Mina is the greatest Italian singer of all times, but not only. For Italians, Mina is an icon equally as important as the biggest and best-known names about which they boast as proof that Italy has the highest quality everything in the world, like Ferrari, Armani,Fellini or Antonioni. During the ’60s and the ’70s, Mina embodied the very essence of the ultra-talented superstar on stage, in TV and in her records. (!)
She sang Italy’s greatest hits, which for over 40 years have been the leitmotiv of the everyday life of the Italian people. Nowadays Mina releases one record a year.
Let’s go to our artist:
Anna Maria Quaini or Mina Mazzini (25 March 1940), known for her three-octavevocal range, the agility of her soprano voice, and its image as an emancipated woman. In performance, Mina combined several modern styles with traditional Italian melodies which made her the most versatile pop singer in Italian music.
Mina dominated the Italian charts for fifteen years and reached an unsurpassed level of popularity in Italy. She has scored 77 albums and 71 singles on the Italian charts!
Mina’s TV appearances in 1959 were the first for a female rock and rollsinger in Italy, the public at the time, labeled her as the Tiger of Cremona for her wild gestures and body shakes. When she turned to light pop tunes, Mina’s chart-toppers in West Germanyin 1962 and Japan in 1964 earned her the title of the best international artist. Mina’s more refined sensual manner was introduced in 1960 with Gino Paoli‘s ballad ‘This World We Love In’, entering on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961.
Mina was banned from Italian TV and radio in 1963 because her pregnancy and relationship with the married actor Corrado Pani did not accord with the dominant Catholic and bourgeoismorals (sic). After the ban, RAItried to continue to prohibit her songs, which were forthright in dealing with subjects such as religion, smoking, and sex. Mina’s school act combined sex appeal, with public smoking, dyedblond hair, and shavedeyebrows to create an (unprecedented)bad girl image!
Mina’s voice has a distinctive timbre and great power, her main themes are anguished love stories performed in highdramatic tones. The singer combined classic Italian pop with elements of blues, R&B and soul music during the late ’60s, especially when she worked in collaboration with the singer-songwriter Lucio Battisti.
Top Italian songwriters created material with large vocal ranges and unusual chord progressions to showcase her singing skills, particularly ‘Brava’ (Bruno Canfora)and the pseudo-serial‘Se Telefonando’(Ennio Morricone). Shirley Bassey carried Mina’s ballad ‘Grande Grande Grande’to charts in the U.S. and U.K. in 1973.
Mina’s easy listening duet ‘Parole Parole’ was turned into a worldwide hit by Dalida and Alain Delon in 1974. Then, Mina suddenly gave up public appearances in 1978 but has continued to release popular albums on a yearly basis to the present day.
Let’s go to our album:
Mina is an eclectic, versatile artist completely at ease with a repertoire spanning all musical genres, all of which she has sung with masterful panache!
By 1970 Mina was already an established star, flirting with Brazilian music since the mid-’60s, passing through bossa nova and samba, here she relies on the amazing arrangements of maestro Augusto Martelli to bring a vigorous overview of the so-called MPB(Brazilian popular music). With a stellar team of composers, Mina sings with wild passion, splendid technique and darting Portuguese to our delight!
The ‘IM’ highlights are Todas as Mulheres do Mundo and Tem Mais Samba.
A1Canto de Ossanha (B. Powell, V. de Moraes)
A2Com Acúcar, Com Afeto (C. Buarque de Hollanda)
A3Upa Nequinho (E. Lobo, G. Guarnieri)
A4Todas as Mulheres do Mundo (Erasmo Carlos)
A5Que Maravilha (Jorge Ben, Toquinho)
A6A Banda (C. Buarque de Hollanda)
B1Canção Latina (O. Stocker, V. Martins)
B2Tem Mais Samba (C. Buarque de Hollanda)
B3Sentado a Beira do Caminho (E. Carlos, R. Carlos)
B4A Praça (Carlos Imperial)
B5Nem Vem Que Não Tem (Carlos Imperial)
Arranged, Conductor (Orchestra): Bob Mitchell (Augusto Martelli)
PDU – Pld.A.5026
‘If I didn’t have my own voice, I’d like to have the voice of a young Italian girl named Mina’ / Sarah Vaughan, 1968. (!)
