Paulinho da Viola – Nervos de Aço (1973)

Paulinho da Viola
1973 Odeon (SMOFB 3797)
1996 EMI Abbey Road Remasters (85206-2)

1 Sentimentos
2 Comprimido
(Paulinho da Viola)
3 Não leve a mal
(Paulinho da Viola)
4 Nervos de aço
(Lupicínio Rodrigues)
5 Roendo as unhas
(Paulinho da Viola)
6 Não quero mais amar a ninguém
(Zé da Zilda, Carlos Cachaça, Cartola)
7 Nega Luzia
(Jorge de Castro, Wilson Batista)
8 Cidade submersa
(Paulinho da Viola)
9 Sonho de um carnaval
(Chico Buarque)
10 Choro negro
(Fernando Costa, Paulinho da Viola)


Copinha – Flute and clarinet
Cristovão Bastos – Piano, harpsichord, electric piano
Nelsinho – trombone
Paulinho da Viola – acoustic guitar and cavaquinho
Dininho – electric bass
Drums – Juquinha, Eliseu (on ‘Não quero mais amar ninguém’)
Percussion – Elton Medeiros, Dininhos, Elizeu, Juquinha, DazinhoProduced by Milton Miranda
Musical director – Maestro Gaya
Orchestration and arrangements – Gaya, Nelsinho, Cristovão Bastos,
Paulinho da Viola, CopinhaTechnical director – Z.J. Merky
Recording technicians – Toninho and Dacy
Remix engineer – Nivaldo Duarte
Album artwork – Elifas AndreatoRemastered at Abbey Road, London, May 1996 by Peter Mew
Under supervision by Paulinho da Viola
Projecto Coordinator – Sonia Antunes


This is another classic of Paulinho da Viola’s illustrious discography and of samba more generally. As with most of his albums, when not featuring his own material Paulinho choses to reinterpret tunes by masters of the genre to whom he owes spiritual and musical debts. On this record we get Lupicínio Rodriguez (the title track), Cartola & Carlos Cachaça, Wilson Batista, and — a more contemporary master – Chico Buarque. Of the originals there is “Não leva o mal” which is an open critique of the flaws and crises in the directorship of his beloved Portela samba school. The song also features the harpsichord, NOT a traditional samba instrument, which at first sort of through me off as being unnecessarily ‘innovative.’ I am still not sure how I feel about it but I have made my peace with it being there. The song is a classic, plain and simply, but when I get my hands on the master tapes I am going straight back to Abbey Road and mixing out that damn harpsichord.

Another odd original on this is “Roendo as unhas” (Nail-biting, biting your nails, etc) which has a nervous tension and angular structure that sounds like it could have been found on a Tom Zé album (such as, for example, Estudando o Samba). “Comprimido”, appearing earlier on the album, also has a somewhat adventurous arrangement. “Cidade submersa” has some gorgeous electric piano work on it from Cristovão Bastos. The album ends with an elegant instrumental “Choro negro.” All in all, the original compositions on this album are not Paulinho’s best work (my opinion of course, divergence and arguments are welcome), but his reinterpretations/reinventions of the other composers here are top-notch. The album seems to have been received well by the public and the critics, nevertheless Paulinho took a break from recording for two years after this album.


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  1. password magic mana mojo macumba:


  2. The eponymous Paulinho da Viola album you posted a few days ago is truly magical so I have to grab this too. Thank you

  3. Thanks for the Paulinho and Collins albums, F. Your offerings (and write-ups) have been especially good of late.

  4. Thank you very much for posting it. I would like to know if you have also “Dança da Solidão” from 1972, I have been searching for this one and I couldn’t find it. Thank you very much.

    • Olá Lucas. Yes I have a copy of that around here somewhere. The problem is that, as you have probably noticed, I much prefer to make posts where I can actually say something halfway interesting about the albums. And that requires time to write, which has been hard to come by for me lately, and there always seems to be a long list of albums I am trying to get through featuring here. But you are not the first to ask for Dança da Solidção here! I can’t promise a full post very soon but maybe before the end of the year. In the meantime, maybe I can find a link for you to at least hear the album… Abraço, F.

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