Songs that Sergio should have arranged and Lani should have sung

Michael Hagerty

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Crystal Illusions did get some radio play in the Eastern area of Virginia back in 1969. it was played in the mornings on one local station. People I knew thought it was a great song.
The first time I heard "Crystal Illusions" was on a foggy Sunday morning in Los Angeles on KGIL. I bought the album that afternoon. But it didn't get a lot of airplay, by any means.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
Actually, the promo copy that radio played was 3:50, and a lot of stations faded early.

View attachment 5912
I have never seen that promo single. We had one station that faded out the "Let The Sunshine In" Before Billy's freestyle portion
but all the others in this market played it full. Eventually the station that faded it out started playing the full version. The promo version might be what was used on the Greatest Hits album. "Greatest Hits On Earth" on Bell Records used the full version.
 

Harry

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Philly's WFIL-FM played the whole CRYSTAL ILLUSIONS album. They had a weekly album feature where every few hours -I still recall at about the :25 position on the clock - they'd play a track from the featured album. The "Crystal Illusions" track had to start a little earlier, though. But I already owned the album by then, so it was already familiar territory for me.
 

Harry

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That same WFIL-FM did something similar with "Aquarius". Basically they played the full album version of the first song and then faded when Billy started his "freestyle" vocals. That way, the song "Aquarius" got its full length treatment.
 

Rudy

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The "Crystal Illusions" single might have been one of those that DJs hung up next to the restroom key... 😉
 

Mike Blakesley

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When I sold stereos, we had a few Quad systems. Crystal Illusions was never in quad, but one stereo we had had a "synthesizer" feature where it would simulate quad from a stereo LP. It was pretty cool to sit in the middle of the four speakers and listen to the title track.... I still have to crank it up every time it comes up in my shuffle.
 

Rudy

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That's pretty easy to do--if you have a spare set of speakers, hook them up in the rear. But, rather than connecting the negative wires to your amp, connect the negative terminals of the two rear speakers together with a length of wire. This will play the "difference" signal, and it provides a nice effect that isn't true "quad" but does make for interesting listening. I used to own an amp with a switch which would disconnect the negatives from the amp and connect them together which, of course, is the same thing but with the convenience of a button to do it.

It should work for most components, but there are a very few out there (like Carver Corp.'s amplifiers from the 80s and 90s) that are configured differently and the tactic won't work.
 

rockdoctor

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It is amazing what comes to mind reading through some of the older postings.
I wonder if the A&M vaults have a version of "Where Are You Coming From" with Lani singing?
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
I was listening to an NPR Fresh Air interview with Tom Jones yesterday. He was asked about the song "It's Not Unusual." He made the comment that when he first heard it that it seemed more like a Brasil'66 song. That was before he did it with the brass and drum arrangement to make it a more Rock and Roll song.
I could have seen Lani singing this back in 1966/67 without a brass arrangement.
 

Michael Hagerty

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I was listening to an NPR Fresh Air interview with Tom Jones yesterday. He was asked about the song "It's Not Unusual." He made the comment that when he first heard it that it seemed more like a Brasil'66 song.
Tom would have had to have been clairvoyant to think that. He recorded "It's Not Unusual" in November of 1964.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
Tom would have had to have been clairvoyant to think that. He recorded "It's Not Unusual" in November of 1964.
I may have misunderstood his exact words. The interview was from back a few years and rebroadcast but the comment was made that it sounded more like a Brasil'66 song in the interview.
Have a great day Michael!
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
Here is another idea that would have sounded good.
Sergio and Lani taking some of the great songs from the Gerry Goffin/Carole King Songbook!
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
This may not be a popular suggestion because this is a more implicitly political Brazilian song, but I think Lani + Sergio could have done a great cover of "Lindonéia" by Nara Leão:


I won't post the lyrics or translation (yet) because I'm curious to see what you folks think about this suggestion without knowing the translation or the context. I admit I don't know much about Lani Hall, but from what I do know, she's an excellent musician and would be able to handle a song like this. Additionally, while "Lindonéia" uses more strings than I think Sergio Mendes, the rhythm/cadence and percussion could definitely translate to a Sergio Mendes or Herb Alpert recording, imho.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
The other song from the Tropicália album that has a strong female lead is "Baby" by Gal Costa:


Again, strong strings, but very latino cadence/percussion. I definitely think a Sergio Mendes + Lani collab could do it justice. The lyrics are about upper-middle-class Brazilian modernity (of the 1960s, during the military dictatorship). It's a tongue-in-cheek critique of consumerist capitalism.

