When I first saw the cover of 'Apna Desh' [review], I knew this was a record I needed to own. It took a while to get - copies always seemed to be snapped up right before my eyes - but after a few years my perseverance paid off. Hell, I even bought and watched the film while waiting (capsule review: It goes on and on, and then has a wonderfully camp last quarter) just to see the cover image in context – it encapsulates so much of what I love about good Bollywood soundtracks; the whole indian/western crossover thing.
And it's a great record, highlighted by the famous 'Duniya Men' (from which the image is taken), probably one of the most frequently blogged Bollywood YouTube clips there is. It's a classic RD Burman number, with all the grooves, licks, details, passion and fun that define his greatest moments. He even sings this one himself.
Additionally, the soundtrack features Asha Bhosle's multifaceted 'Aaja O Mere Raja'. Beginning with a whistle and a cool ska beat, it's sometimes laidback, sometimes dramatic, sometimes playful; always fabulous. 'Rona Kabhi Nahin' is sweet pop with a kid's chorus, and 'Suno Champa' is traditional with a very hummable melody. 'Lelo Lelo Babu Peelo Narial Pani' is both, and lovely.
1. Kishore Kumar & Lata Mangeshkar: Kajra Laga Ke
2. Lata Mangeshkar: Lelo Lelo Babu Peelo Narial Pani
3. Lata Mangeshkar & Kishore Kumar: Suno Champa
4. Kishore Kumar & Chorus: Rona Kabhi Nahin
5. Asha Bhosle: Aaja O Mere Raja
6. Asha Bhosle & Pancham: Duniya Men