Essential Reissues: Mehrpouya, Tim Maia, Syl Johnson

cover luakabop com

So let´s continue with this years reissues of relevant 70ies records:

The first is Brasilian´s Psych – Soul Legend Tim Maia´s “No one can live forever”, released a while ago by Luakabop under the issue “World psychodelic classics # 4 – The essential soul of Tim Maia.” It is a compilation – so not a real reissue. But the songs are fine selected, all lyrics and liner notes are printed on the innersleeve it is everything else but a loveless comilation: “we have been working 10 years to make this album happen” says the label. It was worth it!!

I like a lot the wonderful 3 minutes psych – soul hits like “que beleza”, but as well the 12 minutes disco classic “rational culture”.

Here is a short introduction by the label and a video:


“Sebastiño Rodrigues Maia was born in Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, on September 28, 1942. He was the 18th in a family of 19 siblings. At six he started to contribute to the family income by delivering homemade food prepared by his mother, Maria Imaculada Maia. Tim learned to play guitar as a child and was 15 when he formed his first band. They called themselves The Sputniks and were notable for also including Roberto Carlos, a neighborhood pal of Tim’s who would later become one of Brazil’s biggest stars. In 1957, at the age of 17, the singer went to America. He left home with $12 in his pocket and no knowledge of English. He adopted the name ‘Jimmy’ and lied to the immigration authorities, saying that he was a student.

Living with distant cousins in Tarrytown, New York, he worked odd jobs and committed petty crimes. Having a prodigious ear he quickly learned to speak, sing and write songs in English. He formed a small vocal group called The Ideals who even recorded one of Tim’s songs, “New Love.” Intent on starting a career in America, Tim never planned on going back to Brazil, but like a badass Forrest Gump, he also had a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. In a 1964 early pre-cursor to Spring Break’s modern debauchery, Tim was busted in Daytona, Florida for smoking pot in a stolen car and served six months in prison. U.S. Immigration caught up with him and he was deported.

tim maia web luakabop

Back in Brazil, Tim told his friends that he hadn’t spoken a word of Portuguese for the last 3 years of his stay in the U.S. Not surprisingly, he was completely out of step with the prevailing mode of MPB and Tropicalia. Eventually he got a huge break when legendary singer Elis Regina fell in love with his song “These Are the Songs” which had been released as a single on the Fermata label. She invited him to sing a duet of it with her in Portuguese and English on her 1970 album “Em Pleno Verño”. This high profile debut forced people to take notice of the unknown singer/songwriter with a big voice, bigger afro and huge ambitions. Soon after, Philips signed Tim to a recording contract. In 1970 his first album spent 24 weeks on the charts, beginning a new chapter in Brazilian music.(…)”


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Another great deal is done by Pharaway Sounds, (a spanish sub label of Guerssen records, concentrating on loner folk and oriental stuff) who issued a 3 lp compilation of Mehrpouya called “Soul Raga”. It is more or less the complete work of iranian sitar legend Abbas Mehrpouya. His sole, hard to get LP “sitar” and several singles, between 68 and 76.

Buy it at or bis aufs messer store, see link on the right bar.

Listen here:



At last, chicago´s soul specialist numero reissues after the complete 5 LP´s set and a 7″ box as well the early LP´s by Syl Johnson: “Is it because I´m black” and “Dressed too short” seperatly.

I think, with all the “new soul” acts right now it is good to listen to the original legends!


“Coming hot on the heels of his first full length, the self-proclaimed “most sampled artist of all time,” released the groundbreaking black concept LP Is It Because I’m Black, a full 13 months before Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On . Throwing away the notion of a sophomore jinx, Syl delivered this politically charged yet funky piece of Chicago soul music. Issued on 150 gram vinyl and housed in a tip-on jacket.”

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