Thursday, February 8, 2007

Lights, Karma, Action!

I was rummaging through the seventy billion or so boxes of CDs I have stacked up in my tiny apartment, trying to whittle down several years of "keep it all" apathy from my career at an independent music distributor. I want to get my CD colllection back to a manageable level. Right now, it's just plain nuts. Box after box of "promos", which are free goods that record labels send out so you can be familiar with their artists. We'd get ten or so promos a week of all kinds of wild stuff most of the world, myself included, have never heard.

Most of them came home, sat around long enough to be stuffed into a permanent box, and stacked against the wall with the other detritus. But I digress. While rooting through the boxes, deciding which CDs I honestly would never play even once, and those which were good enough to keep for several more years, I came across a real gem that I'd forgotten about. It's called Bombay The Hard Way: Guns, Cars & Sitars. It's a collection of soundtrack music from various Bollywood films of the 70s. These see-em-to-believe 'em films had something for everyone. Shaft and Kung-Fu type action, heart-bursting romance, suave hipster detectives, car chases, evil plots against humanity, and a couple of points in mid-action where someone would suddenly burst into song, complete with choreography. Real crowd-pleasers. The collected bits of soundtrack on this CD are marvelous listening, combining the funk-orchestra soaring strings with a jazz beat, then putting traditional Indian elements like the sitar and tabla into the mix. Some of it includes blatant rippoffs of Western cinema soundtracks (I distinctly recognized Lalo Schifrin's "Mission Impossible" and an Ennio Morricone harmonica riff) but that's part of its charm. Another part of its charm is the way that some of the tracks are broken up by odd snippets of dialog, some in Hindi or Urdu and some in English.

I enjoyed it so much that it made it all the way to the "permanent listening" rack, and out of the "also-ran" carton ghetto forever.

I highly recommend it, looks like it is still in print.
Buy it at Amazon. Click Here.

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