti América.
Capa do álbum Ao vivo em Tóquio, de Gilberto Gil (1987)Instituto Gilberto Gil
Capa do álbum Soy Loco por Ti América, de Gilberto Gil (1987)Instituto Gilberto Gil
Capa do álbum O Eterno Deus Mu Dança, de Gilberto Gil (1989)Instituto Gilberto Gil
In 1989, a year after Bela Gil's birth, Gil released O Eterno Deus Mu Dança with contemporary reflections. The soundtrack that gives the album its name proposes a paradoxical ideal of transformation as the only constant in the universe.
Gilberto Gil em show da turnê O Eterno Deus Mu Dança (1990)Instituto Gilberto Gil
The change claimed by Gil is like a desire to reorder the cultural perspective of the Western culture: in his own way, he incites the rupture with the imaginary of the hegemonic society that results in historical enslavement.
O percussionista Reppolho, durante show da turnê O Eterno Deus Mu Dança, de Gilberto Gil (1990)Instituto Gilberto Gil
At a time when Brazil was getting in touch with re-democratization, Gil also proposed that land workers focus on their dreams, with the song “Amarra o eu Arado a Uma Estrela,” registered for the opening of the soap opera O salvador da Pátria as well as in O Eterno Deus Mu Dança.
Gilberto Gil na turnê do álbum O Eterno Deus Mu Dança, na Alemanha (1989-09)Instituto Gilberto Gil
Research and text: Chris Fuscaldo (*author of Discobiografia Legionária and Discobiografia Mutante: Álbuns que Revolucionaram a Música Brasileira)
Assembly: Patrícia Sá Rêgo
Editing and curation: Chris Fuscaldo / Garota FM
Musical content research: Ceci Alves, Chris Fuscaldo, Laura Zandonadi and Ricardo Schott
Ministry of Culture content research: Carla Peixoto, Ceci Alves, Chris Fuscaldo
Captions: Anna Durão, Carla Peixoto, Ceci Alves, Chris Fuscaldo, Daniel Malafaia, Fernanda Pimentel, Gilberto Porcidonio, Kamille Viola, Laura Zandonadi, Lucas Vieira, Luciana Azevedo, Patrícia Sá Rêgo, Pedro Felitte, Ricardo Schott, Roni Filgueiras e Tito Guedes
Data editing: Isabela Marinho and Marco Konopacki
Gege Produções Review: Cristina Doria
Acknowledgements Gege Produções, Gilberto Gil, Flora Gil, Gilda Mattoso, Fafá Giordano, Maria Gil, Meny Lopes, Nelci Frangipani, Cristina Doria, Daniella Bartolini e todos os autores das fotos e personagens da história
All media: Instituto Gilberto Gil
*Every effort has been made to credit the images, audios and videos and correctly tell the story about the episodes narrated in the exhibitions. If you find errors and/or omissions, please contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org