Monday, December 24, 2012

Disco Nasha - Chal Disco Chal - Bollywood Indian Disco

I remember my first exposure to Indian Disco when I was about 4 years old, Nazia Hassan's sublime Boom Boom from the film, Star (1984), which to this day not only my favourite Nazia Hassan track, but possibly tops my all time favourite list.

Also my brother purchased a cassette copy of a non-stop disco compilation - Disco Duniya. 30 or so bollywood tracks that were not necessarily disco tracks, but remixed to a non stop beat interspersed with the Disco Duniya anthem. The original vinyl is hard to come by now but managed to grab a MP3 copy recently and after listening to it, great childhood memories came flooding back. To this end I decided to dig out some older rarer tracks not necessarily from films but also some purposefully made disco anthems and compile them into a new Disco Nasha volume: Chal Disco Chal. The tracks are not from the usual suspects of RD Burman, Asha et al, but from the sensational Sharon Prabhakar, the evergreen Mussarrat Nazir, mesmerising Salma Agha, sultry Usha Uthup and of course our sweetheart Nazia Hassan.

A special thanks goes out to all the music bloggers out there on the net who made some of these tracks available. Note, I'm no expert on music trivia, just a lover of great sounding music, so apologise if any information in incorrect and always welcome corrections to any comments. Peace!

Guys, join me in trip back to the 80's where Disco ruled in India (long after it peaked in the UK and US mind!). Enjoy!

Chal Disco Chal
Album: Chal Disco Chal (1980)
Singers: Sharon Prabhakar, Mussarrat Nassir, Pete Moss

What a track to start with, Lets Go To The Disco! There's something special with having both Sharon (India) and Mussarrat (Pakistan) singing together, and can just picture them both glammed up, getting ready for a night out. Half way through I'm positive theres a little sample / inspiration from Woman by Barrabas. The first of a few tracks taken from the album of the same name on this compilation. There's no eastern influence in the music, no sitar, no tablas creeping in, just a funky bass, electric keys and raring saxes, the result...a track you just cannot help but tap your feet to.

Disco Dilruba
Album: Partner (1982)
Singer: Sharon Prabhakar

You can always rely on Kalpana Iyer to electrify the screen picturising any disco track. It can be any mediocre track but she will make you believe you are watching and listening to one of the greats! What a gift to have. Fortunately, Disco Dilruba, cheesey as it is, is one of the greats. Starts off with thumping beat leading into funk bass tune. One word to describe this Disco is meant to be sexy and with Sharon and Kaplana, you will watch, you will listen and you will enjoy!

Disco Disco
Singer: Sharon Prabhakar

Three tracks in and the word disco appears in each title. Can't get better than this. Minimalist vocal track, the lights are flashing, Kalpana Iyer proving she is THE item girl of ALL TIME, the girls are dancing, Shakti Kapoor perving, robotic dance interlude, and as Sharon says what else do you need? Nothing else baby!

Album: Aafat (1977)
Singer: Bhappi Lahiri and Annette

Can you imagine a world without Bhappi Lahiri, just spend a few minutes and think. There would be no Disco Dancer, no Sharon, no disco bling, no blatant rip offs mashed into bollytastic indian tunes, and there would be no Aafat. And what an Aafat that would be. But its okay because i'm here, you're there, and without love we cannot live, so come quickly, as without love, nothing else matters. That there is reason why Indian Disco music is not only about sublime beats but so important in its message, love and peace. In world and life of stress, disco music can help you put things into perspective. Seriously. The bass riff after each shout of the chorus, admit it, you gyrated your hips to the tune.

 Jhoom Jhoom Baba
Album: Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki (1984)
Singer: Salma Agha

Aaahhh Salma Agha, with those eyes and voice, you cannot help but be mesmerised. Although my favourite Salma Agha track rests with Sote Sote Adhi Raat, Jhoom Jhoom has got kind of a Footloose, preppy vibe to it and very enjoyable. Hey everyone get on the dance floor and just Thanks Mithun for providing the beats!

Aaj Mere Ghar Aaye
Album: 24 Carats
Singer: Usha Uthup

Usha Uthup has one of those voice you cannot help but fall in love with. Her sultry, husky voice was made for funk and disco. 24 Carats was an album which lifted the music from classic western hits of the 70s with Usha's vocals. The most famous Michael Jackson's Don't Stop Till You Get Enough, Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive, Billy Joel's My Life. Its all so familiar but different at the same time. Its like you're given a Twister ice cream, but it isn't ice cream, its celery and salad cream. And you love it all the same. My favourite from this album is the cover of Donna Summer's Hot Stuff, Aaj Mere Ghar Aaye. Listen to it here

Woh Mera Hi Hai
Album: Disco Mastana (1982)
Singer: Sharon Prabhakar

Taken from the album Disco Mastana, (which I'm still trying to source the original at a reasonable price!), this Boney M's Gotta Go Home inspired track works. It just works. In a similar vein to Usha's 24 Carats, Disco Mastana contains the tunes from big disco hits from the west, Boney M's Ma Baker, Donna Summer's I Feel Love, Love to Love you Baby, Hot Stuff reproduced by Pete Moss and with Sharon's superb vocals. Its charming, its kitsch, its Disco baby. 

 Daku Daku
Album: Chal Disco Chal (1980)
Singers: Sharon Prabhakar

Being a bad boy in the early 80's and with your bad girl, this is the music you were probably getting it on to. Man was I was born in the wrong age or what! Haunting yet utterly addictive.

Tere Kadmon Ko
Album: Disco Deewaane
Singer: Nazia and Zoheb Hassan

Biddu and Feroz Khan brought to the world our sweetheart, Nazia Hassan. Unfortunately she has been taken away from us, however her voice will echo in our hearts for eternity. Disco Deewaane was in my opinion the best album of Nazia's, every track is phenomenal, catchy and exquisite. Tere Kadmon Ko was chosen as recently NRG and Kami K produced a cover for the new generation. The cover wasn't too bad, the rap could've been done without, however made me revisit the original, both are here for your pleasure. 

Bole Ghadi Ye Sanson Ki
Album: Pasand Apni Apni (1983)
Singer: Sharon Prabhakar

Check the friggin bass in this tune....Ding Dong Ding Dong! If any time a woman complains about how impractical her sari is, show her this video. If you can disco dance in a sari you can do anything! Check it out at 2.34, my favourite though at 3.12 for pure class dancing from Mithun and Rati 

Come Closer
Album: Kasam Paide Karne Wala Ki (1984)
Singer: Salma Agha

Interestingly this track has been sampled by many international musicians (Guts, Planet) after its release, and when you've heard it, you'll understand why. Mesmerising guitar riff, wishing Salma would tell you to come closer. One of Bhappi's finest in my opinion.