Milton Nascimento & Lô Borges
O Trem Azul
It took a while for rock music to blossom in Brazil – the country was ruled by a military dictatorship that suppressed political commentary. The unglamorous mining state of Minas Gerais became the centre of a new scene dubbed Clube da Esquina. Clube da Esquina took its name from a 1972 album made by guitarist Lô Borges and multi-instrumentalist Milton Nascimento. Clube da Esquina is one of the best-known Brazilian albums among western music fans thanks to its inclusion in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
‘O Trem Azul’ has traces of rock – Borges and Nascimento were both big fans of The Beatles. But there are also traces of jazzy, and it’s gently acoustic and psychedelic.
Nascimento has his share of political songs, but ‘O Trem Azul’ is a gentle song. The title translates as “the blue train”, and it’s pretty and impressionistic. It was later covered by popular Brazilian singer Elis Regina, on her final album in 1980.