The latin west coast crooner…

In 1983, Sergio Mendes returned to the label where he made his most memorable music, A&M. Of course, A&M had changed mightily by then, becoming a polyglot rock-oriented outfit instead of the cottage Latin pop industry it had been in the ’60s. But so had Sergio — and so, backed by an army of L.A. studio folk, Mendes tried to recapture the old sales magic on the market’s own terms. Amazingly, he did, scoring a huge No. 4 pop hit with a saccharine ballad, “Never Gonna Let You Go,” where Joe Pizzulo and Leza Miller sing their banalities while Sergio strums and comps on synthesizers.

To say that anyone could have made this record may be overstating the case, but the fact is that there is no way of knowing that this is a Sergio Mendes record without looking at the jacket. And that goes for most of the rest of the mediocre, electronically upholstered dance and ballad material on the LP. Oh, “Carnaval” has some rowdy samba fever at times, but it is so slickly produced that one can’t abandon oneself to the spirit.

His recording career resurrected by a pop hit single, Sergio Mendes immediately went back into the studio for more of the same — which was not exactly the news that his Brazilian and jazz audiences wanted to hear. With heavy input from songsmiths Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil (the composers of “Never Gonna Let You Go”), Confetti is riddled with dance-pop and formula ballad fodder, anonymously executed by Mendes and his L.A. session players.

The featured single “Olympia,” written for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, sounds like a beer commercial. Even Ivan Lins’ “The Sound of One Song” is wrecked by a much-too-cute children’s choir, although Lins’ “Kisses” fares considerably better with Gracinha Leporace on vocals and a Dave Grusin string chart. Stuck in the go-for-the-gold 1980s, this record can be bypassed.

Photo by Otto Stupakoff. Words from

Selected Discography

The Ultimate Hits

Universal Music 2004

Tracks: Take This Love, Let´s Give A Little More This Time, Never Gonna Let You Go, What Do We Mean To Each Other, Rainbow´s End, Put A Little Love Away, Hey Look At The Sun, Where Is The Love, Waiting For Love, Waters Of March, Mais Que Nada, Like A Lover, The Look Of Love, Fool On The Hill, Pretty World, This Masquerade, Scarborough Fair, Night And Day & Agua De Beber.

Musicians on the The Ultimate Hits album: Sergio Mendes and others.

Brasil 86

A&M Records 1986

Tracks: Daylight, Take This Love, What Do We Mean To Each Other, Your Smile, The River (O Rio), Nonstop, It Hurts A Whole Lot More, Flower Of Bahia (Flor Da Bahia), No Place To Hide & Here Where I Belong.

Musicians on the Brasil ´86 album: Sergio Mendes, Siedah Garrett, Gracinha Leporace, Peter Wolf, Jeff Porcaro, Dann Huff, Paulinho Da Costa, Joe Pizzulo, Michael McDonald, Philip Ingram, Phil Perry, Julia Waters, Maxine Waters, Nathan East, Ernie Wats, Robin Beck, Lisa Bevill, Dori Caymmi, Kate Markowitz, Alphonso Johnson & Lani Hall.


A&M Records 1984

Tracks: Olympia, Say It With Your Body, Let´s Give A Little More This Time, The Sound Of One Song, Alibis, Dance Attack, Kisses, Real Life & Morrer De Amor (To Die Of Love).

Musicians on the Confetti album: Sergio Mendes, Robbie Buchanan, Joe Pizzulo, Jeffrey Osborne, James Ingram, Phil Perry, Gary Falcone, Lani Hall, Julia Waters, Maxine Waters, Carmen Twillie, Beth Anderson, Deborah Davis, John Robinson, Dann Huff, Steve Forman, Harold Clousing, Michael Boddicker, Siedah Garrett, Nathan East, Paul Jackson Jr., Ron Powell, Ivan Lins, Gilson Peranzetta, John Besley, Randy Waldman, Carlos Vega, Oscar Castro-Neves, Don Dorsey, James Johnson, Ernie Watts, Tom Faragher, Don Freeman, Terry Bozzio, Dave Grusin and others.

Sergio Mendes

A&M Records 1983

Tracks: Voodoo, Never Gonna Let You Go, My Summer Love, Carnaval, Rainbow´s End, Love Is Waiting, Dream Hunter, Life In The Movies & Si Senor.

Musicians on the Sergio Mendes album: Sergio Mendes, Michael Boddicker, Nathan Watts, Teo Lima, Steve Forman, Sebastiao Neto, Ben Bridges, Michael Sembello, Jerry Hey, Gary Grant, Bill Reichenbach, Ernie Watts, Leza Miller, Gracinha Leporace, Carol Rodgers, Suzanna Wallach, Geoff Leib, Bill Martin, Robert Martin, Robbie Buchanan, Nathan East, John Robinson, Paul Jackson Jr., Joe Pizzulo, Michael Landau, Don Freeman, Raymond Pounds, Dan Sembello, Louis Johnson, Cruz Baca & John Pisano.