Mina – Mina Canta o Brasil (1970)

folder cópiaMina 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-octave vocal 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.

19 Year Old 'Rocker'
19 Year Old ‘Rocker’

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 roll singer in Italy, the public at the timelabeled 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 Germany in 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 & Massimiliano Pani
Mina & Massimiliano Pani

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 bourgeois morals (sic). After the ban, RAI tried 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, dyed blond hair, and shaved eyebrows 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 high dramatic 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.

Live
Live

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!

The Tiger of Cremona!
La Tigre di Cremona!

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.

Приятной поездки!

Tracks Include:

A1 Canto de Ossanha (B. Powell, V. de Moraes)

A2 Com Acúcar, Com Afeto (C. Buarque de Hollanda)

A3 Upa Nequinho (E. Lobo, G. Guarnieri)

A4 Todas as Mulheres do Mundo (Erasmo Carlos)

A5 Que Maravilha (Jorge Ben, Toquinho)

A6 A Banda (C. Buarque de Hollanda)

B1 Canção Latina (O. Stocker, V. Martins)

B2 Tem Mais Samba (C. Buarque de Hollanda)

B3 Sentado a Beira do Caminho (E. Carlos, R. Carlos)

B4 A Praça (Carlos Imperial)

B5 Nem Vem Que Não Tem (Carlos Imperial)

Credits

Arranged, Conductor (Orchestra): Bob Mitchell (Augusto Martelli)

PDU ‎– Pld.A.5026

Today
Today

‘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. (!)

Russ Garcia & His Orchestra – Fantastica (1958)

capa cópiaAs we previously approached on Yma Sumac’s first entry, on the very birth of the genre knows as Exotica, today we’ll recap that and add a new genre: space-age pop!

Space-age pop is a music genre associated with Mexican and American composers and songwriters in the Space Age of the ’50s and ’60s. It is also called bachelor pad music or lounge music. It was inspired by the spirit of those times, an optimism based on the strong post-war economy, technology boom, and excitement about humanity’s early forays into space. Although there is no specific album, date, or year when the genre was born, producer Irwin Chusid identifies its heyday as roughly 1954 to 1963, from the dawn of high-fidelity (hi-fi) to the arrival of the Beatles.

Space Escapade, 1958
Space Escapade, 1958

There are several styles that can be recognized as an influence: classical composers like Ravel, Debussy or Stravinsky; the big bands of the ’40s; and different exotic styles, such as Samba, Latin, and Calypso Jazz. It is also related to Exotica and lounge music and may be regarded as a precursor to space music. (!)

Populated with the outcasts from other well-established genres, Space Age Pop is full of brilliant, bizarre, and exciting sounds, which are particularly striking to ears accustomed to the stereotypes that populate the more familiar genres.

Juan García Esquivel
Juan García Esquivel

Let’s go back to Exotica:

The strictest definition limits exotica to the imitations of Polynesian, Afro-Caribbean, and Hawaiian music that were produced by Les Baxter and others from the mid-1950s to the very early ’60s. There were two primary strains of this kind of exotica: Jungle and Tiki. The jungle was definitely a Hollywood creation, with its roots in Tarzan movies or W.H. Hudson’s novel, Green Mansions. Les Baxter was the king of jungle exotica and spawned a host of imitators while opening the doors for a few more genuine articles such as Chaino, Thurston Knudson, and Guy Warren.

Ritual of the Savage, 1951
Ritual of the Savage, 1951

Tiki was introduced with Martin Denny’s Waikiki nightclub combo cum jungle noises cover of Baxter’s ‘Quiet Village’, although Denny’s vibe player, Arthur Lyman, soon became the style’s most representative artist. Tiki rode a wave of popularity in the late ’50s and early ’60s marked by the entrance of Hawaii as the 50th state in 1959 and the introduction of Tiki hut cocktail bars and restaurants around the United States!

Martin Denny's Group
Martin Denny’s Group

Let’s go to our artist:

Russel Garcia (12 April, 1916 – 19 November, 2011) attended at San Francisco State University and then studied composition (with Castelnuovo-Tedesco) before going to work as a professional arranger and composer. He worked with Horace Heidt and Al Donahue before settling in LA to work with a theatre orchestra. He then moved to studio work, first NBC radio and later with Warner Brothers, Disney, and others.

He freelanced around labels, working with singers such as Anita O’Day and Frances Faye as well as several mainstream jazz artists. He also wrote scores for films such as ‘The Time Machine’ and ‘Atlantis’ and contributed music to the television series ‘Rawhide’ and ‘The Virginian’. In the mid-’60s, he wrote several original works for Stan Kenton’s ‘Neophonic’ orchestra. He also published a book on arranging and orchestration that’s still considered a primary text. (!)

Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald & Russ Garcia
Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald & Russ Garcia (Porgy & Bess)

Let’s go to our album:

Fantastica remains the gold standard by which all outer space exotica records are judged, composed and conducted by Russ Garcia, the album is a marvel of sound and structure, brilliantly evoking the music of the cosmos via revolutionary studio techniques, cinematic arrangements, and innovative electronic elements!

Created in tandem with Liberty Records‘ chief engineer, Ted Keep, Fantastica bears little resemblance to conventional earthly music: alongside traditional instruments like woodwinds, harp, and percussion is a series of electronic devices and effects, including a sine wave generator that creates treble and bass tones of almost inhuman extremes. Conjuring horrific images of alien attack (The Monsters of Jupiter), natural disaster (Nova), and chilling isolation (The Lost Souls of Saturn) that articulate the collective unconsciousness of humankind, a true masterpiece!

The Maestro
The Maestro

The ‘IM’ Highlights are Venus and Frozen Neptune. (this is an exclusive rip)

Summing up, this is my Top 3 of the whole genre, an atemporal Lp, nothing appealing or stereotypical as some mentioned during our entry, startle yourself!

Приятно пътуване!

Tracks Include:

A1 Into Space

A2 Nova (Exploding Star)

A3 Lost Souls of Saturn

A4 Monsters of Jupiter

A5 Water Creatures of Astra

A6 Venus

B1 Red Sand of Mars

B2 Goofy People of Phobos

B3 Volcanoes of Mercury

B4 Birth of a Planet

B5 Frozen Neptune

B6 Moon Rise

Credits

  • Arranged, Composed: Russ Garcia
  • Artwork (Cover Design): Garrett-Howard
  • Effects, Electronics, Engineer: Ted Keep
  • Producer: Simon Jackson

Notes

Spectra-Sonic-Sound the ultimate in transistorized stereophonic hi-fidelity sound.

Liberty ‎– LST 7001

Jane Fonda’s Barbarella

Zafer Dilek – Oyun Havalari (1977)

folder cópiaAs previously, today we’re going to another unknown artist to most of the Western audience; legendary Turkish producer and arranger, again there’s little information available about this grand maestro! Per hour, we will continue to investigate its details and if some Turkish readers could provide us more details, it will be welcome!

Let’s go to our history:

Belly Dance in the Middle East has two distinct social contexts: as a folk or social dance, and as performance art. As a social dance, belly dance is performed at celebrations and social gatherings by ordinary people who are not professional performers. Dancers wear their ordinary clothes rather than a special dance costume.

The version of belly dance that is performed on stage has its roots in the social dance, and is typically a more polished version, with more emphasis on stagecraft, use of space, and special costumes designed to show off the movements to best effect.

Princess Banu
Princess Banu

Professional performers (dancers, singers, and actors) are not considered to be respectable in the Middle East, and there is a strong social stigma attached to female performers since they display their bodies in public, which is considered haram. (!)

As Turkish law does not impose restrictions on Turkish dancers’ movements and costuming as in Egypt, where dancers are prevented from performing floor work and certain pelvic movements, Turkish dancers are often more outwardly expressive than their Egyptian sisters. They’re known for their energetic, athletic (even gymnastic) style, and their adept use of finger cymbals, also known as zills.

Sabine Sevan
Sabine Sevan

Another distinguishing element of Turkish style is the use of the Karsilama rhythm (faster than others) in a 9/8 time signature, counted as 12-34-56-789.

Turkey was also known, male belly dancers!

Let’s go yo our artist:

Zafer Dilek (b. 1945) is one of the unsung heroes of Turkish music having worked as arranger, producer, and guitarist for countless famous Turkish artists (usually uncredited); also in film soundtracks, as a solo artist and in Zafer Banu Hülya group. He officially began its career in 1971 and in 1976 produced Selda’s second album.

The development of Turkish pop music in the ’70s saw the consolidation of Anadolu Rock, drinking on traditional influences, suddenly folklore (once seen as outdated) became a true fever when arranged with electric (modern) instruments.

Zafer Dilek
Zafer Dilek

The so-called Oyun Havalari turned into an export product, with its appealing (erotic) covers, uptempo overall and many famous artists doing this kind of exploitation portrait of the Middle East, such as Esin Engin, George Abdo, Omar Khorshid, Ahmad DjamalErköse Kardeşler and Ozel Turkbas. (!)

Let’s go to our album:

Groovy instrumental, lot’s of ethnic percussion, beautiful woodwinds, and excellent guitar / Bağlama playing in an unstoppable rhythm, feverish psychedelia with short length tracks, and a small sense of deja-vu: the songs are quite similar in this oriental party, but this will not belittle your hearing appreciation, hoşlanmak!

The ‘IM’ highlights are Arabi Oyun Havası and Konyalı(this is an exclusive rip)

Приятной поездки!

