The Score Magazine May 2017 - Page 29

Lord Sitar: Sunshine Superman: The album by British singer-songwriter Donovan scored a massive hit in 1966, including the eponymous single which is riddled with sitar, tambura and table aounds. The album is an early example of psychedelia, and chock full of songs that you would want to play with a touch of the holy green. Fun fact : In the video for the Beatles' "A Day in the Life", a close up of a spinning turntable shows the Epic Records version of Sunshine Superman playing. During the 1960s and 70s, Big Jim Sullian was one of the most sought-after studio musicians in the UK. He played on records by Donovan, David Bowie, George Harrison, Billy Fury, Frank Ifield, Adam Faith, Frankie Vaughan, Helen Shapiro, Johnny Hallyday, Freddie and the Dreamers, Cilla Black, Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, Dusty Springfield…you get the idea. He played on the first records on the UK to use a fuzz guitar (P.J. Proby's 1964 hit "Hold Me"). At some point, he was the only session guitarist in England to own a sitar, and trust me, he used it well. In 1966, he released an album of pop covers…in sitar. You can hear “I Can See For Miles”, I Am The Walrus,” “Blue Jay Way” and my personal favourite, Daydream Believer. This album deserves your love, your money and your obsession. Paint It Black: Brian Jones decided to crack open a bottle of innovation when he took The Rolling Stones the way of the sitar on the Aftermath album. Having trained under Harihar Rao (a disciple of Pandit Ravi Shankar), Jones turned this track into a perfect tribute to the extent of the sway which Hindustani classical instruments held over far too many of the greatest rockers in the world. Predictably, Jones had a bit of a chat with George Harrison before recording this one, and that is why it could remind you of Norwegian Wood. Black Mountain Side: No, I wasn’t going to do a list of classic rock singles and albums without mentioning Led Zeppelin. This instrumental nugget of gold features Jimmy Pag e using sitar tuning on his guitar (similar to “White Summer”), and features Vimal Jasani on the tabla. It’s a Led Zeppelin song, so I am confident that I won’t have to tell you to play it (or replay it, as the case might be). A Rainbow in Curved Air: The experimental and classic minimalist Terry Riley was massively influenced by the Hindustani classical ethos when creating the purveyor of all things psychedelic that is this album. With this one, its less about the instrumentation that is inspired by Indian movements but rather the shaping and structure of the songs themselves. I wish I were more qualified to describe the poeticism of Riley’s phonetic technicalities, but I recommend you just give it a listen. And if my recommendation doesn’t do it for you, possibly the fact that the album inspired Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" and Pete Townshend's play on the organ on The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" and "Baba O'Riley,"( a tip-of-the- hat to Riley and to Meher Baba), will. There is, unsurprisingly infinitely more where that came from. I implore that you dive into Google if you aren’t sure exactly how influential Indian sounds has been in shaping some of the most acclaimed, most adored and most fanaticised sounds in the world. Take it from someone who has spent the last four years rifling through the history of rock, it is worth the research. The Score Magazine 27