The Almôndegas (The Meatballs) was the first rock band to have success out of the Rio-São Paulo axis. It was also the first band of the later famous Kleiton e Kledir. The group was formed in 1972 by Kleiton (vocals/guitar/violin/recorder/harmonica/percussion), Kledir (vocals/guitar/recorder/percussion), Quico (viola/guitar/vocals), Gilnei (drums/percussion) and João Batista (vocals/bass/guitar). In 1973 the Almôndegas had success in a TV special in their home state, Rio Grande do Sul, being invited to record their first album, Aqui (1975). The group would still record Almôndegas (1975), Alhos com Bugalhos (1977) and Circo de Marionetes before their separation, having had hits with "Sombra Fresca e Rock no Quintal" (Zé Flávio), "Vento Negro" (Fogaça), "Almôndegas" (Gilnei/Kledir) and the biggest one with "Canção da Meia-Noite", included in the cult soap-opera Saramandaia (TV Globo, 1976).
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