Água Viva (1980) – International Soundtrack


água viva - internacional - front 500x500

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

And so, once again, I’m reviewing a international soundtrack from a soap-opera after doing it so for Locomotivas, Espelho mágico, Te contei?, Dancin’ days and Os gigantes (Escrava Isaura is excluded as it was only a national soundtrack)

This time, I’ve downloaded recently the international soundtrack of a hit soap-opera from 1980 called “Água viva” (seen in Portugal from February to October 1981)

General plotRio de Janeiro, a sunny place with lots of wonderful sights, is the place where many of the stories happen and do link each other. Some of the main stories inclued:

Lígia (Betty Faria)’s ambition in socially ascending from her upper middle class to the upper class (by the time the soap-opera begins, her second marriage with Heitor (Carlos Eduardo Dollabella) was falling apart. Even more so after discovering, in the course of the story, that his husband was having an affair with her tricky friend Selma (Tamara Taxman)

– The Fragonard brothers, “bon vivant” Nélson (Reginaldo Faria) and doctor Miguel (Raul Cortez, in his first Rede Globo work. He had been, for example, working on the now extinct Rede Tupi for some soap-operas such as “Xeque mate” and “Tchan, a grande sacada” in 1976), whose relationship was not really in good terms. Even worse when Ligia comes into the picture as she’ll have a relationship with both of them, without her even knowing they are brothers

– The several love couples such as Sandra (Glória Pires), Miguel‘s daughter from the previous marriage with teacher Lucy (Tetê Medina), who passed away in the begining of the story, victim of a boat explosion x Bruno (Kadu Moliterno), photographer and son of socalité Stella Simpson (Tônia Carrero); Marcos (Fábio Jr.), a young upcoming doctor, son of the main antagonist of the soap, Lourdes Mesquita (Beatriz Segall), who is against his relationship with a girl of middle  economical condition x Janete (Lucélia Santos), an honest and contestary person and also the married couple Márcia (Natália do Valle), Lourdes Mesquita‘s daughter and her partner in a socalité company x Édir (Cláudio Cavalcanti), History teacher with a medium salary

– The sad story of Maria Helena (Isabela Garcia), an orphan who is about to be transfered to another orphanage. Her only friend is Suely (Ângela Leal), a social worker who does everything in order to find either who are her parents or, in case there’s no informations, to adopt her. Luckily, she founds out who is his father (and will even fall in love with him as well, without much sucess): Nélson (something that he will only find weeks before the end of the soap opera)

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

Now, let’s review the international soundtrack:

01 – Maxine Nightingale – Lead me on

At the time of the soundtrack’s release, british singer Maxine Nightingale had with the song in question (originally released in 1978 on her third album “Love lines” in her home country) her last significant hit (curiously not a hit in UK, just in USA, as it reached the #5 spot of the Billboard Hot 100 Single Charts). A classy R’n’B ballad track for that time: surely a romantic one with the soulful arrangements doing their thing and maybe one of Maxine‘s best songs from what heard of her. On the soap-opera, this is theme of Suely (Ângela Leal), the social worker who’s orphan girl Maria Helena (Isabela Garcia)’s best friend. At one time, Suely finds out who her father is (Nélson Fragonard (Reginaldo Faria) and will fall in love with him

02 – Jimmy Cliff – Love I need

Also original released in 1978 (on the album “Give thankx”) is the song in question, sung by jamaican reggae singer Jimmy Cliff, who got some degree of notoriety in 1970 with his version of Cat Stevens“Wild world”. At the time, he wasn’t having a hit album or a single since 1976 and his album release in the mentioned year didn’t break the norm (it would take four more years until he had a charting album or single). I’m not really a fan of reggae music (it doesn’t usually appeal me), but this song is not bad for what it is: Jimmy does defend this very well. By the way, I like the intense intro of the song

03 – Susan Case & Sound Around – Do that to me one more time

No informations about the artists (apart from the fact they were most probably generic cover artists, something a bit common on the international soundtracks from Rede Globo‘s soap-operas whenever they couldn’t get the rights for the original or a famous hit cover version of a song), but the song isn’t really strange: written by Toni Tennile, the ballad in question was performed by husband and wife duo Captain & Tennille and became a #1 hit in the Billboard Hot 100 Single Charts. The cover was nicely made, but I still prefer the original version by far (eventhough the song is not one of my favourites). On the soap-opera, this is theme of Lourdes Mesquita (Beatriz Segall), owner of a socialité company and the main antagonist of the soap-opera

