Disco Dance and Bollywood

As mentioned in the article about Ramsays, the post-liberal generation of the 90s missed out on a whole plethora of Bollywood in the 80s and Bappi Da was one such hysteria. Looked down upon with disdain by culturally elite and misunderstood by the common man, Disco Dance was the kind of stuff that caught up instantly with the crowd but was always going to find it hard to match the boring antics of the early 80s and so the movies based upon D.I.S.C.O found instant place in 'so trashy that its good' genre

India me 'Paap' kaun laya? me laya!!!

Biddu might have something to add to what Bappi Da believes as introduction of Pop music to India. In India, Pop music was interchangeably used with Disco and its roots go ages back to times when Bhagwan Dada was laying down seeds by slowly shaking his bum in 'Shola jo bhadke'. But the real kick was given when Presley inspired Shammi Kapoor started doing violent movements in his songs, inspiring a whole generation of Indian males who never knew that they were supposed to dance except for 'shaadi-baarat' and Bhangra. And enter the 80s, Usha Utthup, Nazia Hasan, Bappi Da, Biddu, Mithun and poor economy. All collaborated to form an explosive solution - Disco Dance - and the first of this pack was this song from movie Armaan - Rambha Ho Rambha ho (For DD1 lovers, in the legendary serial Aankhein by Ramanad Sagar, this is the song that always plays in Carlos and Kangaroo's hideout)

                            Seedhe utha hua hai 'Que Sera Mi Vida (If You Should Go)" by The Gibson Brothers' se

So this era of Disco Dance was so pure and direct that it made people believe that the Disco of the west was somehow inspired by us (In one of the possible explanations, the westerners use time machine to go into the future, check Bollywood music and then again go back and replicate it in their own age, saves shit loads of plagiarism issues you see). The era also featured some gems before the real onslaught was started by Prabhuji, born Mithun Chakraborty. And Nazia Hasan and Usha Utthup were the ones to hit the deck off and running.

It was an awesomeness personified song while we were kids and we had our own version of the song addressing our old school principal - Hari om hari, budhiya mari!!

In all certainty, 1982 was the year of Disco in Bollywood. And its not just because Mithun Da took birth that year in the industry but also because outside India ABBA and Buggles had starting creating music that made people shake their hips. Even Paul Stanely and co. couldn't resist that and became disco-disco. That year in India will be remembered for some of the best musical tracks ever created. We always talk about how influential 1949, 1952 and 1991 were for Bollywood music but we overlook the fact that 1982 had all the ingredients that the music industry was missing. The year was iconic in bringing out 5 legendary disco songs. All of them are listed below

P.S. stop staring at Reena Roy's outfit in Disco Station - Its cool somehow

Disco Deewane by Nazia Hasan


Disco 82 from Khuddar


Disco Station from Hathkadi


Jaan-e-jaan ... Nisha from Sanam Teri Kasam

                                                              and of course the legendary

Koi yahan naache naache, koi wahan naache naache, aaoowa aaoowa!!! Shakti Kapoor got his inspiration of saying aaaoooo from this song

A lot of people will be amazed by the inclusion of 'koi yahan naache naache' and exclusion of 'I am a disco dancer' and I blame you not, because 'I am a Disco Dancer' was an epic, is an epic and is way beyond inclusion in stupid lists, no matter who has made the list (including myself). So it was the genius of Bappi Da coupled with an immoderate brilliance of mister Babbar Subhash (Kareebi log unhe Bee Subhash bulate hain because his movie songs were so much like Bee Gees  - Stayin' Alive) that came up with the epic 'Disco Dancer'. So Mr. Subhash with his first name being B, introduced a whole new generation of tricks in his movies starting from pronouncing dance, commonly pronounced by Indians as ‘daaance’. He introduced a suitably western, ‘dance’, said, ‘daence. And the name of the lead character suitably chosen as Jimmy (who knew that almost 25 years later, Mimoh will make his dad prouder than ever, using the same name)

So the movie has everything, an electric guitar producing electric current and killing Jimmy's maa but 'poori picture ka saar bas is ek gaane me hai'


The more you talk about this song, its lyrics, the video, the choreography, the costumes, everything is perfect. It has multi layered meaning that can send Alan Moore on a stroll. The song starts with girls shouting Jimmy's name and fainting. Side characters using guitars as gun (Hello Johnny B. Goode), prabhiju walking the stage in a costume that can blind you,(Bruce Springsteen, Gene Simmons, Presley, all combined in one) and then the real game begins

Say D. D  (Chorus)!!!
Say I. I (Chorus)!!!
Say S. S (Chorus)!!!
C, O, DISCO, DISCO, DISCO!!!

