Mas que Nada

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"Mas, que Nada!"
Jorgeben samba esquema novo.jpg
"Mas, que Nada!" cover
Song by Jorge Ben Jor from the album 'Samba Esquema Novo'
Released 10/1/1963
Recorded 1963
Genre Samba, samba rock
Length 2:59
Label Philips
Writer(s) Jorge Ben Jor
Composer(s) Jorge Ben Jor
Language Portuguese
Producer(s) Armando Pittigliani

"Mas, que Nada!" is a song written and originally performed by Jorge Ben Jor on his debut album, which in a later cover version became the signature song of Sérgio Mendes. The song was voted by the Brazilian edition of Rolling Stone as the 5th greatest Brazilian song.[1] The song was inducted to the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame.[2]

The meaning of the title[edit]

In Brazilian Portuguese slang, mas, que nada (literally, "but, that [is] nothing") means "no way", "whatever", or "yeah, right!". In many recordings, the title song is incorrectly written "Mais que nada", Portuguese for "more than nothing". Correspondingly the title should not be confused with the Spanish más que nada meaning "more than anything", or "above all" (in the sense of "mainly" or "principally").

Early version[edit]

In 1958, Brazilian artist José Prates recorded a track called "Nanã Imborô" that appears on his album "Tam... Tam... Tam...!" (1958, Polydor Brasil - LPNG 4.016), which features the same melody later heard in Jorge Ben Jor's "Mas, que Nada!", especially the Sergio Mendes version.[3][4][5][6]

Interpretations other than Jorge Ben Jor's[edit]

Other Brazilian artists who recorded the song include Elza Soares and Maria Creuza.

  • Hugh Masekela included the song in his 1966 live album The Americanization of Ooga Booga.
  • Dizzy Gillespie included a cover version on his albums The Melody Lingers On (1966) and Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac (1967).
  • A Moog version is featured on Perrey and Kingsley's album, Kaleidoscopic Vibrations: Spotlight on the Moog (1967).
  • Michele Richard recorded a version on her album Miss Radio-TV '67 (1967).
  • Lill Lindfors recorded a Swedish-language version titled Hör min samba for her album Du är den ende (1967).
  • A rumba version is featured on the album Patato & Totico by Patato Valdes and Totico Arango (1968).
  • The Chopsticks, a Hong Kong female duo, covered this song on their first LP The Chopsticks: Sandra and Amina (1970).
  • Ella Fitzgerald recorded it on her 1971 album "Things Ain't What They Used to Be (And You Better Believe It)"
  • The Sacramento Freelancers Drum and Bugle Corps performed this song as part of their 1976 show.
  • Klaus Wunderlich under the pseudonym Chris Waxman released a spirited version during this period, performed on the Hammond Organ, for the opening track on a special Phase 4 Stereo album Organized (1968) (London/Decca SP 44119).
  • Bossa nova 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 album Cruisin' (2001).
  • Echobeatz released a cover version in 1997, and a house/dance version in 1998.
  • L.A. Transit performed a version on the Denon Jazz Sampler Vol. 1 (1985).
  • Serbian jazz/pop singer Madame Piano also covered it in 2001. and included it on her second studio album Zemlja čuda, while Croatian cellist Walter Despalj did an arrangement of the song for a group of cellos.
  • 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 album Tequila Moon (2008).
  • Covered by Jane McDonald in her 7th album 'Jane' in 2008.
  • Miriam Makeba covered the song on Miriam Makeba in Concert! (1967) and Live from Paris & Conakry (1996).
  • The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet recorded a version for their 2007 album LAGQ Brazil.
  • The Idea of North perform "Mas, que Nada!" a cappella, and have recorded a version on The Sum of Us (2001) featuring James Morrison on trombone.
  • The Slovenian XL vocal group Perpetuum Jazzile performed the song in a cappella arrange at Vokal Xtravaganzza 2008 (YouTube).
  • Pink Martini & Saori Yuki released the album 1969 in 2011. Mas Que Nada is track number 8.
  • Nossa released a version in 2012.
  • A high-tempo carnaval-themed version was performed in a Canadian commercial for Bell Mobility during the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Sérgio Mendes version[edit]

"Mas que Nada"
Single by Sérgio Mendes featuring The Black Eyed Peas
from the album Timeless
Released 29 May 2006
Format CD single, digital download
Recorded 2005
Genre MPB, hip hop
Length 3:32 (single version)
4:22 (album version)
Label Concord,
Writer(s) Jorge Ben Jor
Sergio Mendes chronology
Mas que Nada "That Heat"
The Black Eyed Peas chronology
"Pump It"
"Mas que Nada"
"Boom Boom Pow"

Song information[edit]

Sergio Mendes covered the song with his band Brasil '66 on their debut album (1966). In the United States, the single reached No. 47 on the Billboard pop chart, as well as No. 4 on the easy listening chart. This 1966 version is the best-known and, to many, the definitive version of the song. In 1989, Mendes re-recorded the song on his album Arara; in Brazil, the song is also well known for being the theme song for the local television channel Globo's Estrelas.

