1001 Albums 0041-0042

Published March 16, 2013

 

My continued journey through the albums featured in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

 

0041: Stan Getz And João Gilberto: Getz / Gilberto (1963)
An album I've already heard.

Following on from Stan Getz' Jazz Samba, here is yet another classic bossa nova album. The opening track is probably the most famous bossa nova song of them all, 'The Girl From Ipanema', featuring the vocals of João Gilberto's then-wife, Astrud Gilberto. This was also her recording début, and when the song became a hit she embarked on a recording career of her own. There are many a wailing diva out there who might do well by picking up some of Gilberto's toned-down and relaxed vocal style. The old cliché "less is more" comes to mind.

As for the album as a whole, it's just lovely. The tunes are top-notch and all the musicians are on top form, giving each other space when needed, yet shining as performers when that is required. I can't praise this album enough.

Listen on Spotify.

0042: The Beatles: A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
An album I've already heard.

The Beatles' third album was perhaps also their first truly great one. Side A (in the old vinyl days) functioned as a soundtrack to their first feature film, and all of the songs on the album were Lennon-McCartney compositions - the only such album in their catalogue. To me this album is like a ground-course in how to make hits. It's one of those albums where you feel like each and every track could have been a successful single.

One remarkable aspect is the fact that almost all the songs on the album are primarily Lennon rather than McCartney compositions - latter-day wisdom has it that McCartney was the one with the greatest knack for a catchy tune, but this album is a powerful argument against such easy conclusions.

 

Stan Getz And João Gilberto: Getz / Gilberto.

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The Beatles: A Hard Day's Night.

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