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Celebrating 25 years of Mr Bongo: Lula Cortes & Ze Ramalho's 'Paebiru'

In late October 1989, David 'Mr Bongo' Buttle opened his first record shop, underneath Daddy Kool’s Reggae Store on Berwick Street in London. 25 years later and we are still flying the flag for quality music, and are now celebrating a quarter of a century of Mr Bongo. 

As part of our 25 years retrospective we will be looking back at some of our favourite releases. Today it's the turn of...

Lula Cortes & Ze Ramalho's 'Paebiru'

'Paebiru' really is one of the true 'holy grails' of psychedelic Brazilian music, regarded by many as the finest infact. It was recorded in 1975 during the height of the military dictatorship, outside Recife, Pernambuco (north east Brazil). Original copies are extremely hard to find - as most were destroyed in floods very soon after the record was pressed - and we have seen them fetch nearly $4,000. 

Paebiru is an atmospheric blend of both artists' sensibilities: sung and chanted vocals, acoustic and fuzz guitars, piano, organ, flute and sax mixed with a range of percussion and effects. Lush, free and psychedelic.

We first re-issued the LP in 2008 but were not satisfied with the quality of the reproduction, so followed it with a much improved edition, including the restored and complete 8 page full size booklet, in 2012. Our most recent edition of the LP, released mid 2014, is once again improved; printed in Japan on higher quality card and improved label colour reproduction.

Lula Cortes, was one of the driving forces behind the late 60s / early 70s psychedelic rock scene in north east Brazil. He produced and recorded several albums - SatwaRosa de Sangue and No Sub Reino dos Metazoários by Marconi Notaro’s, also re-issued on Mr Bongo. The albums were almost all self-released on his own label Solar, later picked up by Rozenblit. Lula sadly passed away in 2011.

Ze Ramalho is a highly celebrated composer and musician in Brazil, with a career spanning 40 years, 24 studio albums, live albums and compilations. 

 The track 'Beira Mar' features on our 25 Years Of Mr Bongo: 1989-2014 compilation.