In 2006, Mendes again re-recorded the song, this time with The Black Eyed Peas and additional vocals by Mendes' wife, Gracinha Leporace for his album Timeless. This version contains a sample of their 2004 hit "Hey Mama". The record performed well on many European charts. On the UK Singles Chart, the song entered at number 29 and rose to and peaked at number six on its second week on the chart. The song appeared as part of the EA Sports FIFA World Cup 2006 and NBA Live 07 video games. This version was also included in the 2011 animated film Rio (along with another version recorded in the style of Brasil '66) and its soundtrack, an episode of 90210[7] in the 2012 video game Just Dance 4, and was also featured in Over Her Dead Body during the opening of the film.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Mas Que Nada" (Radio Edit) – 3:33
  2. "Mas Que Nada" (Masters at Work Remix) – 8:03
  3. "Mas Que Nada" (Original Brazil '66 Version) – 2:41


Chart (2006) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[8] 8
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[9] 7
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[10] 12
Brazilian Top 100 Chart 1
Czech Republic (Rádio Top 100)[11] 6
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[12] 1
France (SNEP)[13] 40
Germany (Official German Charts)[14] 9
Hungarian Airplay Chart 1
Irish Singles Chart[15] 14
Italy (FIMI)[16] 37
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[17] 4
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[18] 6
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[19] 13


Country Sales
United Kingdom 71,750

It is used in Disney's Animal Kingdom, "Mickey's Jammin Jungle Parade" in Orlando, Florida, and was also used in the film 'Rio'.

Ava Leigh version[edit]

"Mad About the Boy/Mas que Nada"
Single by Ava Leigh
from the album Rollin'
A-side "Mad About the Boy"
Released 5 May 2008
Format Digital download
Genre Reggae
Length 2:43
Label Virgin
Writer(s) Jorge Ben Jor

British singer Ava Leigh covered the song for her debut album, Rollin'. The song was released as a Double-A side with popular song, "Mad About the Boy". The song gained popularity after being featured in the UK summer adverts for clothing chain Next. A music video was filmed for "Mad About the Boy" and shows Leigh walking through various places singing the song.


Charts (2008) Peak
UK Singles Chart 1281

1 Note that it was "Mad About the Boy" which charted in the UK Singles Chart


  1. ^ Azevedo, Zeca (2009). "As 100 Maiores Músicas Brasileiras – "Mas que Nada"". Rolling Stone Brasil (in Portuguese). Spring. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Latin GRAMMY Hall Of Fame". Latin Grammy Award. Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "Diggin' For Gold – Gilles Peterson - Latin: On A Different Trip - José Prates "Tam… Tam… Tam…!" (Polydor LPNG 4016, Brazilian LP, 1958) £1,000" (PDF). Record Collector. Trunk Records. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  4. ^ "Gilles Peterson - Tam... Tam... Tam...! - C4 News, 2014.05.18". Channel 4 News. YouTube. 18 May 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "More to Brazil than just football and the samba". Channel 4 News. Channel 4. 18 May 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "Tam... Tam... Tam...! (1958)". Acervo Ayom: Música e Espírito (in Portuguese). Blogger. 19 April 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  7. ^ CW Music | Soundtracks | Featured Artists
  8. ^ " – Sergio Mendes feat. The Black Eyed Peas – Mas que nada" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  9. ^ " – Sergio Mendes feat. The Black Eyed Peas – Mas que nada" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. ^ " – Sergio Mendes feat. The Black Eyed Peas – Mas que nada" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  11. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert {{{year}}}{{{week}}} into search.
  12. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Sergio Mendes feat. The Black Eyed Peas search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  13. ^ " – Sergio Mendes feat. The Black Eyed Peas – Mas que nada" (in French). Les classement single.
  14. ^ " – Sergio Mendes feat. The Black Eyed Peas Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  15. ^ "Mas que nada in Irish Chart". IRMA. Retrieved 6 June 2013.  1st result when searching "Mas que nada"
  16. ^ " – Sergio Mendes feat. The Black Eyed Peas – Mas que nada". Top Digital Download.
  17. ^ " – Sergio Mendes feat. The Black Eyed Peas – Mas que nada". Swiss Singles Chart.
  18. ^ "Sergio Mendes & the Black Eyed Peas: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.
  19. ^ "Timeless awards on Allmusic". Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  20. ^ "UK Singles Chart Chart Positions 2008". Zobbel. Retrieved 17 April 2009.