Monday, February 20, 2017

Rajesh Roshan: Telephone (1985)


'Telephone' could have been a perfect record. A short and sweet soundtrack by Rajesh Roshan, this 45 rpm mini-album features a handful of very likeable songs, and half of a super ace one. Annette Pinto's 'Hello Darling' would have been its sexy, groovy highlight but for the ridiculous fact that it fades out after 2 minutes. I believe the full length version, running almost twice as long, was released on tape – it's possible that Super T-Series was primarily a cassette label – but for fuck's sake, what reason on earth could they have had for not including the whole thing on this 12" record? Bah!

(A kind reader sent me an MP3 of the long version, origin unknown; I'm enclosing that as a bonus.)

So the best of the rest then, and to be fair I am really fond of it all. Poppy 'Main Tujh Pyar Karoon' comes in both male and female versions, has a pretty melody and lovely instrumental parts. Frantic 'Saak Mubarak No' has a funky middle bit with electronic noodlings, a great chorus and all manners of oddball stuff going on. And speaking of sexy, Asha sounds (and Parveen Babi looks) deliciously seductive on 'Main Hoon Tujh Pe Sun Fida', a smooth, elegant after hours lounge piece, my other big fave from the album.

Track listing:
1. Kishore Kumar: Main Tujh Se Pyar Karoon
2. Asha Bhosle: Saak Mubarak No
3. Asha Bhosle: Main Hoon Tujh Pe Sun Fida
4. Anuradha Paudwal: Main Tujh Se Pyar Karoon
5. Annette: Hello Darling


Friday, February 17, 2017

Music From The Third Floor: Vol. 11

Music From The Third Floor: Vol. 11

And the Bollywood beat goes on. Every time I compile one of these mixes I wonder if I'll ever find enough great tracks to later on make another. Inevitably, I always do. So here's the 11th volume. Almost a decade since the first, and each one as good as the next. Download or stream them, your call, but don't give them a miss!

Track listing:
1. Title Music (from Hamraaz)
2. Love Me Love Me Tonight (from Maze Le Lo)
3. Roz Roz Roz (from Khilona)
4. Chumma Chumma (from Pataal Bhairavi)
5. Parde Men Pyar Kare (from Teen Eekay)
6. Punkh Hote To Ud Aati (from Sehra)
7. Lab Tak Aai Hai (from Tumhaare Bina)
8. Main Hoon Chhui Mui (from Chhupa Rustam)
9. Pyar Chhalke (from Sumbandh)
10. Sha Shangrila Sha Shangrila (from Kala Dhanda Goray Log)
11. Is Raat Ke Sannate Men (from Do Chehere)
12. O Meri Lara Loo (from Dil Daulat Duniya)
13. Yaar Badshah Yaar Dilruba (from C.I.D. 909)
14. Peechha Karro (from Peechha Karro)
15. Meri Bagiya Ki Kali (from Do Raha)
16. Sajna Saath Nibhana (from Doli)
17. Bheegee Bheegee Raat Suhani (from Dhoop Chhaon)
18. Zulfon Tale (from Maut Ka Saya)

Listen on Mixcloud.

Cover star: Vimi (from 'Hamraaz', 1967)


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sonik Omi: Teen Eekay (1978)

Teen Eekay

Contrary to expectations, Sonik Omi's 'Teen Akay' is an excellent soundtrack. I first encountered it many years back when the track 'Ree Baba Ree Baba' turned up online (possibly on some forum or other) as an example of weird Bollywood novelty songs; on it Om Prakash Sharma adopts a form of comical scat singing, no doubt inspired by RD Burman's so-called Mehbooba voice... to be honest I was more bemused than impressed. I'm not actually sure it's featured in the film (I fast-forwarded through that on YouTube where it can be seen in its entirety) even though it might have fit its mood: quite slapsticky, probably a bit daft.

