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O Terço - O Terço (1970) CD (album) cover

O TERÇO (1970)

O Terço


Symphonic Prog

2.93 | 20 ratings

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4 stars It had to be! O TERÇO had to exist as an affirmation of the progressive rock made in Brazil....

Well, a bit of history: Brazilian popular music (known by the acronym MPB) was shaken in the end of the 50s when some skilful guys "created" a new sound, blending traditional sambas with jazz, the bossa-nova, and just in the same time, rock 'n' roll anchored here. What seemed so distant should prove to be able to amalgamate in the future. Then, in the beginning of the 60s an increasing power of the regional music (Brazilian country) was observed and later when bossa-nova furor was fading, other urban styles: samba, choro, modinha, valsa, etc, were revitalized thanks to a new generation of composers, singers and musicians. Also the old dancing and juvenile rock 'n' roll was to be overwhelmed by a new rocking mood, the "classic" rock and we all learned that this novelty wasn't more an exclusivity of USA, instead Britain, Italy & France took the vanguard. By 1966, the first echoes of psychedelics were heard here....

The year of 1967 started with many artists trying new sounds and tunes and then emerged a stunning movement, Tropicalismo, that pushed the frontiers of MPB far from its original lines: a mix of everything done before, including external adoptions and influences, all heavily spiced with a plenty of healthy madness and intriguing questions, sometimes delightful, sometimes unreasonable but therefore a solid cultural impact. The following year we saw the first hints of another great movement, Clube da Esquina, this shift more introspective but promoting the rescue of dormant Brazilian roots. All these trends were drained accordingly with the sounds coming from outside our borders: rock - and along 1968 / 1969, the chords of we now know as prog-rock.

Then many bands and artists were doing a sound that we can call unmistakably "prog", like Mutantes, Som Imaginário and others lost in the dust of time. But we lacked the rise of the real progressive-rock band - in this fertile context, O TERÇO appeared. The three original members came from different garage bands from a medium-size fair city a little apart from the important Rio & São Paulo cultural axis but not so far in order not to be influenced but also not so close that other influences couldn't be apprehended - they form O TERÇO 'historical' line-up, recognized so by their fans. Working as a trio or with some invited fellows they recorded a bunch of songs in 1968 (?) and 1969, which were to form their first output: "O Terço", released 1970. The official LP was followed in years to come by independent re-releases and bootlegs, keeping the original track list but adding some live performances or also new songs.

The original track list (the one listed here) is fair and interesting, containing pleasant short songs, where band seem obsessed with vocal arrangement, a really band registered mark. 'Nã', the opening track shows a certain Mutantes influence and consequently bears a undeniable psychedelic aroma; 'Plaxe voador' is simple and agreeable; 'Yes, I do', sung in English, adds few but the good band musicianship can be heard; 'Longe sem direção', although only average, is a real proto-prog song and stamped with O TERÇO brand, more noticeable in the following years; 'Flauta' is a nice song with bucolic passages, a grave flute accompaniment and fair vocals; 'I need you', is a psychedelic rock, not really great - but the agogo solo part is funny; 'Antes de você. eu" has ironic lyrics (in Portuguese) and a touch of songs from the 20s which reminds us some McCartney's granny songs; 'Imagem', a pure prog song, is probably album greatest - now vocals and instrumentation reach their highest point, however the main theme could be better explored by O TERÇO; 'Meia-noite' has a samba beat, giving the song a kind of funk-like tune - pleasant; 'Saturday dream' is soft and pastoral and influences coming from international artists can be easily noticed; 'Velhas histórias' has a folk atmosphere and a rare vocal solo (in fact, Vinícius Cantuária got a hit with this song, years later, when he adventured in a solo career); 'Oh, Suzana', the well-known song, got a funny parody with lyrics in Portuguese.

Unfortunately, the original album version does not include 3 other songs (bonus tracks?) normally added in bootleg versions: 'Visitante', a great prog-song; 'Tributo ao sorriso', an uprising track, a real anthem, the song that made O TERÇO known and allowed them to have their first album released; 'Adormeceu', a precious jewel, magnificent (although really a 1971 song, much more fitted for the band second output). The two last songs formed a single, fairly succeeded, released also in 1971. This LP deserves urgently a CD release with all bonus tracks included.

One last word: today, O TERÇO is almost unknown for the majority of the Brazilians but when people hear their songs they recognize them. It means that O TERÇO is clearly part of the Nation's Collective Unconscious. In the end, they WON!

This is in fact a good album, deserving a solid 3 stars rating, but this is also a milestone when researching the history of progressive music in Brazil, hence an essential piece for all prog collections. Final rating: 4.

Atkingani | 4/5 |


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