Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Music of Bollywood

I was in Singapore's largest HMV store the other day, and since I had more than my usual time to spare, I ventured up to the third level which houses the Classical/Jazz/World music collections. My intent was to look for the Kronos Quartet's new album titled 'You've Stolen My Heart- Songs from RD Burman's Bollywood', which they have recorded with Asha Bhosle. Long time collaborator and tabla maestro, Zakir Hussain also makes an appearance on this CD. I was rather keen to give the string quartet's rendition of RD's tunes a listen. However, the CD was unavailable and and I was left with no other choice but to browse through their collection on world music (which is rather good actually). I came across an interesting 3 CD set called the 'Music of Bollywood' - a collection meant, no doubt, to showcase the quintessential film-pop music from Bollywood's movie assembly line. The track listing is available here.
I must say I was very disappointed with the collection. The album is extremely partial to the 70s and to Kishore Kumar(Personally, I have no problems with it being Kishore heavy, but ideally one is looking for a representative sample). What are songs like 'Pyar do pyar lo', 'Pyar mein dil pe' and 'Aila re' doing on CD1? (or for that matter on any CD). 'Jahan teri yeh nazar hai' (Kaalia) and 'Humma'(Bombay) are the only redeeming moments from an otherwise pathetic collection on CD1. CD2's tracklisting reads more like a Kishore Kumar retrospective. 'Jaanejaan', 'Pal pal dil ke paas', 'Dil aaj shayar hai' and 'Tera mujhse hai pahale' are all worthy inclusions. CD3 again meanders into mediocrity. Jagjit Singh's 'Hothon se chulo tum', Mohd. Rafi's 'Mera man tera pyasa' (Gambler) and Chitra's 'Kahna hi kya'(Bombay) are the saving graces of this deplorable collection. One could have altleast hoped for some more thought on the songs of this generation. No modern hits here with the exception on 'Tu mere samne (Darr) and 'Bahon ke darmiyan' (Khamoshi).
A Bollywood collection with just 2 Rafi songs, no Manna Dey, Mukesh or Hemant Kumar! A listener new to the world of Hindi film music is not going to like this compilation, I'm afraid. The makers seemed to have played a game of random selection to come up with this collection. And that's all this is, a haphazard, choppy and in the end a below-par attempt to showcase Bollywood music, which will disappoint classes and the masses equally.




Cogito said...

Sheer disappointment.

Probably "Universal" tried to push songs for which it already held the copyrights or whoever compiled the album knows very little about hindi music .

Abhishek Chatterjee said...

When I saw the cover I thought it would be a collection of colourful contemporary songs, in keeping with the West's current infatuation with Bollywood. Boy was I wrong! No attempt to segregate it w.r.t eras as well.