1st January 2018

Artist: Sharon Prabhakar
Title: Aage Jo Hua
Language: Hindi
Cover: ‘Funkytown’ by Lipps Inc.

Welcome to a new year, which I aim to fill with groovy tunes from around the world!

I have been thinking about what first got me interested in buying records while on holiday. I think it is partly the love of the ‘unknown’ – there are too many languages that I don’t speak, and that makes it difficult to translate the titles of records. I have stood in a flea market with the trusty dictionary for whichever country I was visiting, searching for key words – I have no shame! But I would mainly be attracted by a record sleeve, and, because many European 7″ singles had picture sleeves, the look of a band combined with a release year would make a disc worth buying. The excitement of getting the vinyl treasure home was then often (but not always!) surpassed by the listening session. Sometimes the singles were covers of songs I already knew. This got me thinking about having a ‘Covers’ month, in order to celebrate the beauty of a recognisable tune combined with words in a different language. I could easily post a Beatles cover record every day for a year, I reckon! But today I have chosen a great tune, which is added to by being prefaced by a clip from the John Peel Show. I do miss him! But here he is, talking about, and playing a tune by, Sharon Prabhakar. As we all know, he had impeccable taste.

The other great thing about this track is that I own the album! I believe I got it when the old Birmingham Central Library sold off all their vinyl records, and due to the enormous amount of people fighting over said discs, the only box I was able to get to was the one with Indian and Pakistani records. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as the records I managed to grab introduced me to Bappi Lahiri, Sharon, Runa, and the mighty R.D. Burman, as well as the beautiful, crazy joy of Indian film soundtracks.

DJ Esperanto

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