Locomotivas (1977) – International Soundtrack

Hi,

(image source: ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫     Só Música    ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ )

In recent times, I’ve been drooling over international soundtracks of Rede Globo‘s brazilian soap-operas(yes, they usually do like this: they first release their national soundtrack (songs only made in brazilian portuguese (and instrumental ones), later they release their international soundtrack (songs not made in (brazilian) portuguese (and instrumental ones). The latter happens when the soap-opera itself is not regionalistic). And I’m quite a fan of their soap-opera production and originality, especially in their heydays back in the 70’s and 80’s

Recently, I’ve just downloaded the international soundtrack of a mega-hit soap-opera from 1977 called “Locomotivas” (in english, “Locomotives” and never seen in Portugal)

First of all, synopsis: the general focus is centered on a ex-vedette, Kiki Blanche (Eva Todor), who runs a beauty-hairdresser store, and also her legitimate daughter, Milena (Aracy Balabanian), as well as her adopted sons: Paulo (João Carlos Barroso), Renata (Thaís de Andrade), Fernanda (Lucélia Santos, fresh from her sucess in the classic soap-opera, “Escrava Isaura”) and the little girl Regina (Gisele Rocha). Romantic endeavours, love affairs and mismatches accompain them throughout the story (and also to the characters around (or not around) them)

More informations on the following sites (in (brazilian) portuguese): http://www.teledramaturgia.com.br/ and http://memoriaglobo.globo.com/programas/entretenimento/novelas/locomotivas.htm

Now, let’s review the international soundtrack:

01 – Morris Albert – Conversation

One of four brazilian artists singing in this international soundtrack (brazilian artists singing in english, having pseudonyms to sound international and having some of their songs being included in the international soundtracks of a Rede Globo soap-opera was something common back then), Morris Albert is particulary known worldwide for his 1974 international ballad hit, “Feelings”, who had also been in a international soundtrack for a brazilian soap-opera that same year, “Corrida do ouro”. Here we have another ballad coming out from his soft voice that mirrors a love story on the makes, beautifully crafted in a nice chorus. On the soap-opera, this is the theme for the character Renata (Thais de Andrade)

02 – Candi Staton – Young hearts run free

Also common on the international soundtracks of the soap-operas of the respective channels was having current worldwide hits. This is the case with this powerful disco track about a difficult marriage and the woman’s difficulty of breaking loose from her artless man. A plea of femminism that has a glance of optimism adviced from her to other people, it became a #2 hit in the British Single Charts and a #20 hit in the (USA) Billboard Single Charts. On the soap-opera, this is a general theme (meaning: it isn’t specifically a theme for a character, but it’s prominent on the soap-opera itself)

03 – Michael Sullivan – Sorrow

Thesecond of four brazilian performers on this soundtrack. From his real name, Ivanilton de Souza Lima, he started his carrer (both solo or as a member of groups) in the late 60’s, but his first big break as a solo carrer came with his tearjerker ballad “My life”, a big hit in the previous year and also included in a international soundtrack of the soap-opera “O casarão” (first transmitted in 1976 on Brazil and then on Portugal in 1978). The song included in the soundtrack on review uses almost the same formula as the forementioned song, but in a lighter way. On the soap-opera, this is the theme of the main romantic couple, Milena (Aracy Balabanian) and Fábio (Walmor Chagas), that live a passionate romance, troubled by Milena‘s stepsister, Fernanda, that also loves him and from which the former gives up on (the reason led to the reveal of a big mystery. I prefer not to tell…)

04 – Grace Jones – That’s the trouble

Former model, Grace Jones started her singing carrer  in 1975 with a first single release in France, “I need a man”, that wasn’t sucessfull until it was re-recorded and released in 1977. The song in question was the B-side of her 2nd single, “Sorry”, released in 1976, but it still didn’t give her the expected breakthrough. Still, the song is a very sassy disco remark of someone falling in love with a woman, leading to problems in the future. One thing I can say: she had better songs and versions of songs coming originally from other artists on her rooster

05 – Ornella Vanoni – Più

The only non-english song of the international soundtrack, it was first included in the latest album release of the singer Ornella of the same name back in 1976, totally produced by Sergepy (who’d make his pet project group, Gepy & Gepy, also in that year) and therefore, he provided featuring vocals on some songs of the album, including the one in question. A classy and modern momentaneous ballad of that time with whispering sexy moments provided by both performers’ vocals and lyrics that portray the feeling of needing more and more love. On the soap-opera, this is the theme for the rebellious Fernanda (Lucélia Santos), totally in love with her stepsister (Milena)’s boyfriend, Fábio, much older than her

06 – Cerrone – Love in “C” Minor

Although he had started his carrer as far as 1972, Marc Cerrone began his path to success by doing and producing (together with famed young producer and songwriter, Alec R. Costadinos, that also would become famous in the disco music days) the song that would be his first single and also the name of his first album in 1976. The production of the song was a bit unusual for that time for its lavish orchestration, for its kick drum effectiveness and also a overdisplay of audio erotica in the song. It also caused a stir due to the first cover of the single that had to be replaced by a less erotic one

07 Steve MacLean – Sweet sounds, oh, beautiful music!

The third of the four brazilian singers in the soundtrack. From his complete name, Hélio Eduardo da Costa Manso, he already had a carrer in the mid 60’s as member of the group Mustangs. It’s in the 70’s, though, that he became quite known thanks to his solo carrer that spawned some hits in national ground like “True love”, included in the international soundtrack of the 1975 soap-opera, “O grito”. In fact, the song featured in this soundtrack I’m giving an opinion of is like a modern lullaby for those days that gracefully sets a romantic vision. On the soap-opera, this is the theme for the romantic pair formed by Machadinho (Tony Corrêa, portuguese actor that was (and still is) living in Brazil) and Gracinha (Maria Cristina Nunes), torn apart by the intrigues of Lurdinha (Terezinha Sodré), girl that was also in love with Machadinho

