Sergio Mendes And Brazil ’66 – Crystal Illusions – Our Shootout Winner from 2012

More Sergio Mendes

More Crystal Illusions

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

A White Hot Stamper side one on this A&M LP means it’s the BEST sounding copy of Crystal Illusions to ever hit the site. Yes, it’s a recording that has many problems, but the best copies seem to be able to overcome most of them, and that’s precisely what we are offering here: a White Hot copy that gets the sound of this music about as right as it’s going to get. And the vinyl is QUIET. 

If you are not familiar with Sergio and his magical band, this is not the place to start. Try the first two albums or Stillness if you want to hear the best material recorded with the highest quality. This is a second tier album in the Sergio canon, and priced accordingly. There are of course some truly great songs on this one, just as there are on every Brazil ’66 album.

I would draw your attention especially to the Otis Redding classic Dock of the Bay, which is on this killer side one. Fans will no doubt find much to like here; others maybe not so much. If you get a thrill out of FINALLY hearing a famous album sound the way you always wished it could, even if it’s only on one side, this copy is for you.

What to Listen for

A copy that’s not thin, dry, harsh and edgy! If you own this album you know exactly what I am talking about. Most copies sound like CDs in that respect. And most Brazil ’66 CDs sound just as bad as you might think they would. Believe me, I know, I’ve bought practically all of them. Thank god for the treble control on my car stereo.

Side One

A+++, WHITE Hot baby! The best we have ever heard this music sound. The sound is jumping out, with more Tubey Magic, more space, more extension top to bottom, and more detail than any other, ever.

Richer and sweeter, with breathy, present vocals, this side was a welcome relief after listening to so many harsh, edgy sounding copies.

Side Two

A+, dull but musical. However, there is a mark that plays for the first half inch.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay 
Viola 
Song of No Regret
Salt Sea 
Empty Faces

Side Two

Pretty World 
Dois Dias 
You Stepped Out of a Dream
Crystal Illusions (Memorias de Marta Sare)

AMG Review

The sound and band that served Sergio Mendes well on Fool on the Hill remain intact on Crystal Illusions with few modifications. Dave Grusin is right there with a lush, haunting orchestral chart when needed; Lani Hall is thrust further into the vocal spotlight, as cool and alluring as ever in Portuguese or English… Weird and overblown, but wonderful.