Thursday, November 22, 2007

Nara Leao - Nara Leao (1968)

AdHoc strikes again and without knowing sent a perfect closing to this celebration of the first Bossa Nova US concert at Carnegie Hall. Nara Leao is truly the Bossa Nova muse, favorite of many Loronixers. I never thought to make this album available at Loronix, this cover artwork looks so modern that I always took this album as a Nara Leao album from the 80s. I had the chance to hear it for the first time today and seem to me this is Nara Leao Tropicalia album, featuring arrangements of Maestro Rogerio Duprat and several early Caetano Veloso compositions. It is not necessary to say that AdHoc delivers best of breed transfers and awesome cover scans from both vinyl and CD versions. Let's see.

This is Nara Leao - Nara Leao (1968), for Philips. I had a very limited time to get this album atmosphere to write an adequate review, AdHoc delivers the CD version, with lots of complimentary information, including Nara Leao review for each track. So I will let you with Nara Leao, featuring 12 tracks issued in 1968 with two additional CD bonus tracks with the last one featuring Jorge Neri as special guest. Just a little additional thought, track 01 - Lindoneia (Caetano Veloso) is very familiar and it is probably the same version included at Tropicalia - Panis et Circenses, an album that I'm tracking down since the beginning of Loronix. Tracks include:

01 - Lindonéia (Caetano Veloso)
02 - Quem É (Custódio Mesquita / Juraci Camargo)
03 - Donzela Por Piedade Não Perturbes (J. S. Arvelos)
04 - Mamãe Coragem (Caetano Veloso / Torquato Neto)
05 - Anoiteceu (Francis Hime / Vinicius de Moraes)
06 - Modinha (Villa-Lobos / Manuel Bandeira)
07 - Infelizmente (Lamartine Babo / Ari Pavão)
08 - Odeon (Ernesto Nazareth / Vinicius de Moraes)
09 - Mulher (Custódio Mesquita / Sady Cabral)
10 - Medroso de Amor (Alberto Nepomuceno / Juvenal Galeno)
11 - Deus Vos Salve Esta Terra Santa (Caetano Veloso / Torquato Neto)
12 - Tema de ''Os Inconfidentes'' (Chico Buarque / Cecília Meireles)
13 - Festa (Dori Caymmi / Nelson Motta) Bonus Track
14 - Linha 12 (Juarez de Souza / Antonio E. Motta) with Jorge Neri


aluvsupreme said...

ahhhh. lovely, just lovely. am coming home from work (3 am) and this is just what i need to it. thank you.

Colin said...

Fantastic! i really like Manha de Liberdade (a previous post) so i'm very much looking forward to hearing this one. Many thanks! It's funny because over here there was the renewed interest in the Tropicalia movement, what with re-releases and exhibitions in the Barbican etc... One album, as far as i know, that was not re-released around this time was Tropicalia - Panis et Circenses. And i really wanted to get it. And, come to think of it, as it's not commercially available, i'm surprised it hasn't popped up here. I think i'd like to make a request.........:)
Many Thanks again

Anonymous said...

Esse é o melhor disco da Nara Leão e um dos melhores de toda a MPB.

Nenhuma cantora brasileira possui repertório tão numeroso de grandes canções. Nenhuma.

Cesar M

pawlyshyn said...

Colin, Tropicalia has been reissued numerous times. It's easily available at places like or Dusty Groove. One thing to note: in 2002, many of Caetano's albums were remixed for the box set Todo Caetano. This resulted in minor differences on some songs, so for completists, there are really two versions of the Tropicalia album.

Anonymous said...

Kléssius Leão said...

A isso chama-se Caráter e Personalidade, da capa ao repertório, quando a música popular do Brasil ainda tinha vergonha na cara.

AdHoc said...

Regarding Tropicalia: all Caetano Veloso's albums (including Tropicalia – Panis et Circencis) were remastered in 2002 for his 60th birthday CD box. Three albums were remixed and remastered again in 2006 by Charles Gavin (with Caetano's input) for the new Box "Quarenta Anos Caetanos 67/74": Caetano Veloso (1967), Tropicalia (1968) and Caetano Veloso (1969). So, there are 3 different CD versions of Tropicalia, but it seems that the only one that is available outside the boxes is the original CD transfer of 1993 (reissued several times in several countries). Pity.

ansina1957 said...

