Ananda Shankar – Ananda Shankar (1970)

Album no. 192/1001

Ananda was Ravi’s nephew! Is this the first time two family members have made the list on their own merits? I think so!

This album has sitar-led covers of ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ and ‘Light My Fire’, which explain some of it’s crossover appeal. After this album Ananda continued trying different stuff, including a 1975 album called ‘Ananda Shankar and his music’ which was a jazz-funk mix of sitars, guitar, tabla, mridangam, drums and Moog synthesizers.

He also had a career resurgence in the mid 90s when his music started finding it’s way into club DJ sets in London. A very versatile musician.

Have you listened to this album before?

NK: Never, but I do recognise a couple of track names…

CL: No. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – the sitar is not my favourite instrument.

Standout track

NK: Both the covers are good, and ‘Mamata (Affection) and the closer ‘Raghupati’ are pretty good too. I quite liked this, although the longer tracks (‘Metamorphasis’ and ‘Sagar’) dragged it down a bit. The first half is really good. Keeps things moving along briskly.

CL: I really like the ‘Jumpin Jack Flash’ cover! It sounds like something the Brian Jonestown Massacre might do. That’s the standout for me, because the rest really just descended into typical sitar business that just can’t seem to penetrate my thick skull.

When would be the best time to listen to this?

NK: This would have been on at a house party where one of the housemates is a bit of a hippy. Incense and hemp shirts and vegan brownies.  

CL: So, at your first house then? I’d definitely include the Rolling Stones cover on a WICKED-COOL mixtape for your bae to show you’ve got ~diverse~ tastes.

Why has this album been included on the list?

NK: This is a real crossover. ‘Call of the Valley’ had some guitar on it, but this is a full on smashing together of eastern instruments with some western songs. I wonder how well this album did.

CL: I have to say, I wish I’d heard this first. Out of all the eastern music we’ve heard, I think this is easily the most accessible. Even though Ravi Shankar tried to give everyone a music lesson on The Sounds of India, mixing some classic tunes with an Indian flair is the way to go.

Will you be listening again?  

NK: If the longer songs weren’t there I definitely would. Especially if instead of ‘Sagar’ there was a cover of ‘My Generation’ I think this could be a really great album.

CL: I won’t be, but I’ll stick ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ on my WICKED-COOL mixtape.

Rating

NK: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

CL: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

Listen to Ananda Shankar on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.

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