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Listen to "No Te Esconde"

Brasilian Beat '67 by Los Brasilios (Featuring Alberto on the Marimbas & the Juan Morales Singers)
Design Records DLP-264

Cover of Brasilian Beat '67 by Los Brasilios

Technically, this album doesn't meet my criteria for a Space Age Pop Music track, since this album has been bootlegged within the last few years, and one of the tracks ("Carol's Theme," here rendered as "Brasilian Beat") can be found on the DCC compilation, Music for a Bachelor's Den, Volume 4: Easy Rhythms, which is still in stock if not in print. And the word-of-mouth vibe has been steady among hip cognescenti like DJs and balding record collectors. So this isn't entirely forgotten or essentially unavailable.

But damn, this is a fun tune. It's just too hard to resist the temptation to use my little corner of cyberspace to catch passing surfers, grab them by the collar, and yell, "Dig this shit!" in their faces.

Sorry about that. Here, let me wipe that bit of spittle off your cheek.

As I was saying, this tune is so goofy and rockin' I can't help making it available for worldwide unlicensed distribution without any remuneration to the original artists involved.

Particularly since Design Records did the same thing when they released this record. I believe it is safe to postulate the following:

  • There was no such group as Los Brasilios.
  • They didn't feature Alberto on the Marimbas.
  • They didn't work with the Juan Morales Singers, because there were no Juan Morales Singers.
  • They didn't call their tune "No Te Esconde," which is Spanish for "Don't Hide Yourself."
  • The musicians who wrote and performed this piece didn't receive a dime from Design Records' proceeds from its sale.
It is also likely that:
  • This was a group of studio musicians who recorded outside the U.S. (but almost certainly not in Brazil).
  • There were no marimbas used (sorry, Alberto). However, someone plays vibes on other tracks.
  • Design Records bought the tape and unlimited copyrights in some kind of a grab-bag deal that included a bunch of other tapes.
  • This stuff was intended to be sold as production music, but somewhere along the way one or more of the companies involved needed cash--hence the sale to Design.
Design Records was itself a subsidiary of Pickwick Records, which specialized in distributing low budget records. You wouldn't find Pickwick or Design Records in legitimate record stores back then. You'd find them in drug stores and grocery stores and other places that had all of about 100 records to sell to dopes who wanted to pick up a record while they were buying Kaopectate, shoe polish, and Red Whips. This record was bought by people who probably wanted to get a Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66 record but were too busy or lazy to get over to a real record store.

Design's marketing strategy was to imitate what was successful, only without investing anything in production or materials. So when Johnny Rivers was making it big with "Secret Agent Man" and his "Live at the Whisky-a-Go-Go" album, they whipped out their "Discotheque" album with groovy mod lettering and featuring his other great hit, "Hole in the Ground." You know, that great hit he cut for Nobody Records before he moved from Nowheresville. That hit he cut before he could afford to hire a lawyer who could read.

You'll also find the names of Roy Orbison and other recognizable stars on the album, next to similarly unknown "hits" they recorded back before any major label could give a crap about them. And since even forgettable material by recognizable names costs some money, Design would pad things out with unlicensed filler, generic rock and R&B instrumentals that would be attributed to fictitious groups like "The Groovers." And they would reuse material. The track here listed as "Noche de Amor" shows up on at least two other Design albums, including one packaged to snare customers who liked the music to "Doctor Zhivago" but couldn't bother to find the actual Maurice Jarre soundtrack. (Although, considering how popular THAT record was, it probably took more effort NOT to find it.)

They could do this knowing full well that the suckers who bought their records weren't likely to march back into the store demanding their money back. It's not like anyone would claim that they didn't know they weren't buying a real Sergio Mendes album.

Now, if that were all there was to these records, they would deserve to be forgotten. Old junk is still junk, after all. But God bless capitalism. It's such an omniverous monster than it can't help but suck in some decent material in and amongst all the crap.

In this case, we get a small combo--piano, drums, bass, percussion--teamed up with a trio of girl singers, swinging on a set of original Latin (not Brazilian) tunes. Right at the end or this track, a clarinet slips in for less than eight bars. Guess he was wandering by the studio. The pianist sounds a little like Eddie Palmieri--percussive and little bluesy. And the girls sing the immortal lyrics,

Chee-ee, chee,
Chee-ee, chee,
They make Sinatra's "Doobie doobie doo" sound profound.

Lest you think this album is a little pop Holy Grail to go searching for, be warned that this is true to Design form, which means it isn't even 100% by this anonymous group. It also includes even more generic filler, such as a version of "Ritmo d'Amor" that sounds like it was dubbed off the soundtrack of some B movie from the late 1940s. And don't think that you'll find more great stuff like this if you buy a different Design album by Los Brasilios. There's another one with a black cover that is mostly bossa nova material played by a combo with a clarinet in the lead. Maybe that same itinerant guy.

One can only hope that one day the rightful claimants to this track can be found and given their due credit. Until then, attach the MP3 to your next spam and give the world something more valuable than cheap Viagra or Nigerian fund transfers.

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