Have you seen that commercial? Y’know… the one where three different versions of the same black guy gets his freestyle on to some throwback sounding funky/disco groove in what I initially thought might have been French? (it’s actually Portuguese). After seeing the ad a few times I finally got around to tracking the song down and it turns out it isn’t the product of some current DJ/producer channeling the 80s… it’s an actual product of the 80s!
The man responsible for Southern Comfort’s latest TV commericial soundtrack is Marcos Valle, a Brazilian artist who has been dropping albums since the early 60s (his latest was released last year!) and he’s also worked with Ricky Martin. “Estrelar”, originally released in ‘83 with its lyrics about “running” and “stretching”, was an attempt to capitalize on the aerobics craze of that era—- the intention may have been “leg warmers and leotards”, but the musical result sounds more like “jet setter yacht party music”.
Surprisingly (at least to me), there is a video for the song that is understandably low-budget but nevertheless an interesting snapshot of what I imagine it was like in 80s-era Brazil living la vida louca: drop top cruising, horseback riding, aerobics viewing parties on the sand and beach bunny towel choreography! Also below is the extended version of the Southern Comfort ad that in it’s expanded form makes the dancing guy look not so much “cool dude” as it does “creepy old guy at the club who’s a little too turnt off of that SoCo.”
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