Going through Brazil’s top foreign sellers of the 70s
After going through the fantastic atmosphere of the 80s in this country, do you wanna know which were Brazil’s top foreign sellers of the 70s? If you search for “Brazil 70s” on Google, everything you find is related to their legendary win at the 1970 FIFA World Cup. If you want to know which sound, which music genre, which singers and which bands Brazilians were crazy about at the time you are at the correct place!
It isn’t as easy as we can think to know who has been popular at some specific moment in a specific area. In fact, for that matter the large majority of the data we use to gauge the success of artists is corrupted by decades of catalog action.
Our CSPC articles encompass everything together, from everywhere, from every format and from every period. Streaming Masters pieces focus on the strength of catalogs in recent years. In their side, global heatmaps display hot markets of artists as of today.
What happens if we really immerse ourselves in the past? What were teenagers, young adults, and older people, listening to in Brazil some 35 years ago?
Of course, there was no official charts there at the time. A few got issued here and there, but they weren’t that accurate. They also often listed only Top 10s, mostly filled with local recordings. Interesting, no doubt, but hardly helpful to tell us which foreign stars were making some noise in the country.
Luckily, Discogs, which happens to be a wonderful tool to put some light on obscure areas in terms of sales, is here to rescue us.
In this article, we will list their top 10 most owned foreign releases of each 70s’ year in Brazil. The method is far from perfect: nearly all these albums got multiple releases in this market, in distinct formats, at different times.
Some artists, most notably rock acts, are also collected way more than others in Discogs. Still, results are insightful. Indeed, since CDs took over LPs in early 90s there, the number of owners of these vinyls isn’t corrupted by subsequent catalog sales.
That some artists are more collected than others is annoying, but since we know that, we can account for it in our comments. Also, no matter how much collectors love these albums, the truth is that all of them have been highly successful still to feature inside an annual top 10. Get ready for some real surprises!
Brazil’s top foreign sellers of the 70s
We start the decade as continuation of what would have been observed during the sixties: a massive domination by The Beatles. It is reflected in the first position achieved by Let It Be, their last LP, which also appears at number 8 thanks to a distinct pressing. Paul McCartney’s first solo output also make the Top 10, closing the list actually at number 10.
As expected, the rest of the Top 10, as was often the case, is dominated by rocks acts. Creedence Clerwater Revival hit the ranking with two albums, Cosmo’s Factor and Willy And the Poor Boys, same as Led Zeppelin, with II and III.
Simon & Garfunkel put their classic Bridge Over Troubled Water at number 9.
And there is one more interesting thing notice: 1970 anticipates what will be a tendency in this decade, that is, a huge presence by progressive rock acts. In this case it is embodied by Genesis’ Trespass, one of their classic LPs from the Peter Gabriel years and well before they moved to a more soft rock/pop oriented sound for which they eventually got more famous.
During the 80s showdown we noticed the impact of foreign albums increased a lot after the success of Michael Jackson‘s Thriller. It is confirmed in this 70s chapter as in spite of registering one of the highest performance of the decade, Let It Be combined number of owners of 166 is nowhere near the 609 collectors of the self-titled album of the national star Tim Maia from the same year.
Additionally, Led Zeppelin IV and Pendulum are no surprises at number 2 and 3 respectively, after the massive presence in the previous chart of these bands.
Bridge Over Troubled Water makes one more presence in the annual Top 10, thanks to a new version released in 1971 of the same 1970 album.
Apart from Led Zeppelin’s fourth album, hard rock is represented by both The Who and Black Sabbath, proving that Brazilian preference for this music genre didn’t start in the 80s but as least a decade earlier. Master Of Reality and Who’s Next make two strong appearances, which is particularly relevant for the former because this won’t be their only entry.
Two Janis Joplin albums complete the picture, showing her as a sort of cult favourite, while The Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers and Santana’s self-titled album also score good positions.
What Black Sabbath had insinuated during the previous year gets now confirmed with their Black Sabbath Vol. 4 charting at a surprising number 1 position in 1972.
However, the most remarkable thing about this year is the domination achieved by progressive rock groups, as already noted.
Genesis’ entry in 1970 was far from unusual but a sign of what was happening: one of their biggest classic -in the Peter Gabriel years-, Nursery Crime, make it as high as number 4, two albums by Emerson, Lake & Palmer chart at number 8 and 9, and Yes’ Close To The Edge finishes at number 10.
But 1972 is, above all, the year that welcomes Pink Floyd with both Meddle and Obscured by Clouds, establishing the ground for a future hegemony in the local market.
The combination of both hard rock and progressive rock is, once again, represented this year.
The former appears at number 1 and 2, with Deep Purple’s In Rock and Black Sabbath’s eponymous LP, respectively. The latter is represented by Genesis, whose Foxtrot is at 3 while Live make it to number 10.
Classic stuff by Alice Cooper, Grand Funk and Stevie Wonder give this first half of the decade some diversity aside from hard rock/progressive rock. Another entry by David Bowie also confirms his iconic status.
We can point out that while the number of owners increases year after year, perfectly representing the boom of the market, the presence of international stars is limited as none of these LPs is inside the overall Top 20.
