Monday, February 8, 2016

Sachin Dev Burman: Jugnu (1973)


SD Burman scores from the late 60s to early 70s; it is often tempting to suspect some participation on the part of his son. I haven't found evidence of any direct involvement from Rahul Dev on 'Jugnu' [review] [2] yet this soundtrack is full of songs that could have been written by the younger music director. Really good songs at that; poppy, upbeat and forward looking.

'Jane Kya Pilaya Tune', 'Gir Gaya Jhumka' and 'Tera Peechha Na Chhodunga' are all cases in point; they're bright and melodious and instantly memorable. The enticing 'Meri Payaliya', with fewer Western touches than the above, sounds wonderfully seductive; Hema Malini looks ravishing in the song's picturization. 'Jugnu Chamke' is driven by a heavy and incessant beat, punctuated with great instrumental details; 'Deep Diwali Ke Jhuthe' is a charming kid's song.

Pushing 70, Sachin Dev was in 1973 as relevant as ever.

Track listing:
1. Lata Mangeshkar: Jane Kya Pilaya Tune
2. Lata Mangeshkar & Kishore Kumar: Gir Gaya Jhumka
3. Lata Mangeshkar: Meri Payaliya
4. Lata Mangeshkar: Jugnu Chamke
5. Kishore Kumar, Sushma Shreshtha & Chorus: Deep Diwali Ke Jhuthe
6. Kishore Kumar: Tera Peechha Na Chhodunga


Monday, February 1, 2016

Shankar Jaikishan: Barsaat (1949)


One more Shankar Jaikishan soundtrack. 'Barsaat' [review] [2] is notable for being the duo's very first score, instantly successful and a first-rate beginning to an illustrious career.

Every elegantly arranged song, most of them performed by Lata Mangeshkar, is noteworthy; melodically sublime and rhythmically striking. 'Barsaat Men Ham Se Mile' and 'Patli Kamar Hai' were apparently (at least according to Wikipedia) the first title song and cabaret number respectively in a Hindi movie. Both are wonderful, but it's the dramatic, deliciously exotic sounding 'Bichhde Hue Pardesi', 'Ab Mera Kaun Sahara' and 'Chhod Gaye Balam' that I mostly come back to these days.

There's no filler here though. This is a top notch album, marred only by the slight truncation of songs to fit them all in. The full length versions can be heard on YouTube.

Track listing:
1. Lata Mangeshkar: Jiya Beqarar Hai
2. Lata Mangeshkar: Mujhe Kisi Se Pyar Ho Gaya
3. Lata Mangeshkar & Mukesh: Patli Kamar Hai
4. Lata Mangeshkar: Bichhde Hue Pardesi
5. Mohd. Rafi: Zindagi Men Hardam
6. Lata Mangeshkar: Hawa Men Udta Jae
7. Lata Mangeshkar: Ab Mera Kaun Sahara
8. Lata Mangeshkar & Mukesh: Chhod Gaye Balam
9. Lata Mangeshkar: Meri Aankhon Men Bas Gaya
10. Lata Mangeshkar & Chorus: Barsaat Men Ham Se Mile


Monday, January 25, 2016

Shankar Jaikishan: Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai (1961)

Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai

More of the same. And much like the previous post, 'Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai' is a charmer. Bridging the old world nostalgia of the 1950s and earlier with the modern rock and jazz infused sounds of the new decade, Shankar Jaikishan's score contains infectious melodies, hooks and beats from start to finish. It's difficult to highlight any particular tracks on this one; 'Teri Zulfonse Judai To' and 'Uff Umma' are current favourites, along with the percussive 'Tum Jaise Bigade Babu', sadly missing the film clip's groovy East vs. West dance-off. And the 'Title Music', essentially an instrumental version of the album's title track, is very hard to resist.

