Cry Babies – Cry Babies
Written by Toby Taylor on 13th December 2019
Far Out Recordings is to reissue the self-titled debut album from pioneering Brazilian funk outfit Cry Babies, originally released in 1969.
The group were an early incarnation of legendary Brazilian funk group Banda Black Rio, whose sound was influenced by the likes of Booker T & The M.G.s and the soul records of James Brown, The Isley Brothers and Kool & The Gang. The group were crucial to the development of funk music within Brazil, paving the way for other totemic figures such as Jorge Ben, Dom Salvador, Trio Mocotó and Azymuth. Their music is characterised by fat funky drum breaks & rich round bass, whilst also incorporating elements from other home grown styles, most from notably the nascent Brazilian psychedelic surf scene.
The group’s debut album is mainly comprised of covers of the US groups that influenced their sound – covers of the likes of James Brown, The Isley Brothers and Kool & The Gang all feature on the record. However, this North American influence is tempered by the masterful production of one of Brazil’s most prolific musical figures, Durval Ferreira. Ferreria is himself a hugely influential figure in Brazilian music, having written songs and produced for the likes of Sergio Mendes, Deodato, Emilio Santiago, Ed Lincoln, Joao Bosco, Quarteto Em Cy and Dila. Thus, whilst the record has a distinctly North American feel to it, it is also heavily moulded by the tones of the samba jazz and bossa nova records that were coming out of Brazil at the time.
Given their influential impact on the development of funk within Brazil, and especially on that of Banda Black Rio, it is surprising that they have not achieved the same cult status of the group that they went on to form. Far Out’s reissue is a welcome attempt to redress this, raising the profile of a group who would played an important role in forging a new path in Brazilian music that so many would later tread.
Cry Babies will be available via Far Out Recordings from 31st January 2020.