Tuesday 17 August 2010

Rahul Dev Burman: The Train (1970)

The Train

For several reasons, 'The Train' [review] is a landmark record. It was the first ever Indian soundtrack album to be released on the Polydor label, ending a decades long near monopoly on the part of the Gramophone Company of India (EMI/HMV). The latter was obviously very annoyed by this intrusion, and in fact counteracted by releasing an EP of cover versions of the film's songs. Unsuccessfully, I'd imagine.

[Update: Cover versions EP available here]

But more importantly, this is the score on which RD Burman first introduced his groundbreaking, Asha sung/Helen performed (usually), nightclub cabaret style. 'O Meri Jaan Main Ne Kaha' has all the markings: A meaty backbeat, frenzied guitar licks, whirling strings, hard horn blasts, trippy organ breaks, wild bongo drums, mad sonic experimentation… and a flirtatiously sung tune featuring RD himself doing that kooky Mehbooba thing with his voice. Totally over the top, and terrific. There had been cabaret songs before this, but RD was taking it to a whole other level. And imitators would soon follow suit. (Sadly, the album doesn't include the amazing sounding background music that serves as the track's intro in the video, nor other instrumental pieces. Check the review linked to above for tasters.)

There's plenty more good tracks as well. 'Gulabi Ankhen' is wonderfully catchy pop with a great groove, the percussive 'Saiyan Re Saiyan' is similarly impossible to sit still to (I adore the instrumental build starting at around 1:25), the bossa-flavoured 'Kis Liye Maine Pyar Kiya' is Lata Mangeshkar at her loveliest, and 'Maine Dil Abhi Diya Nahin' is another cabaret number - less out there than 'O Meri Jaan' but nevertheless fabulous.

Incidentally, this is the only album I'm familiar with where Rafi is credited with his unabbreviated, if unusually spelled, first name.

Track listing:
1. Mohamed Rafi: Gulabi Ankhen
2. Asha Bhosle & Rahul Dev Burman: O Meri Jaan Main Ne Kaha
3. Asha Bhosle: Saiyan Re Saiyan
4. Lata Mangeshkar: Kis Liye Maine Pyar Kiya
5. Mohamed Rafi & Lata Mangeshkar: Mujhse Bhala Yeh Kajal
6. Asha Bhosle: Maine Dil Abhi Diya Nahin


  1. I'm really excited to listen to this one!

  2. PC, I've just done a comparison of your rip against Sheila's from March 2008.
    I'm going with your rip. The pressing is cleaner, and also - not having the DVD to refer to or anything - I'm going to guess it's her version that has a pitch problem, not yours.

  3. Hope so... the light on my turntable strobe is busted, but it should still be spinning at the correct speed.

  4. Thanks, PC. Listening to it right now...sweet rip. :)

  5. In Arabic you only write mhmd (محمد) , so this spelling not totally out of thin air. :)

  6. Excellent find! I subscribed to your blog a few weeks ago and I'm really enjoying your selections. Thanks!

  7. Just having a look at yours as well - looks ace!

  8. Thanks PC for the excellent rips. you are right, it's unfortunate that Polygram didn't release the prelude of "O meri jaan". Also this movie had an wonderful title track sung by RD and Usha Iyer (Uthup).

  9. Oh I am so sad to see no instrumentals in this...the background music is so superb.

    But still---it's better than no The Train from you!!!! :) thanks!

    @gjg---your blog (and your night job anyway) look FAB!

  10. @memsaab your blog looks excellent as well! I haven't updated mine in quite a while, but you and PC are inspiring me to try and get back to it... :)

  11. hey PC! you have an awesome blog here.
    thanks for all the boolywood goods !!!
    but you should check out some more Ilaiyaraaja scores. there is some crazy shit that happened in the early 80's...

  12. Thanks for sharing ...

  13. Got this record along with 80 other awesome rarities at Mumbai just yesterday. I FEEL GOOD! :)
    Thanks for your rip. Saves me the hassle. Keep up!

    Harshi :)

  14. I'm going to pretend I'm not jealous. And fail at it.

  15. THE LINK IS DELETED!!!!!!!