Spawned in the upscale beachside neighborhoods of Rio De Janeiro in the late 1950s, the laid-back sound and culture of Bossa Nova ("New Wave") rode on a brief wave of optimism in Brazil: the country had just elected a new president, a five-year plan for prosperity had been laid out and the great architect Oscar Niemeyer had proposed his plans for the new modern city of Brasilia. Reflecting this optimism in its gentle and sunny soundworld, Bossa Nova quickly became a worldwide musical phenomenon. (The first Bossa Nova single to achieve international popularity was of course the Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz hit "The Girl from Ipanema.") But by 1964, as Bossa Nova was taking America and the world by storm, tanks were thundering through Rio de Janeiro as the country fell under the rule of a violent military dictatorship that would affect the lives of musicians and ordinary Brazilians alike for the next 20 years. Retrieving the unique visual culture of this moment, Bossa Nova Beat features hundreds of stunning full-size record cover designs of Bossa Nova and later Brazilian music from the 1960s, such as M.P.B. (Musica Popular Brasileira) and Tropicalia. The book also comes complete with full accompanying text, essays and interviews on the historical, political and social context of this Brazilian music as well as features on all the important artists and musicians of the era such as Sergio Mendes, Tom Jobim, Jorge Ben, Elis Regina, Caetano Veloso and many more. As the first visual treatment of this now popular music, Bossa Nova Beat is both a pleasure and a revelation.
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