Slipped Disc: Introduction to Brazilian music

Slipped Disc is the creation of Ben Farrell and Izzi Bavis. Originally set out to create a biweekly podcast, the duo decided that since the escalation of the coronavirus and lack of equipment they would put their music commentary into a blog post that is published every Friday. 

Last year in WSUM’s music appreciation club someone suggested Jorge Ben’s Africa Brasil. That week (and many more weeks to come) I listened to Jorge Ben on repeat. Ben has since shown me other albums by Jorge Ben and I have discovered other Brazilian artists. My record collection is dominated by Brazilian music and I know Ben’s is too. We have curated a playlist to introduce you to some of our favorite tracks. Enjoy 🙂

“Taj Mahal/Fio maravilha/País tropical” by Jorge Ben

This track goes hard. The first time I heard this song I was blown away, the track begins with mellow undertones and then erupts into beautiful chaos. I like this version because on YouTube it says it is the “funky” version. — Izzi

“Baby” by Os Mutantes

This song is full of yearning. It mixes english and portuguese and adds to the feelings of desire that the song exhibits.  — Izzi

“Mas Que Nada” by Sergio Mendes & Brasil ‘66

Originally created by Jorge Ben, this rendition is one of my most prized possessions in my record collection. My dad actually gave me the record and I spin it on my show almost every week. Sergio Mendes & Brasil ‘66  are spectacular and a must listen to. — Izzi

“Triste” by Joao Gilberto

This is a classic Brazilian jazz song. — Izzi

“Aquarela Do Brasil” by Joao Gilberto, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil

This is another classic Brazilian jazz song, too good not to put on the playlist. — Izzi

“Aguas De Marco” by Antonio Carlos Jobim & Antonio Carlos Jobim featuring Elis Regina

This classic tune, written by behemoth composer Antonio Carlos Jobim was voted the greatest Brazilian song of all time, by Brazilians. I recommend three recordings of this song. Start with the original recording by Jobim alone. Then, check out his recording with Elis Regina. The third and final recording is the English language version, sung by Jobim alone.   — Ben

“Quem Me Dera” Caetano Veloso & Gal Costa

Domingo, released in 1967, is a collaboration between two artists best known for their work in the psych-rocky realm of Tropicalia. In spite of their reputation, the final product is a slow burning bossa nova masterpiece. Que Me Dera starts out slow and dreamy, shuffles into life for its middle portion, and slides back into the silky vocal refrain, sung by Veloso. Though Costa’s voice isn’t featured on the song, she is still listed as a collaborator on the track. — Ben

“Estrelar” Marcos Valle

Perhaps the most well known piece of Brazillian music  released in the 1980s, this track essentially defines the genre classification Musica Popular Brasiliera, or MPB. This particular recording slaps the beautiful melodies so characteristic of Brazillian music over a strong pop-funk track. — Ben

“Acenda O Farol” Tim Maia

If you’re a lover of Disco, this track is for you. Tim Maia brings his Tropicalia and MPB roots to the dancefloor, not only on Acenda O Farol album. Recorded in 1978, it’s probably my favorite of Maia’s work. — Ben

“Nossa” Gilberto Gil

This is a deep cut, for certain, but a great one. This 80s ballad, dripping with Melodrama, is a dreamy reminder of Gil’s romantic propensity, during a portion of his career defined by its poppiness. Also, THOSE SYNTHS. — Ben