- Paperback: 261 pages
- Publisher: Penguin India (14 February 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0143063405
- ISBN-13: 978-0143063407
- Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 1.7 x 14.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #98,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Bollywood Melodies Paperback – 14 Feb 2008
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With all the material at his command, the book is written in a simple, direct but engaging style. It is in fact racy at places and makes for very interesting reading. He does not engage in gossip to excite us in any way, but sticks to facts. But the facts he presents are interesting in themselves. For example, we learn that Vasant Desai landed his assignment as MD of Jhanak Jhanak Payal Bhaje when Naushad declined the offer of V.Shantaram, telling him that he had a great composer in Vasant Desai in his own camp. (p.62) And what a great score Desai gave us! Likewise we learn that Jaidev was all set to invite M.S. Subbulakshmi to sing the bhajan "Allah tero naam" in Hum Dono, but Lata getting scent of it, sent word to Jaidev that she would sing it, though for some years previously she had not been singing for SDBurman, whose assistant Jaidev was! The author feels that the bhajan sounds transcendental (p.154-155) but I feel that we missed a greater honour!
The author writes without bias or bitterness, so that even in these times when film music is patently( and audibly) decadent, he offers us hope!
Each part contains a great bonus in the form of interview/conversations with Dev Anand , Pyarelal, Gulzar, Manna da , Lata Mangeshkar whose views really add depth and a new dimension to our understanding.
I could not contain my excitement once I started reading the book, and finished it non-stop! Reading it is surely a nice way to pay our tribute to all the great composers and lyricists and playback singers who gave us so much pleasure over the years. I found only two slips.
1,On page 41, the Song 'Nakhrewaali' is stated to be from Shararat (1959). it is actually from New Delhi. 1956.
2.On page 70, Laxmikant Pyarelal are said to have composed music for 488 films, but according to Wikipedia, the figure is above 635!
The book deserves 5 star, but I have given 4 because I am cross with both the author and the publisher. The author, because of his omissions: he has not dealt with P.L.Santoshi, Hasrat Jaipuri, Rajinder Krishan and Bharat Vyas among lyricists! He has not discussed Suman Kalyanpur- poor lady she gets marginalised in the book too. I am cross with the publisher because such a nice book deserves a hardcover edition! And certainly, the photos/pictures of the eminent figures dealt with here should have been included! But these are merely my views. The book as it is is very good and makes pleasant reading. I have been a lover and follower of Hindi film music for 60 years and this book gave me so much pleasure, as visiting a dear old friend. Thank you, Ganesh Anantharaman for this gem of a book. Thank you Amazon for the great price and the very swift delivery!
This is a very nice book. No lover of our film music can afford to miss it.
Recommended for those aficionados who wish to get mesmerized in the golden era of Indian film music.