AOTW: Sergio Mendes & Brasil '77 VINTAGE 74

What is your favorite track?

  • Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • This Masquerade

    Votes: 2 20.0%
  • The Waters Of March (Aguas de Março)

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • Waiting For Love

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Lonely Sailor (Marinheiro Só)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Você Abusou

    Votes: 5 50.0%
  • Superstition

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Funny You Should Say That

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • Double Rainbow

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • If You Really Love Me

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    10

Harry

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Sergio Mendes & Brasil '77
VINTAGE 74

BELL 1305

Vintage74.jpg


Also released on Arista CD in Japan as BVCM-37399.

Tracks:

Side One
1. Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing (Stevie Wonder) 3:33
2. This Masquerade (Leon Russell) 4:36
3. The Waters Of March (Aguas de Março) (Antonio Carlos Jobim) 3:54
4. Waiting For Love (Randy McNeil) 4:17
5. Lonely Sailor (Marinheiro Só) (arr. by Sergio Mendes) 3:16

Side Two
6. Você Abusou (Antonio Carlos - Jocafi) 3:50
7. Superstition (Stevie Wonder) 5:55
8. Funny You Should Say That (Lambert-Potter) 3:24
9. Double Rainbow (Jobim-Lees) 3:21
10. If You Really Love Me (Wonder-Wright) 3:27

Rhythm Arrangements on 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 9 by Sergio Mendes
Rhythm Arrangements on 1, 4, 8, and 10 by Bob Alcivar
Orchestra arranged and conducted by Dave Grusin
Vocal arrangements by Bob Alcivar
Production Co-Ordinator: Pamela Vale
Engineered by Bones Howe at the 24-track facilities of Wally Heider Recording, Hollywood, Calif.

PRODUCTION AND SOUND BY BONES HOWE
Second Engineer - Geoff Howe
Disc Mastering by John Golden, Artisan Audio, Hollywood, Calif.
Photography - Ed Caraeff
Design - David Larkham and Ron Wong
Art Direction - Beverly Weinstein
Back cover painting by Wesley Duke Lee

Personnel: Sergio Mendes, Claudio Slon, Joe Osborn, Paulo da Costa, Oscar Neves, Dennis Budimir, Bonnie Bowden, Gracinha Leporace, David Amaro, Laudir Oliviera, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Octavio Bailly, Jr., Lee Ritenour.
 

Harry

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This one was amixed bag for me. Seeing the Sergio Mendes name on it, of course I grabbed it, though it was more tentative than before. I'd gotten away from Sergio with PRIMAL ROOTS; LOVE MUSIC was OK but didn't quite sound like the days of old; so I approached this one with some trepidation.

Initially, I looked at the track list and saw three Stevie Wonder songs. Now this is understandable in 1974 that everyone would be covering Stevie Wonder. He was a powerful force in music at the time, and his own original recordings dominated the airwaves. I think it was Paul Simon, who upon winning a Grammy for Album Of The Year, thanked Stevie Wonder for NOT releasing an album that year.

The Wonder tunes didn't do anything for me, so right off the bat, 30% of the album was in the not-too-good category. I don't recall playing the album much after the initial bring-home, and it was probably years later that I discovered the other "wonders" of the album, "The Waters Of March", "Lonely Sailor", and my favorite, "Você Abusou". Once I discovered those three, the album grew in stature immeasurably.

I also enjoy "Double Rainbow" with its intricate rhythms - it's got a real "tropical" feel to it. I find Boniie Bowden's vocals on "Waiting For You" and "This Masquerade" a bit too sweet, but she does a fine job. I think Sergio's vocalists need a bit of a rough edge to make it sound like "Sergio" recording, and when Bonnie pairs with Gracinha, it sounds a lot better to me.

Harry
 

Steven J. Gross

Well-Known Member
This was a much better album than "Love Music"...but that's not saying too much.
It would still be years before Sergio did something cool again.
 

Mike Blakesley

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I snapped this up eagerly when it came out.

My first reaction was to the cover. I hated it! I thought, if Sergio is trying to be cool and sell records, this front cover is NOT going to do the job.

This is one album where I generally like the fast songs more than the slow ones -- one of my favorite tunes on LOVE MUSIC was "Put A Little Love Away" but there is no equivalent to it here. There is a great Lambert/Potter tune on this album, "Funny You Should Say That" which I liked immediately and still do.

As I've said in other threads, my appreciation for the "Brazilian" parts of Sergio's music grew more as I got older. When this came out, I was 17 and into the pop music of the day, so I liked the Stevie Wonder stuff.

Today my favorites are pretty much the same as Harry's -- the Brazilian music has stood the test of time.

