Saturday, May 22, 2010

I heart Disco - Bolly-ishstyle!

Watching the Disco Dancer songs on YouTube inspired me to make this list of my favorite Bollywood Disco numbers ... because India held on to the popularity of Disco well into the late 80s and early 90s when it was considered totally lame here in the U.S., and I love them for it. Obviously everything you come up with when searching for Bollywood Disco is gold, but I'll just post my favorites - the ones I have the most Bollystalgia about:

1. EVERYTHING from Disco Dancer, the title song, Jimmy Jimmy Aaja Aaja, Koi Yahan A-ha Nache Nache, and one of my personal faves, Ae Oh Aa Zara Mudke:

There was this guy named Dimple who used to dance to Disco Dancer at the Festival of India at Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit when I was little. It was scandalous watching him, from the moves to the super-tight cat suits he used to wear. It's clear who his hero was.

Who put the electrical tape around Mithun's waist? His outfit also sort of reminds of something Mork from Mork and Mindy would wear. Kim's gold boots look like leftovers from her Wonder Woman halloween costume. God, the early 80s were SO awesome.

2. Boom Boom from STAR (1982)
Ok, this was tough because Ooie Ooie is also awesome, but I had to go with Nazia Hassan's inimitable style and Rati Agnihotri rocking it out.

Incidentally you should also watch the title song STAR for Kumar Gaurav's full gold spangly outfit.

3. Ramba Ho from Armaan (1981)
Usha Uthup is awesome. So is this song.

4. Hari Om Hari from Pyara Dushman (1980)
This party is crazy. Kalpana Iyer is fearless in her fringe-y, Tahitian-ey outfit. I can't believe she's an Iyer - we're such a conservative culture!

5. Gore Nahin Hum Kale Sahi from Desh Premi (1982)
Utterly horrifying on so many levels ... the blackface, the dancing, Hema Malini dressed up to look like Michael Jackson??? Let's focus on the positive - the rotating stage that looks like a record! Yay!

6. Disco Deewane by Nazia Hassan from Sangdil (1982)
Ok, so this shouldn't technically count as its a Urdu movie and was for all practical purposes a pop song ... but who doesn't love it????

7. Disco '82 from Khuddaar (1982)
I find Lata Mangeshkar even saying the word Disco sooo odd.

8. Disco Station from Haathkadi
OMG Reena Roy!!! WHAT is going on with that outfit? It's part Marathi-Laavani, part-80s Disco! The light-up floor is amazing too.

9. Jaan-e-jaan ... Nisha from Sanam Teri Kasam
More Reena Roy awesomeness ... with the added bonus of Kamal Hassan (oh, just wait till I get into Tamil disco videos!). Her jumpsuit would be "in" nowadays.

10. Udi Baba from Vidhaata (1982)
Man, 1982 was the YEAR. Padmini Kohlapuri in a teddy and sparkly hat. Not sure I love the curly short hair underneath, but hey, she owns it in this. I'm not sure what's up with the fake superman character, but love the lights, disco balls, giant gun motifs, and revolving stage!

11. Aap Jaisa Koi from Qurbaani
Best disco song in a hindi movie EVER? In my opinion yes. It's got gorgeous, glam-doll Zeenat resplendent in gold, a light-up floor, Nazia Hassan's voice, a brooding Vinod Khanna for good measure ... and its STILL the song that gets all the ladies on the dance floor at a party:

Credit to Laila Mein Laila too, Because I love Amjad Khan in it.

12. Bachna Ae Haseeno or The Medley from Hum Kisise Kum Nahin
Couldn't decide, both are so awesome!

13. Aaya Sanam Aaya Deewana Tera from Bade Dil Wala
Because I'm a shameless Rishi Kapoor fangirl.

14. Disco '84 - Inquilaab - song starts at about 1:45
Oh Amitabh ... Oh Shakti Kapoor! The whole set looks very Austin Powers-esque, doesn't it? Shakti looks strangely like Howard Stern in his get-up, and for some reason Amitabh reminds me of those three flying villains from Superman 2. And with that white hair and beard, doesn't it seem like this video could be from today?

15. Jawani Jawani - Jaani Dost
Couldn't resist throwing in some Silk Smitha. Jeetu, are you wearing a headband? You know, doing the moves in this dance would be a pretty good aerobic workout.

16. Jawani Jaaneman - Namak Halal
Speaking of Jawani ... this is CLASSIC. Right from the phone call - "I want to kill you. I WILL Kill you." - Raat Baaki from this movie is also amazingly disco-fare. I think I had a Barbie-version of that gold outfit.

17. Om Shanti Om - Karz
Chintu is my unequivocal favorite - he's just so cute! That smile! That energy on the (light-up or revolving) dance floor! That charm! I have to admit, I WANT to love Ranbir Kapoor so much more than I actually do because of how much I love his parents.

18. Disco Bhangra - Gangaa Jamunaa Saraswati
This song is a total travesty, but it also manages to get stuck in my head. I never saw this movie, the song was on one of those Hits VHS tapes, and it has remained in my head all these years. The black leather outfit & Michael Jackson glove are TOO MUCH. He had to be at least 50 when this came out!

