Ronnie Von – A Misteriosa Luta Do Reino de Parasempre Contra O Império de Nuncamais (1969)

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Ronnie Von
“A Misteriosa Luta Do Reino de Parasempre Contra O Império de Nuncamais”
Original release Polydor (Brasil) LPNG 44.037, 1969
This reissue 2006 Discos Mariposa, Argentina

1- De como meu herói Flash Gordon irá levar-me de volta a Alfa do Centauro, meu verdadeiro lar
2- Dindí
3- Pare de sonhar com estrelas distantes
4- Onde foi “Morning Girl”
5- My cherie amour
6- Atlântida “Atlantis”
7- Por quem sonha Ana Maria?
8- Mares de areia
9- Regina e o mar
10- Foi bom
11- Rose Ann
12- Comecei uma brincadeira “I started a joke”

BONUS TRACKS
13. Meu Bem
14. O Pequeno Príncipe
15. Meu Mundo Parou
16. Paraíso

———

Here’s some more  pós-jovem guarda psychedelia  (or is it psychejovem guardelia-iê-iê?)  from former teen-idol and past and present TV star and show host Ronnie
Von!  Pretty heady stuff for such a heart-throb: the title translates as “The Mysterious Struggle of the Kingdom of Forever Against the Empire of Nevermore.” And this record was made before that North American whats-her-name made absurdly long and silly album titles trendy!   Of his three psych albums from the late 60s-early-70s, this only narrowly loses out to the third one as my favorite.  Mostly because it has one too many ‘cover songs’ of contemporary hits on it.  In particular, the rather odd choice of My Cherie Amor just doesn’t fit.  A Brazilian-Portuguese version of Donovan’s “Atantlis” is a campy highlight though, and his version of Jobim’s “Dindi” is just plain great.  I like his version of The Bee
Gee’s “I Started A Joke” even  if I prefer the original.  It’s got a very fuzzy guitar and everyone is accenting the down stroke (even the piano player!), giving the tune an unexpected headiness (or is it heaviness?) and it makes  a good closer for the album.  (Everything after that track consists of bonus cuts).

This record is best when it’s at its most psychedelic, which also happens to include most of the tunes co-written by Ronnie.  The opening cut is great, so is “Pare de
sonhar com as estrelas distantes”, features a sound collage bridge very much inspired by the Fab Four.  Von first got his start in music by way of a friendship with a group called The Brazilian Beatles and appeared on their TV show in 1965 singing “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away,” so it is only natural that his sound followed the instincts of their idols.  Although this kind of stuff was vociforously attacted by the reactionaries of the day as being an agent of imperialism and a “mass culture” threat, Von’s music isn’t nearly as derivative as all that.  He doesn’t attempt to ape Beatle-esque harmonies, and the approach to arrangements has its fair share of blue-eyed soul (or is it green-eyed soul?) and is just as inspired by contemporaneous Roberto Carlos.  In other words, he might have been heavily inspired by The Beatles – along with, um, pretty much everyone else recording pop music in 1969 – but there was far more derivative stuff being produced by pop and psych-pop contemporaries in the anglophone world.  There is quite a bit of originality here, and if I were to complain it would be that the record doesn’t have enough of Von’s own compositions.  He fixes that on his next record, however.

The track “Rose Ann” manages to squeeze English, Portuguese, and French into the same tune, briefly breaking down into an accordion-driven bit of chanson.  There’s some very nice vibraphone on this too.    Ronnie was really gifted at doing spoken parts in between his sung vocals.  I would like to hear him read an entire audio-book.  What great works of literature should we suggest to his agent?  Please leave your suggests in the comment suggestion.  Meanwhile, “You’re love will be, like summer to me.”

One of favorite tunes on the album is “Regina e o Mar,” which has a perfect blend of a groovy bass line and rhythm guitar, loose drums, creative string arrangements, Ronnie’s soulful vocal, and just the right amount of tape delay.  This tune is followed by an unexpected and equally groovy tune penned by Benedito da Paula, which adds horns to the previous winning combination.  No tape delay, though.  Oh well, it’s good to be sparing with it anyway.

Tagged at the end are some bonus tracks, including yet another cover (The Beatles’ “Girl”), which if the liner notes here are correct he managed to record without crediting them,  and Ronnie’s signature hit tune, “O Pequeno Principe”.  “Girl” / “Meu Bem” has a pretty wicked tremolo-surf guitar part.

This release on Mariposa Records (Argentina) is a needle-drop, and not a particularly good one, but it gets the job done.  Since my birthday is coming up soon, feel free to send me original vinyl copies as a gift.  Thanks!

Oh and I almost forgot – the bilingual booklet is a wonderful example of what happens when you use Google Translate to convert Brazilian Portuguese to English.  Fun!!

