From the always-informative "The Brazilian Muse" I found this short article from The Morning News placing Tropicalia in the context of other Latin American protest music of the 1960s and early 1970s. Some factual errors, I'm told, but the big-picture aspect of the story makes it a nice intro to the subject. There's a section on the Argentinian singer Mercedes Sosa, for instance; I've only heard one song of hers ("Gracias a mi Vida"), but I'm intrigued enough by that one to want to hear more. Strikes me as a cross between Joan Baez and Cesaria Evora, or something along those lines: big, rich voice, hyper-dramatic. And from what little I know of her life story, there's drama aplenty for her to draw upon. Anybody familiar enough with her work to suggest other places to turn?
PS. Speaking of life stories, the muse of "Brazilian Muse" devotes a recent entry to tracing how Brazilian music entered hers. Boy, can I ever relate to so very many parts of it.
PPS. One line in the Morning News story kind of backfired. Reading the sentence "While Olivia Newton-John’s 'Let Me Be There' wafted over radios throughout the United States, in Chile a U.S.-backed coup toppled Salvador Allende, the democratically elected Popular Unity socialist, and launched Augusto Pinochet’s rise to power," I suddenly found myself straying far from thoughts of Allende and Victor Jara and taking my own personal trip down memory lane. Ah, Olivia... I confess, no matter how many Pere Ubu and Aphex Twin albums you'll find in my album collection, I have a major soft spot for mid70s soft rock. Suddenly I really want to hear ON-J... Pronto! That's not what the author had in mind, I know, but when you mention "Let Me Be There" or "Have You Never Been Mellow," I .... hell, I can't get it out of my head.