Track listing:
1. Title Music
2. Lata Mangeshkar: Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai
3. Mohd. Rafi & Lata Mangeshkar: Teri Zulfonse Judai To
4. Mohd. Rafi & Lata Mangeshkar: Sau Saal Pahle
5. Mohd. Rafi & Lata Mangeshkar: Uff Umma
6. Mohd. Rafi: Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai
7. Lata Mangeshkar: Nazar Mere Dil Ke Par
8. Lata Mangeshkar: Tum Jaise Bigade Babu
9. Mohd. Rafi: Mohabbat Isko Kahte Hain


Monday, January 18, 2016

Shankar Jaikishan: Professor / Asli Naqli (1962)

Professor Asli Naqli

My favourite Shankar Jaikishan albums tend to feature their their trademark blending of traditional Indian sounds and imported music styles, most of them from the latter half of the 1960s. But seeds were being sown earlier, plainly heard on these two wonderful scores from 1962.

Stylistically and in terms of quality there's not a lot to separate the pair. The award winning soundtrack for 'Professor' [review] contains 'Khuli Palak Me Jhuta Gussa', a superb Mohd. Rafi track with a catchy melody and a great Latin beat. The delightful duet 'Main Chali Main Chali' is similarly irresistible. Sunny sounding 'Hamre Gaon Koi Aayega' and the more melancholy 'Aawaz Deke' invoke tradition; both are fantastic.

And the songs on 'Asli Naqli' follow suit. 'Kal Ki Daulat Aaj Ki Khushiyan' and 'Gori Zara Hans De Too' are zesty and cheerful and contain hints of the exuberant rock 'n' roll numbers that would come a few years down the line. 'Lakh Chhupao' and 'Tera Mera Pyar Amar' are appealing Lata Mangeshkar showcases, the first playful and flirtatious, the second an atmospheric mid-tempo ballad with a French tinge.

Track listing 'Professor':
1. Mohd. Rafi: O! Gulbadan
2. Lata Mangeshkar & Asha Bhosle: Hamre Gaon Koi Aayega
3. Mohd. Rafi: Khuli Palak Me Jhuta Gussa
4. Mohd. Rafi & Lata Mangeshkar: Main Chali Main Chali
5. Mohd. Rafi & Lata Mangeshkar: Aawaz Deke
6. Manna Dey, Asha Bhosle & Usha Mangeshkar: Yeh Umar Hai Kya Rangeeli

Track listing 'Asli Naqli':
7. Mohd. Rafi: Kal Ki Daulat Aaj Ki Khushiyan
8. Lata Mangeshkar: Lakh Chhupao
9. Lata Mangeshkar & Mohd. Rafi: Tujhe Jeevan Ki Dor Se
10. Mohd. Rafi: Pyar Ka Saaz Bhi Hai
11. Lata Mangeshkar: Tera Mera Pyar Amar
12. Mohd. Rafi: Gori Zara Hans De Too


Monday, January 11, 2016

Naushad: Ganwaar (1970)


From what I gather, there are Naushad enthusiasts who really dislike 'Ganwaar'. Pandering to popular tastes or something like that. And to be fair, side one of this soundtrack doesn't sound like him at all. 'Pee Kar Sharab Khelunga' comes with an exotic sounding intro to what appears to be an atmospheric ballad, but before long the songs transforms into a peppy, poppy rock 'n' roll number. 'Tumhara Naam Kya Hai' has a similarly chirpy vibe and the lovely 'Main Hun Ganwaar', while a tad more subdued, maintains the decidedly Western feel that characterize these songs. Mohd. Rafi features on all, and you could easily be forgiven for thinking this was a Shankar Jaikishan or Kalyanji Anandji score you were listening to.

The second half sounds a bit more traditional, but no less lively. Asha Bhosle joins Rafi on the playful 'Hum We To Achhi Teri Payal' and the loud and relentless 'Tera Chikna Roop Hai'; both are great.

So purists may need to have me excused; I find this a highly enjoyable album.

Track listing:
1. Mohd. Rafi: Pee Kar Sharab Khelunga
2. Mohd. Rafi: Tumhara Naam Kya Hai
3. Mohd. Rafi: Main Hun Ganwaar
4. Mahendra Kapoor & Chorus: Yehi Dharti Yehi Dharti
5. Mohd. Rafi & Asha Bhosle: Hum We To Achhi Teri Payal
6. Mohd. Rafi, Asha Bhosle & Chorus: Tera Chikna Roop Hai


Thursday, December 31, 2015

Asha Bhosle with Rahul Dev Burman: Live At Royal Albert Hall, London (1979)

Live At Royal Albert Hall

'Live At The Royal Albert Hall' is a fabulous document of Asha Bhosle's first ever performances in London, on June 19th and 20th 1978. Backed by Rahul Dev Burman and accompanied by friends and family, it's a veritable greatest hits package of classic tunes from classic films. RD's own compositions are prominent (songs from 'Yaadon Ki Baaraat', 'Caravan', 'Sholay' 'Teesri Manzil', 'Hare Rama Hare Krishna' and more) but the set also features songs by among others S.D. Burman, Ravi, O.P. Nayyar and Shankar Jaikishan. The audience sounds ecstatic, and why wouldn't they be?

