AOTW GREATEST HITS-Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 SP-4252

Discussion in 'Look Around: Sergio Mendes/Brazilian Music Forum' started by Harry, Oct 6, 2002.

If you've ever heard or owned this album, how would you rate it?

  1. * * * * * (Best)

    4 vote(s)
  2. * * * *

    8 vote(s)
  3. * * * (Average)

    4 vote(s)
  4. * *

    0 vote(s)
  5. * (Worst)

    0 vote(s)
  6. I've never heard this album.

    1 vote(s)
  1. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator Thread Starter


    reissue on SP-3258
    CD 3258 (US) and 393 258-2 (EU)


    Track listing

    MAS QUE NADA (Ma-sh Kay Nada) †‡
    (Jorge Ben)
    (From the Columbia Picture "Casino Royale")

    (Cole Porter)


    Front Cover Photography: OTTO STUPAKOFF
    This recording employs the HAECO-CSG system and may be played either monaurally or stereophonically.
  2. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator Thread Starter

    This enduringly popular album has had a number of different releases over the years and remains in print on CD to this day.

    Somehow, back in the early '70s, I must've rebelled against buying this album as SP-4252 in its gatefold format since I don't own one. And I've learned that the gatefold SP-4252 had two different color schemes: the familiar green as pictured above and a brownish color, a little darker than the Herb Alpert TJB orange color on the series, but brighter than the Baja Marimba Band's entry. I've not seen a real copy of that brownish cover, although our friend Paula had one and had it color-photocopied to prove it to me!

    My first copy of the album was the SP-3258 reissue without the gatefold and with the silver label on the record. I seem to have managed to have acquired two of these over the years, both are in excellent shape.

    When CDs were just starting to be issued in the mid '80s, I found a copy of the album on CD in the town of Davos, Switzerland. I can still recall my delight at seeing a familiar old friend of an album staring at me in this little, tiny CD store in the Swiss Alps. I bought it then and there, even though I wouldn't see my CD player at home for another two weeks. Still, on occasion, I'd open the case, read the label and the sparse liner credits and imagine how it would sound. It would be my first taste of Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 in a digital format. How happy I was that the track list featured long-time favorites "Like A Lover" and "Pretty World" as well as the rest of the tunes. I was not disappointed on my return home. It was heaven to have this album on CD. At this point in time, there were no Sergio Mendes albums available on CD in the US, so I managed to be among the first to get this one. It seems to me that it was a few years later, probably 1988, until the CD was released here in the States.

    I still have that CD, and since then purchased a cheap domestic copy just for comparison. Sonically they are identical. The domestic copy has one less page in the liner fold-over. The European foldout features a larger version of the black & white photo from the cover on the inside.

    As I mentoined, this disc has remained in print for all these years. In spite of that, an expanded and updated version came out soon after. In 1986, A&M Europe issued THE VERY BEST OF SERGIO MENDES & BRASIL '66 (A&M 396 907-2). The artwork on this one is the picture of a ladies hand holding a lit cigar. The twelve titles listed above all appeared, in almost the same order, with four additional tracks. Stuck in between "Fool On The Hill" and "Going Out Of My Head" in the sequencing, "Norwegian Wood" was added. Tacked onto the end were: "Wave", "Pais Tropical", and "Watch What Happens." Never mind that "Pais Tropical" was from Brasil '77. That didn't seem to matter.

    The same expanded track listing as VERY BEST appeared again in 1999 on the British Spectrum label, now titled THE ESSENTIAL SERGIO MENDES (554 7032). It's not just the same disc though, as all of the tracks were re-mastered giving them a brighter sound than the duller VERY BEST OF.

    ...with green albums and CDs strewn all over the place, online...
    Intuitive Samba likes this.
  3. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    It was probably 1985 when I bought this CD and TJB's Christmas album, both imports, for only $15 each. I was hoping this would have been the start of a flood of all my old favorites on CD. Unfortunately... :|

    -= N =-
  4. Mr Bill

    Mr Bill Gentlemanly Curmudgeon Moderator

    I have one copy with each color scheme sleeve. For a long time the brown was the more common (and I suspect the original version) but in the late 70s I started seeing more and more of the green one. SOmeone in A&M's art department probably thought the GH series had too many "subdued" colors already...

    --Mr Bill
  5. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    Maybe it was regional--out of countless copies I've seen in our area, including any CD and cassette copies, they've all been the green version. Even my 8-track copy is green. (My cassette is one of those "original" cassette issues...which means the high end is optional. :wink: )

    Does anyone know if the brown version ever appeared on a cassette or 8-track?

