Tim Maia – Tim Maia em Inglês (1978)

TIM MAIA (1978)
aka “Tim Maia em inglês”

Original recording sessions 1976
Original LP release, Seroma 1978
CD reissue on Continental 1995
This reissue, Editora Abril 2011

 

1 With no one else around
(Tim Maia)
2 I love you, girl
(Reginaldo, Paulo, Tim Maia)
3 To fall in love
(Tim Maia)
4 Only a dream
(Tim Maia)
5 People
(Paulo, Tim Maia)
6 Let’s have a ball tonight
(Reginaldo, Tim Maia)
7 I
(Tim Maia)
8 Day by day
(Reginaldo, Paulo, Tim Maia)
9 Vitória régia
(Reginaldo, Carlos, Paulo, Tim Maia)

This had long been the Holy Grail of Tim Maia albums for me. Even with all the mystery surrounding the deleted Racional albums, they were long available as bootlegs and then the first finally saw an official reissue a few years back on Trama Records (the second saw a reissue this year). But this album, one of Tim’s strongest, never garnered the kind of critical attention and cult status of those albums. This is probably for several reasons — it is straight-up, top-notch quality SOUL with none of the bizarre lyrical rants of the Racional religious cult attached to it; it was Tim’s intention to record an album singing entirely in English, so in a way it would have alienated a great deal of his Brazilian public; and, most importantly, nobody ever really heard it. These factors were also aided and abetted by the fact the he ended up releasing the album in 1978, when he also had an album out on Warner Brothers that would become one of his biggest successes, “Tim Maia Disco Club”, which also happened to be “more in tune with the times,” as the cliché goes.

And by the time this album came out, Tim had truly alienated most of the record industry. Although an innovator and an entrepreneur in a million ways (he was one of the first Brazilian artists to found his own label), he had relatively no business acumen, and his penchant for not keeping to scheduled meetings and even his own concerts — showing up obscenely late, or not at all — had grown so famous as to make concert promoters and record labels reluctant to work with him. Warner Brothers took on a risk putting out ‘Disco Club’ in 1978. I forget the circumstances (time to reconsult the frivolous Nelson Motta biography), but it was also the *only* album he recorded for them.

The story goes that this album was actually recorded in 1976 when Tim had come to his senses and left behind the bizarre charismatic / religious / semi-apocalyptic cult when he found out its founder was growing rich on its members donations. The album was recorded and the album covers were printed up. Some say that Tim lost his nerve at the last minute about the risky move of releasing an album entirely in English; other versions say he simply didn’t have the money left to press the vinyl. Most likely both versions are true. The result was that he ended up releasing the 1976 album often known as “Rhodêsia” (for the hit it contained) on Polygram records, and then another album (sometimes called ‘Verão Carioca’) in 1977, before this album ever saw the light of day. Tim released it on his own imprint, SEROMA Records, and it fell on deaf ears. With no distributors willing to work with him or take up the album, Tim took it on himself to go personally to radio stations and journalists handing out copies (he joked that the album covers had begun to ‘yellow’ in the two years that they waited for the vinyl to be pressed). The results were utterly ineffectual. It seemed that nobody cared.

And it’s a damn shame. I have said before that if Tim’s records had been released in the US, he would have been a huge soul music star there. This is especially true of this album, as it really stands among the best of its peers in American soul music. And the most incredible part is that although Tim drank at the font of American soul, funk, and rhythm and blues (he also lived in New York and bummed around the US for about ten years before getting himself deported) – he only sounds like HIMSELF, Tim Maia. Unmistakeably Tim Maia.

The entire first half of the album is saturated with mellow chill-out soul ballads with gorgeous melodies and lush arrangements, that manage to keep a certain hard edge in the production, keeping the base arrangements (bass, guitar, drums, keyboards) anchored well while letting the horn arrangements add further depth. The first song, “With No One Else Around”, is just plain gorgeous. Another love song, with the nondescript title of “I Love You, Girl” makes up in musicality what it lacks in lyrical content, and ends with a swinging crescendo. The third track “To Fall In Love,” the favorite of the writer of the reissue’s liner notes, combines poignant by simple lyrics (To fall in love is like burning fire), with the bands ability to work the dynamics between tight and close, and swinging and large, as well as some tight full-stop breaks with very long pauses leaving you wondering where they are going next. They are really going anywhere but back into the main groove but it still works to charm you.