Luckily the album has several songs that far surpass 'Ree Baba' in quality, including a trio of great Asha Bhosle-sung cabaret numbers. 'Yeh Gora Badan' is the poppier of them, happy-go-lucky and sing-along-able. A cool, staccato rhythm and an intoxicating melody is what characterizes 'Parde Men Pyar Kare' and best of all, the fantastic 'Jua Kisika Na Hua' is loud and gritty, harking back to the classic cabaret numbers from the start of the decade and packing a similar punch as Madan Mohan's sensational 'Kitni Haseen Hai Meri Pyar Ki Nazar' from 'Mahraja'.

'Nazar Kazrari Ho Raja' and 'Tum Ho Johari' are more traditional, and were, at least at the outset, tracks that interested me less, but they both have an oddly psychedelic tinge, especially in the breaks, so I keep coming back to them too.

Track listing:
1. Asha Bhosle, Usha Mangeshkar & Chorus: Nazar Kazrari Ho Raja
2. Asha Bhosle & Chorus: Yeh Gora Badan
3. Asha Bhosle: Parde Men Pyar Kare
4. Omi: Ree Baba Ree Baba
5. Asha Bhosle: Jua Kisika Na Hua
6. Joginder, Asha Bhosle & Dilraj Kaur: Tum Ho Johari
7. Music


Friday, February 3, 2017

Bappi Lahiri: Sumbandh (1982)


Bollywood beat heads were raving about 'Sumbandh' a few years back due to the two disco tracks that highlight it. Both are quintessential Bappi Lahiri and both are good, almost great even, if not among his very best.

'Pyar Chhalke' has a nice and laid-back lounge feel to it. Running at 8 minutes it includes loads of instrumental breaks, and Sharon Prabhakar's spoken English lyrics bring to mind the sublime 'Come Closer' from 1984's 'Kasam Paida Karnewale Ki'. 'Paas Ao Na' is slightly more uptempo with more of an electro thing going, but still surprisingly restrained (not as over-the-top as Bappi could often be). On it he borrows from 'Wild Thing' again; he'd done so before on 'College Girl' back in 1977.

Track listing:
1. Sharon Prabhakar: Pyar Chhalke
2. Asha Bhosle & Chorus: Raat Ko Mere Kamre Men
3. Asha Bhosle & Bappi Lahiri: Deewane Deewani
4. Asha Bhosle: Paas Ao Na


Friday, January 20, 2017

S.D. Burman: Ziddi (1964)


It's possible that a film review over at the Memsaab Story blog some years ago was what initially induced me to add 'Ziddi' to my soundtrack want list... "And the songs – my God, the songs! They are made of beautiful, all of them" certainly sounds like something that would have piqued my curiosity, and SD Burman assisted by his son Rahul Dev generally stands for quality.

Truth be told though, having eventually acquired this LP I was left a bit disappointed. A tiny bit. Oh, it has its moments, my favourite of which are Lata's 'Yeh Meri Zindagi' and 'Raat Ka Samaan', both of them charming and hummable, and Rafi's 'Pyar Ki Manzil' is kind of cool... and I could easily put the record on as pleasant background music to whatever it is that I'm doing, but, despite the odd nifty instrumental detail, there wouldn't be much on it to stop me in my tracks. So basically it's good, but not outstanding.

Maybe I was expecting too much.

Track listing:
1. Mohd. Rafi: Teri Soorat Se Nahin Milti Kisi Ki Soorat
2. Lata Mangeshkar: Yeh Meri Zindagi
3. Manna Dey: Pyar Ki Aag Men Tan Badan Jal Gaya
4. Geeta Dutt & Manna Dey: Main Tere Pyar Men
5. Lata Mangeshkar: Raat Ka Samaan
6. Mohd. Rafi: Pyar Ki Manzil
7. Mohd. Rafi: Janoon Kya Mera Dil
8. Mohd. Rafi & Asha Bhosle: Champakali Dekho Jhuk Hi Gayi Re


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Babla: Babla's Disco Sensation (1980)


It's the time of year for a non-soundtrack LP... Babla Shah isn't out of place on this blog though, being Kalyanji and Anandji's younger brother, having contributed drums and percussion for the composing duo, and having been married to singer Kanchan whose voice featured on a number of their songs. (Babla & Kanchan were additionally a successful musical entity in their own right).

