Asha Bhosle & Chorus: Dum Maro Dum
From Hare Rama Hare Krishna (Odeon, 1971)
(Ed. note: I’ve invited Daniel Shiman of Office Naps to become a guest contributor to Soul Sides. Hopefully, time allowed, we’ll be seeing something from him every couple of weeks. Here’s his inaugural post. –O.W.)
The soundtrack music of India’s Bollywood cinema has only recently started to garner much attention in the West. If you’ve heard it, though, it’s likely that you’ve also heard the playback singer Asha Bhosle; hers is the spellbinding wail heard in literally thousands of Indian movies. “Dum Maro Dum” first appeared in 1970’s Hare Rama Hare Krishna , a Dev Anand production featuring Zeenat Aman as the Westernized hippie girl, and a movie whose subject matter must have afforded R.D. Burman, one of Bollywood’s more experimental composers, a refreshing amount of latitude. Constrained only by the clichés of Western hippie culture that he could dream up, Burman makes the most of his charge with “Dum Maro Dum” (which apparently translates as “Take Another Toke”). It’s a montage of creaking synthesizers, psychedelic guitars, and, of course, vocals nailed by Asha Bhosle in an ear-piercing exposition of sound.
Bonus video footage (thanks Souther)