One&Done @ A&M: Bossa Rio / (s/t) -- SP 4191

JOv2

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  • Comments, questions, conjectures and stories are welcomed.
  • Released in 1969
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bossa-1b.jpg


 

Harry

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Technically, this is a one and done, but in reality, it was the first of two BOSSA RIO albums - the second one was on Blue Thumb, also produced by Sergio Mendes. And Gracinha, who'd already done a turn or two with Sergio, would go on to replace Lani Hall in Brasil '66. And, though technically this was the only studio album on A&M, there was a Japanese live album that was recorded at the Expo '70 tour with Brasil '66. That one's tough to find.

I've recently spent a good deal of time with the BOSSA RIO album (SP-4191). It's one of the albums that got the dreaded CSG treatment, which survived through all re-releases including the Japanese CD releases. With the PhaseBug plug-in, one can undo the CSG and make the thing sound normal.

I remember this one getting featured on the radio station I listened to, and it sounded enough like Brasil '66 that I ran out and bought it. Then it seemed the Bossa Rio was on an uptick when the second album ALEGRIA! came out, as it had a couple of genuine hit-type airplay songs, including "Blackbird", and "With Your Love Now"
 

Michael Hagerty

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Tommy LiPuma had left A&M to start Blue Thumb Records in '68. My guess is that when BOSSA RIO underperformed and Jerry showed no interest in a follow-up, Sergio simply worked the relationship with Tommy for ALEGRIA!

I heard "Blackbird" on KMPC in Los Angeles and thought it was Brasil '66. Drove me nuts for years that I could never find it. I don't think I ever saw a BOSSA RIO or ALEGRIA! album until here at the Forum. I've never seen an actual physical copy---and as I look above, I see the liner notes for the first album were written by Johnny Magnus, the evening jock at KMPC, the very disc jockey who played "Blackbird" the one time I heard it on the air.
 

JOv2

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I have both albums and enjoy them a great deal. As for their A&M offering -- I'll take it in a heartbeat over B66's Crystal Illusions and Ye-Me-Le (which are both disappointing LPs from '69).
 
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Michael Hagerty

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I have both albums and enjoy them a great deal. As for their A&M offering -- I'll take it in a heartbeat over B66's Crystal Illusions and Ye-Me-Le (which are both disappointing LPs from '69).
Not a very good year on LaBrea.
 

Rudy

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One odd thing about the label of my copy of Alegria is that the typeface is very similar to the A&M albums of the time. It almost looks like they lifted off the A&M graphics and substituted the Blue Thumb layout (which wasn't much more than a blue thumbprint). If this doesn't look like a few dozen A&M LPs out of my colleciton, I don't know what does. Probably the same pressing plant that A&M used, at least for this version.

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To me, Alegria is the more solid of the two albums. I can't stand some of the cover versions of the English tunes on the A&M record--it always made them sound like a bad Brasil '66 knockoff. Yet the Brazilian tunes "Saiupa," "Veleiro," "Boa Palavra" and "Cancao do Sal" are very well done although the last tune does not translate to "Sultry Song"--it's actually "Salt Song" or I believe I have seen it described as being more akin to "saltworker's" (salt miner's) song. "Wave" is absolutely dreadful with lyrics, and this is even worse than the Brasil '66 version. They had a better approach on Alegria--the 7/4 arrangement of "Spinning Wheel" is unique, for instance. And a cover of "Zazueira."

Combine both records, lose the weak cover tunes and "Wave," and you'd have a good album. Instead, it's two mediocre albums to sit though. No wonder they never sold well.
 

Rudy

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Not a very good year on LaBrea.
I get the same feeling. Things were not firing on all cylinders at the end of the 60s. A&M's legacy groups were fading if not already gone, and their replacements hadn't yet caught fire.
 

JOv2

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Thread Starter
I can't stand some of the cover versions of the English tunes on the A&M record-
I can understand that. I run hot and cold with that sort of thing. For some reason, their covers just sit better with me -- I suppose it's the Portuguese accents, which I find attractive on the English numbers...through that filter the covers comes off more obscure and unique compared to B66's covers.
 

JOv2

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Thread Starter
Not a very good year on LaBrea.
I get the same feeling. Things were not firing on all cylinders at the end of the 60s. A&M's legacy groups were fading if not already gone, and their replacements hadn't yet caught fire.
Indeed. A notable number of the newer artists were "One&Done" as it were in 1968-70 -- so this was surely disappointing. Also, working with all those UK groups wasn't cheap given the logistics involved.
 

rockdoctor

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I never saw either Bossa Rio album in the stores. I did hear Blackbird and Don't Go Breaking My Heart numerous times on AM radio.
 

LPJim

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Often wished the proposed solo album for Manfredo Fest (SP 4193) had materialized. I found a promo A&M single "O Ovum (the Egg)" which was enjoyable. Some of his work for other labels is too. Especially the BRAZILIANA album's title cut -- a real masterpiece. Over 9 minutes long and yet ends too soon.

JB
 

AM Matt

Forum Undertaker
One of the men reminds me of the late Tim Donnelly (Fireman "Chet Kelly" on the TV series "Emergency!" January 1972 - May 1977). Tim died last month at 77 years old!!
 

Michael Hagerty

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Contributor
One odd thing about the label of my copy of Alegria is that the typeface is very similar to the A&M albums of the time. It almost looks like they lifted off the A&M graphics and substituted the Blue Thumb layout (which wasn't much more than a blue thumbprint). If this doesn't look like a few dozen A&M LPs out of my colleciton, I don't know what does. Probably the same pressing plant that A&M used, at least for this version.

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As with the deal with Sergio, I'm betting Tommy LiPuma simply went with what and who he knew, having just left A&M.
 
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