Operation Condor was a campaign of political repression and terror involving intelligence operations and the assassination of opponents, officially implemented in 1975 by the right-wing dictatorships of the Southern Cone of South America. The program was intended to eradicate communist or Soviet influence and ideas and to suppress active or potential opposition movements against the participating governments. Due to its clandestine nature, the precise number of deaths directly attributable to Condor is highly disputed, estimates are that at least 60,000 deaths can be attributed to it. (!)
Condor’s key members were the governments in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Brazil. The United States along with the CIA provided technical support and supplied military aid to the participants until at least 1978, and again after Ronald Reagan became president in 1981.
Chile. This alliance of terror was the icing on the cake that was already being prepared since the beginning of the 60s. The 1964 presidential election of Eduardo Frei Montalva(Christian Democrat), made the country embarked on a far-reaching social and economic programs, particularly in education, housing, and agrarian reform, including rural unionization of agricultural workers.
By 1967, however, Frei encountered increasing opposition from leftists, who charged that his reforms were inadequate, and from conservatives, who found them excessive. At the end of his term, Frei had not fully achieved his party’s ambitious goals.
After three attempts to run the country, Salvador Allende finally succeeded on September 4, 1970 elections with a narrow plurality of 36%, the candidate from the Unidad Popular (Popular Unity) became the first Marxist president of a Latin American country through open elections. The Chilean way to socialism was finally tangible: the nationalization of industries (Copper Mining), income redistribution, collectivization and economic-diplomatic approach with the socialist/communist countries, promised to break all the obstacles from the status quo, leading to a more equal life.
But the socialist dream did not last long, an economic depression that began in 1972 was exacerbated by capital flight, plummeting private investment, and withdrawal of bank deposits in response to Allende’s socialist program. Production fell and unemployment rose, simultaneously, opposition media, politicians, business guilds and other organizations helped to accelerate a campaign of domestic political and economical destabilization, some of which was helped by the United States (sic).
By early 1973, inflation was out of control.
The crippled economy was further battered by prolonged and sometimes simultaneous strikes by physicians, teachers, students, truck owners, copper workers, and the small business class. On 26 May 1973, Chile’s Supreme Court, which was opposed to Allende’s government, unanimously denounced the Allende disruption of the legality of the nation. Although illegal under the Chilean constitution, the court supported and strengthened Pinochet’s seizure of power. A failed attempted coup occurred in June, known as Tanquetazo helped to accelerate the process.
On September 11, 1973, Chile would go into his darkest period of its history, a military junta led by General Augusto Pinochet, took over control of the country and overthrew Allende. As the armed forces bombarded the presidential palace (La Moneda) Allende made its last speech and apparently committed suicide. The first years of the regime were marked by many human rights violations. On October 1973, at least 72 people were murdered by the Caravan of Death. At least 2,115 were killed, and at least 27,265 were tortured (including 88 children younger than 12 years old). (!!)
A hallmark of terror was the countless detainees kept in the National Stadium, one of those tortured and killed was a teacher, theatre director, poet, singer-songwriter and political activist Victor Jara. He was brutally tortured, fatally shot in the head and its body was later thrown out into the street of a shantytown in Santiago.
This is obviously a small summary of a much more complex situation, Patricio Guzman’sThe Battle of Chile develops into three parts the full details of the story, check it!
Let’s go to our history:
Aguaturbia was a unique experience in the history of rock, even today his name is associated with the roots of the movement in Chile. With a hippie inspiration, psychedelic characteristic and recognized authentic imitation in style and appearance of musicians like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin were the ingredients that gave life to this quartet, perhaps the first local cult band. Its existence did not exceed five years and never achieved massive success, however, both musical quality and the irreverence of his discourse are recognized today as forces managed to shake Chilean society.
Established in May 1968, at the height of the 60s new libertarian tendencies, their leader Carlos Corales, was one of the most important guitarists of the local environment (The Tickets, Pat Henry and The Blue Devils and Los Jockers), which together with Denise on vocals, Willy Cavada on drums and Ricardo Briones on bass, shaped a band that never stopped looking at what the U.S. and England produced to expand his blues-rock and psychedelic music.
Denise, whose real name is Climene Puleghini Solis was a young Brazilian from higher sectors of society, fascinated with R&B and rock, despite having no musical training whatsoever. His parents did not authorize his bold idea of forming a rock band with her boyfriend, and, to that refusal, she married with Corales!
