Classic AOTW Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 - FOOL ON THE HILL SP-4160

What is your favorite track?

  • Fool On The Hill

    Votes: 4 15.4%
  • Festa

    Votes: 4 15.4%
  • Casa Forte

    Votes: 3 11.5%
  • Canto Triste

    Votes: 2 7.7%
  • Upa, Neguinho

    Votes: 2 7.7%
  • Lapinha

    Votes: 3 11.5%
  • Scarborough Fair

    Votes: 2 7.7%
  • When Summer Turns To Snow

    Votes: 1 3.8%
  • Laia Ladaia (Reza)

    Votes: 5 19.2%

  • Total voters
    26

Rudy

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Staff member
Site Admin
For sure. I like the Brazilian tunes the best, here. :agree: "Casa Forte" and "Lapinha" are my two big favorites, with "Festa" not far behind (if not for those strings...). I am not a fan of the cover tunes much, though. They're good, just not what I would choose to hear.
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
Just saw this video and thought it should be noted here somewhere:


Harry
I Love this video Lani's smiles through the whole song reminds me of my Daughter when she smiles. However in context of viewing this video the joyous atmosphere is truly infectious. ( and i mean it in a good way.) And so is the song.
 
I've got the pre-recorded REEL-TO-REEL of OR-4160 (black reel with yellow label).
I think, THIS was the first album recorded at A&M Studios "proper", and...mastered on 8-track.
This, also, sounds like the first Brasil '66 album to "mature" and break-away from that (earlier) cocktail lounge/"Mad Men"-type style (which predated the oncoming hippie "consciousness" in full-swing by 1968); where: Sergio started bringing World Music into the fold (for an American audience).
The HAECO (almost) kills it, though --- it IS just so darned "boxy" in the midrange that the vocals get diluted to feel any sense of intimacy (STILLNESS has HAECO on it as well...but, they must've "moderated" it before they got rid of it for good; so it doesn't ruin THAT one like it does FOOL).
However, just listening to the LEFT CHANNEL: the effect is not noticeable. The RIGHT CHANNEL is where you notice the "cloud" around the split signal; because, not *only* is the soloist (vocal or instrument) centered, BUT -- the stereo image is BLURRED.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Thread Starter
Staff member
Moderator
This past week, I've finally located and acquired a mono copy of FOOL ON THE HILL. From what I understand there were two iterations of the album in mono: a special gatefold jacket with the LPX-160 designation containing a stock mono version of the album inside. The other is a standard stereo gatefold jacket SPX-4160 with a sticker on it referring it for AM radio play, and inside a white label promo version of LPX-160.

The question must be asked why in the world the mono even exists if the whole purpose of doing the CSG crap to the album was to make a disc that was playable in both stereo and mono without any phasing difficulties. I guess it's possible that the mono pressings were done before it was decided to lather the stereo with CSG.

Anyway, there are a few minor sonic differences, and the mono gives the album a bit of a punch that it lacks in stereo. Of course it also collapses all of the sound into one channel so your lose the spaciousness that stereo can bring. The biggest difference I can hear between the mono and the stereo occurs on "Upa, Neguinho". Toward the end of the male/female call and response section at about 1:10-1:20, the ladies split into harmony. That is not as obvious on the stereo version, but kind of fades into the heavy string/brass arrangement at that point. On the mono, the ladies' harmonies are more clearly audible. It's just more out front and noticeable.

Harry
...awaiting a hurricane, and still online...
 

Rudy

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Staff member
Site Admin
The mono version could still have been of use to buyers who had old equipment that used monaural cartridges, on which the stylus can only move in the lateral direction. Mono phonographs could be refitted with a stereo cartridge (with the sides wired in parallel) so that they could play stereo LPs without damage, as stereo cartridges can move in both lateral and vertical directions. This was probably pressed in a brief transition era where they considered trying to make stereo compatible for mono players that could play them, while still keeping a mono version for the older phonographs (and of course, broadcast use).

