Vinyl Rip: Bappi Lahiri Ft. Lata Mangeshkar – Pyar Hai Gunah (1975). Bollywood’s answer to Led Zeppelin’s, Immigrant Song

Producer/arranger, Bappi Lahiri, and vocalist, Lata Mangeshkar, were two of the most prolific contributors to the vast world of Bollywood soundtracks. Along with producer/arranger, R.D. Burman, and vocalists, Asha Bosle (who is Mangeshkar’s little sister) and Mohammed Rafi, they ruled the sonic landscape of India, collectively contributing to thousands (yes, thousands) of films. In fact Mangeshkar was so prolific that, in 1974, she was inducted into the Guinness Book Of Records as the single most recorded artist with, “not less than 25,000 solo, duet and chorus backed songs in 20 Indian languages”. While the exact number of songs has been disputed (estimates ranging between five to fifty thousand), with the aforementioned Mohammed Rafi contending his output to be greater and later Guinness editions passing the title onto her sister Bosle, there is no debate about the insanely prolific and influential nature of her work. She’s also has the distinction of being awarded India’s highest civilian honor, the Bharat Ratna.

As noted in the blog headline, this track is a total swipe of Led Zeppelin’s, Immigrant Song, which, given Zeppelin’s history of plagiarism, is entirely appropriate. For that matter, Bollywood was no stranger to the pillaging of popular western music to it’s own ends, to begin with. Anyway, though Immigrant Song is clearly the basis for Pyar Hai Gunah, it is also undeniably Indian in execution, and all the better for it.

And just in case you wanted to see how this played out in the movie (and really, how could you not?), youtube’s got your back.


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