Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Shankar Jaikishan: Aashiq (1962/1978)

The music of Aashiq is a lot better without the visual of the movie. It doesn't happen very often that a soundtrack over shadows a film that I haven't even seen, but I can't stand watching the clips. The problem is that the camera work is so bad. But I don't get it. Jaywant Pathare was the cinematographer for Aashiq. But he was the assistant camera man to Raj Kapoor for Aag, Barsaat and Awaara (Raj Kapoor's most beautiful films) so he has no excuse. He even won a Filmfare award 4 years later for Anupama for best cinematography. But Aashiq looks like it was shot by an amateur film maker with low angle and ugly compositions. Ok sorry, I am a cinema student so I have to complain a little and I know I am talking a lot about the cinematography, but it really takes away from the soundtrack.

So basically I am suggesting to listen to the songs before you watch the clips or just close your eyes, no really!

Ok, well the two main characters in the film are a singer (Raj Kapoor) and a dancer (Padmini) may I add the best baratanatyam dancer on the screen ever (close tie with Vijanthimala). Anyway, the music in the film isn't simply to entertain but must compliment the characters individual talents. Shankar Jaikishan did it pretty well. You have "Jhanan Jhanjhanake Apni Payal" for the dancer and "Tum Jo Hamare Meet Na Hote" for the singer. Lovely songs.

My personal favorites are, the sweet "Lo Aai Milan Ki Raat", the fun "Yeh To Kaho Kaun Ho Tum" and "Tum Aaj Mere Sang Hanslo".

I would also like to mention that Aashiq is from the same period as Ujala (1959) and Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai (1960) and resembles both albums but is a little more drama and less folk.


Side 1
1. Mukesh: Main Aashiq Hoon Baharon Ka
2. Lata mangeshkar: Lo Aai Milan Ki Raat
3. Mukesh & Chorus: Yeh To Kaho Kaun Ho Tum
4. Lata Mangeshkar & Mukesh: Mehtab Tera Chehra

Side 2
5. Lata Mangeshkar & Mukesh: O Shama Mujhe Phoonk De
6. Mukesh: Tum Aaj Mere Sang Hanslo
7. Lata Mangeshkar: Jhanan Jhanjhanake Apni Payal
8. Mukesh: Tum Jo Hamare Meet Na Hote

Lyrics: Shailendra & Hasrat Jaipuri

Stella_1's score: 3.5/5

Get the music now: Shankar Jaikishan Aashiq

Laxmikant Pyarelal: Bobby and, Shankar Jaikishan: Mera Naam Joker (Instrumental)

This record is nothing like the Soul of Bobby (Soooo good! You can get a sample at Eastern Eye), this record is more of a cocktail or diner reception kind of thing going on, but at times it's a little funky. I enjoy it but it's nothing mind blowing. (Wait, I never say "mind blowing", it must be from all the Hindi movies I have been watching.)

The record is accredited to two music assistants. The first is Sumit Mitra a musician for Laxmikant Pyarelal's Bobby. The second is Arun Paudwal for Mera Naam Joker, a music assistant as well as a composer for Marathi and Hindi films. He was married to the well know playback singer Anuradha Paudwal.

Just to add, I enjoy the Bobby songs more, well simply because the Bobby songs are better. What do you think? Are you a Mera Naam Joker fan? Tell me about it!


Side 1
1. Bobby: Main Shair To Nahin
2. Bobby: Mujhe Kuch Kahena Hai
3. Mera Naam Joker: Kehta Hai Joker
4. Mera Naam Joker: Jeena Yahan Marna Yahan

Side 2
5. Bobby: Chabi Kho Jae
6. Bobby: Na Mangu Sona Chandi
7. Mera Naam Joker: Jane Kahan Gaye Woh Din

Bobby: Sumit Mitra
Mera Naam Joker: Arun Paudwal

Stella_1's score: 3/5

Get the music now: Shankar Jaikishan & Laxmikant Pyarelal Bobby & MNJ (Instrumental)

O. P. Nayyar: Kismat (1968)

At the first glance, you know that this record is certainly not like Phagun. Instead, Kismat incarnates the typical rebel O. P. Nayyar style. His music was rebellious for it's time, but now it's pretty clean, so let's just call his style non traditional. On this record he is inspired by some jazzy rock'n'roll of the 60's with a little folk as well.

In general the songs are very guitar based. You have the almost county "Lakhon Hain Yahan Dilwale" and the bouncy "Aankhon Men Qayamat Ke Kajal".You also get great instrumentals with "One Two three Baby" which is also available on Bombshell Baby of Bombay vol.2, that you can find on Bombay-Connection Records.

My favorites are the Punjabi inspired "Karja Mohhabat Wala" and the heroine's drunk song "Aao Huzoor Tumko".

I understand that O. P. Nayyar makes the music and melodies simple as to make it easy for the viewers to instantly connect with the songs. But from my personal perspective, I feel that the music is in need of multiple layers, but he doesn't provide that. I prefer O. P. Nayyar's earlier work such as Aar Par, Tumsa Nahin Dekha, Paghun and Naya Daur. In the 60's he was popular because he did not follow trends, he made them. But I have a feeling that during this period when Kismat came out, he was just copying his own music, making this record unoriginal and a bit boring to listen to today.

But I still like to rock'n'roll from time to time. So Baby, tell me what you think!


Side 1
1. Mahendra Kapoor: Aankhon Men Qayamat Ke Kajal
2. Asha Bhosle & Shamshad Begum: Karja Mohhabat Wala
3. Title Music

Side 2
4. Asha Bhosle: Aao Huzoor Tumko
5. Mahendra Kapoor: Lakhon Hain Yahan Dilwale
6. Mahendra Kapoor: One Two Three Baby

Lyrics: Noor Dewasi & S. H. Bihari

Stella_1's score: 3 /5

Get the music now: O. P. Nayyar Kismat

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

What I've been doing

...looks like I will be staying here.

Hi everyone,

I haven't had the time to write posts because I have been searching for a summer job. Anyway, I would like to thank everyone who left me comments and tips about my summer job in London. But I really need money for university so I decided to save up and stay in Montreal. Maybe next summer I will be able to go.

Before summer actually starts, for school, I had to write a term paper on one of my favorite directors. I chose a director I liked, Raj Kapoor, but I really wanted to choose an indian director I didn't know much about (You know like more underground). But after doing some research I found out that there is not much decent info, in english or french, on indian directors. The only south asian director that has lots of books written on him and his work is the bengali director, Satyajit Ray. I don't know if it's the lack of translation by indian film scholars or just the lack of people seriously studying and analysing indian cinema? Don't get me wrong, good books exist but they are rare. I have a small collection of books, but with what I have read I feel that it's not enough. The books don't go deep enough, there is no analysis of a directors work. However I did discover a book on Raj Kapoor called Harmony of Discourse but it's rare and I could not find it to buy anywhere. If anyone knows how to get that book and other more serious works on indian cinema please feel free to give any suggestions.

On May 24th my dance teacher Sudeshna Maulik had a kathak performance. It was the closing show for an asian heritage festival in Montreal called Acces Asie. There where many south asian performers, I especially liked the Dhol and the Bhangra. Anyway, I have only been learning Kathak for 6 months but me and two other students performed as well. That's me in the back, to see more pictures just click here.

On June 2nd I was invited on CJLO a Concordia university radio talk show called There you have it folks! hosted by Nicole and Sinbad Richardson. It was really fun, I might do it again or this fall I will start my own Bollywood radio show. Whichever I will keep you all posted because CJLO is broadcasted on the Internet as well.
Anyway, now back to posting albums ...
Have a great summer!