Friday, March 24, 2017

S.D. Burman: Kala Bazar (1960)

Kala Bazar

What a great soundtrack Sachin Dev Burman's 'Kala Bazar' is; as fine a collection of vintage Bollywood film songs as you're likely to find. It's an album full of sweetly hummable tunes, sumptuously arranged; partly traditional, partly modern; seasoned with a dash of exotic jazz and sprinkled with Latin flourishes. Pick your own favourites – mine include the beguiling 'Na Main Dhan Chahun' featuring Geeta Dutt and seldom heard Sudha Malhotra, Asha Bhosle's flirtatious 'Sach Hue Sapne Tere' and the exuberant bongo drum-driven cabaret number 'Sambhalo Sambhalo Apna Dil'.

Mohd. Rafi's contributions are also worth noting: 'Teri Dhoom Har Kahin' has a charming, rustic feel to it, and best of all, the score's biggest highlight 'Apni To Har Aah Ek' is a calm and contemplative musical reverie, sung over a soft, chugging train-wheel rhythm. It's written in an unusual time signature (7/4?), giving it an offbeat, droney quality of the sort that today might be termed psychedelic folk. Whatever the categorization, it's a beautiful song.

Track listing:
1. Title Music
2. Mohd. Rafi: Teri Dhoom Har Kahin
3. Geeta Dutt & Sudha Malhotra: Na Main Dhan Chahun
4. Mohd. Rafi: Apni To Har Aah Ek
5. Asha Bhosle: Sambhalo Sambhalo Apna Dil
6. Manna Dey & Asha Bhosle: Sanjh Dhali Dilki Lagi
7. Mohd. Rafi: Khoya Khoya Chand
8. Geeta Dutt & Mohd. Rafi: Rimjhim Ke Tarane Leke
9. Asha Bhosle: Sach Hue Sapne Tere
10. Music



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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Chitragupta: Vaasana (1968)

Vaasana

Music director Chitragupta Shrivastava's career spanned five decades (1940s-80s); his lovely 1968 effort 'Vaasana' [review] was made somewhere in the middle and is one of those scores that successfully bridges tradition and modernity. Captivating, almost soothing sounding melodies characterize 'Aaj Is Darja Pila Do', 'Itni Nazuk Na Bano' and 'Yeh Parbaton Ke Daire', the latter in particular being a favourite, it could be the waltz time that does it for me. 'Mulk Men Bachon Ki Gar Sarkar Ho' features sisters Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle voicing kids, and is also rather compelling. The exotic instrumental 'Fisher Woman's Dance' convincingly combines Latin piano, rousing strings and Indian percussion. And then there's the cabaret number 'Jeenewale Jhoom Ke', again starring Helen, but sweeter, poppier, less raunchy than on recent posts. Top stuff, regardless.

My copy of this is a Barbadian pressing. I've sure it was released in India too, but so far I've only seen late 80s reissues, so who knows?

Track listing:
1. Mohd. Rafi: Aaj Is Darja Pila Do
2. Mohd. Rafi & Lata Mangeshkar: Yeh Parbaton Ke Daire
3. Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle & Chorus: Mulk Men Bachon Ki Gar Sarkar Ho
4. Lata Mangeshkar: Jeenewale Jhoom Ke
5. Mohd. Rafi: Itni Nazuk Na Bano
6. Lata Mangeshkar: Main Sadke Jaoon
7. Fisher Woman's Dance


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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Madan Mohan: Parwana (1971)

Parwana

I was curious to find out if 'Parwana' would have a similar vibe to that of Madan Mohan's raunchy, mind-blowing previous effort 'Mahraja' or if it would fall into the more serene and traditional (but not necessarily less worthy) category of soundtracks I'd initially come to know him for. Closer to the former it turned out. And it's a pretty good one, although my copy is partly scratched and ruined: 'Yun Na Sharma Phailade' is marred by a couple of skips I was unable to work around whilst ripping. It's included in the download, but you might want to look for a better version elsewhere. I'll be looking for an upgrade. Luckily the rest sounds ok.

'Chale Ladkhada Ke' is a top cabaret number, sounding delicious and decadent. Another drunk-song? Helen looks both intoxicating and intoxicated in the clip. Predictably my favourite track here. 'Jis Din Se Main Ne Tumko Dekha Hai' is also excellent; a lovely tune wrapped in a gorgeous, almost folky arrangement. 'Simti Si Sharmai Si' is charming pop; a long intro keeps you guessing with several tempo and time-signature changes.

If only they'd included the groovy mod-soul title music...

Track listing:
1. Asha Bhosle: Chale Ladkhada Ke
2. Mohd. Rafi & Asha Bhosle: Jis Din Se Main Ne Tumko Dekha Hai
3. Kishore Kumar & Mohd. Rafi: Yun Na Sharma Phailade
4. Kishore Kumar: Simti Si Sharmai Si
5. Asha Bhosle: Piya Ki Gali
6. Mohd. Rafi & Asha Bhosle: O Jamila


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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Laxmikant Pyarelal: Anhonee (1973) / Aaj Ka Mahatma (1975)

Anhonee

Two soundtracks that to the best of my knowledge were never released on LP, only as EPs. 'Anhonee' is the better of the pair. As is kind of expected from Laxmikant Pyarelal the songs are loud and dramatic, if not particularly memorable, most of them. 'Main To Ek Pagal' and 'Budhdhoo Pad Gaya Palle' aren’t bad, at least the instrumental parts, and they might conceivably grow on me over time. They will however pale drastically against what does in fact make this record essential, Asha Bhosle’s amazing drunk song 'Hangama Ho Gaya'. A fantastic track containing garage punk elements, jazz elements, psych elements… intoxicating, headbanging stuff. Some of you will have heard it on one of MFT3F’s special mixtapes; it was also remade as recently as 2014.

Aaj Ka Mahatma

Unfortunately I find all of 'Aaj Ka Maratma' somewhat dull. 'Chandni Chand Se Hoti Hai' is OK I guess. It baffles me sometimes that there are so many Laxmikant Pyarelal made between 1972 and 1974 that I love, one fantastic score after another, but after that they only shone intermittently. Or is that just me?

Track listing, 'Anhonee':
1. Asha Bhosle: Balma Hamaar
2. Kishore Kumar & Asha Bhosle: Main To Ek Pagal
3. Lata Mangeshkar: Budhdhoo Pad Gaya Palle
4. Asha Bhosle & Chorus: Hangama Ho Gaya

Track listing, 'Aaj Ka Mahatma'
1. Lata Mangeshkar: Kumda Babnu Ashiq Jhala
2. Kishore Kumar & Asha Bhosle: Chandni Chand Se Hoti Hai
3. Lata Mangeshkar: Tum Aese Kahan Tak Chhupo Ge
4. Kishore Kumar: Ahe Woh Bhi Tha Kya Zamana


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Monday, February 20, 2017

Rajesh Roshan: Telephone (1985)

Telephone

'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


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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)


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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


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Friday, February 3, 2017

Bappi Lahiri: Sumbandh (1982)

Sumbandh

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


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Friday, January 20, 2017

S.D. Burman: Ziddi (1964)

Ziddi

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


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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Babla: Babla's Disco Sensation (1980)

Babla

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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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Friday, September 23, 2016

Ravi: Doli (1969)

Doli

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


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