O Que Tinha de Ser was introduced in 1959 by Sylvia Telles on her brilliant album Amor de Gente Moça – Músicas de Antônio Carlos Jobim, arranged by Lindolpho Gaya and featuring nine debut recordings by the composer such as Só em Teus Braços, Dindi and Sem Você.
The same year, the song was picked by Ana Lúcia, Vera Lúcia and Daisy Guastini but interestingly it soon vanished into thin air. Although O Que Tinha de Ser is one of their most evocative ballads, it has been recorded far less than other songs penned by Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes.
Ana Lúcia’s sensitive rendition, arranged by Guerra Peixe, was released on her self-titled debut album while Vera Lúcia’s version was issued only as a b-side. Daisy Guastini, a largely unknown vocalist, delivered a very fine interpretation of the song as her recording debut. But it was Sylvia Telles who scored the most successful version of O Que Tinha de Ser reaching number 89 in Brazil’s Top 100 songs of 1960.
The next year, Dorinha Freitas recorded her rendition, effectively arranged to expose her dramatic voice. Then, the song almost fell into oblivion for a few years, except for one recording by Ana Margarida, arranged by Luiz Eça on her self-titled debut album in 1965. In 1968, O Que Tinha de Ser was included on two live albums: Waleska recorded it with guitarist Josemir Barbosa on Uma Noite na Fossa – Waleska & Josemir no Pub while Maria Bethânia performed it on Recital na Boite Barroco to record the song repeatedly since then. In 1974, Elis Regina performed a highly emotional version backed by Antônio Carlos Jobim on piano on their exquisite album Elis & Tom.
Selected recordings of O Que Tinha de Ser:
1. Sylvia Telles from the album Amor de Gente Moça – Músicas de Antônio Carlos Jobim (1959, Odeon MOFB 3084)
2. Ana Lúcia from the album Ana Lúcia (1959, Chantecler CMG 2045)
3. Daisy Guastini from the EP Daisy Guastini (1959, Arpège AEP 1003)
4. Vera Lúcia from the single Este Seu Olhar b/w O Que Tinha de Ser (1959, Sinter 637-a)
5. Dorinha Freitas from the album A Voz de Dorinha Freitas (1961, RGE XRLP 5098)
6. Ana Margarida from the album Ana Margarida (1965, Forma FM-9)
7. Maria Bethânia from the album Vinícius + Bethânia + Toquinho en La Fusa (1971, Trova XT 80017), live at La Fusa, Mar del Plata
8. Áurea Martins from the album O Amor em Paz (1972, RCA Camden 107.0129)
9. Elis Regina & Antônio Carlos Jobim from the album Elis & Tom (1974, Philips 6349 112)
O Que Tinha de Ser performed by Elis Regina on TV Bandeirantes (1976) with César Camargo Mariano on piano
O QUE TINHA DE SER
Porque foste na vida • A última esperança • Encontrar-te me fez criança • Porque já eras meu • Sem eu saber sequer • Porque és o meu homem • E eu tua mulher
Porque tu me chegaste • Sem me dizer que vinhas • E tuas mãos foram minhas com calma • Porque foste em minh’alma • Como um amanhecer • Porque foste o que tinha de ser