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Monday, September 25, 2006

Girls From Ipanema

When I first got my hands on the seminal Getz/Gilberto album about six years ago, I thought I'd stumbled into a whole new musical universe, one constructed entirely from sunshine and lazy daydreams. I'd never heard anything so smooth, so effortless, so nonchalantly beautiful.

However, it didn't take to long before the hit song from that record, The Girl From Ipanema, flipped over in my head to become one of those songs that I'd be fine with never hearing again. Don't get me wrong: it's a masterpiece, just one that is so over-played (even in my own home, on my own turntable) that it seems to me to suck the life out of a genre populated with so many other great songs that never get equal airtime. I love Bossa Nova, and it seems sad that for so many the whole genre is represented by just that one song. So it is with some reluctance that I present this link to 49 different recordings of The Girl From Ipanema. You're welcome. Someone please listen to all 49 of these and tell me how that goes...

Also, a little digging has uncovered proof of the actual girl from Ipanema (that's her in the picture above):
Though the writers and their estates have made millions in royalties from the song, Helo never made a penny from it. When she tried to open a clothing boutique with the name "The Girl from Ipanema" she was sued by the heirs to co-writers Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes, and she was forced to change the name of her shop.
Sad story... but I suppose inspiring a creative expression does not entitle one to a share in the profits from that expression. If that were the case, there would be a lot of ex-girlfriends lining up to collect royalties from the mopey rockers who made it big with songs about their loss and pain.

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