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Tuneful

New Member
Thread Starter
Just realized it has been 55years since I first heard the Mendes sound. I was a DJ and played their music and saw them many times. It was a refreshing sound that added a lot to the music scene. It is difficult to believe that many of the performers are no longer with us like Dom Um Romao, Oscar Castro-Neves, Reubens Bassini, Janis Hansen,
Claudio Slon, Joao Palma, and perhaps others. Thanks to all who made the music possible, and especially to Herb Alpert for getting the group recorded and to Sergio for continuing the Brazilian sound. Thanks, too, to Lani for her contributions as well. We can all appreciate the fact that we have, with the push of a button, a chance hear that "sound" anytime we want. Keep listening!!!
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
The first time that I heard Brasil'66 was probably when "For Me" was on the radio in 1967. The DJ did not give the artist name at the time but soon "Look Around" was released and I heard "With A Little Help From My Friends" and "Roda" a lot. Then many of the earlier songs got into the music rotation-"Mais Que Nada, The Joker" to name a few and then "Fool On The Hill" hit the airwaves. "Look Around" was the first Brasil'66 album that I purchased, followed by their first, then "Crystal Illusions" and then "Fool On the Hill" followed by "Equinox" and "Greatest Hits" and finally "Ye Me Le" as it seemed not to be on the shelves as much. Either it was selling well where I bought lp's or they never stocked it. Sergio Mendes and Brasil'66 has been my favorite group of all time and I play the lp's now and then at home and the cd's in my car whenever I travel. I have gotten some youth of today to listen to them and they enjoy hearing it when I travel with them as passengers. I have bought "Stillness", "Pais Tropical" and "Primal Roots" on lp and cd. I have not bought any others as once Mendes made the switch to Bell, it did not sound as good to me, being all covers of hit songs. I prefer all of 1966 to 1972 releases on A&M.
 

Harry

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My history with Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 has probably been detailed a few times on these pages, but rather than hunt it down, I'll add it here.

It likely began with my love of the Tijuana Brass. I had begun my collecting of those first six TjB records and often looked at the album covers and read the liner notes while listening to a particular album, a practice I continue to today. Part of the artwork of those records was of course the inner sleeve, and that's where I must have first laid eyes upon the name "Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66".

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I wasn't much of a radio listener at that time, though my sisters often had the top 40 station on, so I'd hear some of the hits in the background. I don't think I would've heard any Sergio Mendes on there though, at least it doesn't ring a bell.

I kept on collecting the Herb Alpert albums as they were released. My parents probably encouraged me because they liked Herb's stuff too, and occasionally they'd come back from a shopping trip to Sears or somewhere and bring home a Tijuana Brass album. I remember SOUNDS LIKE in particular because they were afraid is wasn't a real Herb Alpert album but a "sound like".

One day they came in with FAMILY PORTRAIT, the multi-artist compilation from A&M, and it featured "Flea Bag" from the latest album at the time, HERB ALPERT'S NINTH. Well it also featured "Like A Lover" by Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66. Now, I got to hear what this group sounded like. It was hard to tell from the picture on the inner sleeve just what this bunch peeking out of a jungle might sound like. The words "HERB ALPERT PRESENTS" wasn't exactly readable, so I never made the connection to Herb other than it was on the same label.

But I really liked "Like A Lover" - still do - it's probably my favorite of theirs even today. So I began my quest to pick up their three albums, and I started from the beginning. Around this time, I started listening to FM radio because of my fascination with stereo, and I began to hear some of Sergio's stuff being played along with Herb and Burt Bacharach and Dionne Warwick and all kinds of softer rock, what today would be called Adult Hits. Back then it was MOR, for middle of the road. Not quite rock and roll and not quite easy listening, but right in the middle.

Then FOOL ON THE HILL was released. I added that to my collection and began hearing the title track and "Scarborough Fair" on the hit radio station too. I bought all of the subsequent albums - except PRIMAL ROOTS. I'd read somewhere that it was not designed as a hit album, so by now, enamored with the workings of radio, I skipped that one. But I did buy LOVE MUSIC - liked a few of the songs and was disappointed to see it on Bell Records and not A&M. It's here that I lost touch with Sergio and his music.

It wasn't until finding like-minded people here at A&M Corner starting in 1997 that I began to fill in all of the many holes in my collection, Sergio Mendes chief among the artists I was interested in. And by then it was time to try to find all of the old stuff on CD. Back in the 80s I found the Brasil '66 GREATEST HITS on CD and a copy of FOOL ON THE HILL. The other stuff would have to come from Japan - and most of it did.

I've assembled a pretty large collection of Sergio Mendes recordings on both record and CD. I believe every album is now on CD from one place or another.