    If these Greatest Hits albums had contained twice as many tracks on CD, and been expanded to include other A&M artists, they would have made a nice box set. :|

    -= N =-
    Bobberman likes this.
  6. JMK

    JMK Well-Known Member Contributor

    The green cover came first--I owned both versions (yes, rabid completist, that's me). IIRC the brownish cover came along at least two or three years later and I think even had a different copyright date on the back cover (but I may very well be remembering that incorrectly). I never remember seeing the brown cover on any of the tape releases.

    My only complaint about this compilation is that it leaves out a number of Sergio's early chart hits (albeit Top 100, not Top 40) in favor of other tunes.
  7. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    I would also think the green is the primary release color, just due to the fact that the tape and CD versions have all been green.

    Then again, Jobim's Wave has been reissued for years with the wrong color for the red/purple-hued giraffe photo!

    The song selection is OK for me, but it does seem to follow a theme similar to the other Greatest Hits albums in that they are more like collections of favorites than actual charting hits.

    But with this whole new cornucopia of Brasil '66 CDs just reissued, we can go ape-sh!t crazy and make our own compilations! :D

    -= N =-
    Bobberman likes this.
  8. LPJim

    LPJim Well-Known Member Moderator

    Couldn't get up early enough to get ahead of you guys; but we're back from the obscure to the familiar again.
    I've got both green and brown LPs, plus the CD 3258. There are variances between the program lenghts of the LP vs. CD which I -- and I hope others --will find fascinating:

    SP 4252/ CD 3258
    1. 2:37/2:40
    2. 3:19/ same
    3. 2:33/ 2:35
    4. 3:51/ 3:50
    5. 2:42/ same
    6. 3:30/ 3:06 --- quite a difference there
    7. 3:15/ 3:14
    8. 3:00/ 3:03
    9. 2:59/ 3:02
    10. 4:25/ same
    11. 3:09/ 3:05
    12. 3:20/ 3:19.

  9. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    If they took the track timings from the CD, those would be more accurate. Possible they bothered to check the CD timings, rather than take them from the LP, wrong or not.

    -= N =-
  10. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator Thread Starter

    It would appear that there are always going to be discrepancies in track timings, even though you'd think it would be an exact science. Long fade-outs and fade-ins are usually the culprit, with it being difficult to know just when to start and stop the clock.

    CD players usually have their own built-in timers, but even these are subject to the innaccuracies of wherever they were recorded/pressed. Some CD manufacturers include the few seconds of silence at the end as part of the track, where LP times generally don't include any of the between-track silence.

    ...And then there are those that are just flat-out wrong! I swear, some track timings are so bad you'd think they were made at relativistic speeds!

    I've noticed a recent trend that CDs don't even bother with track timings anymore. Nothing in the booklet, nothing on the label. I guess they've given up and have let the listener decide how long the tracks are.

    ...noting that this post takes about 0:55 to read, online...
  11. I assume you would mean in some cases where CD tracks with fade outs cut off sooner than on the LP's. But even in the vinyl arena, I've seen some discrepancies; one mastering studio may have anywhere from 1/4 sec. to :02 sec. pitch variables on songs where the sequence from beginning to end was exactly the same, as in comparison to another mastering studio. Or one studio would have either brighter or duller high end than the other on the same recording. On 45's as well as LP's.

    But to tell exactly when something ends on long fadeouts, you really have to have the kind of hearing as like what canines hear.

    I think back to The Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'", which listed a time of 3:05 even though it was actually 3:46. There've been a few other instances similar thereto, with certain other tunes (presumably a few on A&M; the converse is Booker T. & Priscilla's "The Wedding Song," whose time on the 45 release – AM-1298 – was listed as 9:26, even though my timing came up with somewhere around eight minutes or thereabouts. It was still pretty long, though).

  12. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    At least with a CD, they can just list out the total track timings (silence or not) and use those. I'm not sure about how the silence is timed on some CDs. You may have noticed on older ones that you would sometimes get a negative track timing (counting down to zero) at the beginning of a track. I'm not sure if that contributed to the overall total of a track's timing or not (I think not, but don't recall)--I do know that when programming tracks on a CD player, it would skip the negative portion. I can do that with CD Architect. Might be worth experimenting on a CD-RW.

