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26 November 1948

Carlos Fausto Bordalo Gomes Dias was born and spend his youth in Nova Lisboa in cental Angola as a child of a colonist family. He came back to Lisbon with his mother at the age of twenty, where he graduated in Political and Social Sciences, the then Institute of Social Sciences and Policy Overseas (now ISCSP ). Triggered by beatmusic he joined the band 'Os Rebeldes' (the rebels) and becomes an active member in youth culture around José Afonso with  Adriano Correia de Oliveira, Manuel Freire, José Mário Branco and Luís Cila. The political lyrics of the lasts 2 made them suspicious to the regime and they fled to exile around the end of the sixties. Social struggle also formed a major  theme in Fausto’s work as can be heard on his debut album. The album wins the Revelation Prize awarded by Renaissance Radio. Before even coming to recording a second album Fausto is called for his military service. Unwilling to show up he is labeled a deserter and he flees the country to Spain. It is in Madrid that he starts recording for his second album. Inspired by the 'carnation-revolution' of 1974 and the social insecure times that followed the album is a bitter account of changing times. He returns to Portugal and is more and more focused in preserving the Portuguese cultural identity in a world that is focused on Western modernity.

The 1975 ‘Madrugada dos trapeiros’ combines traditional music with popular. A signature sound that he would perfect over the years and is seen as the start of Portuguese Popular Music.  In 1978 his music (and that of Godinho and Branco) is used in the movie ‘A Confederação’ about the revolution of 74. In the same year he starts a work related to the theme of Lusitana diaspora and the Discoveries, which will be a recurring subject throughout his career. The project takes years but in 1982 the first part sees the light. 'Por este rio acima' is regarded by many as his magnus opus. The album is based on “Peregrinação”, the travel diaries of the 16th Century  Portuguese adventurer and traveler Fernâo Mendes Pinto. The two following however wander away from the theme and focus more on Portugal being considered a backward country in Europe. His 1988 album ‘A preto e branco’ is a recollection of his memories of Angola . It takes untill 1994 to come up with part 2 of the Trilogy called 'Crónicas da Terra Ardente'. The release of the album also announces a lengthy period of seclusion. In 1996 a compilation with 27 rerecorded songs sells over 20,000 copies. In 1997 he is invited by the National Committee of the Portuguese Discoveries to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the departure of Vasco da Gama to India.  Fausto himself works on an opera that sees the light in 2003. The last part of the trilogy eventually would take 17 years to finish being released in 2011 under the title 'Em busca das Montanhas Azuis'.

On the web:

- Fausto has his own blog

If you like this, you probably like.. / european counterparts:

Fabrizio de Andre (Italy)

Serrat (Spain)

What do we think:

DB: If there is such a thing as typical Portuguese folkrock Fausto is the one you’re looking for. His albums do have that folksound but in the arrangements he also using typical techniques from the pop and rock idiom. Mind you, Fausto isn’t the light of the party. His lyrics and intonation sound very serious and the thematic on his albums are not to be taken lightly. But his goal to create and preserve Portugues popular culture is something he should get a medal for. Classic stuff in which he puts himself on the same level as troubadours like Fabizio de Andre and Serrat. If you're into serious and engaged European popular music be sure to check his 1982 album 'Por este rio acima'.


- Fausto - 1970

- Pró que der e vier - 1974

- Beco com saída - 1975

♪♪♪♪ - Madrugada dos trapeiros - 1977

- Histórias de viajeiros -1979

♪♪♪♪♪ - Por este rio acima - 1982

- O despertar dos alquimistas - 1985

- Para além das cordilheiras - 1987

- A preto e branco - 1988

- Crónicas da terra ardente - 1994

- A ópera mágica do cantor maldito - 2003

- Em Busca das Montanhas Azuis - 2011

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided






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