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20 Comments

  1. Hello, Flabbergast! I wish I had found this place sooner! Better late than never, eh? It's a shame that many of your fine posts are no more, but I did manage to get Ronnie's A Máquina Voadora and Dom Salvador's SS&R. Too bad all of these re-issues are invariably LOUD and compressed, much like everything that's released today. Gavin does a great job at unearthing lost treasures, but he and the usual suspects nearly always ruin beautifully dynamic records with poor mastering. Makes my ears bleed. Jorge Ben's 2009 box set is just a crime. I'm really excited that you do needle drops, and I hope to see more of those. Loved your Maysa drop. About Ronnie, do you happen to have no. 3? Not quite part of his psyche phase, but nearly there. Anyway, forgive me for such a long-winded reply, I got caught up in the excitement of having encountered 'your place'. Massive thanks, I'll be popping in regularly! PS Bollocks, Tim's 72 is gone too. I was really hoping to check out that pressing, the recent box set sounds– surprise!–atrocious.

  2. Hi Anonymous. Do you mean the record released before this one? Yeah I have it.. I thought I posted it about it once, I guess I can't keep track.

    At least Gavin now has other people do the mastering, because he has a tin ear, but the end results still usually end up less than satisfying. I was glad to see the Ben box come out because the vast majority of that material has been completely out of print in Brazil for a long time. But the word "tragedy" is apt because, now that it has been reissued in that box, that will be the 'authoritative' version on CD for a long time, probably for years after IT goes out of print.

    If you run into dead links you can always leave a comment (helps if you use a screen name, I've come to start ignoring many requests from "anonymous" people). I am constantly repairing dead links but, seriously, it could be a full time job in itself. So when I see something is dead and there is interest, I will fix it. Otherwise they can go on broken without me even being aware of it. The Tim Maia, though… All my Tim Maia posts were nuked about a month before Luaka Bop released its ONE-CD career retrospective of the man. I don't think it's a coincidence, and I won't be reposting them, sorry…

    • Hi, FB, thanks for replying! You can call me Waltz, OK? I'll definitely leave comments. For instance, all your RS links display that "public traffic exhausted" message. Have you looked into MEGA? But, hey, no worries, must be a drag, I completely understand. Regarding Mr. Von, no, I wasn't talking about his 1968 self-titled record, I was talking about the one before that one, his 1967 album (Ronnie Von no. 3). Os Mutantes and The Beat Boys back him up on that one. It's a lovely little record. Not quite psyche but not as 'naive' as his first recordings. It's his 'transitional album', if you will. I love it. As for your Tim links, I guess your right. No worries. All the best, mate!
      Waltz

  3. I don't really think Mega would be a good choice. After all of the problem Kim Dotcom had (and is still having) because of Megaupload I don't think he would come back again and commit the same mistake again, and, frankly, if you read the terms they make you agree with so you can download, well, it basically says they are not responsive for your copyright infringement and they will not think twice after disclosing any informations about you when asked by the authorities.

    I had been there quite some times and it will always end the same way, after re-reading their policies I can never accept them and do on with the download – and I'm in Brazil!

    Maybe you'll think I'm being too paranoid but I'd like ask you to keep using Depositfiles (or even Hotfile). It does not offer great speeds when downloading but they are reliable, they manage to keep the files for some time and don't use that ridiculously tiny daily public traffic Rapidshare came up with.

    Here is a detailed test about Mega (You'll find more interesting stuff in this site)
    http://torrentfreak.com/mega-is-brilliantly-secure-but-not-anonymous-130118/
    And here are their policies
    https://mega.co.nz/#terms

  4. I agree completely. The first thing I thought of when I heard about his new service is "sting operation" and entrapment. the guy is kind of a sleazebag with no scruples, I would not touch his new service with a ten foot pole. I thoroughly expect him to cooperate with authorities to lessen his own legal problems.

    Unfortunately I didn't fully understand Rapidshare's new policies when I started using them again. It's ridiculous.

  5. Easily his greatest track. I've played it every week for the last ten yrars:

  6. Do you know Ann Sexton?

  7. Hey Flabber, just wanted you to know that I enjoyed this album a lot. I am now doing a little experimentation with my music since I have this tendency of getting more than I am capable of listening and this was the choice for my first week on "detox", let me put in this way.

    This week I've been thinking how great you are with this blog. Instead of throwing away things and more things to keep the avid, mindless blog fan entertained you do one post a week – sometimes less, sometimes more – but always one that is a truly pleasure to listen, and I thank you very much for doing so.

    And about the album, wow, ain't "Regina e o Mar" – and the taste it left us with when it ends so shortly – fantastic? And if I had to pick some tracks I dislike I guess it would only be "Rose Ann" and nothing more.

    That's was my first Ronnie Von album (guess I'll be getting on the flying machine some time then).

  8. muito bom, muito obrigado; thanks for posting

  9. muito bom, muito obrigado; thanks for uploading

  10. Muito obrigado por este LP. Excelente blog, por sinal. Gostaria de retribuir, como faço pra colaborar com algum disco?

  11. Hi, guys what's the password for the rar file?

  12. check out the right-hand sidebar –>

    p.s. it's "vibes"

  13. Amigo, o link que você deu o upload não funciona mais. Teria como vc dar um outro upload?

    Valeu, abç

  14. I really enjoy your blog… I'm brazilian, a lot of this stuffs you put on your blog i've never listened before… I'm 28 year old… and if I could choose i would love to had grow up at the 70 decade!!! Please Please where is the link for this Ronnie Von album?

  15. Do you have the self-titled Ronnie Von album from 1968?
    I’ve been looking for it in flac everything with no luck.

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