“Only A Dream” has Tim singing in falsetto in a way he rarely did, that oddly enough puts me in a mind of someone on another continent who would release his first album in 1978 – Prince Rogers Nelson. Of course, falsetto is a 70s soul trademark but something about the first bars of the chord progression remind me of something that could have been on ‘For You’… The lyrics are, once again, nothing complicated, but striking in their sincerity – “Let me live the life I dreamed once before, let me live the way I once wished to be.” Anyone who knows about Tim’s tumultuous personal life with substance abuse and women can’t help but be moved by the vulnerability expressed in this tune. The next track, “People,” is another ballad but changes the theme to social commentary of the ‘enough with all the hate, we are all the same’ variety. Kind of weak the weak cut of the bunch but still respectable. This is followed by “Let’s Have a Ball Tonight”, which is the first upbeat tune on the whole album. In fact, its a slowly undulating funk number but comes off as fast given all the ballads preceding it. Lyrics are again a foray in social commentary of anti-war, peace-on-earth sentiments but more effective this time – nothing overreaching or pretentious but just direct candor: “There are so many conversations / meeting parties and cocktails / to preserve peace on earth / They never find the way. / You know why? Because love is really the answer, this you’ll have to agree…” The band then whips into a muscular bridge that sounds very much like the groove of ‘Rational Culture’, especially a four-note vamp plucked out on the guitar. And it works joyously. Another ballad follows, “I,” in which Tim seems in a rush to sign the papers for a wedding. “Day By Day” follows the tried and true formula of some of the other ballads here – mid-tempo, and going out swinging. Its good, but its overshadowed by the closer “Vitória Régia”, which was also the name given to Tim’s band at this point. The tune is a festival of funk that ends up being a kind of call to arms for environmental preservation and a hymn to Mother Nature. Victória Régia is the name given to the HUGE lily pads found in parts of Brazil (fine examples of which exist in Rio’s Botanical Gardens). It’s also a bad-ass name for a band.

This reissue couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Not only was it hard to even find a crappy-sounding mp3 version of this on the interwebs, but I was also preparing to shell out several hundred dollars for the one and only CD pressing this album ever saw, issued on the Continental label in th
e mid 1990s. They only come around once in a blue moon and the sellers usually ask obscene amounts of cash, and buying a used CD through the mail for that kind of money is a risk I am reluctant to take.

The sound on this Editora Abril edition isn’t actually mind-blowing — I am curious what masters were used, and IF original masters even exist for this recording. These kinds of details that a Tim fanatic like myself is hungry for are annoying absent from the 50-page booklet. And you know something else — speaking as someone who scanned every page of that booklet: There is NO REASON for this booklet to be that long. A lot of it is filler – graphic design tricks that attempt to give a 1970s’s “period” look to the packaging with lots of pastels and free-floating bubble shapes interspersed. As well as completely superfluous information like the fact that The Police had a new album out in 1978. Who cares? Even stranger, a picture of Black Sabbath and a note about *their* album of the year, the largely-unliked ‘Never Say Die.’ I suppose this could have something to do with Editora Abril being more of a news publishing house than a record label. But let me level this criticism which I find to be more serious: It is sad that, even after all these years, a lot of Brazilian journalists and the music press still don’t seem to GET Tim Maia. A great of time is spent at the beginning of the booklet’s essay describing the climate of disco music that was becoming a popular fad in the later 70s in Brazil. That would be fine, except this album has NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT!! These facts are more relevant to 1977’s “Verão Carioca” and especially 1978’s “Tim Maia Disco Club”, which was – obviously – deeply influenced by disco. But “Tim Maia em inglês” is pure soul, there isn’t a single NOTE deserving of the label ‘disco’ on it, making all of this commentary in the notes beside the point. Also questionable is the inclusion of a well-known anecdote about the recording of “Verão Carioca” while noisy construction was going on in the building next door — Did they accidentally include this in the booklet for the wrong CD??

But enough with the complaining. The book has some cool photos,contains some informative anecdotes, its a nice package, and most importantly – this music is available again without my having to sell one of my kidneys on the black market (which, in Brazil, is easier than you might think).

