In the 1960s and 1970s Bollywood composers adventurously adopted the trippy guitars, spiralling synthesizers and ethereal vocals of psychedelia and mixed it with lusciously over-the-top Indian orchestrations. Jewels included feature songs by Asha Bhosle, Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi.
Bollywood is a universe of extremes. Lusciously over-the-top films portray glittering princesses drowned in jewels living aside dishevelled slum-dwellers fighting their way to the top. Across India sprawling billboards advertise the hottest new release, well-loved posters ripped-out from magazines decorate the inside of auto-rickshaws and booming Bollywood soundtracks reverberate out from roadside stalls. Like India, Bollywood is an assault on the senses – an experience like no other, thrilling in its eccentricity.
The term ‘Bollywood’ first came into common parlance in the 1970s when film production in India was at an all time high. Film had been a much loved medium since the 1930s and 1940s though, offering a rampant escapism that provided salve to the hardships of the time; the Great Depression, World War II, the Independence Movement and the violence related to the Partition of India.
India was finally granted independence from Britain in 1947. Though the Empire made its exit, the cultural implications of 200 years of colonial rule meant that many English businesses remained. Recording magnate HMV stayed, capitalizing on the emerging market in ‘new’ India. HMV pressed Western rock albums and released them alongside their Indian output and in Mumbai and Calcutta, All India Radio made time in its schedule to broadcast Western pop. The 1960s saw the release of Indian-inspired album The Velvet Underground and Nico by the American band of the same name. The seminal psychedelic rock album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released the same year by The Beatles and featured se....... więcej