Te Contei? (1978) – International Soundtrack


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

And so, once again, I’m reviewing a international soundtrack from a soap-opera after doing it so for “Locomotivas” and “Espelho mágico”

This time, I’ve downloaded recently the international soundtrack of a hit soap-opera from 1978 called “Te contei?” (ín english, “Did I tell you?”, and never seen in Portugal as well)

General plot: A love triangle between three characters in a little hotel. The triangle is formed by Léo (Luiz Gustavo), a blind guy since his late puberty years, but living his life to the fullest; Shana (Maria Cláudia), daughter of the owner of the hotel, Lola (Eva Todor), a charming and strong-willing girl that works hard to have a better life for herself and Sabrina (Wanda Stephânia), a upper middle class girl that has a double life as she also rents a room in the hotel and pretends to be a modest girl selling cosmetic products. She also a dark secret: she is kleptomaniac (in another words, a disorder that urges her to steal items. More about it in here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kleptomania ), something that is blamed on the lack of affection from her uncaring parents, Fred (Fernando José) and Hilda (Rosita Tomaz Lopes)

Other parallel stories happen at the same time and there’s even a big mystery on the hold: several anonymous love letters were sent to several characters. The author and the reason of these letters would be only revealed by the end of the soap-opera: Mônica (Heloísa Milet), who begun her professional carrer as a dancer), due to the jealousy she felt about her mother Helena (Ilka Soares)’s beauty and charm

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

Now, let’s review the international soundtrack:

01 – Charo – Dance a little bit closer

From her real name María del Rosario Mercedes Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza, Charo had been already a popular figure in the american television for her several apperances on TV-shows, TV-series (9 episodes in total for “Love Boat”, amongst others) or even on movies (“The Concorde… Airport 1979”, for example) by the first half of the 70’s. At the same, she went on to start her musical carrer (firstly as a flamenco guitarrist, but after that a full time singer) and hit the #18 spot in the Billboard Dance & Disco Charts (now Hot Dance Club Songs Charts) as also a timid #44 spot in the British Single Charts thanks to the song that I’m going to give an opinion from, which was as well her second single release (her first one, “La salsa”, didn’t make much impact on the charts). Backed by the Salsoul Orchestra, here we have a funny flirtatious disco entry that invites you to dance… and much more (quite explicit in verses such as “you and me / what ecstasy”). Eventhough it’s not the best “disco” entry ever, I can’t feel imune to its latin charm ponctuated with the citadel arrangements for that time

02 – Bee Gees – How deep is your love?

Overwhelming was the smashing sucess Bee Gees (note: their first appearance in a international soundtrack for a brazilian soap-opera was for “Espelho mágico” with the ballad “Love so right”) were having worldwide thanks to the iconic 1977 drama movie “Saturday Night Fever” and to the soundtrack that included songs composed by them, most of which went to also become huge hits on their own as single releases. One of them is the song I’m going to talk about and actually the last song to be heard in the movie (in due respect to those who haven’t seen the movie yet (and I’d recommend it for many reasons, specially for John Travolta‘s unforgettable performance as Tony Manero – in and out of the disco floor, that is) I prefer not to tell the end of the movie as it’s a “spoiler”), eventhough the movie would only be seen in Brazil in the Summer of 1978 (the soap-opera started soon than the movie was released in Brazil on 6th March 1978). Maybe the monumental ballad from the trio in their R’n’B/disco phase, everything soars nicely: from the rendering sorrowful romantic lyrics to its soft and soulful-like musicality and the trio’s multi-layered vocal harmonies. On the soap-opera, this is the theme of the pair formed by the blind and vivacious Léo (Luiz Gustavo) and the rich kleptomaniac girl in disguise Sabrina (Wanda Stephânia)

03 – Chic – Everybody dance

Fronter by Neil Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, the group was on a sky high moment after their first single release and big hit overall, “Dance, dance, dance (Yowsah, yowsah, yowsah)”, enough for their second single release. And that’s when the song in question that was included in the international soundtrack of the soap-opera in question comes into place. Although not their best song by far, it’s still an infectuous disco entry whose lyrical invitation to dance is outrightly appealing and the vocals are well fit into the song