Are you really looking for Tropicalia ou Panis et Circensis? I would be very pleased to send it to to you, as a small retribution for all the wonderful music you share.

Um abraço


pawlyshyn said...

Adhoc, I have the Quarenta Anos Caetano boxes, and according to the liner notes, the remixes you mentioned were all done in 2002. In fact the version of Caetano Veloso (1967) released in the box this year repeats the unforgivable error from the 2002 version: mixing up Anunciação and Ave-Maria. It's a typical example of the carelessness rampant with Brazilian reissues. Can you imagine if they reissued Sgt, Pepper and mixed up Good Morning Good Morning with Fixing a Hole -- then did exactly the same thing five years later?

Colin said...

Thanks for the info, everyone. it's a bit pricey on amazon: £32! Many thanks for the link, anonymous, can't wait to get it home! For what it's worth, i got a tropicalia compilation on soul jazz records a couple of years ago which, as far as i know, has some of the ("best") tracks from Panis et Circenses and other significant stuff from that time.

Anyway, many thanks for the Nara post, looking forward to listening as i love Manha de Liberdade - highly recommend!

AdHoc said...

Thanks for the correction. I had seen the information about the new remix in the site of a Brazilian newspaper, but I realise they've got it all wrong. Is there a real improvement in the way the CDs sound as compared to the versions released in the 90s? I was considering buying the 67/74 box, just for these early records.

pawlyshyn said...

Adhoc, to me, the remixed Caetano albums sound WAY better. For one thing, the '67 album is in stereo for the first time (except for certain tracks) -- and maybe the '69 album is too (I can't recall if the earlier CD of that was mono). Domingo wasn't remixed, but sounds 1,000 times better than the previous shoddy CD. But actually, it's the late '70s albums that really benefit. The original CDs sound like utter crap compared to the remixes. Plus all the CDs reproduce the original packaging (you should see Transa) and add notes on the personnel that often weren't on the originals. Expensive, but worth it, I think.

Colin, has Tropicalia for $15.99, and it's $2 more from You can afford it -- it's a classic!

zecalouro said...

I want to put some thoughts on this great discussion. These albums were released before the CD era and I always look for these first vinyl issues, for several reasons.

1. You get original sound with the vinyl.

2. From a "historical" standpoint, it is very important to listen as if you were at the release time.

3. In my experience, reissues always left some information behind, there are exceptions.

4. CD covers are small thumbnails compared with the size of an LP and cover artwork is a great part of the whole experience.

When friends show links to another websites with Panis Et Circenses available, it is cool, but it is not enough. These albums are masterpiece and it is very important that we make them with scans of the front and back cover and looseless audio. Really makes the difference.

Great bit. Keep rolling.

little secret. just found Caetano Veloso White Album on first Philips issue on mint conditions. Perhaps today... Let's see.

Cheers, zeca

pawlyshyn said...

I agree with many of your points, Zeca, although in many cases, the CD reissue has a lot MORE information than was ever found on the vinyl. But as for covers, the Caetano box sets are done right. For instance, you can turn the Transa cover into a pyramid, just like the original (except a fraction of the size, of course). Cores Nomes has the letters of the title cut out of the cover, just like the vinyl.

AdHoc said...

Oh well, these are already times of dematerialised music, compressed mp3 with no physical support whatsoever. Very soon we will be nostalgic about the good old CDs. Remember, they had lossless audio and (tiny) artwork.
Just kidding! I'm not that pessimistic. There's no way back from dematerialised music, but I think that the next big thing will be very high bit rate uncompressed music, with fantastic artwork in your flat screen. Of course, the large majority of contents will be crap, but that's just as it always was. In case I'm wrong, plan B to save the day is "Loronix 2.0 - CDs from Brazil".

zecalouro said...

Nice. Perhaps I'm a little bit "squared" holding the vinyl flag as a warrior, but I also enjoy the music released during the CD era, mainly rock. I will give an example, I have both vinyl and CD of the classic Rolling Stones - Tattoo You (1980) and I don't mind to hear the CD.

