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Cornershop - Brimful of Asha

Source: YouTube Video

Stashed in: Interconnectedness!, Music Videos!, India, Beatles!, Rap Genius, 1990s

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Dare I ask what a "Brimful of Asha" is?

To understand the song, one must understand the Indian movie industry. Ever since cinema was introduced to India, most commercial movies have been heavy, sweet, musical productions. The song-and-dance interludes are not incidentals, but staples, and often are what make or break a movie. An American friend of mine was under the impression that singing was a necessary skill for Indian actors and actresses! Actually, the singing is almost always done by background singers. The background singers, of course, are not required to possess charisma or looks, and in fact in early times, care was taken to not expose them in the media, to preserve the romantic association with their voices in the minds of the moviegoing public.

Why is all this so important? Right from the beginning, movies took over the hearts and lives of common Indians in a manner that nothing has done before or since. The happiness, the tragedy, the passionate and tender love, and the conflict are all designed to speak to the melodrama-loving Indian heart. As Hindi grew more popular, Hindi movies took over the whole country. The heart of the Hindi film industry in Bombay, whimsically nicknamed Bollywood, eventually became a force larger than the one it was named after. The songs are no exception, and over the last sixty years or so filmi music, as it is called, has become by far the most popular kind in India.

Two female background singers perhaps distinguish themselves from the rest in sheer prolificness and popularity: Asha Bhonsle and Lata Mangeshkar. The two, as it happens, are sisters, and recently there has been much focus on their professional and sibling rivalry. At any rate, their singing formed the emotional soundtrack of India, as it were, for many years.

That, in essence, is what “Brimful of Asha” is all about.

So basically the singer in Cornershop has a stack of singles from this popular background singer?

And also, the band owns ?! The benefit of being popular in the 1990s, I suppose...

Did they ever have any other hit songs?

The band released their critically acclaimed album 'When I Was Born for the 7th Time' in September 1997. The album featured collaborations with Allen Ginsberg, Paula Frazer, Justin Warfield and a Yoko Ono and Paul McCartney approved cover of "Norwegian Wood". The album was produced by Tjinder Singh and Dan the Automator. Rolling Stone called it one of the essential recordings of the 1990s. The album was ranked No. 1 on Spin's list of 'Top 20 Albums of the Year' (1998)

Norwegian Wood. Everything's connected.

Brimful of Beatles on the 45!

You want interconnected? There's a Rap Genius page for the song:

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