Lyrics:
Você precisa saber da piscina
Da margarina, da Carolina, da gasolina
Você precisa saber de mim

Baby, baby, eu sei que é assim
Baby, baby, eu sei que é assim

Você precisa tomar um sorvete
Na lanchonete, andar com a gente, me ver de perto
Ouvir aquela canção do Roberto

Baby, baby, há quanto tempo
Baby, baby, há quanto tempo

Você precisa aprender inglês
Precisa aprender o que eu sei
E o que eu não sei mais
E o que eu não sei mais

Não sei comigo vai tudo azul
Contigo vai tudo em paz
Vivemos na melhor cidade
Da América do Sul, da América do Sul
Você precisa, você precisa, você precisa
Não sei, leia na minha camisa

Baby, baby, I love you
Baby, baby, I love you

English:
You need to know about the swimming pool
About margarine, about Carolina,* about gasoline
You need to know about me

Baby, baby, I know it's like that
Baby, baby, I know it's like that

You need to have an ice cream
At the luncheonette (diner/snack bar), take a walk with us, look at me from close by
Listen to that new song by Roberto**

Baby, baby, how long it's been
Baby, baby, how long it's been

You need to learn English
You need to understand what I know
And what I don't know anymore
And what I don't know anymore

I don't know, with me "everything's blue" (everything's swell)
With you everything's peaceful
We live in the best city
In all of South America, in South America
You need, you need, you need
I don't know, read it on my shirt

Baby, baby, I love you
Baby, baby, I love you

* Carolina is a name, but it's a double-entendre referring to a popular song by Chico Buarque in the 1960s.
** Roberto is also a name, but it refers to the artist Roberto Carlos. Per Song Meanings: "Imagine if a song by Bob Dylan (say, in 1962 or 1963) told you to listen to a song by... I don't know, maybe Petula Clark. [...] Roberto Carlos, known in Brazil as 'the King,' has been an immensely popular singer for decades. At the time, he led a group of artists known as the Jovem Guarda. They were the bane of the politically conscious, seen as mere entertainment for the masses. They sung about girls, cars and parties, often playing versions of American and British pop hits."

Nice little subversive tune. :)
 

Michael Hagerty

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Contributor
This may not be a popular suggestion because this is a more implicitly political Brazilian song, but I think Lani + Sergio could have done a great cover of "Lindonéia" by Nara Leão:


I won't post the lyrics or translation (yet) because I'm curious to see what you folks think about this suggestion without knowing the translation or the context. I admit I don't know much about Lani Hall, but from what I do know, she's an excellent musician and would be able to handle a song like this. Additionally, while "Lindonéia" uses more strings than I think Sergio Mendes, the rhythm/cadence and percussion could definitely translate to a Sergio Mendes or Herb Alpert recording, imho.
It would need a major re-arrangement to focus on piano and rhythm, but that was pretty much the case for a lot of Brasil '66 songs.

Beyond that, politics never stopped them from recording the song in Portuguese. Consider "Viola" (from CRYSTAL ILLUSIONS):


The hand that plays a guitar
If necessary makes war
Kill the world, hurts the earth
The voice that sings a song
If necessary sings a hymn

Praise death
Viola in a moonlit night
In the sertao and like a sword
Hope for revenge

The same foot that dances a samba
If necessary, go to fight
Capoeira
Who has a companion at night
Knows that peace is fleeting
To defend it rises


And yells, "I will!"

Hand, guitar, song and sword
And moonlit viola
Through the countryside and the city
Flag bearer, capoeira
Parading they go singing:
Freedom

Who has a companion at night

He knows that peace is fleeting
To defend it, he gets up
And shouts: "I'm going!" Capoeira
flag bearer Parading they are singing: Freedom Freedom Freedom Freedom...



In fact, there was a discussion here 18 years ago about the translation of "Lapinha":


 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Very nice! It's interesting to read that thread for "Lapinha" because "neguinho" is the diminutive of "nego" (Black man). So "neguinho" is like "my dear Black man." "Upa neguinho" would thus be something like "let's go/giddyup" but you're inserting a slang for a very close friend who is Black. It's not something you would say to a stranger who is Black, for instance...

And "Eu vou morrer" I would translate to "I am going to die" and not "I go to die"--to me, it reads more as a near future "going to" rather than a directional "going to."
 

Rudy

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I wonder if "Upa" is anything like "Opa!" around my area. 😁 ("Opa!" is what they yell in the Greek restaurants when they ignite the flaming kasseri cheese tableside.)
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
I wonder if "Upa" is anything like "Opa!" around my area. 😁 ("Opa!" is what they yell in the Greek restaurants when they ignite the flaming kasseri cheese tableside.)
Haha, so in Brazil, "opa" is similar, it's like a cheerful way of saying "hey!" (without the fire)

When I looked it up online, it looks like "upa" comes from English "whoopee" or "whoop," so it must be some sort of interjection of encouragement!
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
I just recently thought of this gem of an idea. Sergio Mendes could have done a Brasil'66 version of his Favorite Things album using all of the songs. It would have been a good English/ Portuguese combination.
 

Moritat

Well-Known Member
I think Lani could have done a beautiful version of Ralph Towner's song "Celeste." A nice example of the vocal would be the cover by Norma Winstone & John Taylor.
 
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