In the US and England, bands whose recordings in the early 1970s sounded great often made excessively slick and polished records as technology evolved. The earliest recordings on this compilation CD by Portuguese singer-songwriter Branco were originally released on the 1971 LP Mudam-se os Tempos, Mudam-se as Vontades. The songs vaguely resemble the work of American and English musicians such as Fred Neil, Colin Blunstone, and Scott Walker, with organic recordings and creative arrangements complementing beautiful songs. By 1982, while countries with more prominent recording industries had experienced multiple shifts in technology and fashion, Branco's Ser Soldario maintained his organic approach, with more prominent backing vocals as the only noticeable change. Even the songs from 1991's Correspondencias maintain his basic approach without following any obvious recording or arranging trends. Cancoes Escolhidas provides a great introduction to a talented songwriter whose work tends to be overlooked outside of Portugal. [Steve's right, this record is great and strangely reminds me of Leonard Cohen and Robert Wyatt too! -LC] (EMI Portugal, available through

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