The Girl From Ipanema

Astrud Gilberto, who sang The Girl From Ipanema, has died at the age of 84.

Her version of the song was released in 1964 and became a huge hit and by some accounts it is the song that has been recorded the most often.

It has a gentle bossa nova beat and its great appeal may lie in the fact that it plaintively expresses the forlorn state of someone who tries, perhaps too subtly, to convey their attraction to a person who does not seem to even know that they exist.

That is something that many non-assertive young people have experienced at some time in their lives.


  1. says

    Gilberto’s voice has this wonderful liquid quality I associate with Eva Cassidy or Sade. Her music has long had a place on my playlist of soulful stuff.
    I used to fantasize she’s do an album with Ruben Gonzales or Mack Rebennac but now that is impossible.

  2. Rob Grigjanis says

    I’ve loved bossa nova and its offshoots since seeing the film Black Orpheus.

    Not exactly bossa nova as I know it (maybe samba-rock?), but being Brazil, they also came up with one of the best soccer songs (after “Three Lions”, of course ;-)). Ponta de Lança (point of the spear) is the Brazilian Portuguese term for a striker (goal scorer).

  3. Rob Grigjanis says

    Marcus @2: I love Sade, but very few voices have moved me as much as Eva Cassidy’s. What a horrible loss.

  4. crivitz says

    Grauniad article also has a link to a version of Desafinado with her singing duet with George Michael--in Portuguese--well done! Her husband Joao Gilberto had done the original version on the 1964 Getz/Gilberto album.

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