Throat Burner and Chaser: Heaven & Hell is no place for a Girl from Ipanema

12 Feb

It’s been a while since we did one of these, so it’s time for another loud and aggressive song followed by a mellow and soft ditty. Up first, Black Sabbath. Yes, we’ve done Sabbath before but besides liking BS (our blog is full of it), we’re pulling from a different iteration of the band.

Black Sabbath Heavy MetalAs the 1970′s ended, so did Ozzy’s stint with the band. Burned out, lacking creative direction, and absorbing enough hooch and kite fliers to kill six men, Ozzy Osbourne was dropped from the band. Ozzy actually didn’t know about the firing until six weeks later when he came out of a drug-induced coma and showed up at the studio to record. He and Tony Iommi got into it, one thing led to another, and Sharon Arden (daughter of band manager Don Arden and later Mrs. Sharon Osbourne) was called in to cool things down. Shortly after arriving, she got popped accidentally by Geezer Butler who had joined the fray after Ozzy called him Tony’s bitch. Sharon, hothead that she is and already developing a sweet spot for Ozzy, was having none of that sort sort of thing, so she knifed Geezer who went down for the count and ended up in the hospital for four weeks (he’s never forgiven Sharon and they still don’t speak to this day). Ronnie James Dio was visiting from the U.S. and recording next door with Kate Bush (the pair had hooked up after meeting at an awards ceremony (they were just guests) in New York the previous year). Emerging from his studio, Ronnie stumbled onto the scene and attempted to intervene. By this time, Tony had Ozzy in a headlock and was putting some well placed punches into his kidneys. Wailing like a deer speared on an ornamental iron fence (what the hell kind of reference is that?), Ozzy’s pitiful cry unnerved Ronnie who promptly placed a hex on Tony. In a catatonic daze, Tony rolled off Ozzy. Gasping for breath, Ozzy stood up and started kicking Tony in the ribs. Sharon, ever the professional, had re-acquired her composure and pulled Ozzy away. Taking pity on the badly beaten Ozzy, she led him to the upstairs offices where she calmed him down and made sweet rock and roll love to him for the first time. Apparently something clicked, because they’re still together.

Rock and Roll Love

This is what rock and roll marriage looks like before plastic surgery and an overdose.

Rock and Roll Marriage

And, here's the "after." By this time, Ozzy had bitten off his tongue so he's resorted to slobbering on Sharon.

Anyway, back downstairs, paramedics had shown up and were attending to Geezer. Ronnie removed the hex on Tony and struck up a conversation. The two hit it off and Tony asked Ronnie if he’d like to record a couple of tracks.  Initially not really planning to hire Ronnie as Ozzy’s replacement, within two hours it was clear that they should be playing together. Just so. Ronnie was now heading up Sabbath.

Kate Bush

Kate Bush. Apparently she sings.

Kate Bush had been flitting in and out of the hallway where the melee was taking place and once she was able to get a hold of Ronnie again, she begged him to come back with her to finish the duet they had been working on. Ronnie refused. Flabbergasted, Kate asked why. He responded: “Cuz I’m Ronnie James, bitch!” That ended the project and their relationship. Bush sidelined her work for a year while she recuperated emotionally at Shrublands Health Clinic (which you may remember is the same place James Bond was sent to at the outset of Thunderball). After returning, she finished recording and released Never For Ever. Incidentally, a few years later she referenced  her nine month relationship with Ronnie in her titular song “Hounds of Love” (Hounds of Love, 1985).

Heavy Metal

Ronnie was only 5'4" so photographers had to do some tricky shoots to make him appear more in alignment with the height of his bandmates.

Heavy Metal

See? Clever. Put Ronnie on the top step. Presto! He's not longer an imp! Actually, he still looks like one, huh?

Anyway, so where was Bill Ward in all of this? Once the dust had settled, he was discovered sitting in the recording booth eating a Subway sandwich and watching West Indies kick England’s ass with 289 total (9 wickets, 60 overs) in the Cricket World Cup. Incidentally, Bill left the band the following year, declaring Ronnie James Dio was simply too short to be a Prince of Darkness.

Black SabbathThe first outing with Ronnie James was a tour de force — Sabbath’s first real success since Sabatoge (although we think Never Say Die doesn’t get a fair shake – certainly not traditional Sabbath and admittedly one hell of a mess, yet, still some really interesting music). Heaven and Hell was one of only two studio albums that the newly formed group recorded together. What a shame. This and Mob Rules were two very good albums.

So anyway, the opener “Neon Knights” is the biggest hit and best song off the album. Here you go.


Ipanema

Ready for the chaser? This time around it’s a favorite from the 1960′s and Brazil. Yes, we kind of did a Brazil thing before when we chased a chaser with Gal Costa.