Oh - and it turned out I was stupid to skip PRIMAL ROOTS. It's probably among the best albums he ever did.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
I had seen Primal Roots in the stores and when "Foursider" was released it had two selections from the album. I later heard the entire side one at a theater where some students were doing a rehearsal for a show. I talked with the director and told him I was a Sergio Mendes fan. The album disappeared from the stores before I could buy it(broke college boy) but I eventually found a copy at a used book store in Northern Virginia. I got a Japan issue from Amazon a few years back. I keep hoping to see a copy at a used record store but no luck on that so far. Only one other person I knew had a copy from its original release.
 

Harry

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When I began to look for old product, including PRIMAL ROOTS, I scoured a local used record store and found a near mint copy of the original issue. And the funny thing was a couple years later, the program director at the radio station I worked at asked me if I'd ever heard of PRIMAL ROOTS. He said his wife liked a lot of "weird stuff" and couldn't find that one. I dutifully made her a copy and she was thrilled. This was before Japan reissued it on CD.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
When I began to look for old product, including PRIMAL ROOTS, I scoured a local used record store and found a near mint copy of the original issue. And the funny thing was a couple years later, the program director at the radio station I worked at asked me if I'd ever heard of PRIMAL ROOTS. He said his wife liked a lot of "weird stuff" and couldn't find that one. I dutifully made her a copy and she was thrilled. This was before Japan reissued it on CD.
One amazing thing about the Sergio Mendes albums on A&M is that they never showed up in cut out bins at any time, at least not in this area. I would have thought that the later releases, not selling so well would have been in there as I saw some Herb Alpert and TJB in the bins. His sold very well but "Ninth" and "Warm" were in the bins at the same time.
 

Harry

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The only "cheapy" Sergio Mendes album from the 60s through early 70s that I saw in the bins was the Pickwick version of YE-ME-LE with the revised cover and two tracks missing. Horrible thing!

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Bobberman

Well-Known Member
As mentioned elsewhere my first exposure to Sergio Mendes was back in 1979 watching Brasil 88 on the Mike Douglas show singing "Magic Lady " and "Fool on the Hill" However it was to be a few years later encountering The first Brasil 66 Lp at a public Library which I checked out often until I was able to find some Of the LPs in the stores starting with the Green cover Greatest Hits Lp ( and subsequently I was able to find all the other Brasil 66 77 and 88 and Sergio only Albums respectively) today having almost everything on CD and downloads is very nice my collection ends at the Bom Tempo CD as His music became too Hip hop for my tastes however I still enjoy everything he did before that however I do respect the fact that he's still playing and trying to stay contemporary but the Brasil 66 sound and the pre Brasil 66 Jazz instrumental albums are really the very best I would love for him to go back to doing more instrumentals I always liked those
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
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The only "cheapy" Sergio Mendes album from the 60s through early 70s that I saw in the bins was the Pickwick version of YE-ME-LE with the revised cover and two tracks missing. Horrible thing!

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That has to be one of the ugliest album covers I've ever seen! 🤣 It looks like someone unsuccessfully channeling a Peter Gabriel state outfit circa 1975....
 

Rudy

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My folks had the first two Brasil '66 records in mono, and I played them often. Look Around and Fool were part of the newfangled console stereo we had in the living room, so while I did play those up there, they didn't get as many plays. When I got a cassette player, an aunt gave me the Greatest Hits and Crystal Illusions on cassette as a holiday gift. Didn't much get into the latter, but Greatest Hits got a few plays. (Those early cassettes were dreadful sounding, but over the portable they were plenty good enough.)
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
(Those early cassettes were dreadful sounding, but over the portable they were plenty good enough.)
I agree most Cassettes were pretty much formulated for portable units ( like my first Sanyo Player circa 1978) the certron and other cheapie blank tapes and earlier cassette albums didn't ever sound good over the bigger stereo systems like the one my parents had so I can truly relate to your experience and I also agree they sounded plenty good enough on portables
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
When I began to look for old product, including PRIMAL ROOTS, I scoured a local used record store and found a near mint copy of the original issue. And the funny thing was a couple years later, the program director at the radio station I worked at asked me if I'd ever heard of PRIMAL ROOTS. He said his wife liked a lot of "weird stuff" and couldn't find that one. I dutifully made her a copy and she was thrilled. This was before Japan reissued it on CD.
It would be really nice if Verve could do a US issue of Stillness, Pais Tropical, Primal Roots and Live at Expo 70. I have the first three as Japan issues but Expo 70 is too pricey for me.
 

Michael Hagerty

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Contributor
I heard and loved "Mas Que Nada", "Cinnamon and Clove", "Chove' Chuva" and "For Me" on the radio. For Me was probably the "oh wow" of the bunch. Don't know why.

