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Suba – São Paulo Confessions (1999)

October 15, 2016

south-americaSuper Awesome South America logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

Made in South America Artist #1: Astrud Gilberto
Made in South America Artist #2: Bebel Gilberto
Made in South America Artist #3Elis Regina
Made in South America Artist #4Sepultura
Made in South America Artist #5: Astor Piazzolla
Made in South America Artist #6: Caetano Veloso
Made in South America Artist #7: Suba


[Album 478/1001]

“If you go to a rink, and you watch 50 guys skate around the ice, and you can pick out which guy can play, you can be a manager in the NHL.”
– Glen Sather, from his Legends of Hockey biography (at 9:30)

Based on decades of experience of either playing/coaching/refereeing/watching the game, I feel reasonably confident that I can spot a hockey player who can truly play.

Sather (nickname Slats) of course is simplifying the General Manager job description ever so slightly but like many lifelong hockey fans, I always thought that being a GM seemed like a dream gig.

A dream gig except for the part where as the lucky GM, you get to be on the receiving end of constant second-guessing, not-so-constructive criticism if the team doesn’t meet expectations, escalating to chants (Fire Sather!) and websites devoted to promoting your immediate dismissal. But apart from that…


“If you go to São Paolo, and you watch 50 producers in the studio, and you can pick out which guy can produce, you can be Record Label Executive, or even an Editor of The 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.”
– Geoff Stephen, from this post (video footage not found)

I’m sure many music fans, myself included, would tend to think of a Label Exec as a dream gig. A dream gig I suppose until the records we select are deemed inaccessible & end up flopping. Or until the selected records are deemed far too accessible and loyal label supporters cry sell-out.220px-saopauloconfessions

An even harder (theoretical dream) gig might have been to select the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Instead of just focusing on ’50 guys’ in a rink or ’50 producers’ in a studio, the editors had the unenviable task of sifting through millions of albums produced over a 50 year period.

Of the millions of albums & artists, how do you spot the truly elite ones that ‘can play’ or ‘can produce?’

Based on my complete and utter unfamiliarity with late 90s “electronic/latin/acid jazz/downtempo,” I could not be less confident in my ability to spot an elite producer here!

If it were up to me to choose the artist that best represents the artist/the era, it’s almost a statistical certainty I would have chosen a record by one of the 49 wannabes.

But the 1001 editors (and initially, the Six Degrees Records label) deemed Suba’s São Paulo Confessions as essential, perhaps the essential document of this particular time & place.

After listening to the 61 minutes & 16 seconds (bonus marks for a palindromic running time) of music on this CD, I don’t have any reason to disagree.

Though that’s partially because I don’t really have any basis for comparison; I’d be interested to see/hear what the other hypothetical 49 aspiring electronic/latin/acid jazz/downtempo producers recorded in that late 90s studio.

From → 1990s

  1. The A&R job could be a dream job and a nightmare as well as you have to be on the lookout for talent and for that talent to hit big or else you get canned! It would be exciting man especially if you come across the next Guns N Roses or any rock act. Since no one buys albums as much today as back in the 70s thru the 90s it would be more of your neck in the line but man what a cool job ..travelling and dealing with egos along with stealing talent from your other A&R reps…..
    Great Post dude! Love the mash up of Hockey and South America!

    • Oh, to have seen a group like GNR at an early club gig! Cheers Deke, you can usually tell what I’ve been busy doing the week of a post, last week report cards, this weekend, hockey!

  2. “Of the millions of albums & artists, how do you spot the truly elite ones that ‘can play’ or ‘can produce?’”

    I can do it, trust me. Have them call me, I’ll fix everything.

  3. I don’t know this one, but if it made the list, someone somewhere loved it. Right on.

    Love the Slats comparison. True Canuck post-writing, right there. Bring in the hockey!

  4. I like this Sather chap’s logic! I dare say a lot of those actual ‘music people’ record execs did okay until the suits decided “ringtones are the future!”

    Anyhoo, the cover of this one is intriguing. Reminds me of the Buena Vista Social Club, so I’m already on the hook. Do you think that was the intention?

    • If it wasn’t the intention – given the commercial & critical success of BVSC, I don’t think the artists here would mind the comparison in the least!

  5. I love your self-quoting. I hope to see much more of it.

  6. Tangled Up In Music permalink

    I must admit I’m not really familiar with many of these South American artists.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Jorge Ben – África Brasil (1976) | 1001albumsin10years
  2. 1999 | 1001albumsin10years

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