04 – Barry Manilow – Ships

By the year the soundtrack was released, the singer was at his peak (just two after the big sucess of “Copacabana (at the Copa)”), but suprisingly enough, this was his first appearance in a brazilian international soap-opera soundtrack and just with the ballad in question, coming from his 1979 album “One voice”. Released as a single, it become one more hit for the singer: #9 in the Billboard Hot 100 Single Charts. A beautiful and resonating ballad of its era, well written and produced by the singer: certainly a highlight of the soundtrack. On the soap-opera, this is theme of Nélson (Reginaldo Faria), a “bon vivant” who loves the sea and is trying to rebuild his life after being robbed money-wise from a couple of people

05 – Ottawan – D.I.S.C.O.

A duo composed by two singers from MartiniquePatrick Jean-Baptiste (who had sung in a french church as part of a choir) and Annette, they were formed and backed by a prolific duo of songwriters, Daniel Vanguarde and Jean Kluger, who would make their debut single. And what a single: the breezy and fun song about a beautiful girl spotted in a disco became a big european hit, including a #2 hit in the British Single Charts and in later years, it has been covered and sampled by a couple of artists (most notably by israeli synth-pop duo The Young Professionals who used a sample of it to create their own song titled “TYP D.I.S.C.O.”). A undeniable eurodisco evergreen: everything of it is so lively and easy-breezy like, from music to lyrics and from structure to arrangements. Even their TV appearances reflected that notion when singing the song

06 – Tony Wilson  Just when I needed you most

It’s rare for a song to be released by two or more singers in the same year, but here’s one of those examples: Randy VanWarmer (american songwriter who was just on the verge of starting his solo carrer) and Tony Wilson (formerly member of the british group Hot Chocolate) not only released their renditions, but were also its writers. Eventhough Randy‘s version was the sucessfull one (#4 in the Billboard Hot 100 Single Charts, #8 in the British Single Charts), the one included in the soundtrack was Tony‘s version and that’s the one I’m going to give an opinion. This is actually the first version I’ve ever heard of the song (I didn’t hear Randy‘s until some time later) and I loved that version at first sight: it’s heartfelt (eventhough the song wasn’t about him, but rather Randy and his breakup with a girlfriend of his) and nostalgic (I love the arrangements on this one). On the soap-opera, this is theme of the couple Lígia (Betty Faria) and Nélson (Reginaldo Faria), one that will meat eachother throughout the soap

07 – Bianchi  Memories

Bianchi aka. Waltel Branco (the song was credited in the vinyl of the soundtrack as written by him and A. Faye, pseudonym for Antônio Faia) was a composer that’d usual contribute with a couple of melodies for Rede Globo‘s soap-opera international soundtracks and the song in question was one of those examples. What can I say about it? It’s melodical, but a bit oldfashioned (I could imagine this piece on a previous international soundtrack from the early 70’s) + there’s better in this soundtrack than this one. On the soap-opera, this is theme of orphan girl Maria Helena (Isabela Garcia), worried about her future as she’s on the verge to be transfered to another orphanage

08 – Styx – Babe

Without a doubt, the odd choice of the soundtrack. Styx were slowly getting their breakthrough in the music industry and in the year of 1979, they finally reached their “zénith” with the song that’ll give my opinion, released in their album “Cornerstone” and a massive #1 hit in the Billboard Hot 100 Single Charts. When I heard it for the first time a couple of years, I didn’t pay much attention of it, but I now understand why this became a hit: here we have a power soft-rock ballad with a lot of arrangement centerpieces that gives such an epic quality to the song. Dennis deYoung‘s vocals on the song and the overuse of keyboards only makes it intensively stronger. A beautiful moment indeed. On the soap-opera, this is theme of the married couple Édir (Cláudio Cavalcanti) and Márcia (Natália do Valle), struggling to maintain their romantic relationship due to their ideals

09 – Carly Simon – Just like you do

1979 was an average year for the singer:  her album “Spy” only went as far as a #48 spot in the Billboard Hot 200 Album Charts, the lowest position she ever got for an album and the two singles from it (“Vengeance” and the album title track) didn’t fare pretty well. Still, one of the songs from the album was chosen to be part of the soundtrack – the song that’ll have an opinion. A soothing and dreamy mid-tempo ballad that resonates well in its deep lyrics and in its layered arrangements. Great vocals from Carly, by the way. On the soap-opera, this is theme of the couple Lígia (Betty Faria) and Miguel (Raul Cortez in his first Rede Globo soap-opera, after several TV works on other channles and also theatre and cinema works), one that will also fall in love throughout the story (and even marry, despite Miguel‘s daughter from his first marriage, Sandra (Glória Pires)’s objection)

