Monday, November 16, 2009

As Ilhas - Ney Matogrosso

In August, this blog featured a video of Mil novecientos sesenta y cuatro and told the story of the very rare Ney Matogrosso single inserted in an 1975 LP. I encourage you to reread that blog entry but the short story is that the record was outlawed by governmental action and it was available for sale for only a very short time. Today's video features the other side of that single - the song As ilhas (The islands) performed by Ney Matogrosso himself.

The lyrics to As ilhas were written by the Brazilian poet, Geraldo Carneiro. Carneiro's website indicates that in 1974 he spent "four months in Rome, working on a musical with Astor Piazzolla." The Azzi/Collier book, Le Grand Tango, reports that the musical was to be about Eva Peron. The musical never came about but Carneiro and Piazzolla wrote about 15 songs together. Three of them, including As ilhas, were sung by José Angel Trelles on Piazzolla's 1975 recording Balada para un loco. In spite of this Trelles performance, the song is "owned" by Ney Matogrosso.

Ney Matogrosso, whose birth name is Ney de Sousa Pereira, got his start in 1971 with the Brazilian glam-rock band Secos & Molhados. Ney was famous for his outrageous costumes and make-up and his unusual counter-tenor voice. For an example, view this video of one of his early hits, Homem Com H. In 1986, Ney abandoned the costumes and make-up and adopted the low key appearance we see in today's video which captures a performance from just a few days ago. That Ney still performs As ilhas more than thirty years after its introduction is a testament to the value he places on this rarely heard Piazzolla composition.

If the video does not appear below, click here.

To learn more about Piazzolla videos, visit the Piazzolla Video site.

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