Once again, The Beatles top another year, this time with one of their old records re-released, Rubber Soul. It is all the more impressive since the seventies were not supposed to be their decade. And if more proof is needed of the fab four popularity there, Wings’ Band On The Run finishes at number 2.
Black Sabbath write their name with Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, showing their strong status one more time.
Additionally, the albums Stormbringer, Made In Japan and Burn prove that Deep Purple’s former appearances weren’t just a matter of coincidence but the result of quite a huge popularity. It was so high that they land as many as three albums inside the Top 10.
Genesis and Pink Floyd appear as the biggest exponents of progressive rock, once again. Selling England By The Pound, arguably their biggest LP before 1976, charted at number 4 here.
On their side, Pink Floyd managed two more entries to their name, surprisingly with A Saucerful Of Secret above The Dark Side Of The Moon. The former is their second album, originally released during the previous decade, which was getting some attention thanks to their newly increased audience.
Rick Wakeman charts at number 8 and this won’t his only entry during this decade.
After several years of great showing in our annual lists, Pink Floyd finally tops one year, 1975, with their classic album Wish You Were Here. It also managed to get the tenth position amongst both national and international LPs.
As mentioned for previous years, both hard rock and progressive rock were dominant in the mid seventies. Rush’s self-title album make a strong and somehow surprising entry at number 2, while the likes of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple appear strongly once again, with Kraftwerk and Yes also featuring inside the Top 10.
Also worthy of a mention is Elton John’s Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy at number 9, being possibly the most unusual entry.
Below the Top 10, the usual suspect are, again, reissues by The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan and new records by Supertramp and also Queen, both of which would eventually make a much bigger impact in later years.
Considering the trends observed until here, the number one position comes as a bit of a surprise, with Bob Dylan putting out his Desire LP in high waters, although failing to make the whole national Top 10.
On the other hand, Stevie Wonder gets another strong appearance, this time at number 2 with another one of his classic titles, Songs In The Key Of Life, which ranks just four spots below the former album in the overall list.
Other than this relatively unusual Top 2 -at least for the standards of this decade-, we find more of the stuff that was recurrent during the previous years. LPs by Black Sabbath come in, they are their iconic Paranoid at number 3 and another version of Master Of Reality at number 5.
Led Zeppelin are at number 4 with Presence, arguably their least acclaimed album. This high position is thus a real sign of their appeal locally. Deep Purple with Made in Europe are at number 6. Jeff Beck and Rainbow close the Top 10, somehow making their place among these monster sellers.
The Alan Parsons Project, who would prove to be strong in Brazil and the rest of South America during the upcoming years, also managed a great entry with Tales Of Mystery And Imagination.
1977 was marked by another strong chart topping album by Pink Floyd, Animals. At #4 inside the overall list, it is easily the highest charted foreign album of the decade.
Led Zeppelin too manage to shine once again, this time with as many as three LPs. This includes the new LP The Song Remains The Same, and two of their already classic albums, their signature Led Zeppelin IV and their first, self-titled record. This huge year for the band is due to the movie The Song Remains The Same which reached Brazilian theaters in September 1977.
Kraftwerk, Yes and Jimi Hendrix are no surprises inside the Top 10, whilst the disco music started to show some early level of domination with Giorgio Moroder‘s From Here to Eternity and Donna Summer’s I Remember Yesterday.
Toward the later part of the seventies, disco music was emerging as the favourite by the general public, with many of its biggest exponents ranking very high in the charts.
As time went by, however, it seems that pioneer records maintained a bigger level of popularity and grew stronger, something that appears evident by this year’s biggest album: Automat, by the duo of the same name, ranked at number 12 in the overall list, higher than any other foreign title.
The duo was made of Italians Romano Musumarra and Claudio Gizzi. They got particularly popular in some parts of the world and, in the long run, proved to be a sort of cult favourite by the Brazilian music collectors.
Interestingly, Chic’s C’est Chic charted higher than both. In fact, this title is as high as number 2.
Other than that, the rest of the Top 10 looks much closer to what was noted in former years, with new hard rock favourites, especially AC/DC’s Powerage, at number 8, and Van Halen’s eponymous album, at number 9.
Considering how strong they would be in the next decade, it is worth mentioning that Queen made the annual Top 10 for the very first time in 1978, with their album Jazz, after several years of showing improvements.
If the decade started as a continuation of the sixties, with The Beatles and their solo members dominating the rankings, the seventies finish with an anticipation of what was observed for the eighties: basically, Michael Jackson’s big hegemony. In fact, his first proper studio album, Off The Wall, tops the 1979 list and charts at number 13 in the overall one.
The number one title is so strong that it managed to outdo Pink Floyd’s huge classic The Wall, in spite of the fact that both Wish You Were Here and Animals dominate the 1975 and 1977 rankings.
On the other hand, other acts that would show in great shape during the next decade also made some impact in 1979, as was the case with Michael Jackson. Among them, for instance, we find Dire Straits’ self-titled album and Communiqué, Supertramp’s Breakfast In America, Queen’s Live Killers and two albums by AC/DC.
A mixed number of acts made the rest of the Top 100, including Judas Priest, Kiss, The Police, Donna Summer, Neil Young and Village People, among several others.