They started playing covers in small clubs in Santiago, but eventually were encouraged in their own compositions (sung in English, like most local rock bands of the time). The themes concerning love, peace and the defense of their appearance held their debut album in 1970. Before recording, Corales traveled to the U.S. to buy new instruments.
However, this well-planned debut, recorded in just three days, would get sparks between the public, though not precisely for its musical arguments. Aguaturbia’s cover showed the four musicians naked, sitting in a circle with a neutral expression on their faces.
The album, released under the RCA label, had an acceptable sale and just a few months later, they released his successor Aguaturbia II (or Aguaturbia Volume 2), which created a new uproar, this time, for a photograph that appeared Denise crucified, inspired by Dali’s (magnificent) Christ of Saint John of the Cross.
The controversy was mixed with political and social upheavals from Popular Unity (Allende’s party) and the activity of the group lowered its intensity.
Carlos: ‘There came a very strong rejection of certain people, who even wanted to excommunicate us. Suddenly, there were these folks who wanted to beat us and cut our hair. They shouted fags, drug addicts! We played a time of change that was terrible in many ways. If the first album censorship failed to say anything, in the second, it was a complicated situation. Imagine a woman on the cross, is something very special.’
On late 1970, after been invited to participate in the famous Red Rock festival in Santiago (due to the general chaos that afternoon did not even get onto the stage), the band decided to try his luck in the U.S. They settled in New York to work and study, and formed a group called Sun, where his music was welcomed in some quarters and allowed them to survive. The band returned to Chile in 1973, with a different formation, after participating at the Viña del Mar festival the band finally ends in mid-74.
Let’s go to our album:
This 1993 re-release containing songs from the (only) two albums, helped to revive the interest of its music not only in Chile. The re-issue from the albums are now available via Light in The Attic site and since the mid-2000 Aguaturbia made its comeback to Chilean stages with the same energy from that era. Unfortunately, the drummer Willy Cavada died of a heart attack on early October 2013. (RIP)
After this long post, the ‘IM’ highlights for this HEAVY psychedelic-blues band are: Somebody To Love and Aguaturbia, don’t miss this little gem.
Today’s post will have minor text info, quite because our friends from A Estos Hombres Tristes already made a small dossier about the artist, sadly, there’s no information about him on the net, too, let’s check it!
Let’s go to their history:
Argentina. We’ll have to go back in time, more specifically the late 50’s. Taking advantage of the explosion of Rock and Roll captained by Elvis Presley and its clones, RCA Argentina decided to start a fierce commercial strategy, beyond comparison of what was being made so far. With biweekly public concerts, dozens of Lp’s, frequent television shows and whole manufacture of new young idols, La Nueva Ola was born like that. Their Castellano versions of great American classics foresaw the pop mass consumption of these artists. Were part of this first cast, names like Chico Novarro, Palito Ortega, Violeta Rivas, Johnny Tedesco, Nicky Jones, amongst many others.
With the imminent success of the show, RCA and Channel 13(El Trece) signed a contract to broadcast a weekly musical program, geared to a young audience, called El Club del Clan. It was aired for the first time on November 10, 1962. Starring a group of ‘friends’ where each artist represented a stereotypical character that corresponded to a musical genre, like Romantic, Tango, Twist, Bolero, Cumbia. A large second cast was formed this time and between them, there was a young Perico Gómez. The only Afro-American in the Clan used to wear a galley hat and always singed the Cumbia (solo or with duets); during the program, the protagonists talked about everyday situations and humorous sketches happened amid the presentations.
There’s a curious fact about it, because the same thing occurred in Brazil a bit later, on 1965, Jovem Guarda started its broadcast and with the same commercial musical proposal, launched artists like Roberto and Erasmo Carlos, Wanderléa and a whole bunch of teen idols that suddenly had TV programs, singles, albums, line clothes, action figures and a myriad of products for sale!
After one year on air, with more than three albums released, its national audience reached inedited peaks: scenes of collective hysteria were common in fashionable clubs, vying for the presence of his characters and certain profit. In 1964 the program already showed some attrition, and with the attendance of some participants to another channel (and program), the Club was canceled at the end of the year. The definitive entry of Beatlemania worldwide and in Argentina, helped the program losing ground amongst its fans eager for another product to consume.
