Bollywood Steel Guitar

Just from the title alone -- Bollywood Steel Guitar -- we knew that this installment in the always-amazing Sublime Frequencies series of unusual and under-documented "world music" recordings was gonna be the bomb! Indeed it is. And now on vinyl! The 'exotic' and infectious verve of vintage Bollywood film soundtrack music, performed with electric steel guitar as lead instrument for extra awesomeness, is hard to beat! The steel guitar, bringing with it the groovy twang of Western Swing and Hawaiian fret-sliding flavor, as well as a measure of classical Indian music, easily effects an emotive echo of the human voice that ordinarily fronts Bollywood themes.

Compiler Stuart Ellis' informative liner notes describe these instrumental pop versions of Hindi film hits as the "elevator music of India" and if that's the case, we'd definitely rather be stuck in an elevator in Mumbai than anywhere else. There are 21 rare tracks by a half dozen masterful Bollywood steel string slingers: Van Shipley, Kazi Aniruddha, S. Hazarasingh, Sunil Ganguly, Charanjit Singh (of Ten Ragas To A Disco Beat fame!), and Guatam Dasgupta, recorded between 1962 and 1986.

A completely captivating collection, already one of our favorites among the many great Sublime Frequencies releases. And probably it should be no surprise that, for example, Van Shipley's "Jan Pahechan Ho" from the 1966 film Gunaam immediately gives us Sun City Girls flashbacks...

Bollywood Steel Guitar LP


  1. Do you ever wonder how much music there is floating around out there in the big wide world that you’d really like but will never be exposed to? I’ve been hooked on anime soundtracks for a few years now, and am very glad to have found them. What else is out there waiting for discovery? I feel like I’ll not live long enough to discover all the great music that could grace my ears, and that makes me sad. :(

    1. This is why I’m so happy to have online music services like Pandora. I would likely have never discovered Norwegian operatic metal were it not for Pandora, and the channel I built from The Seatbelts is full of funky jams and cool blues.

  2. Comment deleted. This is now an entirely different song, and the delightfully demented video clip is nowhere in sight. Interesting song, but not out there like the last one.

  3. Thanks for the plug!  By the way, there’s 22 tracks on the LP version. The bonus track – “Duniya Mein” was covered by the Sun City Girls as “Apna Desh” on ‘330,003 Crossdressers from Beyond the Rig Veda’.

  4. Oh, man, this is one of my all time favorite albums. I thought I was the only one who knew about this — iTunes sure doesn’t know what to do with it in Genius…

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