04 – Lucifer – Self pity

By the time they released what would be their last hit in their own country, dutch group Lucifer had already a big hit in 1975 with the power ballad “House for sale” and tried to represent The Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Contest 1976 to be held in… their home country, in the city of The Hague with the soul ballad “Someone is waiting for you” (not related to the song of the same name sung by Shelby Flint and made for the 1977 animated movie, “The Rescuers” (from Walt Disney Pictures), which only got a 3rd place out of 5 songs in the Dutch NF 1976. The song up for opinion was their last hit before disbanding in 1977 and was included in the album “Margriet” (named after the vocalist of the band, Margriet Eshuijs). A ballad about a struggling relationship that is still bubbling under of “self pity”, it’s well structured, with the chorus being the climax of the song. On the soap-opera, this is the theme of Ana Paula (Maria Della Costa), a woman who’s in love with Rogério (Mauro Mendonça) but will have to fight for his love against Helena (Ilka Soares)

05 – Loleatta Holloway – Runaway

In a music carrer started as far as 1967, she had to wait 8 years for her first charting single with her version of Solomon Burke‘s “Cry to me”. But it’s on Salsoul Records that she would gain fame as a disco singer and in 1977, she released an album “Loleatta” and three singles, with the song in question being the last one released for that year and yet, it didn’t chart at all. One more song backed by the Salsoul Orchestra, the bouncy catchy disco entry deals with a relationship that comes to an end as the girl feels his man treated her like a clown and has made her cry for independence. Not bad at all and Loleatta defends it very well

06 – Jodie Foster – When I looked at your face

Who would know Jodie Foster could also expanded her carrer moves by singing, after a great year for her in terms of acting (1976, when she starred in 3 sucessfull movies: the gritty drama “Taxi Driver”, which got her a Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress portraying Iris, a young prostitute; “Bugsy Malone”, a musical starring only child and teen actors on which she did the opposite of the first mentioned movie by personifying the vedette and Fat Sam‘s girlfriend (well, I’d call it something else), Tallulah and the Disney comedy “Freaky Friday”, playing the role of teenager Annabelle that has a lot of conflicts with her mother and somehow wished to be her mother just for a day (just like her mother (played by Barbara Harris) also wished to be her daughter for just one day)… which eventually comes true and would led to complicated but funny situations for both)? There’s a reason to this, though: in 1977, she starred in what was to be her first french movie, “Moi, fleur bleue” and the song was its main theme (in french as “Je t’attends depuis la nuit des temps”, that is). Both are about a man she’d never seen before, but while the french version gives a positive side for a everlasting love (in which the girl even awaits for him all the time needed), the english version gives a somber feeling of love (in which she describes the way she feels for the man she didn’t knew before but felt they are like “soul twins”). On the soap-opera, this is the theme of the pair formed by Helena (Ilka Soares) and Wagner (Reynaldo Gonzaga)

07 – Manchester  Surprise

The first brazilian artists in the soundtrack, this was a group created in the mid 70’s that, like other artists at the time for many purposes, was singing in english and had already a song of theirs in a international soundtrack for the 1976 soap-opera “Duas vidas” (the ballad “My dear”). The song in question is another ballad, but this time the arrangements demonstrated a deeper romantic feeling which their previous song didn’t have. Still, their unique vocal harmonies were still present (altough with even more expression than before) and the intro of the song totally remind us a bit of “My dear”. Surely a guilty pleasure overall. On the soap-opera, this is the theme of the pair formed by Sabrina (Wanda Stephânia) and Jorge (Fausto Rocha Jr.): at one time, the latter would be in the race for Sabrina’s love, altough Sabrina herself had set her eyes on Léo

08 – Leo Sayer – Easy to love

At this time, the british born singer was at the peak of his carrer, having two big hits on his sleeves: the mid-tempo disco entry “You make me feel like dancing” and the ballad “When I need you”. But also had his setbacks: the power disco entry “Thunder in my heart” was only a modest hit, while the song that I’ll give a opinion tight now only charted in USA (#36 in the Billboard Hot 100 Singles charts). And I could believe why it wasn’t a big sucess elsewhere: the song in musical terms does seem to sound more american in its conception rather than european overall. The lyrics reflect, however, how can be easy to love when having what’s necessary do make it come true, while vocally it’s a top notch (a combination of Leo‘s “falsetto” with his inner tenor voice, leaving behind his normal middle voice in singing). On the soap-opera, this is the theme of flirtatious girl Rita (Elizângela) (it was rare at the time to credit catchy songs as themes for characters)

09 – Billy Joel – Just the way you are

Several years would go by until he’d finally get the first monumental hit of his life and that happens with this song, included in the also sucessfull 1977 album “The stranger” (“Piano man”, his signature song, became a more loved song after the sucess Billy was having with the first mentioned album), that won the Grammy for Best Record of the Year and Best Song of the Year and which was dedicated to his wife at the time, Elizabeth Weber, with the lyrics declaring the fact that he adored her just the way she was. In a way, the lyrics make a perfect marriage to a well built soft musicality of acoustic guitar, synthesized piano and gentle drumming. Simply one of his best songs, eventhough he wasn’t really fond of it to this day. On the soap-opera, this is the theme of the pair formed by Adelita (Ester Góes) and Alex (Denis Carvalho), forming a love triangle that included the mysterious Luciana (Suzana Vieira)

