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Os Originais Do Samba portrait Formed in 1968, Os Originais Do Samba were one of the crucial groups of the samba revival, a youthful band that bridged the gap between the velha guarda acoustic sambistas and the rugged roda da samba of the favelas and the newer, more expansive sound of pagode samba, a popular style that they helped pioneer. Like Jorge Ben (whose music they often recorded) Os Originais blended tradition and innovation, with deep-roots percussion woven into newer pop sounds. The band's membership has changed over the years -- among the older members was singer Mussum, who went on to a very successful career as a comedic actor and member of the group Os Trapalhoes. Here's a quick look at Os Originais, where it all began.

Discography - Albums

Baden Powell/Various Artists "Show/Recital" (Philips, 1968)
(Produced by Manuel Berembeim)

A live album (which looks like it might have originally been issued as two separate EPs) featuring Powell solo, and then as backup for vocalist Marcia and with Os Originais do Samba joining him on several songs. Powell's instrumentals are a bit rushed and clipped; the vocal tunes are more nuanced and engaging. I believe this album was Os Originais's recording debut... nice start!

Os Originais Do Samba "Os Originais Do Samba" (RCA, 1969)
(Produced by Wilson Miranda)

Os Originais Do Samba "Os Originais Do Samba, v.2" (RCA, 1969) (LP)

Os Originais Do Samba "Samba E De Lei/Esperanca" (RCA, 1970)

Os Originais Do Samba "Samba Exportacao" (RCA, 1971)

Os Originais Do Samba "O Samba E A Corda Os Originais A Cacamba" (RCA, 1972)
(Produced by Wilson Miranda)

Their original percussive sound is muted on here, buried under a gauzy soft-pop mix... They seem to have been drifting towards the brega pop style, although compared to many of the former jovem guarda rockers who went pop in the 'Seventies, Os Originais still sound relatively vital and funky. They sing two Jorge Ben songs, and Ben contributes arrangements for one of them... Still, this is a much tamer record than their earlier efforts... Worth checking out, maybe, but it didn't really grab me.

Os Originais Do Samba "E Preciso Cantar" (RCA, 1973)

Os Originais Do Samba "Pra Que Tristeza" (RCA, 1974) (LP)
(Produced by Wilson Miranda, arrangements by Elcio Alvares)

Os Originais Do Samba "Alegria De Sambar" (RCA, 1975)
A groovy album with a classic '70s samba feel -- the swaying rhythms, the cheerful chorus and strummy cavaquinho -- sometimes transcendent, sometimes a little by-the-numbers. They mix things up stylistically with some funky electric guitar on a few tunes (including one, "Os Cabras de Lampiao," which also features some great accordion alongside the disco-y guitar licks) and a few surprising melodies. Overall, it's pretty cool: maybe not every song will rock you're world, but the album itself is pretty sweet.

Os Originais Do Samba "Em Verso E Prosa" (RCA, 1976)

Os Originais Do Samba "Os Bons Sambistas Vao Voltar" (RCA, 1977)

Os Originais Do Samba "Aniversario Do Tarzan" (RCA, 1978)

Os Originais Do Samba "Clima Total" (RCA, 1979) (LP)

Os Originais Do Samba "Os Originais Do Samba" (RCA, 1981)

Os Originais Do Samba "Canta, Meu Povo, Canta" (RCA, 1983)

Os Originais Do Samba "A Malandragem Entrou Em Greve" (Copacabana, 1986) (LP)

Os Originais Do Samba "Sangue, Suor E Samba" (Copacabana, 1989)

Os Originais Do Samba "Sangue, Suor E Samba" (Copacabana, 1990)
Later, less enthralling recordings from these samba-soul forefathers... They've absorbed various contemporary influences such as Bahian axe and the modernized version of pagode -- two musical styles that they helped pioneer. This disc isn't bad, exactly, it just isn't as arresting as the music they made when they were younger, or as vital as the younger modern bands they are trying to keep up with. It's okay... You could check it out and not feel totally cheated or anything, but you could also easily find stuff that's better.

Os Originais Do Samba "Brincar De Ser Feliz" (RCA, ChicShow/Fivestar)

Os Originais Do Samba "A Vida E Assim" (ChicShow/Fivestar, 1994)

Os Originais Do Samba "Os Originais Do Samba" (RGE, 1995)

Os Originais Do Samba "Os Originais De Todos Os Sambas" (RGE, 1997)

Os Originais Do Samba "Ao Vivo" (Rhythm & Blues, 2000)

Os Originais Do Samba "Swing Dos Originais" (Canta Brasil, 2003)

Os Originais Do Samba "A Corda Arrebenta E O Samba Nao Cai" (Independente, 2008)

Discography - Best-Ofs

Os Originais Do Samba "Serie Focus" (BMG, 1999)

Os Originais Do Samba "Raizes Do Samba" (EMI, 2000)

Os Originais Do Samba "Perolas" (WEA, 2007)

Os Originais Do Samba "Nova Serie" (WEA, 2008)


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