Last week we went on a hunt to find the best ever samples of Bollywood music, and came up with a Top 10 that included mainstream artists like Britney Spears and Black Eyed Peas alongside hip-hop giants like Jay-Z, Timbaland and Method Man, and electronic artists like M.I.A., Chase & Status and Tricky. We’ve demonstrated the great influence that Bollywood (and generally Indian) music has on western music. But this influence goes both ways. Indian film composers certainly had and still have their ears open to the world, and it is common for them to remake western songs in their productions. The results are uniquely creative, sometimes quirky, but always entertaining. We’ve dug into the WhoSampled database once more to dig up the best ones – take a deep breath, and enjoy the ride!
We start off with this unlikely remake of Daddy Yankee‘s reggaetón superhit ‘Gasolina’. You wouldn’t think that an urban Latin track by a Puerto Rican artist would cross over very well to a Bollywood style, but this actually works very well: Indian flavors are added to the Latin mix, creating a surprisingly tasty version of the staple reggaetón dish.
2. Auva Auva: Koi Yahan Nache by Usha Uthup and Bappi Lahiri (1982) sample of Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles (1979)
Last week we featured Jimmy, M.I.A.‘s remake of ‘Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja’ from the 1982 Bollywood cult classic Disco Dancer. The film follows the story of a street performer rising to disco superstardom, showing that while in 1982 Disco music was pretty much dead in other parts of the world, in India it was still very much alive. In this brilliant cut from the film, Usha Uthup and Bappi Lahiri remake the Buggles‘ classic ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’ in true 1980′s Bollywood style.
3. Teri Aankhon Ke Bina by Bappi Lahiri and Salma Agha (1984) cover of Billie Jean by Michael Jackson (1982)
Staying with Bappi Lahiri, who is considered the pioneer of the disco sound in Bollywood. Here he presents us with a great take on Michael Jackson‘s huge single ‘Billie Jean’. The song is a loose rendition of the original, done in fantastic Bollywood style, while the video takes its inspiration from MJ’s groundbreaking music video for ‘Thriller’.
The Indian fascination with ‘Thriller’ doesn’t end there. In the 1990 film Kondaveeti Donga, Telugu cinema superstar Chiranjeevi (aka Chiru) decided to take on the impossible and step into Michael Jackson‘s shoes in song, dance and costume. He grabs an Indian beauty, grabs the bassline from ‘Thriller’, gets himself surrounded by zombies and then blasts into a frantic routine that just has to be seen to be believed. An absolute classic.
5. Amma Dekh Tera Munda Bigda by Bali Brahmabhatt and Alka Yagnik (1994) sample of On a Ragga Tip by SL2 (1992)
If the last remake wasn’t crazy enough for you, here’s another one. In the 1994 film Stunttman, Bali Brahmabhatt and Alka Yagnik took on none other than SL2‘s classic rave anthem ‘On a Ragga Tip’. While the vocals in ‘On a Ragga Tip’ were originally lifted from Jah Screechy‘s brilliant 1984 single ‘Walk and Skank‘, the breakbeat-rave styling of ‘Amma Dekh Tera Munda’ leave no room for mistake – the inspiration here comes directly from rave culture. Oh yes, and there’s a Michael Jackson reference (via Manu Dibango) here as well.
6. Ankhiyan Teriya Ve by Kailash Kher and Caralisa Monteiro (2005) sampled Eye of the Tiger by Survivor (1982)
2005′s Kaal (‘The Time of Doom’) is a Bollywood horror film set in a wildlife park where the tigers are believed to be killing humans. Fittingly enough, title track ‘Ankhiyan Teriya Ve’ replays Survivor‘s classic ‘Eye of the Tiger’ into an up-to-date Bhangra monster.
7. One Two Cha Cha Cha by Usha Uthup (1978) sampled That’s the Way (I Like It) by KC & the Sunshine Band (1975)
We picked this one for its pure sense of fun and randomness. Here, the wonderful Usha Uthup, who is also behind the ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’ remake above, goes into a casual, fun-fuelled ‘One Two Cha Cha Cha’ routine before she can’t contain herself any longer, and at 1:06 just goes for KC & the Sunshine Band‘s classic line with sheer enthusiasm, opening the track up to some euphoric singing in Hindi interspersed with English. Good times!
8. Pretty Woman by Shankar Mahadevan and Ravi “Rags” Khote (2003) sampled Oh, Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison (1964)
Kal Ho Naa Ho was a huge hit in India when it was released in 2003, and featured none other than Bollywood uber-superstar Shahrukh Khan in the lead. Its soundtrack was without a doubt one of the biggest Bollywood successes in recent years, and one of its standout tracks was this electronic Bhangra remake of Roy Orbison‘s golden oldie ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’.
2009 film Daddy Cool was a remake of British comedy Death at a Funeral, lifting its name as well as title song from Boney M.‘s disco classic ‘Daddy Cool’. Raghav Sachar and Paroma P. Das Gupta cook up an up-to-date, masala spiced version of the original and serve it with some flashing lights and funny dancing, enough to make sure the party gets going right from the start.
10. Gori Thera by Silambarasan and Sunitha Sarathy (2006) sampled Don’t Phunk With My Heart by Black Eyed Peas (2005)
Last on our list is a great example of the cyclical nature of music, a topic we love so much here at WhoSampled! Last week we highlighted Black Eyed Peas‘s 2005 hit ‘Don’t Phunk with My Heart‘ as one of our Top 10 Bollywood samples, showing how it was conjured up out of two brilliant samples from 1970′s Bollywood action flicks. A year later, film composer Srikanth Deva decided to nod back to the song’s Bollywood roots by remaking it in the soundtrack to the Tamil film Saravana. What goes around comes around!
Last but not least, we leave you with this incredible anecdote. Did you know that Acid House, a pivotal electronic subgenre believed to have emerged from Chicago in the mid-1980′s, was actually first recorded and performed in Mumbai in 1982? Don’t believe us? See for yourself.