10 – Bonnie Tyler – It’s a heartache

By that time, Bonnie Tyler had already a big hit in 1976 with “Lost in France” (mostly in european countries, that is) and… a medical problem: her vocal chords had severe nodules that she needed to undergo surgery. After that, she was supposedly ordered not to speak for 6 weeks, but her voice got raspy after screaming in frustration one day, leading her to think her musical carrer was ruined. Time would prove that she was in the music world to stay as she got her first worldwide hit with the song I’m talking about. Influenced by country music, at least it’s not an obvious play to the genre, musically speaking and it even has that sense of nostalgy and melancholy that relfects well the theme of the song in its lyrics: separation (and its effects). On the soap-opera, this is the theme of mysterious young woman Luciana (Suzana Vieira)

11 – Nydia Caro – El amor entre tu y yo

American born singer from Puerto Rico, Nydia Caro was already a household name in the spanish speaking countries after winning the 1974 edition of the OTI Festival with the song “Hoy canto por cantar”. The song in question is a version of a pop-disco entry originally sung in french by the legendary Grace Jones (a strange move by this singer) titled “Comme un oiseau qui s’envole” (and which was the B-side of the single “Do or die”). Adaptated by Nydia herself, here we have a subtle combination of effective catchy rhythms with a sorrowfull break-up relationship story in its lyrics. I usually don’t appreciate covers much, but this is one of those exceptions where the version is quite better than the original version. On the soap-opera, this is the theme of romantic girl Shana (Maria Cláudia) (it was rare at the time to credit catchy songs as themes for characters)

12 – Showdown – Keep doin’ it

Project quartet led by producers and songwriters Meco (who had a few hits on his own by doing covers of music scores such as “Star Wars” (1977) and “The Wizard of Oz” (1939) and Jay Ellis (with whom Meco formed the Disco Corportation of America), they debuted in the world in the previous year with  the album of the same name as the group, from which the song in question was included and was even released as their second (and last, since the group wouldn’t exist anymore after 1978) single release from the album. This disco song seems like something that groups such as Trammps, Stylistics and Tavares could also do and, by the way, it gives me some “Heaven must be missing an angel” by Tavares (with the beating tempo being slower), eventhough it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. It’s, all in all, a fun and catchy song about love

13 – Atlantic Boys – Loving you seemed to be so magic

The second and last brazilian artists in the soundtrack, there’s not much information about them besides the fact that they released a few more singles by the end of the decade. A soft-rock ballad about the struggles of loving someone, it’s clear that there’s harmony on both lyrics and music from start to finish, which makes it totally appealing and loveable. On the soap-opera, this is the theme of Rogério (Mauro Mendonça) who fell in love with the mysterious Luciana (Suzana Vieira), probably the reason why the song was credited as the former mentioned character’s theme

14 – Art Sullivan – Revoir

Belgian singer Art Sullivan was already famous in some european countries such as his own country, France, Germany and even Portugal, where he was remembered the most, putting all his effort with Jack Velt for songs like “Jenny”, “Monsieur tu, madame vous”, “Donne, donne moi”, “Petite fille aux yeux bleus”, “Fan, fan, fan” and “Petite demoiselle”. In a way, this is, curiously, the oldest song of the soundtrack: while all the others were from the time the soundtrack was released, “Revoir” had been released as far as 1974 and its musicality really reflects the awkwardness of the choice due to its “a bit” dated arrangements for that time, altough it doesn’t scream “french chanson” in any way musically. And it’s not his best song by far, eventhough it’s a nice ballad

All in all, a high-stellar soundtrack with some of the biggest hits of the time (“How deep is your love?”, “Just the way you are” and “It’s a heartache” in just one soap-opera soundtrack. More could be impossible) and a bunch of unforgettable songs as well. This coming from a light-hearted soap-opera in its hour schedule (19:00 hours, brazilian time)

A final treat – the first of the two openings of the soap, both by the sound of the filrtatious song with the same name of the soap-opera sung by Sônia Burnier (The first opening was censored by the censorship (Brasil was still living in dictatorship times) and it had to be replaced by a second one) + a recap of all the 14 songs from the soundtrack:

Thank you,

LAboy 456
(Rui Craveiro)


Posted on 9 de October de 2012, in Music. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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