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Bollywood by Ear

Bollywood CD coverSwapatorium shares a few nuggets from Musical Highlights from R.K. Films, an LP which appears to be an early compilation of Indian film music for the English-speaking audience. Coincidentally, I was in the mood for some cool Bollywood music this month, so I used some of my eMusic credits to download 2005’s Bollywood: An Anthology of Songs from Popular Indian Cinema comp. I just sampled the first disc of this double-disc set, which covers the years 1949-1977. Although four tracks overlap with the Rough Guide to Bollywood CD I already had, it’s a nicely kitschy and diverse set with plenty of vocals from the ageless and legendary Asha Bhosle. My all time fave song of that sort still has to be Ms. Bhosle’s “Dum Maro Dum” from 1971’s Haré Rama Haré Krishna. The hugely popular film served as Bollywood’s comment on the shallowness of the Western hippie movement, and that tune came as wild and wooly as it got. The sheer number of movies/soundtracks that Bollywood churns out is mind-boggling (eMusic lists an astonishing 4,020 albums under that genre), but those two comps serve as good introductions for the adventurous Western listener.

Bonus goodie: “Dum Maro Dum” on YouTube. Dig it.

4 Thoughts on “Bollywood by Ear

  1. Thanks for the Swapatorium mention. I think those old indian films are made for the home market and the language is mostly Hindustani. Some english words creep in from time to time but you would expact that after 200 years of the Raj and British rule , or whatever it was. Thanks also for the very funny Dum Maro Dum video link.

  2. Michael – Maybe the album was meant for Indians living in the UK? The English text on the label threw me, but then I’ve noticed they use English a lot on posters and video covers.

  3. eMusic has added most of Yash Raj Films in last month. Now they have even more filmy music collection than classic (I love emusic’s indian classic collection, specially Sitar).

  4. emusic now features almost all t-seires collection (most of them is cra** anyways)

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