Angela Maria was one of the most popular performers of the 1950s "radio singers" era, performing and recording samba-cancoes, tangos and boleros. Unlike many of her contemporaries, she made few concessions to the bossa nova craze of the late 1950s and early '60s, but her career continued without pause over a span of five decades... Here's a quick look at her recorded legacy...
Angela Maria "Sucessos De Ontem Na Voz De Hoje" (Copacabana, 1956)
Angela Maria "...Apresenta" (Copacabana, 1956)
Angela Maria "Quando Os Maestros Se Encontram..." (Copacabana, 1957)
Angela Maria & Waldir Calmon "Quando Os Astros Se Encontram..." (Copacabana, 1958)
Recently reissued as a twofer by EMI, these '50s albums represent a different type of Brazilian pop -- not samba, not bossa, not MPB -- not even plain pop vocals, which were common at the time... Nope, this has the sound of a full-on MGM or Broadway musical... outlandish orchestral swells, swooping vocals -- and it's pretty damn good! Her career continued on at least into the '60s, although I have no idea how well Maria was able to hold her own in the changing tides of style. She certainly had as good a voice -- if not better -- than most of the highly vaunted vocalists of the MPB era. The songs are Brazilian originals, including a few from well-remembered composers such as Dorival Caymmi, Pixinguinha, and Ary Barroso -- but mostly this is forgotten musical turf. A note of caution: the second album, with organist Calmon, has some instrumental touches that may make loungecorers giddy, but which might scare the rest of us. Mostly, though, this rocks.
Angela Maria "Para Voce Ouvir E Dancar" (Copacabana, 1958)
Angela Maria "Angela Maria E Orquestra" (Copacabana, 1959)
Angela Maria "...Canta Sucessos De Davis Nasser" (Copacabana, 1959)
Angela Maria "...Apresenta Fernando Cesar E Seus Amigos" (Copacabana, 1960)
Angela Maria "Quando A Noite Vem" (Continental, 1961)
Angela Maria "Nao Tenho Voce" (Continental, 1961)
Angela Maria "Incomparavel" (RCA, 1962)
A mixed bag. Although this opens with a blisteringly fun, booming, big band-tinged "cha-cha-cha" number, other songs on this album are either super-slushy and cornball or, worse still, veer off into showy, Yma Sumac-ish uber-warbling. She had a great vocal range, but that don't make these songs any less difficult to listen to. The good stuff is great, but you might be better off looking for songs such as "Garota Solitaria" and "Matematica Do Samba" as part of some best-of collection, so that you can avoid the more brega bolero-style material.
Angela Maria "Canta Para Mundo" (RCA Victor, 1962)
Angela Maria "Canta Para Mundo, v.2" (RCA Victor, 1963)
Angela Maria "Presenca De Angela Maria" (RCA Victor, 1963)
Angela Maria "Angela, A Maior Maria" (RCA Victor, 1964)
Angela Maria "Boneca" (Copacabana, 1965)
Angela Maria "O Samba Ven La De Cima" (Copacabana, 1966)
Angela Maria "...Interpreta Boleros" (Copacabana, 1966)
Angela Maria "A Brasileirissima" (Copacabana, 1966)
Angela Maria "Meu Amor E Uma Cancao" (Copacabana, 1967)
Angela Maria "A Grande Mentira" (Copacabana, 1968)
Angela Maria "Angela Em Tempo Jovem" (Copacabana, 1969)
The album art and title may reference the teenybopper jovem guarda rock scene, but this is mostly another lush, proper ballads set... There a little rock'n'roll-ish vigor in the backbeat-heavy opening numbers, but it's more along the lines of Nancy Sinatra than Grace Slick. Otherwise, it's business as usual. Cool bike, though!
Angela Maria "Angela De Todas Temas" (Copacabana, 1970)
As the title implies, Maria branches out into new styles here, embracing the work of the MPB elite -- Chico Buarque, Edu Lobo, Marcos Valle, Caetano Veloso -- along with oldies by Dorival Caymmi and Noel Rosa... In all honesty? It's a bit torturous to listen to -- the arrangements aren't all that adventurous, and her voice is a bit grating. Apparently, though, it was a commercial success, and marked a "comeback" for an artist who had been judged out of touch with the times, starting with the bossa nova years, as well as the tropicalia/MPB revolution.
Angela Maria "Angela" (Copacabana, 1971)
Angela Maria "Angela" (Copacabana, 1972)
Angela Maria "Angela" (Copacabana, 1975)
Angela Maria "Angela Maria" (Copacabana, 1976)
Angela Maria "O Mais Famosos Tangos" (Copacabana, 1977)
Angela Maria "O Mais Famosos Fados" (Copacabana, 1977)
Angela Maria "Com Amor E Carinho" (EMI-Odeon, 1978)
Angela Maria & Agnaldo Timoteo "Juntos" (EMI-Odeon, 1979)
Angela Maria "Apenas Mulher" (EMI-Odeon, 1980)
Angela Maria "Estrela Da Cancao" (EMI-Odeon, 1982)
Angela Maria & Cauby Peixoto "Angela & Cauby" (EMI, 1982)
A mega-schmaltzy set of romantic duets from two old-time Brazilian crooners, with songs drawn from sources ranging from Brazilian composers such as Djavan, Jobim and Gonzaguinha to Spanish-language Latin Americans such as Agustin Lara and Gabriel Ruiz. If you like boleros and other cornball ballad styles, this disc might be a treat. But anyone looking for something with a bit more bite will wanna avoid this album.
Angela Maria "Semper Angela" (EMI-Odeon, 1983)
Angela Maria "Angela Maria" (RGE, 1985)
Angela Maria "Angela Maria" (RGE, 1987)
Angela Maria & Cauby Peixoto "Ao Vivo" (BMG-Ariola, 1992)
Angela Maria "Amigos" (Sony-Columbia, 1996)
Duets with Alcione, Maria Bethania, Chico Buarque, Roberto Carlos, Gal Costa, Djavan, Milton Nascimento, and a host of others...
Angela Maria "Pela Saudade Que Me Invade: Um Tributo A Dalva De Oliveira" (Sony-Columbia, 1997)
Angela Maria & Agnaldo Timoteo "Sucesso Sempre!" (Sony-Columbia, 1999)
Angela Maria "Meus Momentos" (EMI, 1994)
Angela Maria "A Estrela Do Brasil" (BMG, 1996)
Angela Maria "Serie Bis - Cantores Do Radio" (EMI-Brasil, 2000)
One of the best-beloved and technically capable female singers of the 1950s, Angela Maria had a not-quite-brassy heft to her voice that may remind modern listeners of Maria Bethania -- the Tropicalia-era diva surely must have admired her work. This 2-CD set leans heavily on her later work, with a handful of tracks from the early '50s, but the bulk coming from the '60s and '70s. Only a couple of songs from the early 'Eighties are really iffy; otherwise this is a nice look at one of Brazil's now-neglected legends.
Angela Maria "Serie Focus" (1999)
Angela Maria "Serie Identidade" (EMI, 2002)
Angela Maria "A Estrela Do Brasil" (BMG-Brasil, 2002)
Angela Maria "Disco De Ouro" (Lua, 2003)
Angela Maria "O Talento De Angela Maria" (EMI, 2004)
Angela Maria "Maxximum" (BMG, 2005)
Angela Maria "Grandes Vozes" (Som Livre, 2007)
Angela Maria "Recordings: 1957-1958" (Black Round Records, 2009)
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