There are only a few artists who are able to get away with performing the same songs over and over again. One of the best examples might be The Rolling Stones. Brazil also has a few of those selected musicians. Like Lulu Santos. Not long after his MTV Acústico project, in which he performed his major hits in the suggested acoustic setting, he’s back again with another MTV live recorded album. This time with his regular tour band, and again performing some of his most successful songs. A strange phenomenon is that the acoustic hit collection sold 745,000 copies, while in no time this MTV Ao Vivo album already sold the 60,000 copies necessary to receive a gold album. Strange, because the studio album in between, the very good piece of work called Bugalu (2003), did not succeed the 51,000 figure (so far). It seems people can’t get enough of listening to the songs they grew up with!
Luiz Maurício Pragana dos Santos, as his full name is registered, was born in 1953 in a Copacabana (Rio de Janeiro) maternity. Due to his father’s job, the family moved to the USA for a short time during Lulu’s childhood. Thus he was exposed to the music of Ray Charles, Cubby Checker, rock ‘n roll, the Stones and the Beatles. The first band Lulu freed his talent in at the young age of 12 was Cave Man, and they played Beatles covers. Slowly Lulu appeared on various recordings. In 1980 Polygram’s artistic director suggested Lulu should change his name into Luiz Maurício, since he thought Lulu was not a guy’s name. It didn’t take long though, before the rising pop star changed it back to Lulu Santos again. And this is how Brazilian pop-rock fans know and adore him till now.
His first solo album, Tempos Modernos (1982), was loaded with success songs. One of which is “Tudo Com Você” and another one is the title song, both to be heard on this MTV Ao Vivo album. During those early days Lulu wrote many of his classics in partnership with journalist/producer Nelson Motta. Their biggest hit, to be found on Lulu’s successive album O Ritmo do Momento (1983), was the gentle, Hawaiian flavoured song “Como Uma Onda (Zen-surfismo).” On the same album other all-time favourites “Adivinha o Quê” and “Um Certo Alguém” can be heard, too. The live versions of these songs are cleverly polished to answer to modern pop music’s demands. “Tempos Modernos” sounds like it was composed only yesterday. The song is treated with a wink to the hip-hop scene. The composition confirms to be strong enough to still keep its own character, though. “Advinha o Quê” sounds like the perfect pop song. There is a subtle balance between drums (Xokolati) and percussion (Armando Marçal Jr.). They give the song a gentle, danceable yet firm beat. Lulu shines with a teasing guitar solo, solidly supported by André Rodrigues’s bass lines and Hiroshi Mizutani’s organ. To complete it all, guitarist Fábio Mondego lends a friendly background voice. Xokolati underlines the bridge to the next song, “Tudo Com Você,” very impressively. Throughout this concert he proves to be the right drummer for Lulu’s music. Most of the songs on this album flow over into each other. It sounds like one long medley of hits. Lulu Santos doesn’t interrupt things by talking. He sticks to the things he does best: singing and playing guitar. He’s no doubt a gifted guitarist and one can only wish he’d play a little bit more. His solos are always a delight and very accurate. Accompanying himself, Lulu uses very original chords and sounds, especially when he takes out his 12-string electric guitar. He made the sound of that guitar completely his own, which is most noticeable in his ballads (e.g., “Apenas Mais Uma de Amor”). The concert was recorded live at Rio de Janeiro’s Claro Hall in April 2004. A few months earlier Lulu performed for weeks in an ever sold out Canecão. Yet he preferred to have the show recorded at the Claro Hall, since he doesn’t like performing at the Canecão: too small. Maybe it’s because of this huge concert hall that his voice sounds a bit messy in a few songs (a few verses of “A Cura” and “Casa,” although in the latter his guitar solo makes up for that completely!).
To satisfy people who want at least one new song on a cd, the never before released studio recording of “Sem Nunca Dar Adeus” was added.
MTV Ao Vivo
Ariola BMG 82876608232 (2004)
- Condição (Lulu Santos)
- Toda Forma de Amor (Lulu Santos)
- Um Certo Alguém (Lulu Santos – Ronaldo Bastos)
- O Último Romântico (Lulu Santos – Antonio Cícero – Sérgio Souza)
- Sincero (Lulu Santos)
- Adivinha o Quê (Lulu Santos)
- Tudo com Você (Lulu Santos – Fausto Nilo)
- Um Pro Outro (Lulu Santos)
- Tempos Modernos (Lulu Santos)
- A Cura (Lulu Santos)
- Apenas Mais Uma de Amor (Lulu Santos)
- Tudo Bem (Lulu Santos)
- Aviso aos Navegantes (Lulu Santos)
- Assim Caminha a Humanidade (Lulu Santos)
- Já É! (Lulu Santos)
- Como uma Onda (Lulu Santos – Nelson Motta)
- Casa (Lulu Santos)
- Sem Nunca dar Adeus (Lulu Santos)