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Bollywood Covers The Classics
February 11, 2010 1:48 PM   Subscribe

Some Hindi music directors take a lot of er, inspiration from popular western songs, lifting music and even lyrics. The results range from awful to inspired.

Europe, The Final Countdown
Frankie Valli, Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You
Britney Spears' commercial for Pepsi
Los Del Rio, Mararena
Aqua, Barbie Girl
George Michael, Faith
Peter, Paul and Mary- Five Hundred Miles
Richie Valens, La Bamba
ABBA, Mamma Mia
Stevie Wonder, I Just Called to Say I Love You
Shaggy, In the Summertime
Elvis Presley, The Yellow Rose of Texas
Moody Blues, Nights in White Satin

Even more here.
posted by signalnine (17 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
You posted this during the musicblogalpse? Are you mad?!
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:18 PM on February 11, 2010


This is great.
A few weeks ago, a co-worker and I were listening to The Final Countdown on a lark and the Indian woman sitting next to me said, "How do you guys know this song? It's a big Bollywood hit song. Was it a hit here as well?" We were quite confused so she had us look up the Bollywood version on Youtube. Needless to say, the Bollywood song that rips off The Final Countdown is much more fun.
posted by NoMich at 2:36 PM on February 11, 2010


Yeah, the whole reason I discovered this phenomenon was that I was in an Indian restaurant and the Bollywood version of the Final Countdown came on. I was so amused, I tracked down the source and then found the rest of these.
posted by signalnine at 2:50 PM on February 11, 2010


I loves me some Bollywood, but I just listened to two of these at random (ABBA, Stevie Wonder) and I'm not hearing egregious copycatting. The ABBA one, I never would have connected it at all. Are I jus dumb?
posted by sidereal at 2:53 PM on February 11, 2010


The ABBA one, I never would have connected it at all. Are I jus dumb?

I know ABBA's catalog probably better than any other musical group, and I didn't hear much copycat on that track at all.

The George Michael ripoff, however? Yeesh.
posted by hippybear at 2:56 PM on February 11, 2010


Yeah, I can hear the melody in the ABBA one, but the arrangement is pretty different.

The Britney Spears commercial one is pretty WTF.
posted by signalnine at 3:06 PM on February 11, 2010


The local radio station had fun playing this version of 'Jingle Bells' last Christmas. It's only a minute long, though, which is good because I'm sure it would get old pretty quickly.
posted by spoobnooble at 3:48 PM on February 11, 2010


There was a lot of this in pre-genocide Cambodian pop music too, with the added awesome factor that it was mostly psychedelic and blues rock they were starting from, rather than bubblegum dance pop.

Sinn Sisamouth in particular was a master of this (and really just of Khmer pop in general). I'm not sure if you'd call them covers or tributes or rip-offs or what - to whatever extent that distinction is useful. From the English (re-)translations of the titles I get the impression that the lyrics were being replaced wholly rather than translated.

Here's a pretty fucking sweet Sisamouth version of House of the Rising Sun
And here's his haunting take on A Whiter Shade of Pale
posted by strangely stunted trees at 4:48 PM on February 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've always thought that Bollywood is just regurgitated insipid Western entertainment.
posted by snottydick at 5:26 PM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Bollywood version of I Wanna Hold Your Hand
posted by jonp72 at 6:40 PM on February 11, 2010


Bollywood Killed the Video Star
posted by jonp72 at 6:45 PM on February 11, 2010


This one borrows from the Beatles, And I Love Her.
posted by jonp72 at 6:49 PM on February 11, 2010


Don't forget Pretty Woman! (The chorus is definitely, ahem, inspired by Pretty Woman. With a bonus random rap interlude in the middle!)
posted by mandanza at 7:51 PM on February 11, 2010


Everything the guy in the ABBA video does is hilarious, by infallible and mysterious rule of magic.
posted by Rumpled at 4:57 AM on February 12, 2010


I love Bollywood's inexplicable excursions to Switzerland.
posted by that girl at 3:00 AM on February 13, 2010


Mandanza: Unlike with many other Bollywood productions, the film's makers also complied with international copyright laws and obtained the license to use Roy Orbison's "Oh, Pretty Woman" for an extended musical sequence taking place in the streets in New York.
I can vouch for this based on the movie credits.
posted by cynicalidealist at 2:30 PM on February 14, 2010


That was from wikipedia-for some reason the link didn't post.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kal_Ho_Naa_Ho
posted by cynicalidealist at 2:31 PM on February 14, 2010


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