29 September sees the release of two new compilation albums: The Rough Guide To Bollywood Disco and The Rough Guide To Fado Legends. Both albums come with a bonus disc and can be ordered as a one-off purchase or as part of your World Music Network Subscription.
Disco, Bollywood-style, is typically high-voltage: metallic flares, dazzling over-sized mirror-balls, smoke machines galore and Technicolor flashing dance floors. Let loose those dancing shoes and boogie down to Bollywood’s glittering disco heyday with Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar and more.
James Brown’s trombonist Fred Wesley famously said ‘Disco music is funk with a bow-tie’ - a witty observation but much too modest for Bollywood. In typically high-voltage fashion, disco done Indian style adds so much more: metallic flares, dazzling over-sized mirror-balls, smoke machines galore and more Technicolor flashing dance floors than you could shake a rhinestone encrusted stick at.
Disco originally steamed up from the hot and hectic streets of 1970s New York. Embracing decadence and presenting a new souped-up beat-driven sound, disco (like punk) can be seen as a reaction to the placid, perennially positive hippy vibes of the 1960s. The UK, its ears already opened to American dancefloor sounds via Northern Soul, had its first disco number one in 1974 with George McCrae’s ‘Rock Your Baby’. Soon, imported cassettes and vinyl worked their way into the hands of Indian film composers such as Bappi Lahiri, R.D. Burman and Biddu Appaiah. It’s time to let loose those dancing shoes and boogie down to Bollywood’s glittering disco heyday.
The Rough Guide To Bollywood Disco also shines the spotlight on one of Bollywood’s greats, highlighting the dazzling career of the award-winning playback singer, actor, composer, screen-writer and director – Kishore Kumar.
Includes Bonus Album The Rough Guide To Kishore Kumar
With its raw passion and elegance, fado is one of the world’s great living musical traditions – its melancholic songs about lost love and tragic stories of the sea have a bewitching beauty. Listen to tales of lament and longing from the greatest fado legends including Amália Rodrigues, Maria de Fé and João Ferreira-Rosa.
Fado is the lifeblood of Portugal’s urban folk scene. Its melancholic songs pump thick through Lisbon’s cobbled streets and steaming port-side bars, piercing the hearts of listeners with typically mournful lyrics and full-hearted vocal performances. Fado is soaked in what the Portuguese call saudade, a word that translates best as a deep-set feeling of melancholy and yearning. The seventeenth century Portuguese writer Manuel de Mello describedfado as ‘a pleasure you suffer, an ailment you enjoy’.
Fado emerged in the late 1820s in Lisbon, its irresistible sound trickling outwards from the neighbourhoods of Alfama, Mouraria and Barrio Alto. Owing to the vibrant port at Lisbon, the new cultures and traditions flowed in and out of the waterfront city, promoting a previously unprecedented level of musical exchange. Related to fado’sseafaring origins, is its historic connection to marginal social groups; songs of dispossessed prostitutes, lonely sailors, far from home coachmen and underhand criminals are all common to the genre. One legend tells that the first fado diva was Maria Severa, a prostitute who was embroiled in an affair with a high profile Count. When the affair ended, Maria began to sing impassioned songs about her heartache, giving way to the emergence of the genre.
Today, a young crop of fadistas beat together traditional forms with international inferences. Critics raise concerns surrounding the commodification of fado and the overpowering of the old, authentic fado houses by money-hungry tourist venues. Supporters of new formations point out that by its very nature, fado has always been a fluxing, changing site of creativity. This Rough Guide celebrates the legends of fado that inspire the forerunners of the present day. The classic giants of the genre that are heard on this album performed during the late twentieth century – a heyday for impassioned compositions, trembling portentous guitar parts and dramatic, heart-saddening songs.
Also presented as part of this package is the critically acclaimed album from one of Fado’s next generation of promising stars, Katia Guerreiro. Receiving the award for ‘Best Performer of Fado’ from the Amália Rodrigues Foundation, as well as being awarded the ‘Order of Arts And Letters’ in France, Katia is a fantastic ambassador for fado on the world scene and set to become a legend in the future.
Includes Bonus Album By Katia Guerreiro