Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The vinyl mystery of bossa nova history





Speaking with a customer the other day, I was reminded of a mystery in the history of bossa nova vinyl. What's the earliest edition of Joao Gilberto's Chega de Saudade? What's the deciding factor? Is it the color of the label, the color of the printing on the back side of the sleeve? Is it whether the sleeve is soft, encased in plastic, or cardboard like the typical album sleeves in America?

Some labels may be blue, some may be bright green and white, others greenish gray. There may be as many as 4 jacket variants and 3 label variants.

The customer told us of a huge record store in Rio de Janeiro, called Modern Sound, with a basement full of LPs and a clerk named Elvis. Though the customer speaks fluent Portuguese, he has a difficult time solving this mystery of bossa nova history. Communications with Modern Sound is only by telephone; they do not allow email contact with employees. We welcome comments by those with knowledge of this subject!

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