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Various Artists - Beleza Tropical
For the first time on LP and newly remastered on a color vinyl 2LP set with new notes from David Byrne, the record that started it all. Some of the artistis represented on this compilation were forced into exile from Brazil as a result of sweet sounding songs like these. It is hard for us to imagine this music as being in any way dangerous, but the military regime that ruled Brazil during the late '60s and early '70s found it quite threatening. The combination of lyrics, the re-introduction of Afro-Brazilian rhythms and the electric guitars encouraged and inspired a whole generation in Brazil ' much to the dismay of the government of the time. Maybe those songs are a more human form of political pop than our rabble rock epics which often sound too close to national anthems or marches for me. I first heard music like this years ago. I didn't 'get it' then ' I couldn't hear it for what it was. Then, years later, I picked up a few LPs by Milton Nascimento and Caetano Veloso. I had no idea what was on them ' I was buying blind, as I often do. I guess I was ready, because after that I became kind of obsessed, and every time I went to the record shop, I'd get a couple of Brazilian LPs. Some were great, real seductive ear openers, while others were not at all to my taste. But the gems far outweighed the garbage. I became intrigued by the question: What kind of culture could produce such radical yet beautiful music? - David Byrne