Earth, Wind & Fire are not exactly a band that people don’t know, but they’ve created an overwhelming body of material over their 40 years together, including a fantasic collection of ten new songs entitled Now, Then & Forever just a couple of months back. Among dozens of classics, I recently became particularly fond of this version of “Brazilian Rhyme”; however, this version doesn’t appear on any album I could find.
On A Mission: First, my homie Mark (who is a fountain of musical knowledge and info) posted a YouTube clip of the track stating that he was looking for this track to spin at a gig. I guess that I had heard both the Danny Krivit re-edit and the original instrumental versions many times, but this vocal version was something totally new. Once I heard it, I became instantly addicted.
When Mark indicated that this version was ultra-rare, unreleased…I couldn’t imagine a song I’d heard a million times, much less an Earth, Wind & Fire song, being so rare & saw this as a challenge to my investigative skills. I proceeded to spend hours combing Google, Bing, Discogs and rare record sites up and down looking for it. Mark was right: this was nowhere to be found.
After a hefty amount of digging (and a lot of messages to a lot of people around the globe), I finally stumbled across someone who could help me. And so, here’s what we came up with.
I guess the story goes that it was originally recorded in studio with producer Eumir Deodato, a fully-arranged cover with lyrics translated from Portuguese into English of the song “Beijo Partido” made famous by Brazilian music legend Milton Nascimento and Toninho Horta in 1975.
The refrain of the Earth, Wind & Fire “instrumental” version (which appears under the name “Brazilian Rhyme (Interlude)” on their album All ‘n All) has been sampled endlessly in hip-hop for the last 20 years. This full-length vocal version must have simply passed into the ether. Enjoy.
Here’s a performance of the original version by Nascimento y Horta.