Bossa Nova Baby

This song comes from Elvis’s early 60s catalogue, before he started dipping more explicitly into the stuff of soul and funk.  “Bossa Nova Baby,” released in 1963, jumped on a different trend — the growing popularity of Brazilian pop in America, exemplified one year later by the success of the superlative Getz/Gilberto album, which combined the talents of the American jazz saxophonist Stan Getz and the Brazilian musicians Joao Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim, and quickly became one of the most popular jazz albums ever. “Bossa Nova Baby” was written by the famous songwriting duo Lieber and Stoller, who provided Elvis with several of his big early tunes, including “Jail House Rock” and “Hound Dog.” “Bossa Nova Baby” can be found on the soundtrack for the movie Fun In Acapulco, which paired Elvis Presley in the lead role opposite none other than the beautiful Ursula Andress (better known as the first Bond girl in Dr. No only a year before).  According to Wikipedia, the movie features Elvis as a lifeguard who must compete with Mexico’s best diver!  Relative to the subtle, relaxed groove of the Getz/Gilberto album, Presley’s “Bossa Nova Baby” doesn’t much of a bossa nova feel.  There’s a strumming acoustic guitar and some piano (as well as a Mexican-sounding horn section, perhaps as a nod to the movie’s title), but this is a compact blast of shimmying rock and roll.

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1 Comment

  1. Margaret Bruzelius

     /  February 5, 2013

    that’s quite a pale blue jacket he’s got on! the proportion is blissful

    Reply

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