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Eduardo Araújo – A Onde É Boogaloo (1969) [Tim Maia]

A ONDA É BOOGALOO
Eduardo Araújo  (1969)
1969 Odeon (MOFB 3584)

1 Longe de você (The same old song)
(Robinson, Vrs. Tim Maia)
2 Tenho que ter todo seu amor (Got to have a hundred)
(Wilson Pickett, Vrs. Tim Maia)
3 Boogaloo na Broadway (Boogaloo down Broadway)
(J.James, Vrs. Tim Maia)
4 Rua maluca (Funky street)
(Simms, A.Conley, Vrs. Tim Maia)
5 Pressentimento
(Chil Deberto, Eduardo Araújo)
6 Dançando boogaloo (Gota a thing going)
(W.King, Vrs. Tim Maia)
7 Você
(Tim Maia)
8 Baby, baby sim baby (Since you’ve been gone) (Sweet sweet baby)
(Franklin, White, Vrs. Tim Maia)
9 Embrulhe esta marmita
(Chil Deberto, Eduardo Araújo)
10 Vamos recomeçar (Come back baby)
(Ray Charles, Vrs. Tim Maia)
11 Melhor que se dane
(Chil Deberto, Eduardo Araújo)
12 A mulher (Cold sweat)
(J. Brown, Ellis, Vrs. Tim Maia)

I sought out this album because it is a footnote — albeit an important one – in the career of Tim Maia. It marks a turning point in Tim’s story, and features some musicians that Tim would incorporate into his own band in the coming years. After years of struggling, having formed The Sputniks (where he famously fired Roberto Carlos), having moved to New York City, having been deported from the US, having returned to Brazil – everything started coming together for him in 1969. After quite some time trying to get his old friend-nemesis-former-bandmate Roberto Carlos to record one of his songs, O Rei finally aquiesced and recorded “Não vou ficar” on his 1969 soul-influenced album, and Tim found some work arranging and producing new material for another old friend of the “Clube do Rock”, Eduardo Araújo. This gave Maia some badly-needed cash and also name-recognition: Araújo would even score a hit with the song “Você”, leading Tim to return the favor by recording one of Araújo’s compositions in 1971. And indeed while Araújo also wrote songs (two of them are here, with a writing partner by the super-cool name of Chil Deberto, which sounds unintentionally cooler in English than in Portuguese..), the album is dominated by Tim Maia’s arrangments (which he shares with Walter Arouca Barros and José Ferreira Godinho Filho). And one really loud organ in the mix. Tim arranged and wrote new lyrics for a whole mess of North American soul classics, reflecting his time ‘at the source’, living the good old U.S.A. The results are actually better than I expected when I first heard about this album. Songs by Smokey Robinson, Wilson Pickett, James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles are given new treatments. It’s not all gold but it makes for interesting listening. The most intriguing of these are the ones where Maia choses to slow the original tunes down, making them sound heavier — “99 and 1/2” from Wilson Picket, “(Baby Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone” from Aretha Franklin, and James Brown’s “Cold Sweat” highlight both Tim’s ambition and his budding genius. It’s also worth pointing out the evolution of his recording technique – you can hear an inkling of the drum sound he was working towards in these tunes, but he hasn’t quite gotten it to his satisfaction yet. Of the backing band – Waldir on trumpet and Capacete on bass – would become parts of Tim’s early band.

It is a bit unjust that this album was reissued at a time when a huge chunk of Tim’s own catalog was still out of print – fact that has only been rectified within the last year. And, with all due respect, I’m not particularly interested in seeking out any of Araújo’s other albums, although if I come across more of the early titles I probably will out of curiosity. In a rather odd twist, he is now busy making BRAZILIAN COUNTRY ROCK and RAISING HORSES!

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partial credits:

“Os Bons”
Waldir – trumpet and arrangments
Casé – alto sax
Garôto – vibraphone
Mauro – trumpet
Zezinho – piano and organ
Capacete – bass guitar

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João Donato – Lugar Comum (1975) with Gilberto Gil