Happy new year!

Track listing:
1. An Introduction - Kamal Barot
2. Speech by Asha Bhosle
3. Shloka from Bhagwad Geeta
4. Tora Man Darpan
5. Jhumka Gira Re
6. Chura Liya Hai Tum Ne
7. Yeh Hai Reshmi Zulfon Ka Andhara
8. Introduction of Shashi Kapoor by Asha Bhosle
9. Shashi Kapoor - A Request for a Song
10. Yeh Ladka Hai Allah
11. Raat Akeli Hai
12. Piya Too Ab To Aja (with Rahul Dev Burman)
13. Mehbooba Mehbooba (with Rahul Dev Burman)
14. Welcome Address by Mr. Peter Brown
15. Ab Ke Baras Bhejo
16. Hamara Gaon Koi Aayega (with Varsha Bhosle)
17. Reshmi Shalwar Kurta Jali Ka (with Varsha Bhosle)
18. Nigahen Milane Ko Jee Chahata Hai
19. Parde Men Rahne Do
20. Jaaiye Aap Kahan Jayenge
21. O Mere Sona
22. Duniya Men (with Rahul Dev Burman)
23. Dum Maro Dum


Friday, December 11, 2015

Kalyanji Anandji: Do Shatru / Chori Mera Kaam (1975)

Do Shatru

This 1975 Kalyanji Anandji two-fer is nice, though arguably not quite of the quality their reputation is based upon. Both scores have their moments. 'Do Shatru' (the release of the actual film appears to have been delayed five years) sounds mostly traditional, and very percussive. Every song is driven by drums and tablas, almost relentlessly so. 'Rub Na Kare' is my favourite; it is at once trippily hypnotic and infectiously danceable.

'Chori Mera Kaam' [review] [2] has a more typical 1970s pop feel – although there's plenty of traditional drumming on its title track too. 'Kahe Ko Kahe Ko Mere Peechay Pari Hai' and 'Main Kachhay Angoor Ki Bela' are both good; fun and comparatively funky, but perhaps not songs one remembers for a long time. 'Meri Nazar Se Bacha Na Koi' is the score's (and the entire record's) highlight: a mysterious sounding into, great melody, soulful horn section, cool interludes and groovy tempo shifts.

Track listing 'Do Shatru':
1. Lata Mangeshkar & Narendra Chanchal: Rub Na Kare
2. Kanchan & Chorus: Aao Sakhio Tumhara
3. Aziz Nazaan & Chorus: Yeh Nazar Hai Nazar
4. Asha Bhosle: Main Billo Bangalore Ki

Track listing 'Chori Mera Kaam':
5. Kishore Kumar & Asha Bhosle: Chori Mera Kaam
6. Kishore Kumar & Asha Bhosle: Kahe Ko Kahe Ko Mere Peechay Pari Hai
7. Kishore Kumar, Amit & Kanchan: Main Kachhay Angoor Ki Bela
8. Kishore Kumar: Meri Nazar Se Bacha Na Koi


Monday, November 30, 2015

100 Bollywood Soundtracks Every Music Lover Ought To Hear

Music From The Third Floor has, since its inception in 2006, posted more than 300 soundtracks from the golden age of Bollywood cinema. Ever wondered which ones are the very best? Well now you can find out.

It's been a while in the making and some of you will hopefully have been waiting eagerly (and patiently) for it, so I'm really happy to announce the publication of A Music From The Third Floor Guide To 100 Bollywood Soundtracks Every Music Lover Ought To Hear.

