Leno’s “Vida e Obra de Johnny McCartney” was intended as the next musical step after Tropicália, it’s full-blooded rock and roll approach intended to link the music that had already been made to the music that would be played a few years later. This record just might have been that bold step had CBS released it in 1971. But censors banned most of the tracks, and Leno was fortunate (thanks perhaps to his string of innocent sounding Jovem Guarda number one chart hits in Brazil as half of duo Leno e Lillian) not to experience the exile or imprisonment of other artists of the time.
He was also fortunate that the master tapes survived in the CBS vaults, making them available for this reissue. The album has a sound that has more to do with bands such as Sly & The Family Stone, the Beatles (post 1967), Cream, and Steppenwolf, and features contributions from music legends Marcos Valle, Raul Seixas (anarchic surrealistic icon of Brazilian counterculture), hard psych rockers A Bolha, and members of Los Shakers and Renato e Seus Blue Caps. One of the most singular records of the 1970’s rock era in Brazil, speaking in terms both historic and musical, with a significance in Brazil that makes people who know it well wonder how it has taken so long to be known worldwide, in a time when the efforts of the Brazilian rock and psychedelic underground scene are so well-documented. A 24-page booklet (packed with photos and lyrics) details Leno’s career, as well as the story behind this exceptional record.