João Donato
“Lugar Comum”
Released 1975 on Philips
Reissued 2004 on Dúbas Música

1 Lugar comum
(Gilberto Gil, João Donato)
2 Tudo tem
(Gilberto Gil, João Donato)
3 A bruxa de mentira
(Gilberto Gil, João Donato)
4 Ê menina
(Guarabyra, João Donato)
5 Bananeira
(Gilberto Gi, João Donato)
6 Patumbalacundê
(Orlandivo, Durval Ferreira, Gilberto Gil, João Donato)
7 Xangô é de Baê
(Rubens Confeti, Sidney da Conceição, João Donato)
8 Pretty dolly
(Norman Gimbel, João Donato)
9 Emoriô
(Gilberto Gil, João Donato)
10 Naturalmente
(Caetano Veloso, João Donato)
11 Que besteira
(Gilberto Gil, João Donato)
12 Deixei recado
(Gilberto Gil, João Donato)

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Mellow and laid-back and yet also very funky. Classic album, impossible to find on vinyl without selling your organs, but it’s been around in the blogosphere for quite a while. Still, it is very nice that this remaster exists and I hope someone out there takes advantage of the FLAC availability. I have no idea why Donato changed the album cover — which was kind of bland and ugly to begin with — to something even more bland and ugly. Just my opinion. If you want a review that completely misses the point about nearly everything on this album and amazingly fails to mention the presence of Gilberto Gil or collaborations with Caetano Veloso, go look for Thom Jurek’s award-winning AMG prose/drivel about this album. He never disappoints in the mediocrity department.

Worth pointing out that the song ‘Bananeira’ was also a hit for Emilio Santiago on an album that Donato arranged for him in this same year.

The reissue has liner notes in both Portuguese and English that give some pretty detailed anecdotes about each song. Particularly interesting is the story behind the song “Xango é de Baê”. The keyboard tones are, naturally, gorgeous, and the production is impeccable and warm like the hug of an old friend. Indeed. If you don’t know this album, you ought to check it out; If you do already know it, but not this remaster, leave a message here, particularly if you have an opinion about the remastering. I am personally pretty happy with this one.

Hyldon – Nossa História de Amor (1977)

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HYLDON
Nossa História de Amor
Released 1977 on CBS 137994
Reissued in 2001 on CD by Sony/CBS (2-495860)
Remastered by Ricardo Soares under supervision of Charles Gavin

1 Eu gostaria de saber (Hyldon)
2 Conselhos (Hyldon)
3 Eu sou um anjo (Hyldon)
4 O gavião solitário (Hyldon)
5 Porque vivo só (Tereza, Alex Malheiros, Hyldon)
6 Nossa história de amor (Hyldon)
7 Estão dizendo por aí (Hyldon)
8 Solange (Hyldon)
9 Amor platônico (Hyldon)
10 Rainha de Copacabana (Hyldon)

Arrangements by Walter Branco

Special participation of Ed Lincoln on organ, tracks 1 and 5 (also flute arrangements for 5)
and Domiguinhos on accordion on track 6

I wrote a very lengthy review of Hyldon’s first album that you can find HERE… A lot of the adjectives and descriptions apply just as easily to this record. I suggest you take a look at that one, get some of the background about him and what I think of the dude, and listen to it along with this one. This album lacks the breathtaking sweep of that debut but is a solid album of strummy-folk-soul music Brazilian style. Comparisons to Terry Callier and Jon Lucien or Bill Withers might apply more if Hyldon’s voice was a little less shrill. And he is definitely less funky on this record. But his sense of orchestrations and building a vibe still reminds me of those guys a bit.

This is actually Hyldon’t third album.. His second LP, “Deus, A Natureza, e A Música” is also great, and easily the weirdest thing in his catalog. It expands a bit on the psychedelic undertones of his debut and takes more risks with the orchestrations and ideas. In fact it might have been that risk that inspired Hyldon to go back sometime in the last 10 years and prepare it for a CD release by RECORDING A BUNCH OF IT and replacing the original tracks, and totally remixing. May I respectfully ask, sir — WHAT THE FUCK?? I thought we were passed that phase of musical cannibalism in the digital era.. But, indeed, the only CD pressing of that album to date has drums that sound like they were recorded and mixed in the 1990s instead of 1976 (and in spite of having been recorded post-2000, I believe). I happen to own the vinyl of the same album, which wasn’t so easy to come by, and I can say that they are like listening to two entirely different albums. For this reason I will actually REFUSE to rip and share it here. I don’t care how much you ask me to do it or if you offer me money, I just won’t poison the well with that CD. I have planned to do a vinyl rip of my copy for a long time, but in spite of being very clean has one skip on it which I am going to have to try and fix somehow…

In any case, although I love that second album, it can be accused of over-reaching itself in its ambition. This album is probably more of a solid and satisfying listen overall. A well-balanced record and the mastering is pretty decent (and nice of Gavin to include technical notes on the equipment used – Manley Compressors, woo-hoo!) All of the songs are good and some will have you singing along after only a listen or two. As long as you don’t compare it to the sonic orgasm of “Na Rua, Na Chuva, Na Fazenda”, which will always be his best album that he could never surpass, this is a top-notch record and ought to appeal to a broad range of music-lovers regardless of language or cultural difference.

