I would like to introduce the records I bought during this record-digging trip, as well as some titles recommended by the stores.
To be honest, I didn’t really know how interesting Bollywood music was before I visited the stores, and I went to them thinking that I’d be happy if I could just get my hands on a few records of Indian classical music, with a tonal quality that is distinctive of analogue records.
Whenever I asked the owners or the staff at several stores what their favourite kind of music was, they unanimously answered that they loved Bollywood music. I realised from their answers that it was popular. Then, when we asked them for recommendations, they introduced us to many nice compositions from their diverse knowledge of music, from the old Bollywood mainstream ones to little-known masterpieces.
The compositions are fusions made with different Western music that came in during that period, such as ones where the groove element of funk music can be felt, or ones that are like fusion music where synthesiser patches of Indian classical instruments have been mixed with electro. Moreover, it is accompanied by the history-backed performance skill characteristic of Indian music.
My impression of Bollywood music, which I used to think was just populist, changed drastically. I encountered new music. There is a charm to being able to hold the records in one’s hands in person and listen to the recommendations of the local record shops, that is lacking in online transactions.
1. New Gramophone House
Artist: Madan Mohan
Title: Dastak / Dil Ki Rahen
The LP here that I purchased on the recommendation of the New Gramophone House staff contains a recording of playback songs from the Bollywood films Dastak and Dil ki Rahen.
Madan Mohan was a composer and music director for films active during the 1950s-70s. He created sentimental and romantic songs in a legendary combination with Lata Mangeshkar. （HP here）
Dil Ki Rahen
2. Shah Music Centre
Artist: Shehnai Nawaz Bismillah Khan
Title: Raga Gujari Todi, Shankara And Piloo-Thumree
Bismillah Khan was a famous performer who is known for popularising the woodwind instrument known as the Shanai. He elevated the shanai, used in festivals and ceremonies in Northern India, to an instrument in the stage of Indian classical music. He was a legend, and was the third person to be awarded the Bharat Ratna – India’s highest civilian honour – for his talent as an Indian classical musician in 2001.
Ustad Bismillah Khan – Rag Todi (Reference: This song is not recorded in the LP)
Title: Haath Ki Safai
Kalyanji-Anandji is a composer duo of the brothers Kalyanji and Anandji. They became a hit in the world of film music with their variety-rich musicianship. The melody line has a nostalgia characteristic of the 70s. It overturns impressions regarding “Bollywood music”.
Haath Ki Safai
Artist: Sohail Rana
Title: Khyber Mail
This is a rare record of Rs. 10,000 that the store owner of Shah Music Centre showed us from their stock. Sohail Rana was a composer active in the world of Pakistani films. He later moved to Canada. The tracks are one of a kind, created by taking in and reconstructing various kinds of music from the East to the West, and haven’t faded to this day.
(Here is the official fansite.)
Artist: Nikhil Banerjee
Title: Raga Sohini, Raga Megh
Nikhil Banerjee, a Sitar instrumentalist of Hindustani classical music. A maestro from Kolkata who is said to have debuted on the stage at the tender age of 9.
Raag : Sohini
Artist: R. D. Burman
Title: Hare Rama Hare Krishna
R. D. Burman was a composer and film music director who created compositions for more than 300 films between the 1960s and the 1990s, and worked on multiple hit songs. Because his father was also a film music director, he grew up surrounded by music from an early age. He is said to be the one person who influenced the next generation of Bollywood music the most.
His 1971 LP, Hare Rama Hare Krishna, is a playback song from a film made during the time when his popularity as a Bollywood music director was at its peak.
Dum Maro Dum (Hare Rama Hare Krishna)
3. Radio and Gramophone House
Artist: R. D. Burman
Title: The Legendary
The above-named R. D. Burman has several hit songs. A recently-released brand new analogue record, ‘The Legendary – R. D. Burman’ was recommended by the staff of Radio and Gramophone House not only because of the title song from Hare Rama Hare Krishna, but because one can enjoy hit songs from other films as well.
The ‘The Legendary’ series is a set of brand new records similar to a collection of best albums. Because it is difficult to find second-hand ones in a state of good preservation due to the clouds of dust as a result of this country’s climate no matter what, these might be a good option for people who are concerned about damage.
From Duniya Mein (Apna Desh) / The Legendary
Text : Yoko Kobayashi (translated by Aumurto Chaudhury)
Record-digging in Delhi 1
Record-digging in Delhi 2
This post is also available in Japanese.