28 April 2008

Monday's mp3: Bollywood for Dummies

Recent viewings of Bollywood films and a radio interview (on The World) with a certain playback singer have put Indian diva Asha Bhosle firmly in my mind this week.

If you have any familiarity with Bollywood musicals, you've heard her voice, whether you realize it or not. Many of those lip-synched song-and-dance numbers that pepper India's films are sung by this amazing prolific woman. Having recorded over 20,000 songs, she's a woman whose music is just hard to miss. (Her sister Lata Mangeshkar is no slouch either!)

Rough Guide to Asha Bhosle on SoundRoots.orgYet, my first introduction to her came though the film 1 Giant Leap, which utilized her iconic voice on the song "The Way You Dream" (video). Since then, I've been seeing her name on the credits of soundtracks to movies new and old. Some of those are collected on The Rough Guide to Bollywood Legends: Asha Bhosle, from which this track is pulled. This collection includes 16 tracks of hers ranging from

[mp3] Asha Bhosle: Rishte Bante Hain
from The Rough Guide to Bollywood Legends: Asha Bhosle

The earliest song on this collection is from 1956, the latest from 1999, and she's still singing today. This song, from the 1985 album Dil Padosi Hai, is actually not from a film. Not from a real one, anyway. The album concept came to writer R. D. Burman (Bhosle's second husband) while driving in his car; he created a soundtrack to a movie that existed only in his mind. It became particularly popular in Pakistan, I'm told.

You can enjoy the sheer vocal purity of this on its own, but if you haven't seen these movies (the ones outside of Burman's head), you have to check them out. Drama, fights, romance, and always lots of singing and dancing to illustrate those other things.

By the way, now that Bombay is Mumbai, shouldn't we be calling it Mummywood?

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