Various Artists

Bollywood: An Anthology of Songs from Popular Indian Cinema

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This whopping two-disc set from Silva collects popular Bollywood tunes between 1957, with Asha Bhosle's first vocal and cinematic appearance, in a film called Asha (and yes, she appears a great deal here, being the most recorded vocalist in Indian history) with the tune "Ina Mina Dika," through to 2001's "Khamoshian Gungunane Lagin" by Lata Mangheskar and Sonu Nigam from the film One 2 Ka 4. What is so remarkable about the collection isn't so much the various Indian classical and pop styles that are on offer here; that's a forgone conclusion. But the sheer wild appropriation of other styles and genres, like the aforementioned "Ina Mina Dika" that uses a faux Benny Goodman arrangement and has an electric guitar playing Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" riff in the middle with a full horn section as well as a harmonica! Also included is the wooly "Ae Naujawan Hai," with vocals by Asha. It became a smash dance hit in India -- and was later sampled by the Black Eyed Peas. Also included here is "Zindagi Jhoom Kar," sung by the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, who lays out a strong Sufi spiritual atmosphere into what would become a pop song. This is a fine collection for the price and should be picked up by anyone interested in the genre.

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