Tracks Include:

A1 Kol Bastı Oyun Havası

A2 Tokat Sarması

A3 Sultan Ciftetellisi

A4 Arabi Oyun Havası

A5 Eminem

A6 Tulum

A7 Fasulya

B1 Döktürü

B2 Konyalı

B3 Bahriye Çiftetellisi

B4 Kelle

B5 Adana Çiftetellisi

B6 Kazancı Oyun Havası

B7 Adanalı

Devir ‎– DP 7777

Erotik Kapak!
Erotik Kapak!

Yoshiko Sai – Mikkō (1976)

Due to the great success of Yoshiko Sai’s first entry, simply the most viewed during this year, today we present another album of this incredible haunting artist!

Let’s go to our history:

Edo (modern Tokyo) became the seat of government for the military dictatorship in the early 17th century Japan, the so-called Edo period (1603–1867). With an ‘everlasting’ peace and prosperity, the merchant class at the bottom of the social order found themselves the greatest beneficiaries of the city’s rapid economic growth. Other classes were the samurai and the craftsmen. Many indulged in the entertainment of kabuki theatre, courtesans, and geisha of the pleasure districts.

The term Ukiyo (floating world) came to describe this hedonistic lifestyle. Printed or painted ukiyo-e images of this environment emerged in the late 17th century, the merchant class, who had become wealthy enough to afford to decorate their homes with such brilliant works. Depictions of beautiful women, kabuki actors and sumo wrestlers; scenes from history and folk tales; travel scenes and landscapes; flora and fauna; and erotica were amongst the popular themes. (!)

Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1844
Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1844

The peak period in terms of quantity and quality was marked by portraits of beauties and actors by masters such as Kiyonaga, Utamaro, and Sharaku in the late 18th century. This peak was followed in the 19th century by a pair of masters best remembered for their landscapes: Hokusai and Hiroshige. Following the deaths of these two, and against the technological and social modernization that followed the Meiji Restoration of 1868, ukiyo-e production went into steep decline.

Some ukiyo-e artists specialized in making paintings, but most works were prints. Artists rarely carved their own woodblocks for printing; rather, production was divided between the artist, who designed the prints; the carver, who cut the woodblocks; the printer, who inked and pressed the woodblocks onto hand-made paper; and the publisher, who financed, promoted, and distributed the works.

Hokusai, 1830-32
Hokusai, 1830-32

Japonisme, or Japonism, is a French term that was first used (theorized) by Jules Claretie in his book L’Art Francais in 1872, it refers to the influence of Japanese art on Western art. In 1854, Japan re-opened trade with the West (after 265 years of isolation) and Japanese artworks including fans, porcelains, woodcuts, and screens were introduced in huge numbers to Europe, mainly France and the Netherlands.

The 1862 World’s Fair in Europe brought even more attention to Japanese art, during the 1860’s ukiyo-e, Japanese woodblock prints, became very popular and were a source of inspiration to many impressionists and post-impressionist artists in the west including Monet, Manet, Degas, Gauguin, and Van Gogh. (!)

Utamaro, 1793
Utamaro, 1793

Let’s go to our album:

Released on July 25th, 1976, Mikkō was Sai Yoshiko’s second album, a wonderful acid-folk register on which she gets assisted by a string of big-name musicians such as Kuni Kawachi on arrangements. At times the disc draws in Indian influences (sitar and tabla), but once she gets to singing, the listener is lulled into her own private, mysterious sonic world, through which one gets sucked in by her wide-ranging vocalizations. At the time of this recording, she was merely 23 years old.

This is a quieter, entrained album, compared to Taiji No Yume, with less variety of styles, making a melodic somber entry. I really would like to know more details about the lyrics, will any Japanese friend could help us? This is such a stunner voyage of consciousness, welcome to the unique realms of Yoshiko Sai, be ready!

1977's Promo
1977’s Promo

The ‘IM’ highlights are Tenshi no Yōni and Mikkō.

Bonum Cursum!

Tracks Include:

A1 Theme ~ 母さまのうた (Theme ~ Kāsama no Uta)

A2 鏡地獄 (Kagami Jigoku)

A3 (Haru)

A4 絹之道 (Kinu no Michi)

B1 人のいない島 (Hito no Inai Shima)

B2 眠りのくに (Nemuri no Kuni)

B3 天使のように (Tenshi no Yōni)

B4 漂流船 (Hyōryūsen)

B5 密航 (Mikkō)

Translations, respectively:

