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Ananda Shankar's debut album is his self-titled effort, it stands out as an extraordinary creative and dreamy album with an awesome exotic sound, of course with Bollywood becoming so popular in recent times and bands like Kula Shaker and Cornershop in the 90s, let alone various 60s bands trying to incorporate an oriental sound, the sounds might not be quite as exotic as they were when it was released in 1970.
Ananda Shankar is a nephew of sitar legend Ravi Shankar but unlike his uncle, he spruces up classical Indian music by blending it with a more psychedelic rock sound, with covers of well known tracks like Jumpin' Jack Flash and Light My Fire seeming rather natural with their new exotic take. The sitar incase you wondered is the instrument on the album cover (not to be mistaken for a pair of testicles!)
The cover versions are really cool, it's very rare that an artist is able to cover a great song in a completely different way and pull it off but Ananda Shankar has done so on "Light My Fire". The chanting on the song Raghupati is mesmeric and combined with the hypnotic playing of the instruments, it's all rather impressive. Other groovy tracks include the gentle "Snow Flower" but there's not the electronic element that you will find on later work and the songs are generally purely made on classical instruments.
This album gets a lot of praise but having listened to some of Ananda's later work, I would say that the later work is at least as good and perhaps even better with the best of album "Life in Music" being the best.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Jumpin' Jack Flash
2 Snow Flower
3 Light my Fire
4 Mamata (Affection)
6 Sagar (The Ocean)
7 Dance Indra