A whole truckload of people played on this album, too many to name. See the simple single-fold booklet for the complete list.

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Tim Maia – Tim Maia (1972) {Polydor} REPOST

This is a repost from an old entry made in 2008, by request. In the first few months I was not posting FLACs at all and this em pee tree set is also higher quality. Unfortunately there is nothing I can do about the ugly art scans since my copy is currently locked in my vault in the Kayman Islands.

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I heard a rumor that there is a Tim Maia boxset in the works. That will be a welcome thing since most of his classic discography is stupidly out of print. However I will make you a bet (‘o que você quer apostar?’) about one thing: They will fuck up the sound. I know a lot of you don’t give a flying rats ass about mastering techniques and audio engineering but I will give you a little experiment to try at home with the kids. Put this album on, this original Polydor/Polygram pressing from the early 90s, and crank it up REALLY LOUD. Tim would have liked that. Notice anything? Notice how everything is still crisp and clear and doesn’t distort? Notice how the music has something called *dynamic range*, valleys and peaks? Take a good look and note the number or notch on your volume knob or fader and keep track of it. Now put in any CD mastered in the last ten years — new album, reissue of an old album, doesn’t matter so long as it was issued in the last 10 years or so. Put the volume to the same place as this Tim Maia album. Notice anything? Sounds like shit, doesn’t it? End of lesson.

This pressing sounds unfuckingbelievably good. It even sounds good on an iPod.

This isn’t just audio psychobabble either, because the PRODUCTION on this album is really amazing. If you had any doubt that the studios in São Paulo and Rio during the late 60s and early 70s were producing albums that sounded just as good or better than anything coming out of England or the United States, just listen to this early Tim Maia stuff. The whole LP is consistent production-wise but the track ‘Pelo amor de Deus’ has to be singled out here. They double-tracked the drums to make them sound even heavier on a album that has a pretty heavy drum sound to begin with. And in the last verse, Tim’s vocals is pulled down in the mix and drenched with plate reverb, making it seem like he is being carried away from us down a long dark hallway while the drums get LOUDER. (I don’t think they actually *do* get louder, rather it’s an aural illusionist’s trick by making Tim magically disappear… No mean feat, being a big guy and all that.)

As much cult-status as the Racional records have on account of being, a) mind-blowing and fantastic, b) extremely rare until finally reissued only a few years ago, circulating mostly as a bootleg, and c) freakishly weird and messed up (in a good way, like UFO cults and Scientology before it went all Hollywood) — those records really require an appreciation of his earlier work to get their full effect, in my unhumble opinion.

The opening cut “Idade” blisters with 60s soul tones and just enough Jovem Guarda swagger to make this still unappealing to many a navel-gazing Tropicalista fan of 1972. You can see him ripping through it in the video above. (Too bad there’s no shots of the band on this, as they actually are playing live and not faking it). The second track is even more wonderfully alienated, singing in ENGLISH and a lot more Motown than MPB. And damn perfect English too, demonstrating Tim’s long devotion to playing his anglophone soul and rock record collection until the grooves were so thin you could see through the vinyl. Wonderful flute solo by Isidoro Longano followed by a short sax solo from Antonio Arruda here. For the last minute or so the band just rocks the arrangement. Did I mention Tim produced this album himself? The arrangements are very well thought-out on every track, and since they are uncredited I will also assume Tim had a hand in those until I get around to reading Nelson Motta’s biography. The next track, “O que você quer apostar?” is as a gritty a funk soul number as anything Wilson Pickett could kick out up in the northern hemisphere, with nice lyrics for a mulher mentirosa. “Canário do reino” is another baião-flavored forró and I’m pretty sure Tim is trying to capitalize on the success of the hit he had by covering João do Vale’s “Coroné Antonio Bento” a year or so earlier. This track doesn’t work nearly as well as that one, and while it’s still good it’s also the weakest cut we’ve heard thus far. “Já era tempo de você” is the happiest swinging-big-band-with-a-small-band song of disenchantment I can think of, a friendly way to tell someone they already had their chance and you’ve moved on with your life.