Of course, the CSG sucked worse than the "effect" when playing it in mono. :laugh:
 
...And the equipment relegated to having ceramic cartridges with synthetic sapphire-tip styli (usually, made by "Astatic") would have made it sound WORSE(!).
 
I've decided to continue on with some selected entries from 4151 through at least 4200 in our Classic AOTW series, since some of these classic albums have no AOTW representation in our current database. This will give everyone an opportunity to weigh in on some seminal A&M albums from the period. Up first is 4160, FOOL ON THE HILL by Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66.

Harry
This was not the first album that I had bought by Brasil'66. That honor went to Look Around but Fool On The Hill became my next target. I do not remember if it was the third or fourth that I bought. It had a higher price tag but was well worth it.
I feel that all the songs on it were first rate. I really like the upbeat fun sound of Festa, Upa, Neguinho and Laia LaDaia. I knew of Canto Triste from the back of the Scarborough Fair single. Casa Forte has such strong piano work that showed Sergio's best talent.
When Summer Turns To Snow is one that I really liked as I enjoy the orchestrations. I have never been enamored of Sergio's voice when he does a solo. It sounds much better in a duet as with Dois Dias on Crystal Illusions.
I do not believe that this album was ever available in monaural format. This, the Greatest Hite and Ye Me Le were all three done as Haeco-CSG for play on both Stereo and Mono systems.
The back was censored in many areas. There was a large sticker on the back about the two singles and it covered the "hill" on the cover. Some of the stickers were on the cover itself and others were on the shrink wrap. Eventually the sticker was gone from later pressings. The inner pictures on the lp were in color but the cd release from Verve has them in black and white.
It did muscle its way to number three on the charts and having more english titles probably would not have altered the sales too much.
 
My favourite song is Laphina, with Gracinha Leporace for the first time as soloist singer on a Sergio Mendes album, and of course with the superb guitar by the late Oscar Castro Neves, the legendary bossa nova pioneer and a great human being.
My second is Fool on the hill and third is Festa.
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
I first had this on vinyl on the ochre label in like new condition back in 1984. As i was building my A&M collection and i was hooked on those wonderful rhythms it was there when i noticed that the previous members like Janis Hansen. Jose Soares . Joao Palma and Bob Matthews were Replaced by Karen Philipp. Rubens Bassini. Dom um Romao .and Sebastiao Neto. But The change worked. I still Love hearing Festa . Laphina ( Gracinha's Debut) as well as Reza and the whole album. And a decade later i was able to get a CD version of this on the Rebound label ( during the Polygram era of A&M) and to my ears It is still a joy to listen to.
 
I was a late comer to this album, but it has grown on me the past few years. My favorite track is probably most others' least favorite, and that's "Canto Triste". There's just something about Lani's vocals that just grabbed me. I love the melody of the song, and for some reason I've always felt it belonged in a James Bond movie. Other faves include "Festa" and "Laia Ladaia". I also enjoy the layout of the gatefold cover! :righton:
I became aware of Canto Triste as the back of the Scarborough Fair single that I bought back in late 1969 in the discount bins of a department store-along with Fool on the Hill. I was familiar with the A sides from airplay but had not yet bought the album. That had to wait until summer 1970 when I had the money. Canto Triste to me was a great song as it is so heartfelt at the loss of a breakup and the Dave Grusin arrangements
really add to the basic piano and percussion parts in the song. I also have to agree on Festa and Laia La Daia as great selections. Sergio's vocals on Festa sound very good to me, even though his solos on other songs to me are not as good unless they are tied in a duet as on Dois Dias from Crystal Illusions.
 
Now that's a Beautiful mono release
If I see it in a thrift store or used record shop I will have to pick it up just to have the mono copy. I do have both covers of the stereo version with the back cover sticker and without on several copies that I have picked up in used record stores. I have picked up extra lp copies when they were all out of print before the CD releases. I have even gotten an extra copy of each of the first six on CD in case they go out of print.
 
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