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.
Okay, here's an obvious Bollywood recommendation, a genre I don't know a lot about, but nevertheless, it's really a great track. It's from the movie Hare Rama Hare Krishna. The way Bollywood movies were able to draw elements of psychedelic, funk, and dance music, then fuse it with Hindi music is incredible to me. This song has a addictive, hard, danceable, and completely credible sound, not to be confused with some lighter, cheesier, or more kitsch Bollywood fare. Great stuff.
21 Apr 04 ·olli: great choice! I´m no expert either, but the most appealing hindi tracks to me are the ones that feature a style of singing wich diverges from what you hear in most bollywood recordings, there seems way to many songs out there with cool instrumental parts that have bland and unoriginal vocals running over them. The doob doob o'rama series are just about the only compilations i've found so far that feature really great tracks (in my ears, anyway). too bad no one seems to be interested in releasing separate soundtracks to spesific films, there´s a lot of films out there that seem to have mindblowing soundtracks..
believe this was written by rd burman by the way, i find it generally easier to locate cool bolllywood music by paying attention to the composers rather than the singers, too bad most compilations don't bother to list more than the main vocalist.