Much like the Charanjit Singh records posted during previous holiday seasons, 'Babla's Disco Sensation' contains instrumental takes on Bollywood film hits. An electronic groove runs through this one. I have on occasion seen it likened to Singh's legendary 'Ten Ragas To A Disco Beat', a comparison it doesn't really live up to but an entertaining set nonetheless. Its best moment is 'Man Dole Mera Tan Dole', an excellent update of a track from 1954's 'Nagin'. A case of keeping it in the family in fact; the original had big brother Kalyanji playing the clavioline, said to be the first use of a synthesizer in an Indian movie. I'm also quite fond of the slow-moving 'Kabhi Hota Nahin' from a film Babla scored himself and featuring Kanchan on wordless vocals.

A couple of non-filmi tracks bookend the collection; 'Babla Orchestra Title Music' borrows from Dee D. Jackson's iconic 'Automatic Lover'... I guess one could consider that a good thing?

Track listing:
1. Babla Orchestra Title Music
2. Aye Mere Dil Kahin Aur Chal (Daag)
3. Soniye Tera Chahe Jo Bhi Hona (Sweetheart)
4. Man Dole Mera Tan Dole (Nagin)
5. Kabhi Hota Nahin (Khara Khota)
6. Ghar Aya Mera Pardesi (Awara)
7. Hamko Tumpe Pyar Aaya (Jab Jab Phool Khile)
8. Indian Aartis


Friday, December 23, 2016

O.P. Nayyar: Howrah Bridge (1958)

Howrah Bridge

'Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu' is a track it seems almost everyone has heard, or seen... it's one of those ubiquitous classics with a universal appeal, a superbly captivating example of cheerful Bollywood-style proto-rock 'n' roll that's impossible to dislike, and there's always going to be someone sharing the YouTube clip. Can you blame them?

And on screen, it was 19-year-old actress-dancer Helen's big breakthrough...

The rest of 'Howrah Bridge' [review] is good too. The King of Rhythm O.P. Nayyar lives up to his moniker; these are peppy songs with quirky beats and bundles of charm. At the moment I like 'Aaiye Meharban' and 'Eent Ki Dukki Paan Ka Ikka' best, but it's really an album to enjoy all the way through.

Happy holidays y'all!

Track listing:
1. Geeta Dutt: Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu
2. Asha Bhosle: Aaiye Meharban
3. Asha Bhosle & Mohd. Rafi: Dekh Ke Teri Nazar
4. Asha Bhosle & Mohd. Rafi: Gora Rang Chunariya Kali
5. Asha Bhosle: Yeh Kya Kar Dala Tune
6. Mohd. Rafi: Eent Ki DUkki Paan Ka Ikka
7. Asha Bhosle & Mohd. Rafi: Mohabbat Ka Haath Jawani Ka Pala
8. Shamshad Begum & Mohd. Rafi: Main Jaan Gayi Tujhe Sainya
9. Title Music


Friday, December 16, 2016

Laxmikant Pyarelal: Kacha Chor / Pratiggya (1975)

Kacha Chor_Pratiggya

I don't think 1975 was Laxmikant Pyarelal's finest year (1972-74 was their prime in my opinion), but I came across this cheaply priced two-fer by them, sporting a cover I found appealing, so I took a chance on it anyway, despite not having heard of it before.

'Kacha Chor' (the film apparently not released until 1977) begins on a high note. Cabaret number 'Pahle Ham Muskurae' is an excellent slice of orchestral exoticism with a good groove and the best thing on side one's predominately traditional and percussion heavy score. The remaining three tracks are OK in a rhythmic sense but hardly anything that sticks in the mind.

I prefer 'Pratiggya' [review]. Its music has much of the same quality as above, but 'Morni Se Morni' and 'Pardesi Aaya Des Men' are songs I'm more likely to return to. And I'm quite enamored with 'Uth Neend Se Mirzia Jaag Ja', an unusual sounding track that combines a strange and haunting melody with a non-stop train-wheel drumbeat.

