Sunday, August 02, 2009

Thank You India

I've been browsing for Eurocovers from India off & on for quite some time now, never with any Eurocovers worthy results. But I always came across all kinds of 'inspired' songs, where known melodies are spiced up with some new notes and the song is credited to the Indian composer.
It turns out that's not uncommon, and Eurocovers doesn't really care. Whichever way you listen, below are three versions of andré Popp's L'Amour Est Bleu / Love Is Blue (you know, Luxembourgs 1967 Eurovision entry originally by Vicky.)

Indian Movies
Composer Saluri Rajeshwara Rao wrote Ee Reyi Teeyanidi for the 1971 Tollywood* movie Chitti Chellelu.
He used a large part of L'Amour Est Bleu / Love Is Blue and added another melody line to the song.
The song is sung in Telugu (Indian language spoken mainly in Andhra Pradesh) by S.P. Balasubrahmanyam and P. Susheela but in the movie you see actors Haranath and Vanisri miming to their voices. (See Youtube in below post). It was common practice to hire professional singers to supply the voices for actors with lesser vocal talents.
Balasubrahmanyam is said to have recorded over 40.000 songs in 40 years.

In 1990 Calcutta born composer Bappi Lähiri created a song in Hindi with the same melody. Hum Dono Akele Hon featured in the film Aaj Ke Shahenshah.
Vocals are by Bappi Lähiri and Anuradha Paudwal. The female role in the song is by Kimi Katkar, the male role is for Chunkey Pandey. Lähiri also stars in the film, but not in this track.
Bappi Lähiri pioneered the use of disco music in Bollywood films (but not in this song). His songs borrow heavily on international hits like Lambada, Hasta Mañana, Karma Chameleon and Billy Jean.

Somewhere in the dark depths of my record vault lurks a vinyl from Mr. Bappi Lähiri. It was 1988, we were all screaming acieeeed, and Lähiri released a house tune called Habiba. I really should dig it up some day.

Ee Reyi Teeyanidi was re-recorded (again in Telugu) in 2003 for the movie Johnny where it was sung by Hariharan and Nanditha with Ramana Gogula producing. They lent their voices to the actor Pawan Kalyan and his wife Renu Desai (Youtube clip).

*Tollywood = Cinema of Andhra Pradesh, Bollywood is the film industry of Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay). Dollywood however, is not the cinema of Dehli.
I know the soundtrack to Johnny (2003) was released on CD (the film on DVD), but for the others I don't have any release details except that the films were released on video. The soundquality isn't very good, but the songs surely make up for that.
I've patched the info together from many sources, so please forgive me if there are inaccuracies in this post.

Brimful Of Asha
And then there's Volare. In Hindi it became Aajare, Aaja re na jaa re laage na mora jiya saajan tere bina soona, or some variation on that title. It's from the movie Sarhad from 1960 and the vocals are by no one else than the queen-mother of Indian film music, Asha Bhosle.
I haven't been able to track down a full recording of the song so that's bad luck, But there is proof, check out this patchy compilation of scenes from the film (Youtube). If anyone happens to have the track, I await your e-mail. Thanks.

Note: Salma & Sabina Agha recorded an LP of Abba songs in Hindi back in the 80's. Unfortunately for Eurocovers, Waterloo isn't on it, but the LP is still a must have. It was released in India, Sweden and the U.K. (at least) and later it was re-issued on CD several times. So if you want your ABBA hits in Hindi, shop around. (although you probably already have this amazing record in your collection).

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