João Gilberto released “Desafinado” in 1958 as part of a collection by Antonio Carlos Jobim. Lyrics for the tune were written by Newton Mendoca.
These studio sessions proved pivotal for Jobim, establishing the Brazilian composer as the originator of bossa nova style.
“Desafinado” began as a hit in Brazil before spreading to the United States. Though the popularity of Jobim’s “The Girl from Ipanema” sometimes overshadows “Desafinado,” the latter is still widely preferred among musicians when sets call for a bossa nova hit.