Back to English again with “Where Is My Other Half” with Tim singing plaintively over gently strummed acoustic guitar (steel string and not nylon, I might add) and then the band kicks in with heavy drums for the end as Tim wonders over and over again why she left him. I think Tim is following a formula here he learned from his U.S. soul records – the first half is the uptempo dance party, the second half is for dimming the lights and making out with your lady (or man). “O que me importa” is Tim and company being as soulful as they can be, this time with vibraphone, again blowing me away with their ability to arrange all the instrumentation and capture it all so well in the mix. It also sets a template for basically every song Hyldon would write.. “Lamento” is quite honestly kind of tedious and sounds an awful lot like “Where Is My Other Half”. Unfortunately this cut is followed by an attempt at a blues number, “Sofre,” that reminds me why the blues is a quintessentially North American black art form. In fact I am suffering listening to it right now as I write this. It just kind of falls flat, but I’ll give Tim credit for asserting his blackness. Most other Brazilian acts attempting blues at this time were prog-rockers with wanky guitar solos that went on far too long. It is also interesting to note that Tim would later reuse the formula of the opening rap a decade later with the huge hit song “Me dê motivo”, including opening it up with “é engraçado” (it’s funny..), and oddly enough the vocal line from “Lamento” also reappears in that tune. A good way for Tim to recycle some of his good ideas that didn’t quite work the first time around, and “Me dê motivo” is a much better song than either of these. “Razão de sambar” is a minute and half of jazz-samba. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD the next song is amazing — “Pelo amor de deus”, well, I already ranted on about it but let me reiterate again how great it is. “These are the songs,” is a piece of Latin lounge, in English again, that is a nice way to end the album and assert his unique musical identity. Elis Regina would later record a lame version of this song with Tim guesting on vocals.

Even with the weak points on this record, it is still thoroughly essential listening. Valeu, Tim!

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LINKS REMOVED BY CORPORATE SCUMBAGS who are going to sell you a shitty
compilation made for gringos in October.  Hey, where do you think most
of your buyers will have heard this music for the first time??  Blogs,
maybe?  Fuck you AmeriKKKa.

Tim Maia – Tim Maia (1972)

This is an old post disguised as a new post (as you surmise from the verb tense used related to the box set). It was written in May. I have not written anything new for it. Except that last sentence where I wrote that I wasn’t going to write anything new — and this one too. Otherwise this is the same post, with a difference in that it actually has a purpose now at the bottom of the page. By request.

I heard a rumor that there is a Tim Maia boxset in the works. That will be a welcome thing since most of his classic discography is stupidly out of print. However I will make you a bet (‘o que você quer apostar?’) about one thing: They will fuck up the sound. I know a lot of you don’t give a flying rats ass about mastering techniques and audio engineering but I will give you a little experiment to try at home with the kids. Put this album on, this original Polydor/Polygram pressing from the early 90s, and crank it up REALLY LOUD. Tim would have liked that. Notice anything? Notice how everything is still crisp and clear and doesn’t distort? Notice how the music has something called *dynamic range*, valleys and peaks? Take a good look and note the number or notch on your volume knob or fader and keep track of it. Now put in any CD mastered in the last ten years — new album, reissue of an old album, doesn’t matter so long as it was issued in the last 10 years or so. Put the volume to the same place as this Tim Maia album. Notice anything? Sounds like shit, doesn’t it? End of lesson.

This pressing sounds unfuckingbelievably good. It even sounds good on an iPod.

This isn’t just audio psychobabble either, because the PRODUCTION on this album is really amazing. If you had any doubt that the studios in São Paulo and Rio during the late 60s and early 70s were producing albums that sounded just as good or better than anything coming out of England or the United States, just listen to this early Tim Maia stuff. The whole LP is consistent production-wise but the track ‘Pelo amor de Deus’ has to be singled out here. They double-tracked the drums to make them sound even heavier on a album that has a pretty heavy drum sound to begin with. And in the last verse, Tim’s vocals is pulled down in the mix and drenched with plate reverb, making it seem like he is being carried away from us down a long dark hallway while the drums get LOUDER. (I don’t think they actually *do* get louder, rather it’s an aural illusionist’s trick by making Tim magically disappear… No mean feat, being a big guy and all that.)

