The mysterious power of old Bollywood LPs

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There are few things that put me in such a nostalgic mood than a vinyl record of Bollywood songs from my childhood. I recently discovered it is the same for my elderly aunt, for whom records from the 1950s bring back a mixture of precious and painful memories.
My family has few historic mementos.

We have no furniture or jewellery passed down generation after generation. Both my mother’s and father’s families lost what few belongings they had in the terrifying rush to escape the violence of Partition in 1947.

So when I need a reminder of my origins and history, there’s only one experience I can readily turn to for familiarity and comfort. On a shelf in my flat is a collection of roughly 50 LPs, or records, etched with several generations’ favourite Hindi songs from classic Bollywood films.

Some came from my parents, who bought them in New York City’s Indian district after they emigrated in 1974. Others I’ve bought in charity shops around London. I even found an Indian LP in a dusty antique shop in Casablanca.

I love the shape of records – the smooth, round thinness of them.

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16 Responses to “The mysterious power of old Bollywood LPs”

  1. what a wonderful piece, just brought back memories (even though I was born after the LP era, more of an audiocassette baby)…

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  2. LP had better sound effect then cassettes,

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  3. what is LP? and where is link to the article ?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. @raghav.it’s Long play.n to know sbout something dosent mean you have to born in that period :-). You can see ‘LINK’ just above the collage movie image of this page.

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  5. We also had singles, which just had two songs and EPs ( Extended Play) which had four songs. The Aradhana EP , for example, that we had in our school hostel common room had Roop Tera Madstana, Mere Sapno Ka rani, Kora Kagaz and Safal Hogi Teri Aradhana.

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  6. omrocky786 Says:

    great article, we had LPs for Sholay, Bobby, AAA, and Roti Kapra aur Makan,, and many more…
    I used to be more interested in the Jackets/covers of the Lps..

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  7. What It Means To Be An Amitabh Bachchan Fan. Ranveer, Abhishek Explain

    amitabh gets life time achievment award

    http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/what-it-means-to-be-an-amitabh-bachchan-fan-ranveer-abhishek-explain-1272955

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  8. Though i am from the era of LPs (tapes came about just as I entered my teens) my lower middle class family could ill afford a player. So my memories are from my visits to richer cousins that did own a player (a Grundig 3-in-1 at that) and I lived vicariously through their collection. Decidedly the recording quality was fabulous. There are arguments upon arguments found all over the net in the difference between analog sound and digital sound(all of today’s music is that) and how a sharp ear can catch frequencies and tones that you simply cant otherwise.

    In any case some of my faves from that time were and in no particular order other than what springs first to my mind :

    TEESRI MANZIL
    SHOLAY (including a separate issue of just the dialogues)
    PAKEEZAH
    EK DUUJE KE LIYE
    SHAAN
    JAIL YATRA
    YAARANA

    Thanks for taking me down a path I dont often traipse…..

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    • thanks for that note Aarkayne.. and great to see you here after a while. I’d put myself in the analog camp! I think LPs especially but even tapes had a ‘fuller’ sound. Digital sound for all its strengths often sounds clinical. At least in the context of film music.

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