19. Yaar Bina Chain - Saheb
The rhinestone studded suit is awesome. Anil Kapoor, dude, you are like Richard from Lost ... you just don't age!!!

20. Saara Zamana - Yaarana
Love this Coliseum that they're dancing in.

21. Pyar Karnewale - Shaan
I love, love, love this song! So fabulous!

22. Jeena Bhi Hai Kya - Kasam Paida Karnewale Ki
Mithun does Thriller - to the tune of "Billie Jean"? I'm confused? Then again, the very existence of Salma Agha on-screen confuses me.

23. Pucho Na Yaar Kya Hua - Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai
One of my favorite songs and movies. I still can't sit at a table with cutlery and not pick up the spoons and start singing "Haiyya Haiyya". And this probably is the source of my obsession with light-up dance floors.

24. Mamma Mia Pom Pom - Justice Chowdhary
I am a crazy Sridevi fan and I completely wanted to BE her in this ... even if it meant I'd have to have a beau that danced like a fool - seriously it is SO funny watching him try to do these steps. His outfits are pretty rocking too. This is another great Sridevi-Jeetendra workout video dance.

25. Naam Mera Premkali - Chaalbaaz
The picturization of this TOTALLY doesn't match the song at all, but the whole LOOK, from Sri's jheri curl to the lights and all, are very disco!

26. Tamma Tamma Loge - Thanedaar
OMG this was the SONG when I was 14. I remember my dad being horrified by how she walks in the beginning (way too sexy for a 14-yr-old to be watching, I wonder what he would have thought of those kids dancing to Single Ladies if he were still alive?). I am more horrified by her hair and outfit. Someone in India was kinda obsessed with Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation video! Also, I read somewhere that Javed Jaffery was Sanjay Dutt's body double in this because Sanju Dada couldn't get the dance moves down. HAHAHAHA! Warning: This video is a Mullet-fest.

27. Saat Samundar - Vishwatma

28. Disco Dandia - Love Love Love
Aamir + Juhi = cutest pair ever. And when this song came out everyone was obsessed with it!

29. It's My Challenge scene from Pyar Karke Dekho
There is so much awesomeness going on here I can't even begin to describe it. This was the first Govinda movie we ever saw and we were obsessed with it. We made SO MUCH FUN of this scene in particular - there's just so many cheesy things happening here. The mullets, the headbands, the sparkly outfits ...

30. Muqabla - Humse Hai Muqabla/Kaadhalan
The fabulous Prabhu Deva aka Benny Lava doing his thang.

There's obviously SO MUCH MORE than this list, I know, and I'd love to hear others' favorites. But I also wanted to just throw out there a few songs from contemporary Bollywood that evoke this Disco-era awesomeness.

a) It's the Time To Disco - Kal Ho Na Ho
b) Dard-E-Disco - Om Shanti Om
c) Discowale Kisko - Dil Bole Hadippa
d) Where's the Party Tonight - Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna
e) Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe - Dil Chahta Hai
f) Dan Te Nan (Aaja Aaja) - Kaminey


  1. OH MY GOD. I'm so happy right now - you have no idea! I cannot WAIT to just click play, play, play, play, plaaaaaaaaay! :) I will come back later after having watched everything to comment intelligently. In the meantime, thank you for making my weekend!

  2. Amalu, I think I want to cry tears of joy, tears of pain, tears of laughter. This is beyond brilliant.

  3. Ma'am! You should know that you have done a public service! This list is Epic! EPIC! ePiC! Bravo Bravo!

  4. Thanks to Beth for sharing this. This is such a heartfelt and brilliant Bollytastic post wrapped in all awesomeness. Love it love it.
    Especially the mention of classics - Nisha, Disco Station and Disco 82, and my all time favs - Pyar Karne Waale and Yaar Bina Chain Kaha.. The first time I saw Disco Bhangra I lol-ed and I haven't stopped since :P Awesome awesome post :)

  5. Thank you guys all so much for your comments - as a total blogging newbie it's so nice to be welcomed and encouraged this way. I look forward to hearing thoughts on songs I might have missed ... :-)

  6. FANTABULOUS!!! I was planning to do this and even got the list started but I can say that I would not have done justice to it like you did. I will have to save a few hours and come back to this post. I do have to add my favorite disco number to the list though. :) Thanks for sharing, Amalu & Beth.

  7. well done, such a fab post, so fab i've bookmarked it and i hear you plan a Sridevi week in August, i'm all for that, had i known earlier i would have kept my Nagina review till then. by the way here's a list i made on her birthday last year

  8. Kanan - thank you! I know, I love that one too, I had such a hard time choosing between the Star songs! I bet there's songs I missed though, so would love to see your list too!

    Bollywooddeewana - OMG your birthday post for Sri is FANTABULOUS!!! Love it! And no worries, I will STILL link up your Nagina review, I totally love that movie! Thanks so much!