One thing my opinion has not changed on -- the cover. They would have done better to use the inner-spread photo for the front cover.
 

Dave

Well-Known Member
Once again, it was the Dennis Lambert/Brian Potter than won me over! "Funny You Should Say That", seems to be an 'answer song' to "You Can't Dress Up A Broken Heart"... (A mini, more positive "I Say A Little Prayer For You", even...!)

Funny how this album doesn't sound sad & melancholy as the last one did... In fact, for once this album sounds very optimistic & upbeat!

The 3 Stevie Wonder songs & even the 3 songs penned by Antonio Carlos Jobim liven this up...

More Brasilian stuff, but this album just as much suffers from also being too much pop...! Well, naturally we all fight for "the underdog"...! :winkgrin:


Dave
 

JMK

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Contributor
Certainly a better album than LOVE MUSIC, IMHO. Like others, I got this the first day I noticed it. Loved most of it at the time, especially the return to at least a little Brasilian material, the Grusin orchestrations, Jobim's participation, etc. Always loved Sergio's take on "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing" (which actually got decent airplay in SLC). "This Masquerade"'s "clockwork" arrangement is very reminiscent of classic B66. An enjoyable album, no classic, but just starting to point the way toward the soul explorations that would be part of Elektra.
 

Dave

Well-Known Member
Mike Blakesley said:
...My first reaction was to the cover... ...I hated it...! ...I thought, if Sergio is trying to be cool and sell records, this front cover is NOT going to do the job... ...They would have done better to use the inner-spread photo for the front cover...


The front--and BACK--cover is a "standard Bell record" disappointment... I think the inner-spread inside the gatefold tells the REAL STORY!

Why couldn't it be used--maybe in an A&M-CTi/Non-A&M/CTi wrap-around design????!!!!


Dave
 

JMK

Well-Known Member
Contributor
Personally I'll take almost any of Sergio's Elektra output over his Bell albums.
 

lj

Well-Known Member
While certainly Vintage 74 was not in the same category as the classic Equinox, Look Around and Primal Roots albums, it was a very solid recording. The Brazilian songs were outstanding and the Maestro himself, Antonio Carlos Jobim, was even a guest musician on acoustic guitar on the two tracks he wrote (Waters of March and Double Rainbow). As always Gracinha is wonderful on the Portuguese language vocals.

While Lani Hall and Janis Hansen were always my favorite vocalists of the Mendes groups, a word must be said about Bonnie Bowden. I have been reading the A&M corner posts since 2002 and I have always been baffled why so little has been said about Bonnie. She has a beautiful soprano voice which can marvelously range from an R&B sound as on the song Love Music to a wonderfully high sweet sound on her ballads. She never was better than on this album.
 

Harry

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I think Bonnie Bowden was a bit of an enigma to some, certainly this fan. Her vocals are almost always described as "sweet" and it's an appropriate word. And "sweet" was very different from the typical Brasil '66 sound. As such, Bonnie's presence became a constant reminder that this wasn't the old Brasil '66.

I've always thought that had Bonnie Bowden's career gone in a different direction, say hooking up with a current-day song composer, she might have reached the top of the charts. Her voice had expressive characteristics like an Olivia Newton-John, or a Karen Carpenter, or even a Susan Jacks (of The Poppy Family).

But somehow, to me at least, that sound didn't mesh quite right with Sergio's driving Brazilian rhythms. It stood out as something different.

Harry
 

Dave

Well-Known Member
Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing -- Starts off much better & more promising w/ this one than Vinatge '74's predecessor did w/ "Where Is The Love"... Guess Stevie Wonder--& something bright, & optomistically upbeat gets this on a right track, right out of the gate...

This Masquerade -- Or does it???? While a good, suave, Brasilian treatment of this Leon Russell chestnut might have been over-due, it is given a predictable--yes, Clockwork!--application... A good idea, but one which might have been looked upon more favorably, had it been included in the Love Music set, unfavorably as that LP might have been... (However, compared to other versions out there, Sergio & Co. definitely did NOT "Nail It"!!!!)

The Waters Of March (Aguas de Março) -- OK, here, then, is what is more welcome--and OVERDUE! Predates Art Garfunkel's version, weighted down w/ abundant keyboard & synthesizer flourishes, while here, for my money, is how a '70's update should be done... --More ORGANIC, much like how the last "serious" outing, Primal Roots was, in '72... (Antonio Carlos Jobim flew out here to guest on it? Yes, check your credits, on which "guest personnel" (though more like "sundry implements") are featured on certain songs...)

Waiting For Love --Some cheesy, Randy McNeil song-peddling... Best left to The 5th Dimension ("If I Could Reach You", "There Never Was A Day") or perhaps a group like The Carnival, than being more than "slightly out of place", even w/ the Bones Howe/Bob Alcivar Production/Arrangement it gets (though w/ not quite the explosive backing) here...

