Thursday 10 December 2009

Nine out of ten

"Walking down Portobello Road to the sound of reggae. I'm alive ..." What a fantastic piece of imagery that is by Caetano Veloso at the start of Nine Out Of Ten. It's such a lovely song. Transa is a special LP too. Caetano lived for a while around the Notting Hill area during the time he and Gilberto Gil were in London, in exile from the military dictatorship in Brazil at the end of the '60s. It's a time well documented in Caetano's remarkable book Tropical Truth. I think there's even a shot of Gilberto on the steps of Notting Hill tube station. Caetano in the book admits to feeling particularly vulnerable during his time in London, and it's a feeling he captures perfectly in his famous number London London, which has been one of the most frequently suggested contributions for this project. Our comrade PC wisely recommended Gal Costa's exquisite rendition. But it is Caetano's song, and even after nearly 40 years his delivery brings a tear to the eye ... "Green grass, blue eyes, grey sky, God bless".

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