Bollywood audiophile-grade albums

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In general, the production standards in Indian films has been pitiful over the years IMO. Reasons probably range from not having enough budget to run a state-of-the-art recording studio and the focus being too much on the music itself versus how the music actually sounds when recorded. This has obviously resulted in some great songs over the decades but with terrible production. Who wouldn't want Rafi's songs to sound like Beatles were sounding in the 60s (and the subsequent remasters). Even the remastering culture is pretty much dead here.

However, there have been a few gems here and there, definitely feel AR Rahman was the first big step towards actually attempting to bridge the gap between production standards in the west vs bollywood. It's obvious that his training in the west and subsequent setup of a new studio in Chennai helped a ton. Still, his early albums do lack a lot vs what was being produced from early 70s in the west.

Let's discuss some albums which you feel could definitely compete with amazingly produced albums from the west in the same era. I'll go first, it's Dev D by Amit Trivedi. It's obvious that apart from being a very experimental album, the way he managed to make instruments sound in the album is outstanding. His sense of percussion and brass instruments is without peer and it shines through in just his first album.
 
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Besides the attributes, or the lack thereof, I take the music I am familiar with.
Rahman is the absolute king of recording tablas...Khwaja mere Khwaja never fails to give me goosebumps. How easily he manages to incorporate bass guitar into qawwali!! Just too many elements that are amazing in that single song.
 
I shall add MM Kreem (Keeravani in the South) to this list. His albums are a combination of good music (compositions and artist excellence) and audio (arrangements, recording and mastering).

Among the older generation, I like Naushad on this count. He pioneered many a compositional and recording trends in Hindi/Indian film industry.
 
I shall add MM Kreem (Keeravani in the South) to this list. His albums are a combination of good music (compositions and artist excellence) and audio (arrangements, recording and mastering).

Among the older generation, I like Naushad on this count. He pioneered many a compositional and recording trends in Hindi/Indian film industry.
Can you list out couple of songs from both?
 
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Rockstar, Highway.. too many to list, once you appreciate the nuances of it!
Would love to know what parts of specific songs get you!

While Highway has a great way to hook you at the first listen (that's a bit rare for Rahman), I think 'Kahan hoon mai' is the one that has stuck with me the longest..Rockstar sadly didn't stick with me beyond the first couple of years of release, but these are amazingly recorded albums for sure!
 
'Rangeela is one more soundtrack ....especially the first edition released by Time Audio .... Hai Rama song in particular

Also I have always noticed the difference in SQ of Saregama and Music India Limited (Universal / Polygram/Polydor) of soundtracks released during the same time period . This is an example of how good recording can make a difference .

All the Soundtracks released by MIL during 80's and 90's were good ...Saagar , Qurbani , Jaanbaaz , Satte Pe Satte , Gambler / Johnny Mera Naam , Shaan , Naseeb .....compare this with a RD Burman soundtrack from Saregama during the same time period
 
'Rangeela is one more soundtrack ....especially the first edition released by Time Audio .... Hai Rama song in particular

Also I have always noticed the difference in SQ of Saregama and Music India Limited (Universal / Polygram/Polydor) of soundtracks released during the same time period . This is an example of how good recording can make a difference .

All the Soundtracks released by MIL during 80's and 90's were good ...Saagar , Qurbani , Jaanbaaz , Satte Pe Satte , Gambler / Johnny Mera Naam , Shaan , Naseeb .....compare this with a RD Burman soundtrack from Saregama during the same time period
Oh wow, never considered this. This is exactly the kind of insight I'm looking for! Thanks!
 
Some of the old Gramaphone records of olden hindi movies,Jagjit singh and few other classical recording are really brilliant. Specially HMV ones.
Pure analogue sound. If you have a mint pressing nicely cleaned and well kept than on a good turntable it will mesmerise you.
some of them as old as 50/60 years.
Modern days records made from digitally recorded source are not that involving.
 
Somewhere in 90's the recordings got bright ...T-Series , Tips , Venus etc , Personally I dont have a problem with that . I have enjoyed those recordings . Gupt , Tridev etc are examples of good recording .

When Piracy started increasing ...the treble quotient in CD's started coming down . Consequently it was high on bass and sounded like a bloated and dry sound ...(When guitar starts sounding somewhat like a drum ). Certain amount of treble is necessary for a lively sound . That's missing nowadays .
 
Highway album has a lot of compression. Rahman albums in the last decade all have varying amounts of compression. Jodha Akbar too is dynamically compressed though nowhere as bad as Highway. His earlier albums like Bombay, Taal, etc have a much wider dynamic range.
+1. I have the German and EMI first editions of both Bombay and Taal and they sound amazing to what the later CD editions did.
 
Taal was never on EMI. It was a TIPS release. Bombay first edition CD is from Korea. The first press CDs are better than the vinyl releases of the same.
 
.compare this with a RD Burman soundtrack from Saregama during the same period
There was no Saregama during RD’s period. You mean HMV I believe. For that you have to know which pressings sound best. HMV too has very good SQ for specific titles like Ghar (45 rpm ) for instance.
Taal was never on EMI. It was a TIPS release. Bombay first edition CD is from Korea. The first press CDs are better than the vinyl releases of the same.
My bad. It was a Tips (for Taal ). Bombay I would need to check once ...
 
Bloom@83, you could be right. It might be a German press. A few of Music India titles were pressed in Germany.
 
There was no Saregama during RD’s period. You mean HMV I believe. For that you have to know which pressings sound best. HMV too has very good SQ for specific titles like Ghar (45 rpm ) for instance.

My bad. It was a Tips (for Taal ). Bombay I would need to check once ...

Yes .. HMV / EMI . I was referring to CD's . Mostly the SQ is not as good as MIL .

Listen to a Dum Maro Dum in HMV / EMI CD or a Bappi Lahiri Soundtrack like Namak Halaal or Sharaabhi and then compare that to Soundtracks in MIL for the same music director .

Even in 90's a Tridev (T-Series ) , Gupt (Tips) is better than a Vishwatama (HMV) . HMV / EMI / Saregama's relatively bad SQ is very apparent when you listen to CD's from other companies .
 
Yes .. HMV / EMI . I was referring to CD's . Mostly the SQ is not as good as MIL .

Listen to a Dum Maro Dum in HMV / EMI CD or a Bappi Lahiri Soundtrack like Namak Halaal or Sharaabhi and then compare that to Soundtracks in MIL for the same music director .

Even in 90's a Tridev (T-Series ) , Gupt (Tips) is better than a Vishwatama (HMV) . HMV / EMI / Saregama's relatively bad SQ is very apparent when you listen to CD's from other companies .
Ok I was speaking from vinyl perspective.
Yes I agree the Saregama CDs of vintage Bollywood albums have the absolute worst SQ.
 
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