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Brazilian Sounds Selection

SELECTION 1: Espaços Entre Espaços - Brazilian psychedelia, folk, and some funky singer songwriters

There's something magical about Brazilian records from the late 60s and early 70s - a history of music that's parallel to the one I've grown up with but other-worldly. Music made during a period of brutal repression that seems liberated and joyous. Familiar reference points mixed with instruments and traditions that come from somewhere totally different. I can't claim to be any kind of expert, & not speaking Portuguese doesn't help - but rooting out Brazilian records has become something of an obsession over the last decade so I thought I should share a few.

 This selection focuses more on psychedelia, rock and some vaguely uptempo folky grooves. You can listen to each track individually below.

Hope you enjoy...

1/  Guttemberg Guarabyra - O Que É Que Houve? (Odeon 7", 1971)
Co-written by Jose Rodrix, who put out a very sought-after single himself around the same time. Great catchy chorus which builds to a real crescendo.

2. Jean E Gil - Tagarela (Copacabana 7", 1971)
'Tagarela' is Portuguese slang for 'chatty', apparently.

3/  Majó - As Sementes (Odeon 7", 1974)

4. Azambuja E CIA - Nega Brucho (CID LP, 1975)
A very strange LP - a couple of excellent tracks and large chunks of comedy routines, to an appreciative audience. Azambuja and CIA are comedic alter egos for Arnaud Rodrigues and Chico Anysio and the LP is from a TV show of the same name.

Chico Anysio & Arnaud Rodrigues - Nêga Brechó (1975)

5. Cléo Galante - Você Vai Ver Que Eu Tenho Razão (Fermata 7", 1972)

6. Carlos Thiago - Cabeceira (RCA 7", 1972)
I'm only aware of this single by him, but apparently he made other records.

7. Os Impossiveis - Dando Fora (Copacabana LP, 1972)
A real one-tracker, but it's a great song.

8. Trio Nagô e Roberto Luna - Capoeira (RCA Victor 7", 1968)
Berimbau opening, builds to epic scale which sounds like a Spaghetti Western soundtrack transplanted to Matto Grosso

9. Equipe Mercado - Mary K. No Esgoto Das Maravilhas (Odeon 7", 1970)
Art school quirkiness - something about US filmstars I think, I can pick out 'Douglas Fairbanks' but the rest is a bit hazy.

10. Rubinho E Mauro Assumpção - Quero Companheira (Tapecar LP, 197?)
This whole LP blew me away when I finally found a reasonably priced copy earlier this year - there's another track later on, and I could have put the whole LP on here...

11. Sociedade Anônima - Filho Do Sol (Som Livre 7", 1972)
Another one-single group, so far as I can find out. Features the drummer Rui Motta, who also played with Os Mutantes.

12. Som Imaginário - Uê (Odeon LP, 1971)
The LP gets quite a bit prog rocky but this track has some excellent fuzz sounds to it.

13. Karma - Você Pode Ir Além (RCA LP, 1972)
Just the best LP of whacked-out Brazilian psychedelia I've heard - I think I've pretty much worn this out over the past few years...

14. Marcos Valle - Vôo Cego (Odeon LP, 1972)
Marcos Valle Described this LP as his 'hippie experiment'; it features backing from O Terço and was largely written and rehearsed at Buzios, a coastal hang-out for artists and alternative lifestyles. I think this is the only Valle LP from his golden period through the late 60s to mid 70s with songs he didn't write - this one is by Cláudio Guimarães - but the whole works beautifully.

15. Marconi Notaro - Fidelidade (Rozenblit LP, 1973)
Part of a tight-knit musical network around Recife in on the north coast of Brazil, Notaro died in 2000 before this LP was 'rediscovered'. It's a mesmeric swirl of sounds, melodies, dischordant noise and drone-like psych 35 years before its time.

16. Nelson Angelo E Joyce - Vivo Ou Morto (Odeon LP, 1972)
A perfect LP, combining masterful and restrained orchestration with Joyce's clear,beautiful voice.

