Tim Maia

Released in 1975, “Racional Vol. 1” by Tim Maia is just a banging album. Tim Maia, by then, had always been Brazil’s resident R&B and Funk master…a heady ball of James Brown, Barry White, and Curtis Mayfield. He was known as the most hard headed artist, picking fights with collaborators, or scrapping takes and re-recording all the parts by himself. Tim, was such a rebellious character, that he would try to maximize his wealth and fame by creating his own label and publishing company, at a time when such a thing was way out of the ordinary in Brazil. This physically giant and imposing figure, was getting to a density point where he couldn’t handle all the issues, emotionally and musically that were occurring to him in the the middle of the ‘70s.

With all this in mind, he needed help. He turned to a spiritual group called Cultura Racional, which published a religious tract by an indigenous carioca mystic named Jacintho Coelho. The beliefs of this half black and half mestizo Brazilian enthralled Tim. The ideas of Racional Immunization, sorta like a Brazilian take on the back to Africa thoughts of Marcus Garvey that fed a lot of Reggae musicians’ headspace, started to drive an overriding theme for Tim. This theme was projected onto this album in its lyrics, sound, and artwork. And what an album it is! In a way this Rationalist’ belief saved Tim’s musical life as much as his physical/spiritual.

Racional Vol. 1 album cover.

For me, I hold this album in high regard because its just so fucking interesting, pardon my French. Its an album full of extremely hard funk and soul married with the sounds of Afro-Brazil and samba. You’ll probably never hear an album like this in your life. Just check out the first track, spouting the beauty of Racionalist thought. As the album cycles forward through its various stages of sound, some genuinely beautiful like “Leia o Livro” or “Contacto Com o Mundo Racional” or righteously funky like “Bom Senso” one starts to get what Tim was going for. Its a rebirth of sort. Thankfully, Tim’s new thought process didn’t reach his finale here, I highly recommend the next volumes of Racional: Racional Vol. 2 and 3 to get the full breadth of his brilliance.

Further Listening:
1971: Tim Maia
1975: Racional Vol. 2
1976: Racional Vol. 3
1976: Tim Maia

World Cup Prediction of the Day:
None for the day, no more US in the World Cup. Beaten by a better team, but great learning experience for a lot of our youngsters who should be in the next one. Upwards and onwards!


Check out this video of Tim performing “Que Beleza”, from this album, in 1974: