Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66: For What It's Worth
For What It's Worth
Sergio Mendes (keyboards)
Foursider (A&M 6012)
Composed by Stephen Stills.
Recorded: Los Angeles, late 1970
Rating: 75/100 (learn more)
Obviously, this is not the Buffalo Springfield. That group's original version of "For What It's Worth" is an essential anti-war track recorded at the height of Vietnam. However, the version recorded by Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66 sounds just like what it is-a cover tune. Without a doubt, Stephen Stills' original vocal was more on-point and the Neil Young guitar solo sounded like less of a cliche than anything that occurs here. The party responsible for recommending this to Mendes was mistaken in their assumption that the track's power could be elevated to a higher level, because it wasn't.
The tune is not altogether ruined, but vocalist Lani Hall definitely sounds out of her element with lyrics much more naturally intoned by Stills' masculinity. The pseudo-funk beat and the leaden presentation of the two chords that drive it erase most of the composition's musical force. By a wide margin, Brasil '66 misses the mark-substituting a great rock song's charm with an unspeakable schizophrenia.
Reviewer: Marcus Singletary