The Corner Club: 40 years of music and poetry


One of the most poetical musical movements in Brazil, if not the most, has reached 4 decades. The Corner Club (O Clube da Esquina) was a music collective from the state of Minas Gerais, the mountaineous region famous for its gold and precious stones during the colonial period. Clube da Esquina started in 1963 when Milton Nascimento met the brothers Lô Borges and Márcio Borges. Nascimento, the most famous singer-songwriter from Minas Gerais, was already enchanting audiences with his soothing, well tuned voice with an almost hypnotic quality.  Nascimento introduced the Borges to Wagner Tiso and their band W’s Boys. Other musicians such as Tavinho Moura, Fernando Brant, Ronaldo Bastos, Beto Guedes, Flavio Venturini and the Band 14Bis came along and joined the Clube da Esquina during the 60s and 70s.

The denomination “Corner Club” referred to their most loved meeting place – a corner bar in the Santa Tereza area in the city of Belo Horizonte. Clube da Esquina was a nickname given by locals to those regular customers who often met to chat and play music together.

In 1972, Milton Nascimento and Lô Borges released the album “Clube da Esquina“, and that’s how the name became engraved in the History of the Brazilian Popular Music. “Clube da Esquina” marked a new musical movement full of aesthetic renewal, melody and fusion of traditional and original rhythms. Their influences were diverse. They playfully explored traditional folk songs, urban Bossa Nova, hints of British pop, San Francisco psychedelia and adventurous arrangements inspired by the work of The Beatles.  And all that happened during a very difficult period under the watchful eyes of the Militaryship censors. As they grew as musicians, they became tougher but without ever loosing the poetic innocence of their lyrics. The first Clube da Esquina album gifted us with songs such as:

O Trem Azul (The Blue Train)

Cais

Cravo e Canela (Clove and Cinnammon)

Um Girassol da cor de seu cabelos (A Sunflower in the colour of your hair)

Paisagem na Janela (Landscape through the window)

And for a last treat, a clip from one of their reunions, where they talk about the moment when they compose the song “Para Lennon & McCartney”:

“For Lennon and McCartney”

Because you will not know
About the western trash
But you don’t need to be afraid anymore
You don’t need any loneliness
Every day is to be lived

Because you will not see
My western side
You don’t need any fear
You don’t need to feel shy
Every day is to be lived.

I’m from the South America
I know you’ll never know
But today I’m a cowboy
I’m from the gold, I’m just like  you
I’m from the world, I’m from  Minas Gerais.

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