Wilson Simonal – Ninguém Sabe o Duro Que Dei (2009)

simonal

WILSON SIMONAL
“Ninguém Sabe o Duro Que Dei”
2009
Soundtrack to the film by Claudio Manoel

This is a fantastic compilation to get you familiar with Wilson Simonal’s musical legacy. Other than the song featured on the well-known Samba Soul compilation (Não vem que não tem), most of his body of work has been underappreciated and mostly unknown outside of Brazil since his ‘fall from grace.’ His discography is vast and somewhat confusing, with only a small portion of it making it to CD. There is a tragic story behind why Simonal, at one time the most popular singer in Brazil, is so seldom talked about today, in spite of his importance to MPB and especially to Brazilian soul. The film for which this is the soundtrack tells that story. I have yet to see it, as sadly it only played in one theatre where I live and it was clear on the other side of the city. But you can check out the trailer on YouTube here.

Also the bio from allbrazilianmusic says a little about it.


The Rio de Janeiro native started his career singing calypsos and rock songs. From ball to ball, he was discovered by songwriter Carlos Imperial, who invited Simonal to perform on his TV show. His first single was the cha-cha-cha “Teresinha” (Imperial). From club to club, he ended up in Beco das Garrafas, the bossa nova temple. In 1963, Simonal released his first LP, which featured the hit track “Balanço Zona Sul” (Tito Madi). After touring South and Central America with the group Bossa Três, he put out the bossa nova album “A Nova Dimensão do Samba” (hit tracks: “Nanã” and “Lobo Bobo”). In 1966 and 67, he hosted the TV show Show em Si Monal. His career would peak soon, with hits like “País Tropical”, “Mamãe Passou Açúcar em Mim”, “Meu Limão, Meu Limoeiro” and “Sá Marina”, originating a style full of swing, known as Pilantragem (something like rascally). The downward spiral started in 1972, when he was accused of having hired cops to beat up his accountant, who had supposedly stolen money from Simonal – during the hearings, a police officer revealed that Simonal collaborated with the militaries (and against so-called communist artists). With this charge upon him, Simonal faced a long ostracism period that lasted until 1994, when the compilation “A Bossa de Wilson Simonal” was released.

One look at the track list below and you can see that along with original material, Simonal was recording memorable versions of tunes penned by Gilberto Gil, Antonio Adolfo, Moacir Santos, Tito Madi, and especially Jorge Ben. One can only hope that this new film will help spur a resurgence of interest and a more thorough reissuing of Wilson Simonal’s recorded legacy.

simonal

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