I am a disco dancer. Just dissolve into the ride and enjoy the trip. This is the song for the stoners, the philosophers and the intellectuals of the society

And lightning did strike twice when 4 years later, the same trio of Prabhuji, BappiDa and Subhash came up with Dance Dance in 1987. And it indeed was a resurrection, a divine experience. Copied frame by frame from its Disco Dancer itself, the movies merge into a single wholesomeness.

The movie had one cult song which is played without fail in all the marriages in India

Another gem in the movie was the song 'aa gaya aa gaya, halwa wala aa gaya'. I am still bedazzled by the intricacies of the the song. No matter how much be written about Disco Dancer and Dance Dance, it will always fall short of the praise they deserve in establishing Disco Dance as a selling genre in Bollywood. Although people tried different variations of Disco in India but all of them had to fall back as they were not good enough. Some such mistakes include 'Disco Bhangra' by Amitabh Bachhan and 'Disco Dandia' by Govinda, but non of them matched the originality of Prabhuji.

The impact of Disco Dancer was immense, so much so that it has inspired a book. Anuvab Pal, who has authored four plays and two films – Loins Of Punjab Presents and The President Is Coming – has written a book titled ‘Disco Dancer'. The author explain how the movie became a global phenomenon and the influence it had across the planet. ‘In Russia, there are statues for Jimmy and some acquaintances in Kazakhstan told me that when Mithun Chakraborty went to Almaty, the capital, the president’s address to the nation was cancelled because a million-strong crowd was busy welcoming Mithun at the airport'

Still Disco had more to offer and not everything was a phenomenon, there were disasters and the below mentioned song from Inquilab was one such instance
Amitabh Bachhan, OMG, Shakti Kapoor ZOMG, the song 'Disco 84' ZOMGWTF


12 comments:

{ Aman } at: May 22, 2012 at 5:34 AM said...

Awesome post :)

{ Pushpendra Kumar } at: May 22, 2012 at 7:03 AM said...

Thanks mate :)

{ Khushi } at: May 22, 2012 at 9:44 AM said...

This is great :) Worth sharing !

{ Afroz } at: May 22, 2012 at 1:43 PM said...

aaaaaaaaaaaaah... you deserve your own TV show :)

{ Pushpendra Kumar } at: May 22, 2012 at 9:54 PM said...

Thanks Khushi and Afroz :)

{ Hari Narayan } at: May 23, 2012 at 12:11 AM said...

Lovely post :)....keep up the good work!

{ B. Kamna Will...... } at: May 23, 2012 at 3:03 AM said...

amazing post ... was totally unaware of this genre of songs :) ... loved all of it ... plus I never knew "Shola jo bhadke" fell under this category ... :D

{ Pushpendra Kumar } at: May 23, 2012 at 4:05 AM said...

you are always unaware of whatever I post :D:D aisa kyun?

{ B. Kamna Will...... } at: May 23, 2012 at 4:18 AM said...

kyunki hum naasamajh hain ... nadaan hain ...
or perhaps I should have mentioned "I was never interested in disco and for the record ramsey ... but now after reading your post I seem to have developed a liking or rather curiosity to try it for once" .. and the facts that you use in your posts to prove your point leave me in awe ( in a good sense obviously) ... now please don't patronize me :(

{ Pushpendra Kumar } at: May 23, 2012 at 7:04 AM said...

haha :)

{ questionairre } at: June 19, 2012 at 8:34 AM said...

Disco Dandia was actually picturised on the great Aamir Khan and not Govinda as is commonly believed.

{ rajesh } at: May 1, 2017 at 11:47 PM said...

Thanks for sharing.
For best music samples and loops
on Indian Flutes visit mangoloops


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