Presented chronologically, the book touches on the traditionally rooted scores of the 1950s, explores the implementation of jazz and rock ’n’ roll in the 1960s, covers the funky, pan-generic experimentation of the 1970s, and ends up taking on the over-the-top Bombay Disco sounds of the 1980s. Now it would have been easy to simply reuse reviews from the blog, however every record included has been relistened to and reevaluated. (And every cover rescanned!) A totally fresh perspective; there might even be some surprises, and there are quite a few entries that have yet to feature here.

Intrigued? Watch the trailer and buy the book; you definitely ought to get this!


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Various: Gujarati Film Songs (1970)


As long as we're exploring different regions of India, here's a compilation that's been lying around for a while featuring songs from Gujarati cinema, aka Gollywood or Dhollywood, the latter sobriquet apparently chosen for a profuse use of the Dhol drum. And this is a very percussive, mostly traditional set of songs. Not my preferred cup of tea usually, but I actually find myself enjoying some of these quite a bit.

A few well known names crop up in addition to several I'm not at all familiar with. Asha Bhosle's 'Dham Dhamak Dham Sanjelu' is hugely compelling, and Geeta Roy (Dutt) sounds typically lovely on 'Ratana Ramada'. Dilip Dholkia appears to have worked in Bollywood under the name Dilip Roy; his 'Taari Aankhno Baheeni' is a charming old-school jazz tune. 'Mhare Te Gamde' features Ameerbai Karnataki and sounds sweetly folky.

Note: Track info is mostly taken from the record's Discogs entry as everything on the cover and labels is in Gujarati.

Track listing:
1. Lata Mangeshkar & Pinakin Shah: Mehndi Te Lagi Malave (Garbo) (from Mehndi Rang Lagyo)
2. Dilip Dholkia: Taari Aankhno Baheeni (from Divadandee)
3. Asha Bhosle & Chorus: Dham Dhamak Dham Sanjelu (from Narsaiyyanee Hundi)
4. Mukesh: Najarna Gam Chalkavi (from Akhand Saubhagyavati)
5. Geeta Roy: O Bhabhi Tamen Thoda Thoda (from Gunsundari)
6. Geeta Roy & A.R. Ojha: Ratana Ramada (from Mangal Fera)
7. Krishna Kalle: Banina Char Char Phool (from Samay Varte Savadhan)
8. Manna Dey & Kamal Barot: Jut Javo Chandanhar Lavo (from Akhand Saubhagyavati)
9. Geeta Roy: Aaj Mari Nanandiye Melun Bharyun (from Gunsundari)
10. Ameerbai Karnateki: Mhare Te Gamde (Ras) (from Ranakdevi)
11. Geeta Roy: Taliona Tale (Garbo) (from Mangal Fera)


Friday, November 6, 2015

Mrinal Banerjee: Harano-Prapti-Niruddesh (1975) / Illaiyaraaja: Meendum Kokila (1980)


Two non-Bollywood EPs this time. I must admit I know nothing about the Bengali (Tollywood) production 'Harano-Prapti-Niruddesh', nor its music director Mrinal Banerjee. I think it might have been the cover art that appealed to me when I came across the record... I'm happy to say then that I find it delightful through and through.

'Jar Nijer Pockete Nei Paisha' has become a particular favourite of late. A wonderfully compelling song with a unique sound; part Hawaii, part Brazil, kind of folky, deliciously poppy (imagine an Indian Jonathan Richman perhaps) with a great 60s beat; fantastic stuff. 'Chokh Mukh Hashi Taar' has much of the same chirpy vibe, and 'Halaph Kore Bolte Pari' is cool lounge-type song, oddly reminiscent of 'Teddy Bear's Picnic'. (That might be just me though.) The remaining tracks are slightly more traditional; 'O Pakhi, Pakhi O Pakhi' being especially lovely.

Meendum Kokila

I've dabbled in Illaiyaraaja previously (I fear further exploration might result in an obsession), and the two scores by him posted have been Hindi dubs/remakes of Tamil films. Both are highly recommended. 'Meendum Kokila' is a Kollywood original; its songs imbued with the same wonderful sound that characterizes his Bollywood efforts. Synths, light orchestrations, quirky instrumental details and superb melodies combine on these tracks; 'Ponnana Meni' and 'Hai Ooraayiram' upbeat and poppy, 'Radha Radha' low key and beautiful.

