Two oddities this time around: I mentioned earlier why the Gramophone Company of India didn't take kindly to Polydor releasing the soundtrack to 'The Train', and how they responded by putting out an EP of cover versions. Well, here it is. I imagine the release would have seemed redundant and even desperate at the time; the tracks do sound somewhat lacklustre, as if nobody involved really had their heart in it. It's worth a listen though, as an interesting historical curio if nothing else. I notice they didn't attempt covering 'O Meri Jaan Main Ne Kaha'; probably wise.
These days, and in certain circles, Charanjit Singh is considered something of a legend, primarily due to the album 'Synthesizing: Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat', on which he more or less invented Acid House. Without anyone noticing, and a good ten years before the genre even existed. It's a stunning record. What concerns us here though, is his earlier collection of instrumental versions of Bollywood songs. In general, I'm not a fan of such undertakings – most of what I've heard has sounded tedious and uninspired – but 'Instrumental Film Tunes' is really very good. A versatile session musician, Singh seems to have opted for highlighting specific instruments on each title – maybe it's because of his choices that these versions contain a distinct garage and/or surf quality. And that certainly works for me; I love this.
It's only an EP, but two additional tracks, from the long player, can be found on the splendid Radiodiffusion blog. I should get hold of a copy.
Track listing, 'The Train':
1. Amber Kumar: Gulabi Aankhen
2. Krishna Kalle & Chorus: Saiyan Re Saiyan
3. Hemlata: Kis Liye Main Ne
4. Hemlata & Amber Kumar: Mujhse Bhala
Track listing, 'Instrumental Film Tunes':
1. Koi Ladki Koi Ladki - Claviolin (Seeta Aur Geeta)
2. Manjhi Re - Hawaiian Guitar (Bandhe Haath)
3. Jab Andhera Hota Hai - Transicord (Raji Rani)
4. O Saathi Chal - Bass Guitar (Seeta Aur Geeta)
5. Musafir Hoon Yaron - Claviolin (Parichay)
6. Yari Ho Gayi Yar Se - Transicord (Do Chor)