- Masters – Stax Interview
- Masters – Roberto Carlos (LP Review)
- Masters – July Interview
- Masters – Arthur Brown Interview PT1
- Masters – The Trashmen Interview
- Masters – Don Fardon (The Sorrows) Interview (2)
- Masters – Don Fardon (The Sorrows) Interview
- Masters – The Poets Interview
- Masters – The Action (Roger Powell)
- Masters – Tjinder Singh (Cornershop) Interview
- Masters – Omar (Omar & the Stringpoppers) Interview
- Masters – Ian O’Sullivan (the Aardvarks) Interview
Eron Falbo re-visits ‘Splish Splash’ by Brazilian musical legend Roberto Carlos
Artist: Roberto Carlos
Album: Splish Splash
Rating: 3 stars and a half
Release Date: 1963
Styles: Rock & Roll, Beat, Rockabilly
Borrowing it’s title from an obscure 50’s hit by Bobby Darin, Splish Splash is a fine example of an early 60’s rock & roll album with a formula similar to that of the Beatles. What is most interesting about Roberto Carlos is that he explored the same influences as the Beatles – girl group, R & B and 50’s Rockabilly – while predating the Beatles and becoming far more successful than the fab-four to Brazilian audiences. Other successful early-60’s rock acts around the world would depend on the Beatles’ success to launch their careers; Carlos was already a teenage sensation by the time the fab-four showed their faces to the world. While Beatlemania increased Roberto Carlos’ fame immensely, his career had already been launched before the release of Please Please Me (the Beatles’ first album), thus showing him to be quite independent of the Beatles in his career and success. Splish Splash, then, is an album by a well-established Brazillian pop icon released in the same year as the Beatles’ phenomenal rise to stardom, and therefore is as interesting a first-hear as were Please Please Me, With the Beatles, or Beatles for Sale, all of which follow similar methods of song placement: four or five hit singles, three or four love ballads, a focus on cover versions and a variety of rhythmic styles.
Splish Splash contains only two songs written by Roberto Carlos himself (alongside his Lennon/McCartney-esque writing partner, Erasmo Carlos), namely “Parei na Contra-mão”, an instant success in Brazilian pop charts and the daring rhythmic variation of “É Preciso ser Assim,” a Samba-oriented dancing favourite among the Brazilian 60’s youth. Other notable additions to the album are the two translations of recognised 50’s successes, “Professor de Amor”, translated from “I Gotta Know”, probably taken from the Elvis Presley rendition of it, and the aforementioned title song “Splish Splash” by Bobby Darin.
The album does extrapolate on love ballads and thus misses the mark of the near perfect Beatles production formula. Roberto Carlos is well known in Brazil for his over-the-top love ballad compositions, though admittedly, his ballads are the summit of his repertoire throughout his career. In Splish Splash however, the ballads are weak and lacking in energy, and could be seen as nothing more than redundant copies of 50’s love ballads, as opposed to his genial poignant innovations in arrangements to be seen in his later compositions.
In short, Splish Splash is a must-hear, must-own to any ‘60’s rock & roll world’ enthusiast. Its production is nearly comparable to that of the Beatles’ early albums and the original song compositions are easily to be placed among the greatest hits of that year worldwide. Its power isn’t as convincing and jovial as early Who, or Kinks, but the Beach Boys’ suave, summertime, politically correct posture is well remembered here.
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