Sunday September 30, 2018

Stories of song title discovery

Posted by Karthik

One of my classmates from school had shared a song (audio file) with a note, “Central theatre interval music 30 yrs back” in the school alumni Whatsapp Group. This is the Central (and Kanakadhara) theater in Coimbatore where I grew up. It’s amazing how we make associations with music!

It’s also fascinating how we struggled with finding names of songs and remember them with life/local moments since access to information wasn’t as all-pervasive as it is now.

For the longest time (and I mean, till 3-4 years ago), I had assumed that this song had something to do with the 1981 English film Sphinx (based on a Robin Cook novel of the same name). I have no idea why – perhaps I may have watched the film (much later) in a theater like Central (I don’t recall) where they played this song in the interval. Or someone told me that this song was part of the film – I have no clue why. I have even tried Googling the song with ‘sphinx OST’ etc. Finally, when I Shazam’ed it, I figured that this was a song by the German electro/synthpop band Kraftwerk – The Robots (1978) 🙂

A similar search happened in 2011 where I finally stumbled on the actual title of the song that I had, until then, only known as the ‘Dimple Kapadia’s Crowing Glory soap ad song’.

It turned out to be a song by Biddu, called ‘The Eternal Chant’.

Here’s the song on Saavn.

Interestingly, the song differs slightly from the ad jingle (there’s an extra rhythm/techno sound in the backdrop and of course, it extends into a vocal song – I don’t know who the singer is, though).

Godrej’s Crowing Glory was in the Indian market in the mid-80s if I recall right. Here’s an excerpt from India Today’s May 15, 1986 edition.

The album Biddu’s song was in was called Eastern Journey, from 1998, a decade and a half after the Crowing Glory jingle. So it’s possible that Biddu composed it first for the ad, as a jingle and later turned it into a vocal song for the album. Incidentally, even ‘Eastern Journey’ was a 1978 2-song LP from Biddu (2 songs – Eastern Journey and Unfinished Journey). The song Eastern Journey is the same as the one featured in the 1998 album too!

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