A Arte de Caetano Veloso is an excellent compilation of songs from the first part of Veloso's career (1967 to 1973). Most of the 17 tracks are well-known classics, but two quite rare tracks were included too. The most enjoyable of these is Veloso's own version of the brilliant "Baby," a pop song that became famous through the recordings of Gal Costa and Os Mutantes. The other rarity is a track from a music festival in 1968, in which Veloso makes an improvised, passionate, and now legendary speech to an extremely discontented crowd. All the other recordings on this compilation are great, but some perhaps deserve particular mention: the psychedelic classic "Alegria, Alegria," which was Veloso's first hit; the sweet and melancholic "London, London," which Veloso wrote during his exile in that city; and the delicate "Não Identificado." Other highlights are Veloso's captivating and original interpretation of Luiz Gonzaga's "Asa Branca" and the beautiful, upbeat "Irene," a song written by Veloso in homage to his sister. Although it only covers a small part of Veloso's long career, A Arte de Caetano Veloso is undoubtedly one of the best Caetano Veloso compilations on the market.
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AllMusic Review by Philip Jandovský