This post inaugurates a Tim Maia project that will hopefully inaugurate a separate Tim Maia page that will be a repository for all things Tim. In the meantime I want to register that this is in some ways a PROTEST for the disgraceful boxset that has just been issued by Universal records (shamelessly called ‘Tim Maia Universal’) that gives his hardcore fans absolutely NOTHING. No rarities or unreleased tracks, no material that was not released on Universal (which excludes at the very least three very important records), and I will bet you $20 that they also butchered the audio in the mastering by making everything as loud as everything else. It is a travesty that an artist as important — and as popular — as Tim Maia could have the majority of his catalog fall out of print for so long, only to be reissued in such a careless format in what is simply a money-making venture in time for the holidays. I had been hearing about this boxset being in the works for over a year now, and I had hoped that my doubts and reservations would be proven wrong. They weren’t. As with the Jorge Ben box, it is better than NOT having the music in print, but they could have done a lot better. (For Jorge Ben, we at least got 2 discs of hard to find and unreleased material). I am going to end up buying the damn thing anyway, because I am what it is called “a completist” about these things and am therefore cursed. But I ain’t going to like it.
With no further ado, here is…
Released 1973 on Polydor (2451 041)
1 Réu confesso (Tim Maia)
2 Compadre (Tim Maia)
3 Over again (Tim Maia)
4 Até que enfim encontrei você (Tim Maia)
5 O balanço (Tim Maia)
6 New love (Roger Bruno, Tim Maia)
7 Do your thing, behave yourself (Tim Maia)
8 Gostava tanto de você (Édson Trindade)
9 Música no ar (Tim Maia)
10 A paz do meu mundo é você (Mita)
11 Preciso ser amado (Tim Maia)
12 Amores (Tim Maia)
Vinyl -> Pro-Ject RM-5SE turntable (with Sumiko Blue Point 2 cartridge, Speedbox power supply) > Creek Audio OBH-15 -> M-Audio Audiophile 2496 Soundcard -> Adobe Audition 3.0 at 24-bits 96khz -> Click Repair light settings, some isolated clicks removed using Audition -> dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced. Tags done with Foobar 2000
Drums – Myro
Bass – Barbosa
Piano – Cidinho
Organ – Pedrinho
Lead electric guitar – Paulinho
Acoustic guitar – Tim
Twelve-string guitar – Neco
Conga and tumba – Ronaldo
Gonzá and tamborine – Roberto
Cow bell – MitaTrumpets – Waldir Barros, José C. Amorim
Tenor sax – Aurélio Marcos
Baritone sax – Maurilho Faria
Trombone – Edmundo Maciel
French horns – Znedek Suab, Carlos GomesVocals- Paulo Smith, Sheila Smith, Gracinha, Edinho, Genival (Cassiano), Amaro, Tim
Arrangements – Tim Maia (arranjos de base), horns and strings – Waldir A. Barros
Produced by Tim Maia
Recording engineer – Ari Carvalhaes
Assistant engineers: João, Paulinho, Luiz Cláudio, Jayro Gaulberto
Mixed by Ari Carvalhaes and Tim Maia
Rehearsed at SEROMA Studios and recorded at Phonogram Studios, Rio
This is Tim Maia’s fourth album, and it really seems as if the guy had the Midas touch, simply could not make a bad record. His third album (also self-titled) was a bit of a drop-off in consistency, although by no means a weak effort. This record, though, is a masterpiece from start to finish. It opens with “Réu confesso” which unsurprisingly was the huge hit of the summer when it was released. Written for a girlfriend with whom Tim had just separated. This song was his attempt to get her back. It didn’t work, but it ended up being one of the biggest hits of his career. The other huge hit off this album was “Gostava tanto de você”, written by Édson Trindade. Both are heavy-hitting soul classics. “Compadre”, with its loping but heavy beat, warm vocals, lyrics of friendship, and strummy acoustic guitar (left channel) balanced against a quietly-mixed Hammond organ (right channel) is yet another perfect track. “Over Again”, sung in English, would fit well alongside any of the soul hits on the US airwaves in 1973. “Até quem enfim encontrei você” is another uptempo, breezy love song, not all that different from ‘Réu confesso’ to be honest but I am not complaining. The melody is distinct and it may have been another hit for him.
The album has some lovely soul ballads: “New Love”, once again in English; “A paz de meu mundo é você” which has a church hymnal quality to the melody and chord progression; and the austere solo guitar-and-voice “Preciso ser amado” are all excellent, although I would like to hear an alternate take of the latter as it seems to lack a little bit of the emotion Tim usually puts into his voice. There are a few all-out funk soul workouts on this record — “O balanço” with its punchy horns and wah-wah guitar are contrasted by Tim’s mellow (nearly slurred) vocals and the drummer laying on the ride cymbal. The clean-tone of the rhythm guitar is delicious too, making this tune sort of my special ‘secret’ favorite among the more obvious things to love here; “Do Your Thing, Behave Yourself” begins as another mid-tempo melodic swinging piece with uplifting vocals about taking it easy and remembering that unhappiness doesn’t last forever, if you just do your thing and so on, and then what is a great song becomes even greater as it goes out on a rocking crescendo that should remind us that Tim had once been a leather-jacket wearing Jovem Guarda rock rebel. The albums closes on a solid funk instrumental, “Amores”, with some nice fuzzy guitar lines. I remember the first time I heard it, I kept waiting for the vocals to kick in, as it sounds like one long build-up to a vocal number. Perhaps the band used this jam to warm up the crowd before Tim got out on stage (when he decided to finally come out on stage..). In the context of an LP, it has the effect of making me want to flip the record over and listen to the whole thing again, which is just fine by me. “Gostava tanto de você”, as has already been said, was the other huge hit off this album, and for good reason. Kicking off with a very-sample-worthy snare drum and tom-tom intro and then ripping into a gorgeous arrangement with horns, strings, and timbales giving a triumphal lift to what are bittersweet lyrics. There are rumors and urban legends about what the lyric is about, most of them having been invented on the internet, and Nelson Motta does nothing to clarify the matter as he simply doesn’t mention the content at all.
In fact Nelson Motta spends almost no time at all talking about this album in his sloppy biography of Tim, “Vale Tudo,” merely mentioning that the two singles off it were a huge success and then going on to give us more details about what Tim had for lunch. It is unfortunate, because I for one would like more insight into the creative process in the studio, what the vibe was like, and so on. Tim was notoriously picky about sound — something which Motta does in fact devote a bit of time writing about – and this album is mixed unbelievably perfectly, it is as if he finally managed the auditory orgasm he had been building towards in his first three records. This is also something like the pinnacle of the first phase of Tim’s career — after this album, things would become a lot more complicated. In fact, exactly as the album was being released, Tim got out of his contract with Polydor and was only in communication with them to collect his royalties. He had been courted by RCA-Victor, and he had his sights set on putting out a double album.
It has been said (somewhere, not by me), that there is a mysterious curse surrounding the creation of double albums. They are usually the mark of hubris and overindulgence, and it seems something usually bad happens — The Beatles began their process of splitting up during The White Album being one famous example, but there are plenty of others. Often the results are artistically very gratifying but frequently the whole process is very taxing on the mental health of those involved and often the results end up financially a disaster. Such was the case with Tim Maia, who ended up turning his double album project into a work of religious proselytization for the Cultura Racional sect. But that story is for another post. Let this album, then, mark the `end of the innocence` for Tim Maia, and what a joyous sound it is.