Media Condition: VG+
Sleeve Condition: VG+
Genre: Latin, MPB
Notes: Made in Brazil. Very solid copy. Vinyl has light hair lines. Jacket has some minor wear along spine/corners. Comes with lyrics/poster insert.
If you like: MPB (música popular brasileira) and bossa nova hits–like those from Caetano Veloso, Jorge Ben Jor, or Gilberto Gil–this album is foundational for your collection.
About: Maria da Graça Costa is the foremost female singer of the tropicália movement, a chameleonic performer who has been equal parts hippie, sex symbol, carnival participant and political activist. From the start of her musical career in the mid-60s, she had some pretty illustrious classmates: Caetano Veloso and Maria Bethânia, who, in turn, introduced her to Gilberto Gil. It was an explosive team, eager to share creative ideas and participate on each other’s records. When Veloso and Gil chose European exile over Brazil’s castrating dictatorship, Costa kept the flame alive by performing songs they sent to her. She also kept in touch with the young rockers of the late 60s, recording tunes by artists including Erasmo Carlos and Roberto Carlos. By the late 70s, she was a superstar, although on record, her voice was often let down by bland, synth-pop backing tracks. In 1982, the double album Fantasia spawned the huge carnival hit ‘Festa Do Interior’–going multi-platinum by the end of the year. Costa continues to record, one of her later recent artistic triumphs being 1994’s Mina D Água Do Meu Canto, a collection of songs penned by her tropicália colleagues Veloso and Chico Buarque.*via Colin Larkin
Why it’s worth your time: My love for bossa nova was unquestionably influenced by my mom’s own favorites and a CD one of her best friends brought over one evening that I sat listening to over a meal on a summer night. But it wasn’t until I was a teenager that I truly started appreciating just how revolutionary what I had heard was. Água Viva is the first album I had fallen in love with on my own and one of the first albums I’d purchased on vinyl (albeit, a purchase initially based off the cover art that I thought was incredible). My copy was beat up, missing an inner sleeve, and littered with surface noise, but it didn’t matter–the feeling was there and I was completely awe-struck. When I hear it now, I still hear it the same way I did a decade ago–the only difference being that I can identify the influence Costa has on many of my favorite contemporary songs. Its simple timelessness, a mark of excellence and an obvious indicator that it must be well worth your time.
A favorite track: Olhos Verdes