Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Delhi Disco Fever: Sharon Prabhakar and Musarrat Nazir

Continuing in the vein of Indian pop music tonight’s post is a classic multi-country effort, Chal Disco Chal.  Produced by the UK’s Peter Moss and Kashmiri-Ugandan Deepak Khazanchi, this 1980 Hindi disco record brought together two female voices, India’s Sharon Prabhakar and Pakistani actress and singer, Musarrat Nazir.

The music is mainstream disco of the sort you might have heard in the nightclubs at the height of the disco era.  Though the songs are all in Urdu/Hindi there are no tablas, sitars or miscellaneous Eastern intruders here. You’ll find pulsating electric keyboards, funky slap bass, soaring sax and ripping guitar runs by (presumably) London-based session musicians.  The song titles sung with gusto and even at points some Donna Summer-esque moanings include such beauties as Diwana Hai Mera Dil (My Mad Heart), Mauf Karo (Forgive Me) and Main Teri Hun (I’m Your’s) in addition to the title track Chal Disco Chal (Let’s Go to the Disco). Dekho Dekho (Look Look) samples the Stevie Wonder riff Hotter than July, with not bad results.
Sharon Prabhakar who was ‘discovered’ by the legendary (and subject of several Washerman’s Dog posts) Bollywood music director Bappi Lahiri, got her start as a singer while at college in Delhi. She sang in the big musicals of the era, Jesus Christ Superstar , Godspell, Evita  and Cabaret before hooking up with Bappi and making a series of disco and pop albums.
After several movies she essentially retired from the scene though appeared in the mid-90s as a TV host.
Musarrat Nazir is a Pakistani actress and singer who has starred in a number of important and popular Urdu and Punjabi movies, for which she has received a number of awards.  Part of the Pakistani classes that move regularly and comfortably between east and west, Musarrat has enjoyed performing careers in Pakistan as well as in the West.  She currently lives between Lahore and Canada.

Enjoy this slice of disco-India!

         Track Listing:
        01 Chal Disco Chal
02 Diwana Hai Ye Dil
03 Mauf Karo
04 Dekho Dekho
05 Daku Daku
06 Main Teri Hun
07 Mere Habib
08 Raja Aaja

Listen here.

1 comment:

litlgrey said...

I thought Prabhakar was a transplanted Canadian. Is that not correct?