Just one minute and twenty seconds long, this a perfectly distilled piece of Brazilian pop/mood music. The song consists of a simple, beautiful chord progression, which is repeated over and over. João sings a simple vocal over his guitar, and then some brass and strings come in to join him. The arrangement is stunning: sweeping and beautiful, with a delicate, sparkly sound at the beginning and end. It sounds very like the work of Claus Ogerman (who arranged the tracks on 'Amoroso', which appears on the same CD), but in fact, it's arranged by Johnny Mandel. Although this was recorded in 1980, it has a timeless feel. The entire Amoroso/Brasil CD is quite incredible. It took a few listens to really hit home, but has now become one of my 'desert island discs'.
from Brasil available on CD - Amoroso/Brasil (Warner Brothers)
01 Nov 05 ·barry_c: I agree, a beautiful, beautiful tune. You should check out the original version of this tunes, by Os TincoŃs:
02 Dec 05 ·kfigaro: I really love very much this song with these subtile orchestration of Johnny Mandel me two, and I also know the original version of Os TincoŃs (1977) which is very different and with verses that J.Gilberto don't sing...
Thalma de Freitas also sing this dreamy tunes in her album (2004)
http://chantsetheres.over-blog.com/ 28 Aug 07 ·delicado: Just listening to this again a few years after my initial recommendation. It really does encapsulate a lot of the mysterious, seductive elements of Brazilian music for me.
This song is living proof that whatever you try to do, if you execute it well, the rest can take care of itself. Serge didn't even bother writing a song (this is just an arrangement of Chopin's prelude in E minor). But the song is excellent, and stands up to (at least several hundred) repeated listens. There's a slow, jerky beat, and a heavy bassline. Birkin's delicate vocal works well with this backing, and the whole thing has a very hip feel.
available on CD - Master Serie Vol. 1 (Polygram France)
Barbara Lewis was famous earlier in the sixties for 'Hello Stranger.' This is simple, soulful pop music with a very cool production: crisp drums and nicely orchestrated woodwind on top of rhythmic guitars. Somehow the charm of the recording overrides any feeling that the chord sequence is slightly obvious. Barbara's voice is beautiful here: emotional, yet understated. A small female choir comes in to accompany her at various points. The song is remarkably tight and catchy, with a prominent bass part driving it on. The producer at Stax for this record was Ollie McLaughlin, and I'm now looking out for more stuff that he worked on.
from Many Grooves of Barbara Lewis (Stax), available on CD (Stax)
25 Feb 03 ·Arthur: Ollie McLaughlin was a prolific producer. Look out for 45's on the Carla and Karen labels. They where both his labels
Although far less well known than the 12" version and the 1987 'substance' rerecording, I'm utterly in love with this 7" version. I think perhaps the band hate it, since it doesn't seem ever to have appeared on CD, and was not even on the recent 'Retro' box set. At a little over 5 minutes long, it just seems much more focused and affecting to me than the overlong 12" version and the scrappy 1987 version.
It opens with that hypnotic beat/synth sound that has become famous since the song was used in various film soundtracks (most famously, Trainspotting, and most recently, 24 hour party people. Both used the later, rubbish version though). On this version, there's a twangy guitar sound added over the top of the introduction. The other main difference from other versions is vastly improved vocals (particularly over the 1987 version), and that wonderful early New Order guitar sound, as witnessed on other classic tracks like 'Ceremony' and 'Procession'. Like a handful of other tracks I've recommended, it's hard for me to be completely objective about this one, because I've adored it since my mid-teens. But having just bought an extra copy of the single, I'm happy to report that it sounds as brilliant as ever.
This recording showcases a raw and under-appreciated New Order/Joy Division sound that mixes early synth sounds and beats with punky guitars in a really beautiful and affecting way. I still enjoy their later stuff, but it's tracks like this that really attract me to the band.
05 Mar 03 ·n-jeff: I've not heard the 7 since I was at college in 82, but there is also a version about 15-20 minutes long on one of the first "Touch" cassettes, where they have cut it with an interview. The whole thing seems to have been a lengthy Jam, edited differently for different releases. So the 7 would give you the most focused version. Compare the 7 and 12 edits of the KLF's "3am Eternal" for the enhancing effect of a great edit. 07 Mar 03 ·Genza: I totally agree with everything delicado says. Early New Order rocks. Everything after and including Blue Monday is more poppy - and I can live with that. But most of their albums are very patchy - with half the tracks good and the other half almost unlistenable. But Temptation is an utter, utter classic. And I just love Dreams Never End, Cries and Whispers and In a Lonely Place. Well, any early New Order - it all that has tinny dance-music quality but still holds that desolate Joy Division sound.
I was never a Pulp fan, and I'm still not exactly a huge one. I never quite got why songs like 'Do you remember the first time' and 'Common People' were so great. I don't mind those songs now, but they never hit me in the way that 'This is Hardcore' did.
It's hard to explain why the dramatic, slightly ridiculous tone of the song appeals to me so much. The song is built around a sample from 'Bolero on the moon rocks' by Peter Thomas, the German film composer, and I think it's used very well - the sample adds texture and atmosphere, but doesn't dictate the song. I enjoy the way things develop at a slow pace, with new musical sections still being introduced late in the song. I'm very fond of all of these, but the slow, dreamy section that comes in at around 4:15 is particularly appealing, with its lush and strangely 80s sounding backgrounds.
03 Sep 04 ·scrubbles: Totally agree ... I remember that the video for this song was equally fantastic - a tribute to '50s technicolor melodramas, but with an added dose of sleaze. 07 Sep 04 ·olli: dammit. just rediscovered this myself and was about to rcommend it. didn't appeal to me the first time around,
but then again i probably have a slightly better/ more diverse taste in music now. besides, the years have been kind to it. you're spot on about the use of the peter thomas sample, i have to agree that it's pretty tastefully done. 07 Sep 04 ·olli: if you can use the word "tasteful" about this song, that is:)