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jeanette [profile] has recommended 61 tracks.
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Pyar Karne Wale  performed by Asha Bhosle  1980
Composed by R. D. Burman / Anand Baksh

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.
Run Mascara  performed by The Exciters  1965
Composed by Bert Berns

Now THAT'S a title. Honestly, I so wish I was a teen in the sixties. You got to gloom along to the highest-quality pop-soul instead of the early 90's alt.rock that was de riguer in my tender years.

The Exciters are one of the most enduring of the 60's "girl" groups (there's one boy in there). No matter how polished the production was, they remained overwhelmingly vital thanks to the harsh vocal power of Brenda Reid, their main singer. They found mucho favour on the Northern Soul circuit, but I think their stuff is substantially more individual than a lot of the platters on offer in that scene.

"Run Mascara" is about a boy who knows how to hurt and make the tears flow, but gives just enough sweetness to keep Brenda in love. Your classic emotionally-abusive relationship. You would think with a voice like hers Brenda would just wallop him. Or shout at him. That'd shut him up.

Musically it races fast, with the other group members yelling to keep up with the breakneck speed. An outstanding few minutes.

from the single Run Mascara (Columbia DB 7606)
available on CD - Something To Shout About! (Sequel)



Detroit 442  performed by Blondie  1977
Composed by Chris Stein / James Destri

In some ways an obvious pop-punk classic, but still one that's generally overlooked in favour of their singles. One of the greatest nights between my best friend and I was the time that not only did we discover this was both of our favourite Blondie song, but we found out that, rather shamefully, each of us harboured a secret crush on Rimmer from Red Dwarf.

The song is the best among some real class on Plastic Letters. The noises made by a band on the brink of the mainstream super-success they were so worthy of. Deborah Harry never sounded tougher (except perhaps on Rifle Range), a persona that fits her like the ripped catsuit she famously sported on Top Of The Pops.

from Plastic Letters (Chrysalis 1166), available on CD



Miss Allenís Blues  performed by Ernestine Allen  1961
Composed by Ernestine Allen

Maybe it's just me getting older, but I lap this kinda stuff up these days. I can't get enough of ol' style R&B, jump blues or a song like this: swingin', heartbreaking and outstandingly sung by a woman who is undeservedly just a footnote in musical history.

Ernestine (who sometimes recorded under the name Annisteen) works her smooth chords to a blues vocal with light jazzy backing. Almost Peggy Lee like in places, but with the benefit of King Curtis' sax and an amazing rhythm section that Ernestine obviously connects with.

The lyrics are beautiful, too: "You cry so hard, you cry like you never cried before; you moan and you groan so sad, you give the blues to your neighbour next door."

from Let It Roll (Tru-Sound OBC-539), available on CD



Steal Yo Sixes  performed by Avocado Baby  1997
Composed by Avocado Baby

Back in the mid 90's, my booty was real far into the UK underground indie scene. For a short time, I was buying virtually all the 45's from a small coterie of labels and, of course, making sure I kept the inserts intact.

The Slampt Underground Organisation were, for a time, the UK's most uncompromisingly independent label. Their hearts were in the right place and their principles tight - against 'selling out', and for 'making music in your bedroom'. There was a real affinity with the riot grrrl / Olympia scene in the US, and Slampt had a way of looking at things not unlike Calvin Johnson and K records.

Avocado Baby were Pete and Rachel, the founders and organisers of Slampt. They released a handful of tapes and 45s on their own and other tiny record labels.

Steal Yo Sixes is about playing ludo. It's pretty daft, and the lowest lo-fi imaginable with a toy horn, xylophone and tape hiss being the only instruments. Still, it has an undeniable childlike charm, and due to its obscurity and short length, makes perfect mix tape / CD-r fodder.

There a line, "When we play ludo, why do I always lose-o?" that gets across the feel perfectly.

from Foolish And Punk single (Beekeeper-Shakedown Bee21-Step01)



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