Lonely Sailor (Marinheiro Só) Finally, more truer Brasilian fare, ending the first side of the album on a País Tropical-type of jam... Indication that there's still a huge gulf, dividing the "authentic, Portuguese cuisine" and the 'Pop Song Of The Day', run-of-the-mill hackwork...! Somehow no one here really knows it exists!


Você Abusou -- Starts off Side 2 on a good foot... Another Antonio Carlos Jobim piece, though here, he's not present... What gives this the legwork, is the mni throwback to Primal Roots, complete w/ the "high-pitched whistely, thingy", which you're not sure whether it's an organ or a synthesizer, but a real synth undertoning this should give you some idea...

Superstition -- Done w/ more "goodtime País Tropical jive"...! Somehow of how the pop song /song mill stuff--& this IS the Stevie Wonder masterpiece--that's "Brasilian-ized", this is so far, (even at this point in the album) THE BEST ONE...!

Funny You Should Say That -- Another Dennis Lambert/Brian Potter piece... Certainly a lot more upbeat than Dennis ever recorded, & I usually hear their stuff done by EVERYONE (Four Tops, 5th Dimension, Tavares, Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds) sounding on "the downside"...! The one I support as my "#1", here!

Double Rainbow -- Antonio Carlos Jobim is inserted in the 3rd of his own composition covered here, & a last gasp at a shot of bringing back something from the "Like A Lover"/"Look Around"/"The Look Of Love", etc.-era... Works better in this setting (and somehow as a good as a next-to-last number) than one would think...

If You Really Love Me -- The "opposite Stevie Wonder bookmark song"... Still more in common w/ Love Music than anything that will bring back the ethereal, ethnic feel of Primal Roots... Look out, because the Elektra stuff will easily & equally disappoint just as much as this "Love Music-out take", to me, ultimately does...!!!!

A run down the track of bettering life's records, but what was really wrong? Perhaps a more "evolution/revolution" was needed for this group, but "the older stuff, from the '60's" was good, while sadly it looked like this decade was pandering too much to the soft rock, lounge music lovers crowd, & a lot of the once great acts, somehow got their number called by the hot-shot producers, & coked-out production methods, hence a shoddy presentation, that is just "a holding pattern" until the sometimes inspiring, though mostly direction-less Elektra stuff gets here...


Dave
 

Harry

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From discogs:

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Antônio Carlos e Jocafi is a duo of very popular composers. Recorded by several interpreters and enjoying an international reputation, they've also recorded 13 albums as interpreters, from 1971 to 1996. The composer Antônio Carlos Marques Pinto was guitarist of the Carlos Lacerda Orchestra, having written "Festa no Terreiro de Alaketu," presented by Maria Creusa in 1967 in III Brazilian Popular Music Festival (FMPB). In the next year, they also teamed with the composer Jocafi (José Carlos Figueiredo), he wrote "Catendê," interpreted by Maria Creuza in the V FMPB (1969). Maria Creuza recorded that song in 1971 and also interpreted other creations by the duo in different records. In 1971, the duo recorded "Você Abusou," which had extraordinary success, having been re-recorded by different artists until today. They also had success in that period with "Mudei de Idéia" and "Desacato." The success in Brazil and abroad reached a peak with "Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos" and "Diacho de Dor," winner of the second place of the World Popular Song Festival (Tokyo, Japan). ~ Alvaro Neder, Rovi

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JMK

Well-Known Member
Contributor
Dusty Groove used to carry a really good Carlos e Jocafi Greatest Hits CD that featured Voce Abusou. Not sure if it's still in stock.
 

Dave

Well-Known Member
Harry said:
The Waters Of March (Aguas de Março) (Antonio Carlos Jobim)

Waiting For Love (Randy McNeil)

Lonely Sailor (Marinheiro Só) (arr. by Sergio Mendes)


Somehow songwriter Randy McNeil's name got the "bold type-treatment" in-between the "Portuguese songs w/ "English titles" in parenthesis"...! :whistle:


Dave

--Hoping Harry will correct his mistakes... :neutral:inkshield: :winkgrin:
 

Trevor

Well-Known Member
I really liked this album. I guess I am one of a few... Waiting for Love is one of my favorite "Bonnie songs". Lonely Sailor had the same feel as "The Crab". I really like Superstition - Sergio gave it an old mix up versus just resinging / replaying it.
 

Harry

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I was listening to "Você Abusou" on YouTube and reading some of the comments, when I found someone who, when they were very young, thought that this song was singing about "Oh hey! Applesauce". I thought that was cute.
 
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