Mas que Nada  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"Mas Que Nada" is a song originally written and performed by Jorge Ben in 1963, and released on the album Samba Esquema Novo. It later became the signature song of Sérgio Mendes. In the United States, it is one of a few Brazilian songs that is widely known. It is worth noting that in the United States, the song is popularly credited to Mendes with Jorge relatively unknown, whereas in Brazil, the reverse is true.

Contents

Meaning

The song is in Portuguese. The meaning of the phrase is different in Portuguese than the meaning of the Spanish phrase with similar orthography.

Portuguese

In Brazilian Portuguese, "mas" is a coordinating conjunction that can be translated to "but", in English. The Brazilian slang "mas que nada" (nowadays spoken just as "que nada") has the same meaning as "no way". Literally, the words mean "but, that [is] nothing".

Spanish

In common Latin-American Spanish, "mas" means "plus" and/or "more". With that, "más que nada" can be translated as "more than anything". The words mean something like "mainly" or "principally".


The Spanish meaning is very different from the Portuguese one because "mas", in Portuguese, means "but", and not "plus/more". "Nada", on the other hand, has the same meaning in both languages. Either way, the same sentence is also present in common Portuguese slang, with "mais" (which means "plus/more", in Portuguese), instead of "mas". The translated setence, "mais que nada", has the same meaning of the Spanish's "más que nada".

Covers

Mendes covered the song on his 1966 Sérgio Mendes & Brasil '66 album. Elza Soares and Maria Creuza also recorded versions.

Dizzy Gillespie included a cover on his 1967 release, Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac.

Bossa singer Sitti from the Philippines did a remake of this song, which is included on her album, Café Bossa. Al Jarreau also did a cover version on his 1994 album Tenderness. French jazz guitarist Marc Antoine performed an instrumental version on his 2001 album Cruisin'. Echobeatz released a housy/dance version in 1998. L.A. Transit performed a version on the Denon Jazz Sampler Vol. 1 in 1985. Serbian pop singer Madame Piano also covered it, while Croatian cellist Walter Despalj did an arrangement of the song for a group of cellos. Swedish singer Lill Lindfors has also covered this song.

Nike used a 1963 cover by Tamba Trio in an advertising campaign for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, prompting that version of the song to crack the UK Top 40, reaching Number 34 in the summer of 1998.

Ava Leigh has covered the song. This version has recently been used in UK television commercials for clothing chain Next.

Jessy J recorded a cover of this song in her 2008 release "Tequila Moon."

Mendes 2006 version

In 2006, Mendes re-recorded the song with The Black Eyed Peas and additional vocals by Gracinha Leporace (Mendes' wife); a version that is included on his album Timeless. In Brazil, the song is pretty well-known for being the theme song for the local television channel Globo's Estrelas.

The Black Eyed Peas' version also contains a sample of their 2004 hit "Hey Mama". The re-recorded song became popular on many European charts. On the UK Singles Chart, the song entered at #29 and rose to and peaked at #6 on its second week on the chart.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Mas que Nada" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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