Friday, November 6, 2009

Shankar Jaikishan: Bombay Talkie (1970)

Bombay Talkie is quite a find. The music, by Shankar Jaikishan, is the only collaboration between themselves and the famous Merchant-Ivory film team (Ismail Merchant and James Ivory). The english film, starring Shashi Kapoor, his wife Jennifer Kendal and Zia Mohyeddin, mostly takes place in Bombay of the late 60's early 70's. Vikram (Shashi Kapoor) is an aging hero stuck in an unhappy arranged marriage with his wife Mala (Aparna Sen). Lucia, a three time married middle age novelist, takes a liking to Vikram while Hari, a Bombay screenwriter, madly in love with her, does as she pleases. This has to be my favorite Merchant-Ivory film ever! But I won't say any more than that, as I will probably review the film one day. For now, let me talk about some of the soundtrack's great songs.

The tracks comprise, mostly of various versions of the Bombay Talkie Theme, "Title and Theme" can be heard in the Title Credits along with "Tum Mere Pyar Ki Duniyamen" a few seconds before that. In this particular sequence, the "Title and Theme" is played as hand painted portraits (filmi style) of the cast and crew are shown around the streets of Mumbai.

Besides the theme variations, five, of what we can call conventional, songs are found on the record. Along with the previously mentioned "Tum Mere Pyar Ki Dumiyamen" you have to start with the great and famous "Typewritter Tip Tip Tip" song because, well, just because. With the fantastic Helen and Shashi dancing on a giant typewriter, what else do you need. A young and spunky Usha Lyer gives us two versions of "Hari Om Tat Sat" (हारी ॐ तट सात). One is the orchestrated version which is
the film version and the other version is the "official" version. She also sings the vocals to the Bombay Theme tune "Good Times, Bad Times".


As for the variations I enjoy the "Rajput Suite" "Now I Shall Call You Ma" and especially "Picnic in the Cave" with it's new wave synthesisers.

Overall, though it's not entirely a commercial Hindi film soundtrack, it is very enjoyable and interesting to listen too. As much for it's filmi songs, instrumentals and some rare Usha Lyer (now Usha Uthup) tunes. Just listen for yourselves!

Oh, and once your done listening to the music, those who have not seen the movie yet, rent it or buy it NOW!





Tracks:

Side 1

1. Instrumental - Title and Theme
2. Mohd. Rafi - Tum Mere Pyar Ki Duniyamen

Variations of theme:
3. Instrumental - Incidental Music
4. Instrumental - Devotion
5. Instrumental - Rajput Suite
6. Instrumental - Now I Shall Call You Ma
7. Instrumental - More Incidental Music
8. Usha Uthup - Hari Om Tat Sat



Side 2

9. Usha Uthup - Hari Om Tat Sat (with Orchestra)

Variations of theme:
10. Instrumental - Picnic in the Cave
11. Instrumental - Birthday Party 1
12. Asha Bhosle & Kishore Kumar - Typewriter Tip Tip Tip

Variations of theme:
13. Instrumental - Meeting and Birthday Party 2
14. Usha Uthup - Good Times, Bad Times


Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri, Usha Lyer/Uthup only for "Hari Om Tat Sat"

Stella_1's score: 4/5

Get the music now: Shankar Jaikishan Bombay Talkie

7 comments:

Mister Naidu said...

Thank you so much for this rarity! Great to finally hear Helen and Shashi's "Typewriter Tip Tip Tip" in its entirety. :D

litlgrey said...

Oooh, Stella! Thanks so much! I've been hoping to hear this album ever since that Merchant Ivory film came out a couple of years ago that had the delicious "Typewriter Tip Tip Tip" on the soundtrack!

litlgrey said...

Oh, question! Do you have a large scan of the rear cover as well?

Stella_1 said...

Mister Naidu - Yeah, "Typewriter Tip Tip Tip" is fun to listen too.

Litlgrey - I will scan it (because this is a picture), and I will send it to you. Just send me an email (I think you have it) and I will send you a scan. Thanks for the comment, and how is the moving going? Thanks

litlgrey said...

Moving? I'm not moving. If anything, I'm standing still.

I can't seem to locate your email address, but I can always be reached at litlgrey@ix.netcom.com .

Thank you!!

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