08 – Richard Young – Rainy day

The last of the four brazilian singers in the soundtrack. From his real name, Ricardo Feghali, he also started his carrer in the 60’s on various bands and would form in 1980 the famous pop-rock group Roupa Nova. The song in question was the only english languaged song he ever recorded and recalls a broken romance. A pity, of course, that the chorus is a bit of a letdown as the begining of the song is so effectively nostalgic. On the soap-opera, this is the theme of the romantic pair formed by Netinho (Denis Carvalho) and Celeste (Ilka Soares). The latter mentioned character was deeply in love with his neighbour from the begining, but that love was only consumtated in the second half of “Locomotivas”

09 – Andrea True Connection – N.Y., you got me dancing

Andrea True, previously a porno actress (with also a few presences on normal movies), was already a disco star the previous year thanks to her smashing sucessfull single “More, more, more” and a prior single to that hit was also included in the international soundtrack of the soap-opera, “O casarão”, the equally sexy disco track “Call me”. But after that, her subsquent releases would fail to generate the mega sucess of her hit song. One of those cases is this song which was the lead single of the album “White witch”. Quite different from for her biggest hit song, we can hear a more suburban and citadel-like facade on this catchy number

10 – Alessi – Sad songs

The Alessi brothers, Bill and Bob, started their music carrer in that same year of 1977 with the self-titled album, from which two songs generated special attention: “Oh, Lori”, which became a hit in more than ten countries like UK, reaching the #8 spot of the British Single Charts and the song I’m going to give an opinion from. Certainly a guilty pleasure: a emotional modern pop ballad for those days with multi-layered and blending and melancholic vocals by the two brothers. A perfect way to illustrate a character in a soap-opera. On the soap-opera, this is the theme for the indecisive Patrícia (Elizângela), a girl that at first was dating Netinho, but the romance was forbidden by the possessive mother of the latter, Margarida (Mirian Pires). Then, she dates Paulo (João Carlos Barroso), but once again she faces a invalid romance as her father, Sérgio Mello (Rogério Fróes), was in the past someone that was in love (let’s say: ex-lover, a boyfriend in the past…) with Paulo‘s stepmother, Kiki Blanche (Eva Todor) and therefore, her father would forbid her to date Paulo

11 – Universal Robot Band – Dance and shake your tambourine

Formed in 1976 by Patrick Adams and Greg Carmichael, the first release of the group was this mid-tempo disco piece with female backing vocals singing repeatedly the few lines of the song and with a festive arrangement (there’s a feeling of “party” in the second half of the song when this words is heard). Bubbly and effective, the song counts with a set of vivid synthizers and it really screams “party-goer”. Sadly, their following releases wouldn’t match the sucess of the song and the 1982 reform with the release of  “Barely breaking even” didn’t do any better

12 – Cook & Benjamin Franklin Group – Movin’ on

A song specially made for the soundtrack of the 1975 italian western movie, “I quattro dell’apocalipse” (with stars such as Fabio Testi (of “L’importance c’est d’aimer” fame, starring Romy Schneider), Michael J. Pollard (of “Bonnie & Clyde” fame, starring Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman and Estelle Parsons) and Lynne Frederick (of “Henry VIII and His Six Wives” fame, would also be known for being in a episode of “Space: 1999”‘s 2nd season and totally infamous in real life by marrying famed actor Peter Sellers), the group was also specially created for it. Unlike many classic/”spaghetti” western movies made in Italy, the song (as the soundtrack) was a nicely made smooth and moody 70’s rock ballad of its era (that was, at least, the idea the authors of the song came about for the movie)

13 – Penny McLean – Nobody’s child

The german red-haired singer was already famous back in 1977, both as a member of the group Silver Convention (who had such hits as “Fly, Robin, fly” (included in the international soundtrack of the soap-opera “O grito”) and would go to the Eurovision Song Contest that same year with the disco-pop number “Telegram”) and as a solo singer with the hit “Lady bump” (included in the international soundtrack of the soap-opera “Pecado capital”). Unlike several of her solo releases, here we have a demanding rock entry with catchy drum traces, showcasing a different persona from Penny‘s usual disco music register

14 – Artic – L’espérance

The only instrumental song of the soundtrack. Nothing is known about the artists of the song, but it’s a curious piece, mixing the usual international arrangement that could be done in some european country… with what I could suprisingly think when hearing it as having traditional portuguese folklore sounds by the end of the song. On the soap-opera, this is the theme of Machadinho (Tony Corrêa, portuguese actor that was (and still is) living in Brazil), a portuguese guy that has a difficult love relationship with Gracinha (Maria Cristina Nunes), something finally torn apart by the intrigues of Lurdinha (Terezinha Sodré), girl who also had a crush on Machadinho. He eventually finds love in the rebellious Fernanda (Lucélia Santos), but it’d be only consumated in the end

All in all, a very light-hearted and fresh international soundtrack that really connects the scenes of the soap-opera, one thing that makes a soap-opera from Rede Globo something else. At least, for the hour schedule when this soap-opera was transmitted (19:00 hours, brazilian time) on which gives top-priority to light soap-operas

Final treats – the classy and fiercefull opening of the soap-opera to the sound of a song included in the national soundtrack, “Maria-Fumaça” by brazilian jazz/funk band Black Rio + a recap of all the 14 songs from the soundtrack:

Thank you,

LAboy 456
(Rui Craveiro)

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Posted on 2 de July de 2012, in Music. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

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