    Not printing track timings will save the record label a cost of $0.000025 in time savings (the labor of someone figuring out the track timings) and $0.0000031 in the ink not used to print them. Or, maybe it's a subversive RIAA plot: if you read track timings, that means you're using them for home filthy pirate you! :D

    For decades, the Miles Davis album Kind Of Blue had one (!) side that was 1/4-tone off-pitch (too high), which was only fixed in the most recent CD reissues. At least with a digital recording, the timing will always remain a constant, and we can only hope that whoever transfers the analog masters to digital, does so at the correct speed. That in itself is a moving target--how do we know the original recording deck was calibrated to exactly 15 inches per second?

    -= N =-[/quote]
  13. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    The worst example of track mistimings I've ever seen was Fleetwood Mac's FUTURE GAMES album. The song "Woman of 1000 Years" in particular is listed as 8:00+, and is actually somewhere around 5 minutes long. A couple of the other songs are incorrect, as well.

    Now to get this thread back on track....
  14. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    While I like all the songs on this album and it 's a great album, to me it suffers from a huge flaw: There is not enough "Brasil" in it. To me the best Sergio Mendes tunes are the Portuguese ones. They coulda took out one of the LOOK AROUND songs and put in something else from FOOL ON THE HILL, which was certainly one of their bestsellers.
  15. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    Good point...although the A&R department probably thought the pop side of B66 would sell more copies.

    It does give me ideas about doing a Brazilian B66 compilation, though...

    -= N =-
  16. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator Thread Starter

    When the album was compiled, Sergio's largest 'hits' were of the pop variety: "Look Of Love", "Fool On The Hill", and "Scarborough Fair". Of Brasil '66's top charted hits, only "Mas Que Nada" and "Constant Rain (Chove Chuva)" featured any Portuguese, and "Chove..." only managed a number 71 on the charts. Too bad IT didn't make the cut for the album.

    So, I think I'm taking both sides of the argument here. It's a hits album, therefore not much Portuguese, but it's also got some non-hits on there, so why NOT some Brazilian tunes?

    ...on both sides at the same time, online...
  17. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    Then again, "Pretty World" is an Americanized version of a Brasilian song.

    -= N =-
  18. Being on the topic, the one B'66 tune I've really cottoned up to was "The Look Of Love," which I prefer even to Dusty Springfield's version :wink: . But I could leave "Fool on the Hill" to The Beatles, "Scarborough Fair" to Simon & Garfunkel, and so on -- but then, that's me, I guess. . . .
  19. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator Thread Starter

    An adddendum to last week's Album Of The Week: I saw it selling in the bins at Borders for $7.99. The was a bin that had one side of all Millennium Collection discs and the other side had other discs from "Universal". at the $7.99 price. It's a good time to grab it if you don't already own it. It makes one wonder if Universal will someday strip off the old familiar green cover, slap in a new silver one and call it a Millennium Collection disc. It fits the profile -- twelve tracks.

    ...with enough copies of Sergio's Greatest Hits to hold me, online...
  20. Mr Bill

    Mr Bill Gentlemanly Curmudgeon Moderator

    Just an update to add aotw image...

    --Mr Bill
  21. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator Thread Starter

    I'm sitting at my computer and using a borrowed 35mm slide/negative scanner and revisiting a lot of older pictures I have as negatives. I have the prints made from years ago, but they don't compare favorably to the actual images on the negatives that this Nikon scanner is capable of delivering as digital images.

    I came across a shot of Davos, Switzerland and was reminded of the little record store I visited in 1986 in that town, purchasing my first Sergio Mendes CD. It was a copy of GREATEST HITS (detailed above). So I'm listening to that album right now as I scan. But - I've got it as a playlist with the natural, non-CSG'ed tracks. Sounds good. 1986-08-#2-0001.jpg
    Bobberman likes this.
  22. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    I first bought my copy on vinyl ( non gatefold ) in 1983 at a budget record store For $4.99 ( plus tax brought it slightly over $5 ) with the silver tan A&M label that was my gateway to Sergio and Brasil 66 every song was an automatic favorite as with many records I eventually wore it out and fortunately I replaced it with the CD version and I still enjoy listening to my copy ( which is also ripped into my laptop along with everything else) And it does serve as a decent introduction to the group and it covers material from the first album up to Crystal illusions ( from which Pretty World came from)
  23. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    Was this original CD CSG'ed? I have no need to rip mine (I have all the tracks already from the album releases), but just curious.
  24. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator Thread Starter

    Yes. It still is to this day. Still available!
  25. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    Mine is the W. German CD that came out in the mid 80s...was there a US version? I remember that was the "grab the most convenient master tape from the shelf" era, so yeah, makes sense they would be CSG.

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