Os Mutantes, A Divina Comédia (ou Ando Meio Desligado) (Polydor, 1970)

os-mutantes-a-divina-comedia-ou-ando-meio-desligado“Along with the fascinating cover art — which finds the middle ground between the lurid, low-budget, exploitation cinema of filmmakers like Jean Rollin or Mario Bava, with the higher aspirations of gothic literature, à la Edgar Allen Poe — the literal English translation of the title suggests further hints towards the notions behind the album, with A Divina Comédia (ou Ando Meio Desligado) interpreted as The Divine Comedy (or I Walk a Bit Disconnected), with the reference to walking disconnected pointing towards 1960’s stoner culture and the various preoccupations with the living dead (once again, check out the Gustave Doré referencing cover art for more…). It sums up the spirit of the album perfectly, with continual references to Dante’s eponymous collection, religious cults, black mass, Satanism and the teachings of Aleister Crowley. It’s all a bit more tongue-in-cheek than the influences would suggest, with the band famously making loving pastiche and parody of the California rock scene, as well as including a straight-as-straight-can-get version of a doo-wop song that ties in nicely with similar tracks that Frank Zappa was creating for the first Mothers of Invention album, Freak Out! (1966), in particular the likes ‘Go Cry on Somebody Else’s Shoulder’ and ‘How Could I Be Such a Fool’?” — Robin Tripp, Review for Head Heritage, June 19, 2007

Contributed by Pearl Nelson-Greene (University of Kansas, 2020)