Track listing, 'Harano-Prapti-Niruddesh':
1. Hemanta Mukherjee: Jar Nijer Pockete Nei Paisha
2. Arati Mukherjee: Janina Ki Kore Bolbo
3. Kanchi Bandyopadhyay: Ei Dhara Dhame
4. Manna Dey: Chokh Mukh Hashi Taar
5. Arati Mukherjee & Tarun Banerjee: Halaph Kore Bolte Pari
6. Sravanti Majumdar: O Pakhi, Pakhi O Pakhi

Track listing, 'Meendum Kokila'
1. K.J. Jesudoss & S. Janaki: Ponnana Meni
2. S.P. Balasubrahmanyam & S. Janaki: Radha Radha
3. K.J. Jesudoss & S.P. Sailaja: Chinnanchiru
4. S.P. Balasubrahmanyam: Hai Ooraayiram


Friday, October 23, 2015

Usha Khanna: Aao Pyar Karen (1964)

Aao Pyar Karen

I don't have as many Usha Khanna soundtracks as I probably should. 'Aao Pyar Karen' might not be the best I've heard of hers, but it does feature several appealing songs, the arrangements of which, while neither particularly innovative nor adventurous, seem perfectly fitting. Many have a pleasantly bucolic, almost sedate feel to them; 'Bahare Husn Teri' and 'Ek Sunheri Sham Thi' are particularly noteworthy. Others are livelier, like the title track, 'Dilbar Dilbar' (criminally, they've chopped of its intro on the record) and 'Jinke Liye Main Diwana Bana' (ditto; argh!). Usha Khanna was nothing if not an exceptionally good songwriter.

Track listing:
1. Mohd. Rafi: Bahare Husn Teri
2. Lata Mangeshkar: Tamannaon Ko Khilnedo
3. Mohd. Rafi: Dilbar Dilbar
4. Lata Mangeshkar: Ek Sunheri Sham Thi
5. Mohd. Rafi: Yeh Jhuki Jhuki Nigahen
6. Usha Khanna & Mahendra Kapoor: Aao Pyar Karen
7. Lata Mangeshkar: Meri Dastan
8. Mohd. Rafi & Lata Mangeshkar: Tum Akele To Kabhi
9. Mohd. Rafi: Jinke Liye Main Diwana Bana
10: Mohd. Rafi: Dilke Aine Men


Monday, September 21, 2015

Kalyanji Anandji: Haath Ki Safai (1974)

Haath Ki Safai

If you were to think "I’ve heard this before" when listening to the unlisted instrumental kicking off 'Haath Ki Safai', you wouldn't be mistaken. The melody sounds just like Henry Mancini's theme from 'The Thief That Came To Dinner', which isn't unusual in itself; Bollywood MDs did that sort of thing a lot. What's surprising is that just a few months later, Kalyanji Anandji used the same melody again for their (now quite famous) instrumental from 'Rafoo Chakkar'. They must really have liked Mancini’s original.

It precedes 'Wada Karle Sajna' and combined they are the best thing on this soundtrack. The song is beautiful; a soaring melody, sumptuously orchestrated with a cool rolling rhythm. I quite like 'Ham Ko Mohabbat Ho Gai Hai' too, a pleasant if unspectacular pop tune with nice instrumental details, including a Morricone-ism or two. Cabaret number 'Too Kya Jane O Bewafa' follows Kalyanji Anandji's trademark funk pop formula; similar in style to their own 'Ae Naujawan Hai Sub Kuchh Yahan' but without being quite as good. Or as funky.

Track listing:
1. Lata Mangeshkar & Mohd. Rafi: Wada Karle Sajna
2. Mahendra Kapoor & Chorus: Oopar Wale Teri Duniya Men
3. Kishore Kumar & Lata Mangeshkar: Ham Ko Mohabbat Ho Gai hai
4. Kishore Kumar & Hema Malini: Peene Wale Ko Peene Ka Bahana Chahiye
5. Lata Mangeshkar: Too Kya Jane O Bewafa


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sachin Dev Burman: Naya Zamana (1971)

Naya Zamana

There are several S.D. Burman scores made between 1969 and 1971 that I have a great fondness for, and while 'Naya Zamana' might not be among the best of them, it certainly has its moments.