Starting at age 10, my mom and other relatives would give me albums for birthdays and Christmas. I got the first four Monkees albums as they came out, THE MONKEES, MORE OF THE MONKEES, HEADQUARTERS and HEAD, THE COWSILLS, and the follow-up, WE CAN FLY.

In December of 1967, I had asked my mom for "The new Herb Alpert album" for Christmas. I was referring to HERB ALPERT'S NINTH. I told her it had a green cover. Imagine my surprise on Christmas morning at age 11 when I unwrapped WHIPPED CREAM AND OTHER DELIGHTS.

Anyway, two months later, having saved up Christmas money and my allowance, I decided to buy my own records. I could afford two albums. I went for LOOK AROUND and FRANK SINATRA AND ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM. Bossa nova, sophistication, killer liner notes (especially Stan Cornyn's on the Sinatra album). At age 11.

Weird, me?
 

Harry

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I think "For Me" is likely my second favorite after "Like A Lover". I remember having both a mono copy and a stereo copy of the album and syncing them up on my two turntables and discovering the fact that the ladies' vocal fades out sooner on the mono.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
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Anyway, two months later, having saved up Christmas money and my allowance, I decided to buy my own records. I could afford two albums. I went for LOOK AROUND and FRANK SINATRA AND ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM. Bossa nova, sophistication, killer liner notes (especially Stan Cornyn's on the Sinatra album). At age 11.

Weird, me?
Not too weird--my Xmas list usually included at least a few albums, especially as I got into my teen years. And my tastes were all over the map. My mother never understood why I wanted, say, the TJB's Greatest Hits since "we already have all of those songs at home already." But I think she gave up when I asked for Foursider that year it came out. I kind of operate that way myself, though. If I have all of the original albums, any anthologies that come out are rarely of interest, unless there is compelling bonus material. (Worst example--the Prince 3-CD set that had two CDs of hits, with the third CD being all of his B-sides seeing their first digital release...so you know I only bought it for the third CD! 😁) I didn't buy many records, though, up until we had a Harmony House nearby, and I could ride up on my bike and purchase a 12" single or two every couple of weeks. I'd also save up for their yearly Gran Prix Sale (to coincide with the Gran Prix race they'd hold downtown) and purchase anywhere from four up to a dozen titles each summer.

Stan Cornyn's book "Exploding!" was a classic. If you haven't read it yet...find a copy somewhere and enjoy!
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
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It would be really nice if Verve could do a US issue of Stillness, Pais Tropical, Primal Roots and Live at Expo 70. I have the first three as Japan issues but Expo 70 is too pricey for me.
I can't even recall where I got my Expo '70 from (, but just checking Qobuz, the only two A&Ms not available for download or streaming are Pais Tropical and Expo '70. All the rest (even Stillness and Primal Roots) are available.
 

Michael Hagerty

Well-Known Member
Contributor
Not too weird--my Xmas list usually included at least a few albums, especially as I got into my teen years. And my tastes were all over the map. My mother never understood why I wanted, say, the TJB's Greatest Hits since "we already have all of those songs at home already." But I think she gave up when I asked for Foursider that year it came out. I kind of operate that way myself, though. If I have all of the original albums, any anthologies that come out are rarely of interest, unless there is compelling bonus material. (Worst example--the Prince 3-CD set that had two CDs of hits, with the third CD being all of his B-sides seeing their first digital release...so you know I only bought it for the third CD! 😁) I didn't buy many records, though, up until we had a Harmony House nearby, and I could ride up on my bike and purchase a 12" single or two every couple of weeks. I'd also save up for their yearly Gran Prix Sale (to coincide with the Gran Prix race they'd hold downtown) and purchase anywhere from four up to a dozen titles each summer.

Stan Cornyn's book "Exploding!" was a classic. If you haven't read it yet...find a copy somewhere and enjoy!
My bookshelf, the last ten or so years:
 

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Michael Hagerty

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I can't even recall where I got my Expo '70 from (, but just checking Qobuz, the only two A&Ms not available for download or streaming are Pais Tropical and Expo '70. All the rest (even Stillness and Primal Roots) are available.
PAIS TROPICAL is on Spotify, which is only missing Expo ‘70.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
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My bookshelf, the last ten or so years:
Well-stocked. 😁 Just about all the books I own are stored in boxes in the basement. We were only supposed to be here a year or two; ten years later....still here. I've gotten recent books on the Kindle Paperwhite which isn't quite the same as turning a page but in reality, with my eyes getting worse, the Kindle is far easier for me to read than print on a page since I can adjust the type size and backlighting to make them more legible.
 

