Gal Costa – Gal (1969) (Mono mix)

Gal Costa – Gal
1969 Philips R 765.098 L

The great Gal Costa released two classic Tropicália records in 1969, and this one is widely known as the mind-bendingly psychedelic monster of the two.  The version presented here is the original mono mix and not the stereo mix that appeared on the Gal Total boxset and later in a Polysom reissue.  Gal has always surrounded herself with musical heavyweights but she was keeping particularly heady company at this time: this record has substantial involvement from Gil, Caetano and Jards Macalé (who would serve as her musical director not long after this).  No less than two compositions from Jorge Ben are featured here, including the rather deep cut “Tuareg” in a particularly funky arrangement.

The Tropicalístas had paid homage to Brazilian rockers Erasmo Carlos and Roberto Carlos (no relation) and they repaid Gal on this album with a signature song in which her shrieks and yelps drew comparisons to Janis Joplin.  The free-floating signifiers to global counterculture were a big deal in a cultural landscape where electric guitars had scandalized the left-leaning intelligentsia just a short time ago, and a political landscape in which open dissent had serious repercussions (both Caetano and Gil would soon be living in exile in the UK), and actual urban guerrilla warfare became a viable agent for social change after all “legitimate” means of organizing were outlawed in a series of increasingly draconian decrees emanating from the military government.  That’s all worth keeping in mind while listening to this album, as the sensory overload ebbs and flows and eventually reaches an almost unbearable pitch in the final sortie of The Empty Boat, Objeto Sim/Objeto Não, and Pulsars e Quasers.  Keep in mind that Gal Costa was a Star with a capital “S” by this time, and I doubt too many would disagree with me if I said that this album is easily one of the boldest, avant-garde pieces of daring pop culture to be unleashed on the world in the twentieth century.  It is undeniably psychedelic but also confrontational, juxtaposing melodious earworms with moments pushing the limits of the listener. Sure, it’s great fun, but it’s also the sound of a collective hallucination about the breakdown of society, and its fragmentation into countless chemical shards  – toxic, ecstatic, still wet with blood – that are scattered around our gas-lit amphitheater of tragicomic agon, from Olympus to the matinee at the Cinema Olympia, well into the twenty-first century.

Oh and before I forget – Fora, Bolsonaro!

A1 Cinema Olympia

Written-By – Caetano Veloso

A2 Tuareg

Written-By – Jorge Ben

A3 Cultura E Civilização

Written-By – Gilberto Gil

A4 País Tropical

Featuring – Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil
Written-By – Jorge Ben

A5 Meu Nome É Gal

Written-By – Erasmo Carlos, Roberto Carlos

B1 Com Medro, Com Pedro

Written-By – Gilberto Gil

B2 The Empty Boat

Featuring – Jards Macalé
Written-By – Caetano Veloso

B3 Objeto Sim, Objeto Não

Written-By – Gilberto Gil

B4 Pulsars E Quasars

Written-By – Macalé, Capinam

Manufactured For – Companhia Brasileira De Discos
Published By – Gapa Saturno
Published By – Editora Saturno


Arranged By – Rogério Duprat
Bass – Rodolpho Grani Júnior
Bass, Guitar – Alexander Gordin
Drums – Diogenes Burani Filho, Dudu Portes
Guitar [Violão] – Jards Macalé
Illustration – Dircinho
Liner Notes – Caetano Veloso
Photography By – Freitas (3)
Producer – Manoel Barenbein
Vocals – Gal Costa

Other (Label side A): SCDP-PF-001/GB
Other (Label side B): CSDP-PF-001/GB
Matrix / Runout (Label side A): AA 765.098 1L
Matrix / Runout (Label side B): AA 765.098 2L
Matrix / Runout (Runout side A, etched): AA 765.098 1L 1 J
Matrix / Runout (Runout side B, etched): AA 765.098 2L 1 J
Price Code: Série De Luxe

LINEAGE: Philips R 765.098 vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE with Audio Tecnica Signet TK7E cartridge; Speedbox power supply; Creek Audio OBH-15; Audioquest Black Mamba and Pangea Premier interconnect cables; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 192khz; Click Repair with output monitored manually, Stereo>Mono fold-down; further clicks and pops removed manually with Adobe Audition 3.0; Resampled and dithered using iZotope RX Advanced. Converted to FLAC in either Trader’s Little Helper or dBPoweramp. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.

16-bit 44.1 khz


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  1. Still can’t believe we let that lunatic in. Anyway, this is a superb record, definitely worth having at the highest possible resolution. Massive thanks for it!

  2. Yes! This has been a long time favorite and I’ve never heard the mono version before. So nice to have this in hi-fidelity

  3. Sounds great as usual!! btw Would you have where i could find all those killer Samba Showdown mixtapes on Saint Julians old blog My hard disc died and i lost every volume apart from 7 and 8!! Stu

    • Sorry man, I do not. I probably have some backed up somewhere and if I come across them, I’ll come back and leave a message. Those were fun fixes. But my file management “system” is too chaotic to know where I might have saved them.

  4. Thanks for this Dr. V. It’s a very unique album with a LOT going on. I feel like I need to listen to it again to form any salient thoughts/opinions. Having said that Costa is without a doubt COMMITTED to her performance.

  5. Demais esse lugar!! Alto nível e alta qualidade de som. Obrigado!!!

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