Inevitably(?), it’s the cool jazz/beat-tinged drug den number 'Wah Re Naujawan Aaj Kal Ke' that stands out. Rahul Dev Burman was a frequent assistant to his father at this stage; it's easy to imagine he had a hand in arranging this one too. Otherwise the songs have a more traditional feel; some upbeat and percussive like 'O Champa, O Chameli', while others have a softer, more subdued feel. 'Choron Ko Sare Nazar Aate Hai Chor' and 'Naya Zamana Aayeag' in particular are growing on me; Lata Mangeshkar sounds lovely on both.

It’s been a long time since I last posted anything by the elder Burman, but I'm happy to say there’ll be a few in the coming months.

Track listing:
1. Lata Mangeshkar: Choron Ko Sare Nazar Aate Hai Chor
2. Lata Mangeshkar: Naya Zamana Aayega
3. Kishore Kumar: Wah Re Naujawan Aaj Kal Ke
4. Lata Mangeshkar: Rama Rama Ghajab Huyi Gawa Re
5. Kishore Kumar: Duniya O Duniya
6. Lata Mangeshkar: O Champa, O Chameli
7. Manna Dey & Mehmood: Chalta Phirta Hotel


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Rahul Dev Burman: Bombay To Goa (1972/2012)

Bombay To Goa

Bright, breezy, frisky and fun, 'Bombay To Goa' [review] [2] finds Rahul Dev Burman in characteristically fine form. Perhaps not his most adventurous in terms of sonic exuberance (still a lot going on though), it is nonetheless an ace collection of really good songs.

It begins wonderfully with the cool psychedelic pop of 'Haaye Haaye Yeh Thanda Paani'. 'Dekha Na Haaye Re' and 'Dil Tera Hai Main Bhi Teri Hoon' are (slightly) more traditional sounding; percussive and infectious. De facto title tune ‘O Maheki Maheki Thandi Hawa’ is a straight-up Hindi version of ‘Help Me Rhonda’. Never my favourite Beach Boys song, however its singalong quality lends itself well to Burman's take and the scene in the film it backs. 'Tum Meri Zindagi Mein Kuch', borrowing elements from Charlie Chaplin’s ‘Limelight’ theme, is a lovely ballad, and 'Title Song' is a typically dramatic instrumental; tense and action packed.

The soundtrack's now perhaps best known track is the English language 'Listen To The Pouring Rain', a medley of international hits sung by Usha Iyer. The story goes that lyrics were altered, marginally, in order to avoid copyright hassle. It seems they got away with it. The film clip is great fun and features Usha herself.

To be honest I hadn't actually planned on getting this album. I don't usually look for reissues; however this 2012 release seems to be the first time the soundtrack has been made available in its entirety, at least on vinyl.

Track listing:
1. Asha Bhosle & Chorus: Haaye Haaye Yeh Thanda Paani
2. Kishore Kumar & Chorus: Dekha Na Haaye Re
3. Kishore Kumar & Chorus: O Maheki Maheki Thandi Hawa
4. Kishore Kumar & Lata Mangeshkar: Tum Meri Zindagi Mein Kuch
5. Lata Mangeshkar & Kishore Kumar: Dil Tera Hai Main Bhi Teri Hoon
6. Usha Iyer: Listen To The Pouring Rain
7. Title Song


Monday, August 31, 2015

Bappi Lahiri: Bhavani Junction (1985)

Bhavani Junction

There's not an awful lot to say about this one, a mid-1980s Bappi Lahiri effort sounding pretty much as one would expect. That's not to say it isn't any good, on the contrary, I'm quite fond of 'Bhavani Junction'. Bappi's trademark blend of upbeat (and synthetic, mostly) disco-funk, catchy melodies and general campness is evident throughout; 'Aaeeye Baahon Mein' especially is a fabulous take on 'Aie a Mwana', the Yamasuki/Black Blood/Bananarama hit originally written by French pop producers Jean Kluger and Daniel Vangarde. I prefer this version to any of the above.

Track listing:
1. Asha Bhosle & Chorus: Prem Ashram
2. Vijay Benedict & Chorus: Bhavani Junction
3. Dialogue
4. Sharon Prabhakar, Bappi Lahiri & Chorus: Aaeeye Baahon Mein
5. Asha Bhosle: Ghumke Dekho Na
6. Dialogue