The Bartender – Classic Bollywood: Shaken Not Stirred (Mike McCleary)

Anushka Manchanda’s luscious drawl is mesmerizing in Yeh raat yeh chandni, even as Mike layers it with a trippy sound in the background! Sagarika Mukherjee’s Babuji dheere chalna is a sprightly reworking, though it stays too close to the original, while Monica Dogra’s Ajeeb dastan strips the innocent enthusiasm of the original, disappointingly. Of Mauli Dave’s four songs Chalte chalte has the best re-imagined backgrounds, while Waqt ne kiya rivals Anushka’s drawl quite admirably. But the album truly belongs to Suman Shridhar! Her already-familiar Coke jingle, Tum jo mil gaye ho is a compelling reinvention, while in Pukarta chala hoon she moves away from her child-woman sound to present another, fascinating voice! The pièce de résistance is, of course, her Shaitan number, Khoya khoya chand that is by far the most imaginative remix I have heard in a long; stunningly gorgeous number! Besides the sensuous, hypnotic orchestration that props most of the tracks’ re-imagined sounds in Mike McCleary’s new ‘remix’ album, what stands out is the singers chosen; and the five ladies make a massive difference! ‘Classic Bollywood: Shaken Not Stirred’ is such a non-remixy album that calling it a ‘remix’ album sounds like a disservice to Mike’s vibrant imagination!

Keywords: Mike McCleary, Suman Sridhar, Anushka Manchanda, Monica Dogra, Sagarika Mukerjee, Mauli Dave, #200

Note 1: As Jaydeep points out in the comments, I stand corrected on the use of the word ‘remix’ when denoting this album. Considering Mike has completely redone the originals from scratch, they deserve to be called ‘cover versions’.

Note 2: One of the most useful things about remixes is that it introduces new music from another era to a different set of people. While it is perfectly fine to crib about ‘tampering’ with golden oldies and rue about spoiling them with modern sounds, let me take this opportunity to list the originals of the songs used in this album, with complete credits.

01. Yeh Raat Ye Chandni Phir Kahan – Hemant Kumar, Jaal (1952). Music: S D Burman
02. Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho – Mohammad Rafi, Hanste Zakam (1972). Music: Madan Mohan
03. Khoya Khoya Chand – Mohammad Rafi, Kala Bazaar (1960). Music: S D Burman
04. Chalte Chalte – Lata Mangeshkar, Pakeezah (1972). Music: Ghulam Muhammad
05. Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh – Lata Mangeshkar, Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai (1960). Music: Shankar-Jaikishan
06. Jaane Kya Tune Kahi – Geeta Dutt, Pyaasa (1957). Music: S D Burman
07. Pukarta Chala Hoon Main – Mohammad Rafi, Mere Sanam (1965). Music: O P Nayyar
08. Waqt Ne Kiya – Geeta Dutt, Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959). Music: S D Burman
09. Babuji Dheere Chalna – Geeta Dutt, Aar Paar (1954). Music: O P Nayyar
10. Yeh Sama Sama Hai Ye Pyaar Ka – Lata Mangeshkar, Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965). Music: Kalyanji-Anandji