Track listing, 'Kacha Chor':
1. Asha Bhosle: Pahle Ham Muskurae
2. Asha Bhosle & Mahendra Kapoor: Main Hoon Kacha Chor
3. Asha Bhosle & Kishore Kumar: Gharibon Se Pyar Kar Le
4. Asha Bhosle & Usha Mangeshkar: Dhola Dhola

Track listing, 'Pratiggya':
5. Lata Mangeshkar: Morni Se Morni
6. Lata Mangeshkar: Pardesi Aaya Des Men
7. Mohd. Rafi: Main Jat Yamla Pagla
8. Lata Mangeshkar & Mohd. Rafi: Uth Neend Se Mirzia Jaag Ja


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Shankar Jaikishan: Aaj Ki Taza Khabar (1973) / Dhoop Chhaon (1977)

Aaj Ki Taza Khabar

Considering the soundtrack's relative obscurity (I believe this EP was the only release afforded), Shankar Jaikishan's 'Aaj Ki Taza Khabar' [review] is suprisingly good. 'Khilta Hua Shabab Hai' has a joyful 1950s vibe; 'Raat Hai Bhat Hai' sounds somewhat similar to the composing duo's famous rock 'n' roll numbers of the subsequent decade. 'Mujhe Meri Biwi Se Bachao' has a funky groove bringing the music up-to-date, and 'Happy Birthday To Pinky' is as upbeat as is required of a birthday song. Quite delightful.

Dhoop Chhaon

'Dhoop Chhaon' isn't as immediate but has been growing on me. 'Bheegee Bheegee Raat Suhani' was the one that attracted me to it in the first place; a loud and frantic, sort of depraved sounding beat number that reminds me of Sapan Jagmohan's best stuff. The other three tracks are more conventional (for lack of a better word), but melding modern and traditional influences to create a trio of undeniably worthwhile songs. 'Ek Shahari Chhora' is my favourite, for the moment. Sound quality isn't the best though; my copy of the EP is very worn unfortunately.

Still, these are two more reasons why one shouldn't necessarily write off Shankar Jaikishan scores made after Jaikishan's passing.

Track listing, 'Aaj Ki Taza Khabar':
1. Asha Bhosle: Khilta Hua Shabab Hai
2. Kishore Kumar: Raat Hai Bhat Hai
3. Kishore Kumar: Mujhe Meri Biwi Se Bachao
4. Asha Bhosle & Chorus: Happy Birthday To Pinky

Track listing, 'Dhoop Chhaon'
1. Mohd. Rafi: Joode Men Gajra Mat Bandho
2. Lata Mangeshkar: Bheegee Bheegee Raat Suhani
3. Asha Bhosle: Mushkil Hai Bahot Mushkil
4. Usha Mangeshkar, Kalyani Mitra & Chorus: Ek Shahari Chhora


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Shankar Jaikishan: Dil Daulat Duniya (1972)

Dil Daulat Duniya

I took me a while to discover that Jaikishan Dayabhai Panchal had passed away in 1971, and that soundtracks credited to Shankar Jaikishan made after that were in fact Shankar Singh Raghuvanshi solo efforts. Apparently there had been an agreement between the pair that in the event of one's death, the other would maintain their common name. A lovely gesture, but one which unfortunately doesn't take away the impression that S-J scores from the 1970s generally aren't as exciting as the earlier works. But there are exceptions, and while I admit to being slightly lukewarm towards 'Dil Daulat Duniya' [review] at first it has gradually become something of a favourite.

It features a handful of cool songs, of which I like the cheerful 'Deep Jale Dekho', the boisterous 'O Meri Lara Loo' and the frothy (literally) 'Masti Aur Jawani Ho' best. Along with a couple of upbeat Kishore Kumar tracks and two multi-textured instrumentals they add up to a decidedly high-spirited soundtrack; no slow numbers at all. Maybe it doesn't contain any single moments of true wonder, but the sum of all the good stuff it does have more than makes up for it. I always wondered why this LP used to be found in the very expensive sections of those selling Bollywood soundtracks; I kind of get it now.

