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16 Toneladas (Sixteen Tons)  performed by  Noriel Vilela  (1971)
Composed by Merle Travis/Roberto Neves
From: Brazil
Mood: Funny, dark, swinging
Recommended by gregcaz [profile] on Monday 31st March 2003

This, friends, is the swingingest and most bizarre version of this chestnut you will ever hear. Having recently left the Cantores De Ebano (Ebony Singers), sort of a 60s Brazilian version of Sounds Of Blackness, Noriel Vilela, possessor of an impossibly deep, rumbling basso profundo capable of blowing your speakers, embarked on a brief yet fondly-remembered solo career. This witty reworking of the Tennessee Ernie Ford original replaces the country-western-pop of the original with a rollicking samba-rock rhythm and Portuguese lyrics extolling how much fun samba is, sung by a voice from deep in the crypt that swings like crazy. It stops everybody who hears it dead in their tracks and is the guaranteed highlight of any party. What Messrs. Ford and Travis would have made of it is anybody's guess, but this version refuses to die, having recently become a hit in Brazil all over again, 30 years after its first release. I've heard many, many versions of "Sixteen Tons," but believe me, this one truly runs away with the prize!!

from 7 (Copacabana)
available on CD - Samba Rock (Compilation)
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  01 Apr 03 ·konsu: I stand corrected. It's just a matter of getting in line for some of this stuff , ya'know? Soo much music, so little time...sigh...
  14 Dec 03 ·Festy: São Paulo group "Funk Como Le Gusta" have a wonderful version of this also from their 1999 album "Roda de Funk". It's in the same style that Noriel Vilela did, but tighter.
  10 May 04 ·sodapop650: If you get a chance - try and track down a copy of Juarez Sant'ana's first LP it has a super-cool version of "Ghost Riders in the Sky" to complete the bizarre brazilian western covers.


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