Milton Nascimento

The Essential Collection: The Best of the EMI Odeon Years (1969-78)

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It's difficult to imagine that a single CD could contain a proper introduction to an artist as mercurial as Milton Nascimento. The years he spent with the EMI-Odeon label were his first forays as a solo artist. While it's true his debut album, Courage, preceded these years, his definition as an artist began with EMI-Odeon. Between these years he recorded nine albums -- some of which were issued in the United States on A&M -- including the masterpieces Clube da Esquina and Clube da Esquina 2, Geraes, Milagre Dos Peixes, and Minas, which has been reissued by Water in the 21st century. The sequencing of this set, Essential Collection: The Best of the EMI Odeon Years (1969-78), on the Nascente label, takes an interesting approach. Things are codified and placed in aesthetic rather than chronological order, essentially creating a new album from the compilation of songs. The hits are here -- "Travessia," "Minas," "San Vicente," "Nada Sera Comos Antes," as well as some gorgeous misses. The Essential Collection could have been titled "The Essential Introduction" without being remiss at all.

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