The Most Recorded Songs...
Of course, hit lists are always a gross simplification and many loving details have to be neglected. But to get an overview, to be inspired or just to do something thoughtless during a practice break – certainly helpful!
So, without further ado, ten of the most famous bossa nova songs:
The Girl From Ipanema
Not least because of the Netflix series of the same name, this song is on everyone’s lips again. Without a doubt the most famous bossa nova song of all time. The famous Brazilian guitarist Joao Gilberto interprets the piece in his own unmistakable style that defined the Bossa Nova.
Manha de Carnaval
The guitarist Luiz Bonfa has set a monument with Manha de Carnaval. One of the most popular pieces for getting started in the world of bossa nova, but also for advanced improvisation, as three of the most virtuoso guitarists of the 20th century prove here.
Astrud Gilberto sang about “Quiet Night of Quiet Stars” in 1963 and the world is still at her feet today. Corcovado is the name of the famous mountain in Rio de Janeiro, on which the Christ the Redeemer statue also stands.
Insensatez / How Insensitive
How Insensitive is one of the most beautiful ballads by Tom Jobim. The harmonic structure is very similar to Corcovado, featuring many diminished chords that create that special, melancholic feeling…
Since its first recording in 1967, Wave has become an instant favourite among musicians. Jobim crafted a sophisticated voice leading below the melody and the form of the first part is basically a blues. No wonder that especially jazz musicians came to like it!
One Note Samba
The title of the song refers indeed to the melody which, for most part of the song, consists of a repeated single note. It is one of the first released Bossa Nova tunes, dating back to 1960, when Joao Gilberto recorded it on his album O Amor, o Sorriso e a Flor.
Aqualero do Brasil (Brazil)
Ary Barroso was one of the stars of samba music. So this song has a different flair, a different tempo, than many of the tracks on this list. With its catchy melody, it is one of the hits of Brazilian music.
Chega De Saudade
No More Blues! said Tom Jobim and is said to be the first bossa nova song recorded. What is interesting is the connection between the blues feeling and the classic Portuguese saudade, which could possibly be compared to the feeling of longing.
These are the TOP10 Bossa Nova songs. Because there are only two out of these 10 songs that are not by Tom Jobim, I decided two feature two more very famous songs by other writers:
A comparatively unknown Italian pianist writes a bossa nova song and the great Joao Gilberto includes it in his repertoire. A story almost as beautiful as the song.