In the late ’60s, Alfredo Aldo Céspedes, would change its name and style once again. The harmless and smiling Perico Gómez gives place to a more serious and mature Pot Zenda. Regarding this time, his name appears in the list of acknowledgments on the first AlmendraLp, he also collaborated with the band during the recordings. On its short career, he recorded three singles in diverse labels, participated in the Argentine version of Hair and after 1973 moved to Venezuela. There, he played throughout the country and died in an automobile accident in March 1988. His remains were then, taken to Buenos Aires where it received a grave. (RIP)
Let’s go to our album:
One year after changing its name, Pot Zenda entered at T.N.T. studios, in early 1970, accompanied by Edelmiro Molinari to record his first single, since the Club Clan era. Once again, Mandioca labelis responsible for all production and distribution, the two songs appeared on the famous compilation Pidamos Peras a Mandioca releasedon the same year. He also participated in November at the Barrock festival.
With some horn attacks on the arrangements, Basta de Llorar, has its rock-soul pace with a great vocal performance and Edelmiro’s solos showing up; this uptempo song caught me in surprise, the silly beat/garage tender (so common at the time) evolves into a psychedelic bomb! Vuelvo a Sonreir takes us back to the Clan era, with mellow lyrics this romantic chanson got some orchestral tinges too.
As a bonus, I’ve added Heloisa. I have finally discovered where the song came from, a band called Totem from Uruguay, these chicos will appear soon here. Hea Teekond!
A1 Basta de Llorar
B1 Vuelvo a Sonreir
Label – Mandioca MS-013
All songs and lyrics by: Alfredo Céspedes(Pot Zenda)
Following our last post, we’ll continue in Israel. To show you a little forgotten 45 single, re-released by Fortuna Records. Established in 2012, this new label is aimed to reissue psychedelic nuggets printed in Israel, as well as Middle-Eastern grooves in general, although this time ain’t a Koliphone release. There are only two songs but I was really impressed with the fabulous crossover between east and west!
Let’s go to her history:
Born in Radda, South East Yemen in the late ’40s, Tsvia Abarbanel immigrated to Israel with her parents and settled in the north of the country. She was raised in a traditional Yemenite house where she learned the culture and traditions of Yemen.
She spent most of the youth as a Shepherdess looking after her family’s herd, during the long hours in the fields, Tsvia developed her singing skills, practicing traditional Yemenite chants, typical to the region of Radda. When she was 25 years old, she bravely left home to go and study Ethno-Musicology and Fine Arts at the Los Angeles University. The early hippie movement dominated the college halls and soon enough she started frequenting the LA club scene. It was by pure chance that she found herself at Watts, queuing for a Dinah Washington concert at the Kabuki Theatre.
Every night from midnight to 6, Tsvia, would flock to the Kabuki to get a glimpse of the biggest musicians of the time such as Ramsey Lewis, Ray Charles and more!
This community-only event drew her deep into the sounds of soul and jazz, inspiring Tsvia to give her own musical background a totally new interpretation. Before even recording her first song, she started performing throughout the west coast, in big venues such as the Hollywood Bowl & The Cow Palace in San Francisco, showcasing her unique brew of traditional Yemenite singing and western jazz rhythms.
A beautiful 26 years old Yemenite girl was an odd sight in the Afro-American music scene of LA in the mid-’60s. She looked different, she sounded different, but her musical talent was so explosive she was immediately embraced by local musicians!
Let’s go to our record:
Returning to Israel in 1970, Tsvia started working on her debut album with a prominent Tel Aviv jazz band called Piamenta’s Guys. Led by Albert Piamenta, musician and arranger, who introduced funk and western elements into traditional Israeli songs, the result was one of the most magical recordings to ever come out of the region. However, the Israeli record industry found it far too strange and of no commercial potential. (!) And so Tsvia and her husband released a limited 45, making this one of the most obscure and hard to find Israeli records ever.
The ‘IM’ highlights spare any comment: Yahalel Hawa, has an strong percussion pace and a sour folklore singing, assisted by this little cool jazz veil. A classy ethnic one! And Wings of Love, certainly a challenge to anyone who admires the frontiers from music, with a Yma Sumac’s intro, this jazzy soul got some horn attacks, organ, sax solos, heavy drums, and the always lively percussion, recalling us the strong geographical bond that Yemen has with Africa. Unluckily both sounds end up until 3 minutes, but the fusion stamp that Tsvia left are forevermore!
Our little Shepherdess, is still performing, writing and composing her own material, spreading Yemenite music in Israel to this day. Hyvää Matkaa!