17. Toninho Horta - Diana (Odeon LP, 1980)
A member of the Clube Da Esquina collective with Milton Nascimento, Lô Borges and others in the early 70s, Horta didn't make a lot of records but the ones he did produce are well worth tracking down.

18. Paulinho E Dorinha - E Natural (Forma EP, 1972)
This track was co-written by Antonio Adolfo - a fact I only realised just now, so it's serendipitous that it comes after the previous track... apologies for the quality of the You Tube here.

19. Nana, Nelson Angelo, Novelli - Aranda (Saravah LP, 197?)
Issued on the French Saravah label - more experimental and electronic than his earlier stuff.



Music reviews anybody can post  here - thanks

Latin Grooves

1.Introduction by Symphony Sid
byMongo Santamaria
2.El Toro
byMongo Santamaria
3.Let Me Do My Thing
byThe 107th Street Stickball Team
byKako and His After Hours Orchestra
5.Mambo Ex No 1
byThe Bennito Sextet
6.The Hustler
byWillie Colon
7.Que Se Sepa
byRoberto Roena
8.Raices (Roots)
byBobby Matos
byRay Barretto
byCharlie Palmieri
11.Up and Down
byManny Corchado
12.Drown My Heart
byHector Rivera
13.I Faram Gami I Faram
byMulatu Astatke and His Ethiopian Quintet
14.Zip Zap
byBobby Valentin
byThe New Swing Sextet
16.Happy Soul With A Hook
byDave Cortez
17.Barbara With The Kooky Eyes
byThe 107th Street Stickball Team
18.Hot Pants Road
byGeorge Guzman
byNoro Morales
byLa Lupe
22.Soul Makoosa
byJohnny Zamot
23.110th St and 5th Ave
byTito Puente
24.Swamp People
byPucho and the Latin Soul Brothers
byFania Allstars
26.Timbale Groove
byWillie Bobo
27.Doug's Room
byMauricio Smith

That Has Got Me Spooked!

What is it about Spooky?

In the cold light of day, it's probably not that great a track. And yet...I get a twinge of excitement whenever I discover a new version of it! Just another unexplainable part of the record collecting madness/obsession...

Anyway, here are a few different versions for any fellow obsessives. Probably best not to listen to them all in one sitting...

1. MIKE SHARPE (LIBERTY 45) The original version...

2. CLASSICS IV (IMPERIAL 45) The hit version...

3. DUSTY SPRINGFIELD (PHILIPS 45 '70) The first version I ever heard, it's kind of become the definitive one for me

4. SOM TRES (ODEON LP '71) Fantastic uptempo version from Brazil

5. SCOT SOUNDS UNLIMITED (CENTURY LP '69) The School band version. (Oh how I wish I could tell you it's the bagpipe one...)

6. TERESA (DOT LP) Anita Kerr production, with nice use of Theremin - surprising that more versions didn't employ this.

7. THE DO-RE-MI CHILDREN'S CHORUS (KAPP LP) The kiddie version...

8. BORIS GARDINER (TROJAN LP '70) The reggae version...

9. BILLY LARKIN & THE DELEGATES (WORLD PACIFIC LP) You can usually rely on Billy Larkin to churn out a decent cover. This nice slinky Hammond version gets it just right...

10. BAOBAS (MOCAMBO 45 '68) The Brazilian garage version...

11. HOWARD ROBERTS QUARTET (CAPITOL LP) The jazz guitar version...


12. ANDY WILLIAMS (CBS LP '68) The crooner version...

13. THE FAME GANG (ATLANTIC 45) The Muscle Shoals boys have a stab, employing some nice flute...


14. YEAR 2000 (RAMA 45) Crazy slowed down blue-eyed soul version from the Rascals soundalikes...


15. THE LETTERMEN (CAPITOL LP '68) The easy version...


16. MARIO SAID (LIBERTY LP) The piano version...




18. AL DE LORY (CAPITOL 45) The Clavinet version...



20. CAL TJADER (SKYE LP) The vibes version...

21. CHRIS MONTEZ (A&M LP) Nice breezy version from the chipmunk faced one...

22. STANLEY TURRENTINE (BLUE NOTE 45) The Blue Note version...

23. MICHELE LEE (COLUMBIA LP) The actress from the Love Bug has a go...

24. FIRE AND ICE UNLIMITED (JALEX 45) The kids recorded in a garage version...

25. BOB JUNG & HIS ORCHESTRA (COMMAND LP) The big band version... (Also released in the UK on a dodgy double album credited to the London Moods Orchestra)