Brazil holds a special place for us. Besides having lived there around 1969-1970, it is a land of a beautiful coast, beautiful people, beautiful music, and a beautiful language. The popular myth is that German is the language of love (or French … they both sound Greek to us), but it is Portuguese, particularly Brazilian Portuguese, that makes us swoon.

In our minds, the best way to describe Brazil is through an exercise. Go outside on a warm day, take a slow, deep breath through the nose, hold it for three seconds and release it the same way it came in.  Of course, it helps if where you’re at when you do this exercise sounds like a beach and the air has a soft salty waft to it.

Brasil

Captains of Industry are we!

Girl from IpanemaIpanema is the beach in Rio de Janeiro made famous by the Bossa Nova musical movement in the 1960′s. Strangely, the word “Ipanema” is an “Indian” word for “stinky lake.” Well, this stinky lake is home of the Brazilian equivalent to the beach society in the south of France.  The music for the iconic song “The Girl from Ipanema” (“Garota de Ipanema” in its original Portuguese) was written by one of Bossa Nova’s early creators, Antônio Carlos Jobim. The original Portuguese lyrics were written by Vinicius de Moraes and the English lyrics were written later by Norman Gimbel. [By the way, we put "Indian" in quotes because we hate that misappropriation of the term. Columbus' error has had over 500 years to be corrected but, hey, we still use the damn Imperial measurement system too. Holy hell, only three (THREE!) countries are left in the world that still use that old measurement system. The U.S. is one of them, and...drum roll...Liberia and "Myanmar." Liberia isn't really a country. It's a botched effort to fix one of history's greatest horrors. Go read up on it yourselves. We're too upset. And you can imagine what we feel about "Myanmar" (yeah, that's right you loony junta-ists -- we're putting your "official" name in quotes because it's really Burma unless Aung San Suu Kyi and the people decide otherwise).]

Helo Pinheiro“The Girl from Ipanema” was written in homage to a young and beautiful Brazilian girl that passed by a bar where Jobim and Moraes were enjoying a repose. The young lady, Helô Pinheiro, typified the people of the Ipaneman leisure class beach culture and she became famous for her part in inspiring the song. She cashed in on her celebrity and has had her 15+ minutes in the spotlight including a creepy Playboy shoot with her adult daughter. That aside, the song and it’s surrounding elements were pressed to vinyl at a perfect time since Bossa Nova was becoming quite popular worldwide.

The English version of the song was sung by Astrud Gilberto, whose more thorough history we are going to forego (sorry) because we spent way too much time on this post. To summarize: Astrud was born of a German father and a Brazilian mother, was married to Brazilian songster João Gilberto (who came to the U.S. to record Bossa Nova records as the musical style started becoming popular here), was tagged to sing the English language studio version of “The Girl from Ipanema” because she was the only one in the visiting troupe that spoke English and in spite of never having been trained professionally prior to the recording, went on to international stardom for “Girl” and other songs, who divorced Gilberto and hooked up with Stan Getz who was the dude that João had been partnering with to make Bossa records in the U.S. (making us wonder if foul play was afoot but we don’t want to expend the effort to find out), and who loves animals.

And finally, nós presentamos … the English language version of “The Girl from Ipanema”

She looks uncomfortable doesn’t she? Don’t be nervous, Astrud. You sing marvelously.

Lyrics for The Girl from Ipanema

Tall and tan and young and lovely,
the girl from Ipanema goes walking,
And when she passes,
each one she passes goes – ah
When she walks, she’s like a samba,
that swings so cool and sways so gently
That when she passes, each one she passes goes – aah

Ooh, but he watches so sadly,
How can he tell her he loves her,
Yes he would give his heart gladly,
but instead when she walks to the sea,
she looks straight ahead not at he,

Tall, and tan, and young, and lovely,
the girl from Ipanema goes walking
And when she passes, he smiles – but she doesn’t see

Ooh, but he sees her so sadly,
How can he tell her he loves her
Yes he would give his heart gladly,
But each day, when she walks to the sea
She looks straight ahead, not at he

Tall, and tan, and young, and lovely,
the girl from Ipanema goes walking
And when she passes, he smiles – but she doesn’t see

2 Responses to “Throat Burner and Chaser: Heaven & Hell is no place for a Girl from Ipanema”

  1. Darkness Prince July 17, 2012 at 12:17 am #

    Excellent article! Bonne contination à vous :)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 25,000 page views, 2,500 words, 250 posts, 25 raisinettes, 2:50 pm, 25 cents « Comics A-Go-Go! - June 3, 2012

    [...] Location? South Atlantic. 2200 km from Luanda, capital of Angola. 3300 km to Recife, Brazil (where we lived as children). [...]

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