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Emilio Santiago portrait Emilio Santiago (1946-2013) emerged as a hitmaking samba-soul star in the mid-1970s, but swiftly found a niche singing gooey pop-soul ballads. I can't say I'm much of a fan, but many others are... You're on your own with this one...


Emilio Santiago "Emilio Santiago" (CID, 1975)
The first album by soul-pop star Emilio Santiago... This includes his first big hit, "Bananeira," a jaunty samba-soul classic written by Joao Donato and Gilberto Gil, as well as a swinging Cuban-styled dance tune, "La Mulata," and some classy mid-tempo MPB tunes like "Batendo A Porta" and "Quero Alegria" that are kinda nice. Also add on a few truly horrible slower ballads, and over-the-top bombast like "Sessao Das 10," and you'll have a good snapshot of Santiago as he made his debut -- a strong artist who had some cheesy tendencies that could drag him down later on. Guess which way he'd go -- c'mon... go ahead, I dare you. But here, for a brief moment, he was actually pretty cool. This album is certainly worth having in your collection... it's all downhill from here, though.

Emilio Santiago "Brasileirissimas" (Phonogram, 1976)

Emilio Santiago "Comigo E Assim" (Philips, 1977)
(Produced by Roberto Santana)

Emilio Santiago "Feito Para Ouvir" (Phonogram, 1977)
Dreadful, snoozy, syrupy goo. One sluggish, overripe, glossily-produced romantic ballad after another -- the worst of what '70s MPB had to offer. I mean, I guess this as meant to be make-out music (?) sort of a Brazilian Barry White vibe, or Sinatra, or something like that. But this is so dreadfully monotonous and stylistically limited... I just can't hang with it. I suppose that for the style this is good, but.... yeesh. There is one okay song, "Ultima Forma," a sort of light acoustic samba that's okay, but otherwise, what a chore to listen to this whole thing!

Emilio Santiago "Emilio" (Phonogram, 1978)
(Produced by Sergio de Carvalho)

Emilio Santiago "O Canto Crecente De Emilio Santiago" (Phonogram, 1979)

Emilio Santiago "Guerreiro Coracao De Emilio Santiago" (Phonogram, 1980)

Emilio Santiago "Amor De Lua" (Phonogram, 1981) (LP)

Emilio Santiago "Ensaios De Amor" (Phonogram, 1982) (LP)

Emilio Santiago "De Um Jeito Diferente" (Warner, 2007)


Emilio Santiago "Minha Historia" (PolyGram, 1993)
A horridly syrupy best-of drawn from several albums on the Som Livre label, mainly from 1977-82. Boring pop ballads, despite material written by Paulinho Da Viola, Cartola and Joao Bosco.

Emilio Santiago "Retrato" (Universal, 2007)
I'm not entirely sure if this is a "best of" set, or Santiago reinterpreting his old hits...


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