Michael Hagerty

Well-Known Member
Contributor
Well-stocked. 😁 Just about all the books I own are stored in boxes in the basement. We were only supposed to be here a year or two; ten years later....still here. I've gotten recent books on the Kindle Paperwhite which isn't quite the same as turning a page but in reality, with my eyes getting worse, the Kindle is far easier for me to read than print on a page since I can adjust the type size and backlighting to make them more legible.


EXPLODING is a great read---I probably re-read it every year.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
I heard and loved "Mas Que Nada", "Cinnamon and Clove", "Chove' Chuva" and "For Me" on the radio. For Me was probably the "oh wow" of the bunch. Don't know why. Starting at age 10, my mom and other relatives would give me albums for birthdays and Christmas. I got the first four Monkees albums as they came out, THE MONKEES, MORE OF THE MONKEES, HEADQUARTERS and HEAD, THE COWSILLS, and the follow-up, WE CAN FLY. In December of 1967, I had asked my mom for "The new Herb Alpert album" for Christmas. I was referring to HERB ALPERT'S NINTH. I told her it had a green cover. Imagine my surprise on Christmas morning at age 11 when I unwrapped WHIPPED CREAM AND OTHER DELIGHTS. Anyway, two months later, having saved up Christmas money and my allowance, I decided to buy my own records. I could afford two albums. I went for LOOK AROUND and FRANK SINATRA AND ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM. Bossa nova, sophistication, killer liner notes (especially Stan Cornyn's on the Sinatra album). At age 11. Weird, me?

My album collecting started with a Christmas Present in 1969 of "The Age of Aquarius." I purchased "Look Around" a few days later. I had heard the entire album on 8 track tape while riding in a friend's car. Over time, I got all 5th Dimension, Brasil'66 and a few other artist's entire releases that I still listen to on lp or cd if available.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
There is a great collection from A&M Records Ltd(London) "The Very Best of Sergio Mendes and Brasil'66." It is a two CD set from all the albums through Stillness. There are 48 selections. YeMeLe is there in its entirety with 8 selections each from Stillness and Equinox, 7 each from Herb Alpert Presents and Look Around, 6 from Crystal Illusions and 2 from Fool On The Hill. I wonder why the last was shafted so.
I play it in my car when traveling. It takes up less room than having all the other cds and the passengers that I have had enjoy it, especially the Brazilian selections.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
That has to be one of the ugliest album covers I've ever seen! 🤣 It looks like someone unsuccessfully channeling a Peter Gabriel state outfit circa 1975....
As I stated in another discussion, that cover looks very creepy!!!
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Ah, yes. THE VERY BEST OF SERGIO MENDES & BRASIL'66. That was a big topic back when this board was in its early days back in 1997. At the time, there was very little of Sergio's stuff on CD and that set covered so much.

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I think many of us got it through a place called Thoughtscape Sounds, one of the few places that had catalog of imports with many A&M's from Japan. I was thrilled to get this one. Up until then, I had the green GREATEST HITS with its 12 tracks, and FOOL ON THE HILL with its 10 tracks as the only digital Sergio available at that time (that is with no Internet to find the treasures that were out there).

The set was listed as being "Digitally Remastered" by Roger Wake at Bourbery-Wake, and upon first listen everything sounded so good and exciting. Later on I realized that they goosed the highs and lows and in reality, this set was a bit of a sonic mess. Still, it was welcome at the time.

One thing I always hated was the way the track list was printed on the back cover. The titles of each CD were spread out on 6 or 8 lines of text, alternating Blue and Red printing. It was a visual mess trying to figure out where a particular track was, and there was no sense of order in the thing. But as I say, it was a wonderful gift to have so many tracks available. This set is still out there and available for purchase here in 2020.

Later on, I decided to compile a theoretical Disc Three of the set with many of the non-used tracks, so it was heavy on FOOL ON THE HILL.

Of course, as time went on, virtually all of Sergio Mendes' output has been released on CD somewhere in the world, and tracking them down has been a fun pursuit over the years.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
I bought my copy on Amazon. It is still listed at very reasonable pricing. I later bought a second copy to give to a coworker that was leaving for a new job. He became interested in Sergio Mendes after hearing Mais Que Nada in the later version with the Black Eyed Peas. I let him listen to the original along with other cd's of Brasil'66 and 77 on A&M. I also introduced him to The 5TH Dimension and The Manhattan Transfer. He truly enjoyed Sergio Mendes and Brasil'66.
You are correct, the back cover leaves a lot to be desired but I was disappointed that there were not more pictures of the members or original album covers.
I do not have the ability to create a disc but when I made a cassette for the first car I owned that had a player, I used several selection from Fool On The Hill. It always gets the short end of the stick in compilations.
 
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