10 – Voyage – I don’t want to fall in love again

By 1980, the french disco music group was now officially reduced to a trio and a makeover was in desperate needed as the disco sound was slowly decaying around the world, something made possible by the release of the album “Voyage 3” and its leading single (in another words, the song that was included in the soundtrack). The song was really a departure from their aesthetically colorful disco entries as it enters the pop-rock realms with a still existent disco influence. It might not have been as sucessfull as their previous works, but it’s highly interesting and intriguing… as well as, of course, enjoyable to hear

11 – Smokey Robinson – Cruisin’

The singer already had big hits when he was a member of The Miracles (culminating with the 1970 #1 hit “Tears of a clown”), but his biggest solo hit up to the time the soundtrack was released was the song in question (at least, that’s what happened in the Billboard Hot 100 Single Charts as it hit the #4 spot). Not really bad at all, but I was expecting quite a lot from it. Still, the production of the song is wonderful and Smokey sure knows how to sing a classy warm R’n’B ballad. On the soap-opera, this is theme of the couple Marcos (Fábio Jr.) and Janete (Lucélia Santos), one that is objected by Marcos‘ mother, Lourdes Mesquita (Beatriz Segall) as Janete isn’t from the same social economic status as her (doing anything to put an end to that love relationship)

12 – Shalamar – The second time around

Originally a dance act vehicle from the popular american syndicated music TV-program “Soul train” (presented by Don Cornelius, creator of the idea and, likewise, creator of the group together with the program’s agent, Dick Griffey), they became more than just a inovating dance act; they also became performing vocal artists on their own. And the song in question was the biggest hit of their carrer as it rose to the #8 spot of the Billboard Hot 100 Single Charts (it was a #1 hit, though, in the Billboard Hot Soul Single Charts (nowadays Billboard Hot R’n’B/Hip-Hop Single Charts) and in the Billboard Hot US Dance Charts (nowadays Billboard Hot Dance Club Charts). Like much disco songs of its time, catchy and effective, but with a lot of sophistication and charm much of their usual traits, even on their TV appearances (I love their choreography for that song, especially in the begining)

13 – Charme – Never (gonna let you go)

Not many people know that seasoned israeli music and film composer Misha Segal (known especially for his 1989 score of “The Phantom of the Opera”) also had a one-off disco experience, creating the project band Charme and releasing only one album, “Let it in”. The chosen song from the album for the international soundtrack (and therefore, the one that will get an opinion) was a ballad that had future 80’s R’n’B/pop singer Gwen Guthrie as the lead vocalist. A R’n’B ballad of its era with a lot of pureness and tenderness on its musical arrangements, as well as a powerful voice like Gwen‘s to belt it out. On the soap-opera, this is theme of Sandra (Glória Pires), Miguel Fragonard (Raul Cortez)’s daughter from his first marriage with Lucy (Tête Medina) who died in a boat explosion in the begining of the story. Later on in the story, she’ll be against her father’s marriage to Lígia (Betty Faria)

14 – La Flavour – Mandolay

A six-piece group from Massilon, Ohio (USA), they gained notoriety in the disco music scene thanks to the song in question, The leading from their album with the same name as the song, it rose to the #7 spot in the Billboard Club Dance/Disco Charts. I’d never guess the band was american only by hearing the song: it really sounds like the kind of tropical disco songs that could be made in some other countries, especially european countries like France or Italy. A pleasant suprise

All in all, a wonderful start to the 80’s. The only bad note is the fact that “Do that to me one more time” wasn’t represented by its original version, but it’s not a bad cover at all. Coming from a dramatic soap-opera in its hour schedule (20:00 hours, brazilian time), it really captures the summer feeling

A final treat – the laid-back opening of the soap-opera to the sound of Caetano Veloso‘s “Menino do rio” sung by Baby Consuêlo, included in the national soundtrack + a recap of 13 out of 14 songs from the soundtrack (Bianchi‘s “Memories” is on the video below the recap):


Thank you,

LAboy 456
(Rui Craveiro)


Posted on 28 de September de 2013, in Music. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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