Track listing:
1. Music
2. Asha Bhosle, Usha Khanna & Rekha Jaikar: Deep Jale Dekho
3. Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhosle & Sharda: Masti Aur Jawani Ho
4. Music
5. Kishore Kumar: Ruk Meri Rani
6. Kishore Kumar & Asha Bhosle: O Meri Lara Loo
7. Kishore Kumar: Sath Men Pyara Sathi Hai


Friday, September 23, 2016

Ravi: Doli (1969)


Another Ravi score, from two years later, and this one is even better. His pop sensibilities are on display on 'Doli': the enchanting 'Aaj Main Dekhoon' reminds me of the delicious confections that appeared on my (up til now) favourite soundtrack of his, 1975's 'Vandana', and 'Pahle Jhuk Kar' is kind of like an easy-going, bucolic take on Shankar Jaikishan's rock 'n' roll, if that makes any sense. The sumptuous 'Sajna Saath Nibhana' sends tingles down my spine, and 'Aaj Pila De Saqi' has a dreamy 1950s vibe.

Ravi wasn't only about sweet easy listening though; 'Dance Music' combines raunchy guitars, manic percussion and powerhouse horns on an elaborately arranged instrumental that RD Burman would have been proud of, 'Danton Tale' is loud and lively pop, perhaps with a French twist (blame the accordion), and 'Doli Chadh Ke', the one song without a distinct Western influence, is infectiously incessant.

Track listing:
1. Mahendra Kapoor: Doli Chadh Ke
2. Asha Bhosle: Aaj Main Dekhoon
3. Asha Bhosle: Pahle Jhuk Kar
4. Dance Music
5. Mohd. Rafi: Danton Tale
6. Mohd. Rafi & Asha Bhosle: Sajna Saath Nibhana
7. Mahendra Kapoor & Asha Bhosle: Aaj Pila De Saqi


Monday, September 12, 2016

Ravi: Hamraaz (1967)


Despite 'Hamraaz' being a fairly recent acquisition, I've known about the soundtrack for years due to being struck by its artwork. The smart simplicity of it, the look of the cover stars and the typography really appealed to me, yet Ravi was an MD who initially didn't interest me much, therefore I kept passing on it. His music has grown on me a lot since then though (two of his scores were included in the MFT3F book), so it was only a matter of time before I succumbed.

Do I like it? Yes, quite a bit. It might not feature among my favourites but it does contain a couple of really nice songs. The gently swaying 'Neele Gagan Ke Tale' is a highlight, along with the elegantly rousing 'Tum Agar Saath Dene Ka Vada Karo'. Both have lovely melodies, both are distinctly hummable. 'Kisi Pathar Ki Murat Se' is rather good too; stylish and understated (I love the short piano interludes). And there's a compelling 'Title Music' with an exotic, almost mysterious feel; very becoming what I think is a suspense movie.

Track listing:
1. Mahendra Kapoor: Neele Gagan Ke Tale
2. Mahendra Kapoor: Na Moonh Chhupa Ke Jeeyo
3. Mahendra Kapoor: Tum Agar Saath Dene Ka Vada Karo
4. Mahendra Kapoor: Kisi Pathar Ki Murat Se
5. Asha Bhosle & Mahendra Kapoor: Tu Husn Hai Main Ishq Hoon
6. Title Music


Monday, September 5, 2016

Anand Milind: Peechha Karro (1985)

Peechha Karro

Brothers Anand and Milind Shrivastav will be familiar to longtime followers of MFT3F for 1990's slightly over-the-top but very entertaining 'Jungle Love'. The sons of veteran music director Chitragupta, they've scored as many as 200 films, of which 'Peechha Karro' is one of the earliest.

