Aquarela do Brasil  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"Aquarela do Brasil" (Watercolor of Brazil), known in the English-speaking world simply as "Brazil", is one of the most famous Brazilian songs of all time, written by Ary Barroso in 1939.

Notable recordings

The song has received many successful recordings through the years, being played in many different genres, ranging from its original samba to disco.

In 1943, Spanish-born bandleader Xavier Cugat reached number two on the Best Sellers List and number nine on the Harlem Hit Parade with his version of "Brazil". In 1957, Frank Sinatra recorded the song in Come Fly With Me. He was followed by other successful artists of the time such as Bing Crosby, Ray Conniff, and Paul Anka.

During the Brazilian military dictatorship, MPB singer Elis Regina performed what is perhaps the darkest version ever of "Aquarela do Brasil", accompanied by a choral of men reproducing chants of the Native-Brazilians. Meanwhile, American band The Ritchie Family reached number-one on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart for seven weeks with their disco version of the song. Other successful Brazilian singers such as Antonio Carlos Jobim, Erasmo Carlos, João Gilberto, Gal Costa, and Simone also recorded versions of the song at the same period.

The song was featured prominently in the 1985 Terry Gilliam film Brazil, which was named after it. It was recorded by Geoff Muldaur in the soundtrack. Afterwards, in the 1990s, it was recorded by both Harry Belafonte and Dionne Warwick.

In 2007, singer-songwriter Daniela Mercury, which recorded the most recent cover of the song by a Brazilian artist, was invited to perform the song at the end of the opening ceremony of the XV Pan American Games, held in Rio de Janeiro.

In 2009, the Recording Academy added the 1942 recording of "Brazil (Aquarela Do Brasil)" by Jimmy Dorsey & His Orchestra on the Grammy Hall of Fame.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Aquarela do Brasil" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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