26. PETE MOORE ORCHESTRA 'Catwalk' (FONTANA LP '70) Not a straight cover as such, but certainly owes a very large debt. The other 'original' on here (Take 8) is also somewhat dubious, being extremely similar to Lalo Schifrin's 'Mission Blues'

27. ART HEATLIE ORCHESTRA & CHORUS (PAGE ONE LP) The South African Electronic Sax version

28. KOSSIE GARDNER (DOT LP) This is but one of some cracking covers on this LP. More than just a standard Hammond run through, there's some nice strings and female chorus bringing a little something extra...

29. FLAMINGO (MELOJIDA 10" LP) The Czech version...

30. SENOR SOUL (DOUBLE SHOT LP) Nice little flute 'n' vibes version from the pre-War outfit...


32. WEST HIGH SCHOOL (CENTURY LP) Obscure US High School version with some nice flute work

33. KING CURTIS (ATLANTIC LP 1968) Sax man Curtis has a stab, backed up nicely by the boys from American Sound Studios


(Thanks to Ian over at VG+ for this comprehensive listing of that one track)


Great Pop Songs #9

Rachel Stevens – Come and Get It (2005)
Track: Funny How


Definitely not a one-tracker, this is a really good listen from start to finish. There are great Moroder-like rhythms on So Good / Negotiate With Love and Glam-thump synths on I Said Never Again but they were all singles and hits so they’re no good to us.

Crazy Boys is a crunchy synth Glam stomper but is let down a little by a weak chorus. A thudding rhythm that sounds like the backing of every Mud song ever written reveals Every Little Thing is another Rob Davis composition. It’s bouncy and enjoyable but isn’t quite up to scratch.

To my ears the pick to go on a "No Hits Required" compilation is Track 11. Funny How is a fit-for- purpose pounding slice of Trancey House with a small but wonderfully spacey break slap bang in the middle of it with strange Erik Satie-like undertones to it. The downside is that it’s only 4 minutes long. Boooooo. It’s rare I want a track to be longer but in this instance I was bloody craving it. A marvellous pounding Moroder-like feast of yearning with Donna Summer sighing angels and bleeps galore. Grab a copy from a booter for 50p to hear it full belt at home. You won’t be disappointed.

Notes :
Shawn ‘Ping Pong Orchestra’ Lee is on guitar for Funny How which is written by Rachel Stevens herself plus M. Cooper, B. Higgins, N Coler, L Cowling and T. Powell.

Another name of note who crops up on several tracks here is Belgian born producer Pascal Gabriel. His curious career path from punk band the Razors, through remixing for Marc Almond and Yello, writing and producing for Bomb The Bass and S’Express and on to pop can be read about on his Wiki page.

Summary :
This CD is a total keeper and definitely not a one No Hit wonder. I belatedly found out The Guardian newspaper included Come And Get It in their ‘1000 albums you must hear before you die’ list. For the record, Rachel is sandwiched between Stereolab and Sufjan Stevens (no relation) But don't let that put you off.

(Thanks to Ian at www.verygoodplus.co.uk for this info)

Careless Engineering

I bought the Madeleine Peyroux CD "Careless Love" (Rounder Records) in one of my charity shop visits. Listened to the album this morning. It is a cool jazzy bluesy set of songs in a Billie Holiday mode but oh dear what have they done with the sound. Seems to be a case of  "beware of audio engineer's contribution"  to this album. I had an impression that I was put inside the double bass that was standing next to the piano and the singer  was ten meters away singing with the plastic bag on her head. Not exactly the way old Billie's recordings sound though.


