World Music Network is pleased to announce a new Rough Guide release, The Rough Guide To Psychedelic Bollywood. The album can be purchased as a CD or digital download and is also available with a WMN subscription.
To celebrate this fantastic new release, join us in a guide to our five favourite scenes of Psychedelic Bollywood, featuring tracks included on our new CD!
In the 1960s and 1970s Bollywood composers adventurously adopted the trippy guitars, spiralling synthesizers and ethereal vocals of psychedelia and mixed it with lusciously over-the-top Indian orchestrations. Jewels included feature songs by Asha Bhosle, Lata Mangeshkar, Usha Iyer and yodeller Kishore Kumar.
First up, a gem from the Virji Shah brothers, who make up the composer duo known as Kalyanji Anandji. Together they composed several seminal Bollywood hits and openly acknowledged the influence of James Brown and psychedelia on their musical brand. Here, the composers take full advantage of Dharmatama’s tension-building scene, prefacing a shoot-out in a seedy, psychedelic club in Afghanistan (at a time when the country was associated with its place on the hippy trail), and experiment with synths and wah-wah guitars, as well as sinister laughs and screams.
A classic from the film Apradh, featuring renowned playback singer Asha Bhosle, this track is a quintessential example of Indian rock music, highly reminiscent of the Beatles’ experiments using sitar over an r‘n’b backing. It later formed the basis for the Black Eyed Peas 2005 hit ‘Don't Phunk with My Heart’.
Another gem of psychedelic grooves from 1971’s Hare Rama, Hare Krishna, with Usha Iyer and Asha Bhosle on vocals, this song pokes fun at the shallow, ill-informed and drug-induced hippie take on Hare Krishna spirituality: “Can we go a little faster, man?”
This wonderfully playful interpretation of up-tempo rock ‘n’ roll featuring Mohammed Rafi as playback singer was given a new lease of life when it featured in American cult hit Ghost World (2001).
And finally, more rock and roll frenzy from Mohammed Rafi singing in this frenzied dance number.