Its title track is what brought my attention to this soundtrack, via a tip on Twitter from film director Atul Sabharwal. Sung by Sharon Prabhakar, it's a gloriously catchy new wave-reggae funk-pop tune that immediately got stuck in my head. Almost as good and equally infectious is the boisterous disco stomper 'Rama Rama'; combined these two are enough to make it a worthwhile album. The remaining songs are more conventional and fail to interest me as much: 'Tumhe Murga Banaake Khilaoongi' contains a pleasant enough melody and 'Mujhpe Goli Na Chala' has an electro intro and some funky bits in-between. And for some reason half the tracks have alternate titles in the YouTube clips.

The pressing could have been better...

Track listing:
1. Sharon Prabhakar & Chorus: Peechha Karro
2. Asha Bhosle: Tumhe Murga Banaake Khilaoongi
3. Kishore Kumar: Mujhpe Goli Na Chala
4. Kishore Kumar & Asha Bhosle: Ikde Aa
5. Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhosle & Chorus: Rama Rama


Monday, August 29, 2016

Raamlaxman: Tumhaare Bina (1982)

Tumhaare Bina

OK, this one's an acquired taste. To be fair, ten years ago I probably wouldn't have liked 'Tumhaare Bina' much, but a gradual growing appreciation of at least some 1980s Bollywood Disco has made me more receptive to stuff like this. Taking cues from Bappi Lahiri's "anything goes" brand of music direction, Raamlaxman's score is at once cheesy, silly, and infectiously playful.

'Sweety Seventeen' is its big hit: bubbly and brash disco pop with plenty of hooks. 'Hanste Hi Hanste' (especially the happy version) contains touches of soft country psych, and the lovely 'Lab Tak Aai Hai' is enhanced by whistling synth lines and a silky Spanish guitar. Child singer Gurpreet Kaur features prominently; she has a voice that many in all likelihood will find annoying, but her quirky, sound effect-laden take on nursery rhyme 'Humpty Dumpty' certainly makes me grin. Rounding things off is a ridiculous (in a good way) instrumental that combines Hawaiian guitar licks, synth effects and a lounge orchestra. Fun stuff.

Raamlaxman's real name is Vijay Patil. He was once the latter half of duo Raam-Laxman and retained his partner's name in tribute when Raam died in the late 1970's.

Track listing:
1. Behroze Chatterjee & Chorus: Sweety Seventeen
2. Bhupinder & Gurpreet Kaur: Hanste Hi Hanste (Happy)
3. Bhupinder & Behroze Chatterjee: Lab Tak Aai Hai
4. Gurpreet Kaur & Chorus: Humpty Dumpty
5. Bhupinder: Hanste Hi Hanste (Sad)
6. Manhar, Behroze Chatterjee & Gurpreet Kaur: Bol Munne Bol
7. Title Music


Monday, August 22, 2016

Sonik Omi: Do Chehere (1976)


'Is Raat Ke Sannate Men' is a fantastic track, slightly reminiscent of the psychedelic marvels heard on Madan Mohan's superb 'Hanste Zakhm' from 1973. Rousing and hypnotic; it features an otherworldly melody, ominous horror effects, dramatic percussion and forceful guitar breaks – mesmerizing!

It is however pretty much the only song that impresses me on 'Do Chehere'. I confess a soft spot for Sonik Omi; they weren't the most original of duos yet I've many times found their often RD Burman-inspired soundtracks to contain plenty of worthwhile music. Occasionally forgoing the master's influence might have been a good idea, but what's left here is merely average. It's not that 'Mera Chhail Bhanwar Anguri Piye' and 'Chali Thi Thumka Deke Thaske' are actually bad songs, they're just a bit nondescript.

Track listing:
1. Asha Bhosle: Ek Buddhu Se Pyar Kar Baithi
2. Usha Mangeshkar: Mera Chhail Bhanwar Anguri Piye
3. Asha Bhosle & Minoo Purshottam: Chali Thi Thumka Deke Thaske
4. Mohd. Rafi, Manna Dey & Minoo Purshottam: Aaj Ki Raat Peene De Saqi
5. Asha Bhosle: Is Raat Ke Sannate Men