A week ago I was in India, the holiday of a lifetime. As well as all the tourist stuff, like temples and museums, I always make sure that I get a slice of pop culture when I'm in a foreign country. So the night tended to conclude in the hotel with a bit of Indian TV.
Watched a fair bit of MTV India which, if anything, is even heavier on ads and blatent self-promotion that its British and American equivalents. I was cheered to see that most of the music they played was in Hindi and there was a limit on the American and European bands that got airplay (seemingly, strangely, limited to The Rasmus and Britney Spears).
But MTV is only watchable for a limited amount of time. Jet lag and excitement dictates that one spends more time awake than asleep and so I got to see a few late 70's Bollywood classics, among them 'Shaan' (translation: 'Pride'). This Asha Bhosle gem is from this movie. The film itself struk me as a fairly banal James Bond rip off although, not speaking Hindi, I grant that I'll have missed the more subtle aspects of plot construction.
This song stopped me in my tracks. I knew that Bollywood was an area that I enjoyed but was in a grand state of ignorance of, and I was looking forward to rectifying this. Pyar Karne Wale takes the prize for best Donna Summer rip off EVER. Stealing its barely-adjusted backing from 'I Feel Love', Bhosle wails and moans over the top, transforming Moroder's disco classic into something that simultanously establishes common ground between Indian and European disco while evoking its more subtle differences.
Myself and boyfriend came back with what seems like every Bollywood soundtrack produced between 1972 and 1980 including, of course, Shaan. I look forward to educating myself in this genre and finding more similar gems.
from Naseeb / Shaan (Universal 06024 981 8244), available on CD
13 May 04 ·pleasepleaseme: Hi, I'm From N.Y.C. In the early 80's we had a show on cable, called "Cinema,Cinema, which showed numbers from the classic cinema. I lucked out on a few OST'S. Can highly recommend "Qurbani" & "Kasme Vaade" & "Sargam" & "Sawan Ko Aane Do" & "Loafer". Would love to know if you found any of those, or if you could recommend some of your finds. 14 May 04 ·jeanette: Did indeed pick up Qurbani, which I have now listened to and would agree that its fab. That's the only one I have of those you mention. Got 30-odd CDs and most of them are double or triple headers, and I'm slowly ploughing my way through the pile. Favourite thus far is 'Zamaane Ko Dikhana Hai' which is another R.D. Burman stunner. 15 May 04 ·olli: RD burman is, ahem, "da bomb".
probably my favourite bollywood producer/composer. not that i'm an expert on indian 70's pop culture or anything.
Their latest offering "Where Our Love Grows" seems like a brighter, lighter twin of the beautiful 2001 release "Somewhere Deep In The Night", trading in sparkling stars with sunny seashores. "When The Laughter Is Over" conjures up a late 60s melancholic "lost summer" kind of mood. That's obvious since they delicately build the song around a sample taken from Roger Nichols & The Small Circle of Friends' marvelous "I Can See Only You" from 1968.
How best to describe such a tableau as this? Another Indian gem imprinted into my brain from my recent holiday.
Parts of this song are so much like the Grease 2 soundtrack in spirit it's untrue. Mix that with the kind of Hindi film beats that have become close to my heart over the last couple of months and you're talking about the kind of song which will keep me awake thinking of its greatness.
The female backing vocals are the cherry on the crumble. You can just picture the wide eyed lovely saying "An-thony GONSALVES!!"
from Amar Akbar Anthony, available on CD
09 Aug 04 ·Issie: Just listened to the song- i think its great! 16 Aug 04 ·olli: heheh, have you seen the scene where this song is used in the film? it`s amazing! best slow motion running ever. 16 Dec 05 ·tinks: ridiculously brilliant.