Pyar Ka Mandir
Laxmikant-Pyarelel Pyar Ka Mandir LP (Super, 1987)
Listen, I am not gonna front that I an expert on Indian movie soundtracks. What I know about Bollywood you could shove up a duck's ass. The movies contain a bit of light petting, a lot of restaurant scenes, an bushy mustached actor playing the evil dude, and a few scenes where people spontaneously break out into a psychedelic song and dance number. My knowledge of Bollywood has come from stumbling on Indian movies when flipping though UHF channels on the TV, a few comps, and a handful of soundtracks that I pulled out of various Indian food stores before they became hot with DJs and disappeared. Today there might be an Indian market in Des Moines that has a box of vinyl (still doubtful) but if you are in a major city, don't waste your time...or money.
The Indian film industry turns out a little more than 3 feature films a day, each with a soundtrack (over 1000 movies made theater release in 2004). Let's be conservative and estimate that an average of 300 Bollywood soundtracks were released per year since 1970. That is 10,500 records, tapes, & CDs. At that rate you gotta figure that most of it is crap. When I did my big Bollywood soundtrack haul, I blindly bought 100 records in a couple weeks. I had no idea what I was doing. I went by the covers: Anything picturing a gun or an elephant (and hopefully a gun AND an elephant), I bought. Tigers were also a hook. Old people sitting around a feast table I passed up. Most of what I was looking at were recent titles, which in this instance was late 1980s. Finding old titles in Indian stores was impossible (and finding any Bollywood in used record stores was tough). Out of the hundred LPs, five had songs that sucked the filth out of my mind and replaced it with joy juice. Ten more had really good songs. Another ten had songs that warranted multiple listens. Of the rest, twenty five were mildly amusing but dismissible and fifty were blah or outright crap. All this worked out for me once the internet boomed as I was able to sell the shit to dot.com drunk yuppies at very high prices. Since then I pick up Bollywood sountracks when I find them but I am careful not to over pay. I also know a few names to look out for.
Laxmikant-Pyarelal is one of the names. Actually it is two names. Laxmikant Kudlakar and Pyarelal Sharma make up one of India's most popular songwriting teams. They have composed over 500 soundtracks for nearly every major film maker in Bollywood. Of the records I have by them, most are good. They are fond of mixing Indian classical music with rock & roll and often have pretty funky passages in their songs. The singing is nearly always tops. Of the soundtracks I have by them Pyar Ka Mandir is my favorite.
I give you two songs from Pyar Ka Mandir. The first is a long one, Pyar Ke Pahle Kadam Pe, which brings in all that is good about Bollywood music: Great singing, dubby sitar funk, odd vocal parts, and startling sound effects. Kishore Kumar and Alka Yagnik sing. The second cut, Log Jahan Per Rahte Hain (Sad) is a beautiful slow short one. Mohammed Aziz sings on this one.
I actually have just started getting into Bollywood titles, and have been searching around Boston.
Have you ever tried to find an album in Boston? LOL
Any ideas on where the stockpiles might be would be a godsend. Thanks again!
Some suggested listening:
I really like the layed back sound and chimes in Kanne Kalaima.
Also worth checking out (at least the beginning) is the erotic sounding intro of Pon Maeni Urukuthae (as well as its later exotic flute(?) parts).
Ezhupaalam Kadamnu is the one I would suggest most tho', its childish, playful and when it gets started it gets a cool dancy (in a Seasame Street kinda way) thing going.