Secos e Molhados (“The Dry & Wet”) was a hybrid glam-rock/Tropicália band formed in Brazil in 1971 during the most repressive phase of the military dictatorship. The band was short-lived, recording just two albums, but launched the career of feminine-sounding vocalist, Ney Matogrosso. Their name apparently refers to different categories of food in Brazilian supermarkets. Their unusual sound combined elements of baião, jazz, pop, glam and prog rock, along with Portuguese folklore, Brazilian and Portuguese poetry, and instruments of Latin American music.
Matogrosso’s distinctive voice is “sopranino” meaning that he can hit notes higher than F6. Now 76, he’s still a huge star in Brazil, but has dropped the wild costumes and make-up, concentrating more on the purely vocal aspects of his talents, and re-interpreting classic Brazilian pop songs.
João Ricardo, who founded the group, and Gerson Conrad were the other two members. Secos e Molhados recorded in a wide variety of styles. Their innovative make-up and costuming caused a sensation, if not exactly scandal, in early 70s Brazil and they sold millions of records. An urban legend in Brazil was that KISS copied their makeup from them. Although entirely possible, this seems unlikely as their albums were released only in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Portugal.
Below, Secos e Molhados performing “Flores Astrais.”
“Rosa de Hiroshima,” “Sangre Latina” and “O Vira” in front of 30,000 fans in 1974. I don’t speak Portuguese, but it’s my understanding that the man on the street interviews show people being asked their opinion of Ney Matogrosso as he’s standing right in front of them without his makeup.