Theme – Mother’s Song, Hell of Mirrors, Spring, Silk Road, Desert Island

Land of Sleep, Like an Angel, Ship Adrift and Stowing Away

Credits

  • Acoustic Guitar: 吉川忠英, 野間義男
  • Cello: 阿部雅士
  • Drums: 山下秀夫, 田中清司, 武田光司
  • Dulcimer: 生見慶二
  • Electric Bass: 江藤勲, 高水建司
  • Electric Guitar: 高中正義, 津村泰彦
  • Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Sitar (E. Sitar): 矢島賢
  • Flute: 中川昌三
  • Piano, Keyboards: 大谷和夫, 松岡直也
  • Strings: 新音楽協会
  • Tabla: 瀬上養之助
  • Vibraphone: クニ河内
  • Arranged: クニ河内 (Kuni Kawashi)
  • Lyrics, Music: 佐井好子 (Yoshiko Sai)
  • Engineer伊豫部富治
  • IllustrationYoshiko Sai
  • Design (Cover Design) – Teichiku Design Section
  • Directed: 春名勇

Companies

  • Made: Teichiku Records Co., Ltd.
  • Recorded: Sound Creation Studio
  • Mixed: AMS Studio

Recorded at Teichiku No.1 Studio and Sound Creation Studio.

Mixdown at AMS Studio from March to May 1976.

Black ‎– BAL-1018

Ramesh (رامش) – Ramesh (2013)

capa cópia

The 1953 Iranian coup d’état, known in Iran as the 28 Mordad Coup, was the overthrow of the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran Mohammad Mosaddegh on 19 August 1953, orchestrated by the United Kingdom’s MI6 (Operation Boot) and the United States’s CIA (TPAJAX Project).

Mossadegh had sought to audit the books of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), a British corporation (now BP) and to renegotiate the terms of the company’s access to Iranian oil reserves. Upon refusal of the AIOC to cooperate with the Iranian government, the parliament (Majlis) voted to nationalize the assets of the company and then, expel their representatives from the country. (!)

The Military Junta Awaits exiled Mohammad Reza Shah, 1953
The Military Junta awaits Mohammad Reza Shah, 1953

Following the coup, a military government under General Fazlollah Zahedi was formed which allowed exiled dictator Mohammad-Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran (Iranian king), to effectively rule the country as an absolute monarch.

By the ’70s, there was growing unrest with the Shah’s autocratic and repressive government along with its infamous police: the SAVAK. In January 1978 the first major demonstrations against the Shah occurred. After a year of strikes, clashes and millions of people on the streets, the country, and its economy were paralyzed.

1979 Revolution
1979 Revolution

The Shah fled Iran in January 1979, then Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned from exile to Tehran to establish the Islamic Republic, becoming the supreme leader.

Let’s go to our artist:

The golden age of Iranian pop music took place on a westernized and liberal Tehran of the ’60s and ’70s. This market offered an unprecedented way of artists for all tastes, the classically-trained Ramesh Azar Mohebbi (November 13, 1946) was part of it.

Playing the serious, quiet marquess in contrast to Googoosh’s languorous pop princess, both singers made the papers every time they changed their haircuts and appeared on TV frequently. Ramesh’s appearance though was not as gay and colorful as the blond-haired and joyfully dancing singer-actress mate!

Iranian Singers (Ramesh, Aref)
Ramesh, Giti, Aref,?

Ramesh appeared dark-haired, with stiffer hairstyles, always with a certain distance, never showing much of her emotions, except a somewhat melancholy of silence.

Belying what Light in the Attic promo-release says about the artist, Ramesh isn’t dead! Iranian Wiki, Youtube (!) and some musical blogs deny the fact. Its last song recording ‘Rumi’ (and album?) comes from 2003. Nowadays, she retired from the music business and glamorous spots to devote (only) to its family and daughter. (!)

Let’s go to our album:

I must admit, I’m very thrilled by the artist of today, this compilation by Pharaway Sounds is arguably one of the best, presenting us with a very rich scene that was the Iranian pre-revolution period. Other singers will be debuting here soon, ok?!

Ramesh & Aref
Ramesh & Aref

A funky queen whose rich voice sits like a mink coat, twirling its a melancholy way around long-necked lutes, sleazy Western brass, strings, synths and goblet drums. Luckily, the collection of videos with her ​​performances on TV programs and Festivals are vast! You can appreciate them at the following links, check it out!

The ‘IM’ highlights are Mondanam Az Bodanet and Aroose Noghreh Poosh.

بن سفر!

Tracks Include:

A1 Nago Na

A2 Goftehgoye Sabz

A3 Zoj

A4 Mondanam Az Bodanet w/ Fereidoon Farrokhzad

A5 Roodkhoneha

A6 Sharm-E Boos-E

B1 Afsoos

B2 Aroose Noghreh Poosh

B3 Asmaar Asmaar

B4 Delakam

B5 Labe Daryaa

B6 Ghoroobaa Ghashangan

Pharaway Sounds ‎– PHS009

Vakil Mosque
Vakil Mosque