Cover image for The best of Caetano Veloso
The best of Caetano Veloso
Veloso, Caetano.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Nonesuch, [2003]

Physical Description:
1 audio disc : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Compact disc.

Selections previously released 1989-2001.

Notes by David Byrne and texts, with English translations, in booklet.

"Translations: tracks 1, 6, 9 & 12 by Arto Lindsay ; tracks 2, 8, 10, 13 & 15 by Isabel de Sena ; tracks 3 & 11 by John Ryle ; tracks 4, 7, & 14 by Gad Guterman ; track 5 by Lorraine Leu"--Booklet.
O estrangeiro -- Manhatã -- 13 de Maio -- Fina estampa -- Haiti -- Baião da Penha -- Cucurrucucu paloma (live) -- Um tom -- Tradicão -- Que não se vê = Come tu mi vuoi (live) -- Michelangelo Antonioni -- Itapuã -- Onde o Rio É mais Baiano -- Un vestido y un amor -- Na Baixa do Sapateiro.
Format :
Music CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
FOLKLATA .V443 B Compact Disc Central Library

On Order



It is understandable that Elektra/Nonesuch deemed an overview of Caetano Veloso's output on the label appropriate, but naming this collection The Best of Caetano Veloso is audacious. Veloso has been a pioneer of Brazilian pop since 1967, when his debut album sparked one of Brazil's most famous movements in music and politics, the legendary Tropicalia movement. Presumably due to publishing rights, Elektra/Nonesuch did not access the vaults of the Phillips label, which, along with that first album, contain the first 20 years of Veloso's output. This is fine and dandy, but to reiterate: the 12 years spanning the collected material here do not make a considerable enough dent in Veloso's 30-plus-year career as an influential recording artist to tag "Best Of" to the cover of this release and leave it at that. In fact, it is a misleading slap in the face. That aside, Elektra/Nonesuch has pieced together a nice collection of songs Veloso recorded for them between the years 1989 and 2001. It is astonishing to note how much Veloso has continued to evolve with finesse through his career, never rooting himself in a single place, but instead exploring constantly. His arrangements are sometimes sparse, sometimes gorgeously complex, sometimes dissonant, and sometimes wild. Most of these tendencies are explored on this collection, from the beautiful and lush "Manhatã" to the polyphony of "13 de Maio" to the string quartet and vocal waltz "Fina Estampa" to the rhythmic and melodic glory of "Un Tom." It is easy to become so lost in the marvelous organicity of Veloso's compositions and his downy voice that the diversity and calculations of his arrangements become an afterthought. This is a mystifying effect -- one does not have to dissect these songs because they are so natural; however, once the nuances are placed under the scientific ear, endless imagination and innovation are revealed. There have been many attempts to describe this imagination and innovation Veloso exudes to an American audience over the years, as David Byrne's liner notes state, without success, because the comparisons to the founding fathers of Western music are invalid. Byrne points out that Veloso's contributions to the world's music stage rival Lennon/McCartney melodically, Dylan poetically, and the inventiveness of Neil Young, Serge Gainsbourg, Stevie Wonder, and others. He has a point; no music fan ever refers to the music of Paul Simon by stating who Simon sounds like, simply because Paul Simon sounds only like Paul Simon, and while it is difficult to impress such a concept on the ears of those not familiar with Veloso, he is an artist of such magnitude and should be recognized as such. The Best of Caetano Veloso provides much to back this up and is an excellent starting point for the uninitiated, even if it pretends almost two-thirds of Veloso's remarkable career never existed. ~ Gregory McIntosh