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World Psychedelic Classics 4: The Existential Soul of Tim Maia

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (22 July 2016)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Luaka Bop
  • ASIN: B00133KEF4
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 92,059 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

In the early 1970's, Brazilian popular music was approaching a high water mark of creativity and popularity. Artists like Elis Regina, Chico Buarque and Milton Nascimento were delivering top-shelf Brazilian pop, while tropicalists Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Os Mutantes were entertaining the college set with avant-garde fuzz-pop poetry. Enter Tim Maia with a massive cannonball into the pool. It was the only dive Tim knew. Standing just 5'7 (6' with the Afro) Tim Maia was large, in charge and completely out of control. He was the personification of rock star excess, having lived through five marriages and at least six children, multiple prison sentences, voluminous drug habits and a stint in an UFO obsessed religious cult. Tim is also remembered as a fat, arrogant, overindulgent, barely tolerated, yet beloved man-child who died too young at the age of 55. Sebastiño Rodrigues Maia was born in Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, on September 28, 1942. In 1957, at the age of 17, the singer went to America. He left home with $12 in his pocket and no knowledge of English. He adopted the name 'Jimmy' and lied to the immigration authorities, saying that he was a student. Living with distant cousins in Tarrytown, New York, he worked odd jobs and committed petty crimes. Having a prodigious ear he quickly learned to speak, sing and write songs in English. He formed a small vocal group called The Ideals who even recorded one of Tim's songs, "New Love." Intent on starting a career in America, Tim never planned on going back to Brazil, but like a badass Forrest Gump, he also had a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. In a 1964 early pre-cursor to Spring Break's modern debauchery, Tim was busted in Daytona, Florida for smoking pot in a stolen car and served six months in prison. U.S. Immigration caught up with him and he was deported. Tim's first commercial records showed that a black Brazilian singer could assert his identity with confidence and power. His music helped to build the Black Rio movement, a new Afro-Brazilian music culture influenced by the U.S. civil rights struggle. As a result, Tim Maia's soul music described a modern Black Brazilian identity that blew the doors off mass culture's tightly circumscribed role for Afro-Brazilians. A funny thing happened when Tim Maia launched his career in Brazil: he kept on writing and recording songs in English. Every album (all titled Tim Maia with only the copyright years to differentiate) included at least one, if not a few songs in English. Obviously, Tim "Jimmy" Maia's teenage dreams of international soul success didn't die when he was deported from the U.S. In 1971, fresh from the big hit of his first album, Timwent to London and spoiled himself. He smoked, inhaled, drank, traveled on acid, listened to music, argued with his wife and returned to Brazil with 200 doses of LSD to distribute amongst his friends. As soon as he arrived, he went to (recording company) Philips' offices, which he called "Flips," where he visited various departments, beginning with those he considered most "square," like the accounting and legal departments, where he acknowledged the boss and repeated the same introduction, in a calm and friendly voice: "This here is LSD, which will open your mind, improve your life, and make you a better and happier person. It's very simple: there are no side effects. It is not addictive and only does good. You take it like this . . . " He would place the acid in his mouth, swallow it and leave another at the front desk. Since he was one of the best-selling artists for the company, everyone thought it humorous. In the production and journalism departments, the gifts were a success. Even Andre Midani, the president of the company, received his. In 1974, he converted to a religious sect, the cult of Racional Enger

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
At last, after years of wrangling with the estate of Tim Maia, Luaka Bop have finally been able to release this compilation. My hard-to-find promo copy (minus front cover) was issued in 2008, but the issue ran into licensing difficulties with Tim's heir, Marcelo. The resentment from the estate about David Byrne & Luaka Bop's attempts to release this album (see the comments in Racional Vol 3 of the Abril edition headed "gringo cara dura") appear to have been finally sorted out.

It's been worth the wait, however. Featuring tunes from Maia's classic 70s period, including tracks from the Racional phase, this is an excellent introduction to one of the giants of Brazilian Soul. This is great music in any language, with a line-up of fantastic players, including Paulinho Guittara, Oberdan Magalhaes, and the sadly under-appreciated Robson Jorge on keyboards. The Racional stuff is truly wonderful, and the other tracks are a well-chosen selection of his best work from the early to mid 70s. My only quibble is with the version of Do Leme ao Pontal, which appears to have been remixed to edit out the singalong chant "tomo guarana, suco de caju, goiabada para sobremesa" It's such a integral part of the song, I can't imagine why they did that.

The packaging echoes the format of the recently released Tim Maia box-set from Brazil's Edicoes Abril - a gatefold sleeve containing a booklet with lyrics and other information. Typos & mistakes apart, it's really well presented. I don't know if this CD is being released in jewel case format as well, but the cover of my gatefold version differs slightly from the image in the advert. Maybe there are going to be variations to tantalise the collectors. Count me in!

In an ideal world Tim Maia would have the recognition outside of Brazil that he truly deserves. He stands amongst the greats of Soul. Hopefully this compilation will open a few more minds to his crazy, glorious music.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A beautifully presented retrospective of the neglected Tim Maia containing fifteen varied pieces of music representing Maia's obsession with love, sex and spirituality. It might be wise to add drugs to this list because some of the longer cuts such as 'Rational Culture' are essentially psychedelic in feel and composition. The departed Maia apparently lived life to excess and some of the music here is extravagant, joyous and life fulfilling. In most cases Latin and Brazilian grooves pertain and I defy anyone to keep their feet still listening to 'Do Leme Ao Pontal' and 'Que Beleza'. Great as these are though there's greater depth of feeling in the beautiful ballad 'Ela Partui' and the deeply moving deep soul of 'I Don't Care'. Maia was heavily influenced by American funk and soul and half the cuts here are sung in English with the rest in his native Portuguese. The CD is packaged lovingly in a lovely strong booklet that comes with full lyrics and an essay. This release was a joy from start to finish.
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Track 14 is just the best and most cheerful 12minutes of sound that has vibrated my tympanic membranes for many a year. The last couple of weeks I've been driving round with this on maximum volume, and it has had a good effect.
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The world is particularly unaware of this man. That the problem with the world's people as it's often so stuck in it's own cultural and musical identity, it fails to step out of it for a moment to consider what else is out there. This man had soul and groove, with an obvious influence from US Old school R &B, and soul. Well worth buying, an infectious sound from a magnetic singer
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