As much cult-status as the Racional records have on account of being, a) mind-blowing and fantastic, b) extremely rare until finally reissued only a few years ago, circulating mostly as a bootleg, and c) freakishly weird and messed up (in a good way, like UFO cults and Scientology before it went all Hollywood) — those records really require an appreciation of his earlier work to get their full effect, in my unhumble opinion.

The opening cut “Idade” blisters with 60s soul tones and just enough Jovem Guarda swagger to make this still unappealing to many a navel-gazing Tropicalista fan of 1972. You can see him ripping through it in the video above. (Too bad there’s no shots of the band on this, as they actually are playing live and not faking it). The second track is even more wonderfully alienated, singing in ENGLISH and a lot more Motown than MPB. And damn perfect English too, demonstrating Tim’s long devotion to playing his anglophone soul and rock record collection until the grooves were so thin you could see through the vinyl. Wonderful flute solo by Isidoro Longano followed by a short sax solo from Antonio Arruda here. For the last minute or so the band just rocks the arrangement. Did I mention Tim produced this album himself? The arrangements are very well thought-out on every track, and since they are uncredited I will also assume Tim had a hand in those until I get around to reading Nelson Motta’s biography. The next track, “O que você quer apostar?” is as a gritty a funk soul number as anything Wilson Pickett could kick out up in the northern hemisphere, with nice lyrics for a mulher mentirosa. “Canário do reino” is another baião-flavored forró and I’m pretty sure Tim is trying to capitalize on the success of the hit he had by covering João do Vale’s “Coroné Antonio Bento” a year or so earlier. This track doesn’t work nearly as well as that one, and while it’s still good it’s also the weakest cut we’ve heard thus far. “Já era tempo de você” is the happiest swinging-big-band-with-a-small-band song of disenchantment I can think of, a friendly way to tell someone they already had their chance and you’ve moved on with your life.

Back to English again with “Where Is My Other Half” with Tim singing plaintively over gently strummed acoustic guitar (steel string and not nylon, I might add) and then the band kicks in with heavy drums for the end as Tim wonders over and over again why she left him. I think Tim is following a formula here he learned from his U.S. soul records – the first half is the uptempo dance party, the second half is for dimming the lights and making out with your lady (or man). “O que me importa” is Tim and company being as soulful as they can be, this time with vibraphone, again blowing me away with their ability to arrange all the instrumentation and capture it all so well in the mix. It also sets a template for basically every song Hyldon would write.. “Lamento” is quite honestly kind of tedious and sounds an awful lot like “Where Is My Other Half”. Unfortunately this cut is followed by an attempt at a blues number, “Sofre,” that reminds me why the blues is a quintessentially North American black art form. In fact I am suffering listening to it right now as I write this. It just kind of falls flat, but I’ll give Tim credit for asserting his blackness. Most other Brazilian acts attempting blues at this time were prog-rockers with wanky guitar solos that went on far too long. It is also interesting to note that Tim would later reuse the formula of the opening rap a decade later with the huge hit song “Me dê motivo”, including opening it up with “é engraçado” (it’s funny..), and oddly enough the vocal line from “Lamento” also reappears in that tune. A good way for Tim to recycle some of his good ideas that didn’t quite work the first time around, and “Me dê motivo” is a much better song than either of these. “Razão de sambar” is a minute and half of jazz-samba. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD the next song is amazing — “Pelo amor de deus”, well, I already ranted on about it but let me reiterate again how great it is. “These are the songs,” is a piece of Latin lounge, in English again, that is a nice way to end the album and assert his unique musical identity. Elis Regina would later record a lame version of this song with Tim guesting on vocals.

Even with the weak points on this record, it is still thoroughly essential listening. Valeu, Tim!

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LINKS REMOVED BY CORPORATE SCUMBAGS who are going to sell you a shitty
compilation made for gringos in October.  Hey, where do you think most
of your buyers will have heard this music for the first time??  Blogs,
maybe?  Fuck you AmeriKKKa.