In the other hand, when I take, for instance, Caetano Veloso - Transa (1972) for a hearing, I take the vinyl. I don't feel comfortable hearing the CD, sounds fake and I feel frustrated to sit down for a hearing appreciating and examining that tiny piece of paper inside a plastic case, instead of the big LP paper that makes you feel inside the record when you hold close to your face.

Anyway, it is matter of how is your relationship with the music, some friends uses to hear music when cooking or washing dishes and I need focus.

Cheers, zeca

AdHoc said...

Zeca, I totally agree with you that the CD transfers from the early 90s of Brazilian music from 70s (Chico, Caetano, Gil, Gal, ... you name it) were absolutely awful, especially those of Philips/Polygram/Universal. The vinyls sound much better. But that's just a lousy job, resulting from an interaction of laziness, greed and incompetence. As for the artwork, Caetano Veloso said in the lyrics of one of his masterpieces (livros): ...livros são objetos transcendentes, mas podemos amá-los do amor táctil que votamos aos maços de cigarro...". The same probably holds true to music albums, but people may be more or less aware of (or vulnerable to) their tactile attraction.

Colin said...

Thanks for the tip pawlyshyn. I was looking on I think i can stretch to $15.99. And totally agree with you, zecalouro, about the vinyl, it's the original lossless format and the packaging has a lot more potential, design wise.
The super audio CD format doesn't seem to have taken off, as far as i can see. CDs, great at the time, seem a little out of date because of their noticeable difference in quality. But there doesn't seem to be any buzz about any revolution in this area.
These days i'm content with good quality mp3's. I couldn't afford the records. Considering the cost, variety, accessibility and convenience, mp3s (ie, from blogs like loronix) are a compromise i can live with.
Nice one guys

Mark said...

How ironic - I received a copy of this LP from Sao Paulo on Saturday, now I see this was posted two days beforehand!
Still it was worth the wait and expense, what a lovely album (the cover and the music).
Interesting combination, with Duprat's arranging even though many of the songs are several decades old (at least that's what it looks like to me, unfortunately I can't read Portuguese so well.)

Anonymous said...

Sabem o que estou pensando? Onde nós estamos? no Brasil ou no Brazil? Leio muitos comentários em ingles. Talvez eu esteja nos States.... Para que os prezados colegas possam entender o que estou falando, aí vai: Do you know what I´ve been thinking? Where are we? In Brasil or Brazil? I read many comments in english. Maybe I´m in the States... I know there are fans of this wonderful blog all over the world but why not writing in portuguese too? Many brazilians and friends who speak portuguese around the world, like for instance people from Moçambique or Angola or other portuguese spoken countries don´t know english and unfortunately they can´t understand some of the wise commments that I have been reading all over these years. Please don´t misunderstand me. Thanks. Um abraço para todos.

AdHoc said...

to "anonymous",
We're neither in Brasil nor in Brazil. We're in the internet (world wide web). Loronix (the blog) is hosted in the USA (by blogger) and the music is hosted in Switzerland and Germany (by RapidShare). I'm in France, but I write my comments in English or in Portuguese, depending of whom I'm talking to and what I'm talking about. After all, English (and not French) is the lingua franca nowadays. You might regret it, but there's nothing you can do about it if you want to communicate with people all over the world. This thread started with the Nara Leão album of 1968. Your comment brings back a certain feeling of those dark ages. The military, then controlling the political power in Brazil, were xenophobic, ultra-nationalistic (Brasil, Ame-o ou Deixe-o; Brazil, love it or leave it), and averse to most things foreign, except the "Portuguese-speaking world", specially of Africa. They tried to control every aspect of the private life of Brazilian citizens: which books they could read, which films and plays they could watch, which music they could listen to, who could teach in the Universities and what they could teach, who could travel abroad and where they could travel. I'm not misunderstanding you; you're most certainly against all those things that happened in the past. But your recommendation to private citizens in a private blog (to my knowledge, Loronix is not affiliated to or financed by the Brazilian administration) regarding the languages they should use to write their comments just gives me the creeps. Gato escaldado, etc... etc... Saudações.