Great Pop Songs #8


Eternal – Always and Forever (1993)

This is not as bad as i thought it would be.. I had forgotten how immense the mega-hit Stay is. That bit where she sings ‘I don’t know, I-I-I-I-I don’t know, just what it takes to get to you….’ is major face-melt pop genius. I bloody love the opening 16 bars to Save Our Love too. That big underwater bell sound has never been used to better effect. It’s a shame then that the rest of the CD just pootles along without doing much,except for a fine version of the Evelyn Champagne King song "Sweet Funky Thing".

Fact fans may want to know that Lotti Golden was heavily involved in this 4 x Platinum seller.

Great Pop Songs #7

Rachel Stevens – Funky Dory (2004)


Singles Funky Dory and Sweet Dreams My LA Ex are easily the best things on here. Yak Bondy’s name attached to Blue Afternoon raised some hopes and actually is a very pleasant lite-bossa rhythm groove (Yak’s Easy Listening influences again) with a lilting melody that gets under your skin.. The combined talents of Cathy Dennis and Robbie Williams’ buddy Guy Chambers offer the song Little Secret but it’s dull as hell. Not a great album  but worth the 50 pence but her second album is the real deal to keep.

Funky Dory

Great Pop Songs #6

I was really happy to find this CD and  i can happily say this was one of my best finds of the day.

emma b

Emma Bunton – Free Me (2004)
Tracks : Tomorrow / You Are

I love the single Maybe, Hadn’t heard it in ages so bought this CD for 50p in a Chatham chairty shop Maybe is a superb pop track based on riffs borrowed from the Pizzicato 5. After repeated plays of "Maybe" I left the CD on and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Lots of good melodies with a handful being very easy listening inspired.


Several spins later I found myself besotted with Tomorrow, a fantastic pop song with just enough soulfulness, tension and release to hit all the right spots. The string and horn arrangements are reminiscent of something Tony Hatch would have done for Petula Clark in the 60s. You Are is another great mid-tempo pop song with a proper ear worm for a chorus. It’s ultra-sweet but very infectious.


I also love the ultra – slow final track called So Beautiful but it may be too sugary for some people. The lowest point of this CD which should really have been a highlight is Emma’s run through of Crickets Sing For Anna Maria. It’s less of a run and more of a flat-footed pedestrian stroll.

Notes :
Nick Ingman handles the orchestral arrangement on Maybe and Tomorrow and both were written by Emma and a Mr Bondy….Yak Bondy. Yak is obviously a songwriter with a deep love of easy listening and further investigation on Discogs reveals his songwriting is all over a range of 90s and 00s CDs by the likes of Lisa Stansfield, Amy Studt, Billie Piper, Rachel Stevens, S Club 7 and the Spice Girls.

Gavyn Wright (sometimes spelt Gavin) is another name to note. He’s a violinist and orchestral arranger who has worked with an amazing array of artists. He’s on several tracks here working alongside Nick Ingman and his name pops up in the credits of loads of other pop CDs.

Summary :
This whole CD is an excellent and interesting listen. It has Easy Listening references threaded throughout it and no poor tracks excepting perhaps the very mundane run through of "Crickets Sing For Ana Maria". If you like "Maybe" and "Tomorrow" try "You Are" too. If all three float your boat then there’s probably other stuff on this CD you’ll like too.

(Thanks to Ian for supplying the details here)


Morricone Music

Ennio Morricone "Mondo Morricone" (Colosseum)


This is an excellent compilation of some of the less known scores by him,and is one of the best CDs ever issued. The tracks on this compilation are culled from several different soundtrack albums from the late 60s and early 70s. The mood varies from heavenly wordless vocals washed with warm strings and atmospheric electric harpsichord, through to light bossa nova and upbeat organ beat music. Somehow, Morricone also made time for the most gratuitously groovy garage hits of the decade, mashing chromatic scales off of wah-wahing keyboards amidst fleets of neon drumrolls.

There is a second volume which is equally good and which I am after getting - "More Mondo Morricone". You'll probably never buy a better CD than either, so try and track them down (I think they are getting harder and harder to find). Luckily I found a copy going for eight quid at MVE yesterday.

Track selected  -

La Moda