Ananda Shankar is the debut album by Indian musician Ananda Shankar, the son of dancer and choreographer Uday Shankar and the nephew of Indian classical musician Ravi Shankar. It was released in 1970 on the Reprise record label. The album fuses Indian music with Western rock and electronic music, and was among the first works in the rock genre by an Indian musician. Consisting mainly of instrumental recordings featuring sitar and Moog synthesizer, it includes a cover version of the Rolling Stones' 1968 hit song "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and a thirteen-minute Indian-style piece titled "Sagar (The Ocean)". Ananda Shankar followed a series of sitar-based releases by artists hoping to capitalise on the mid-1960s raga rock trend. Initially conceived as a collaboration with guitarist Jimi Hendrix, it was instead recorded in Los Angeles by Shankar with contributors such as synthesizer exponent Paul Lewinson. In the decades since the LP's release, "Jumpin' Jack Flash" became a popular club hit, while the album has been recognised for its influence on world music fusion, particularly the East–West styles developed in the UK. It is one of the albums featured in Robert Dimery's book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.Wikipedia
Somewhere in the secret vaults deep beneath the Vatican where they lock away the secrets deemed too dangerous for the world, there is a book titled "Things That Could End the World as We Know It Probably." This book contains lists of potentially apocalypse-causing items and scenarios. It's quite a large book. All of the items are grouped into sections by type such as “Thermonuclear Missteps,” “Plagues, Diseases, Germs, and Cooties,” and “Musical Indiscretions.” The latter category is surprisingly lengthy, though not as lengthy as the category simply titled, somewhat ominously, “Birds.” Nearing the top of the list of dangers in the “Musical Indiscretions” category is “Sitar Covers of Rolling Stones Songs.” How the album “Ananda Shankar” by Ananda Shankar made it past the Illuminati’s shadow censors is anybody’s guess given the fact that it begins with a sitar cover of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” Equally mystifying is the fact that the world is still mostly un-ended. Experts speculate that the only reason that the album didn’t summarily destroy the world is that the first track is balanced by an equally destructive sitar cover of “Light My Fire” by The Doors and, somehow, the two evils have managed to cancel each other out. This is, of course, purely speculative as nobody would be so reckless as to test the theory in a lab. Not even on a small scale. The risk is simply too great. For now, we must simply be grateful that, somehow, Ananda Shankar did not, intentionally or unintentionally, destroy the world as we know it. Probably.
One for the scliolists. Vaguely entertaining, mostly when it settles on a single idea and bashes away at it for three or four minutes. Less so on the covers that add nothing and take away plenty. But I suppose for whichever marketing bod short on ideas it was who proposed this crossover, that was the main selling point. Could have had some traction in 1970, but why the dickens is it still being mentioned 50 years later?
First song.. hey this is pretty cool. Second song. Ok still pretty neat. Halfway through … holy crap this is dragging.
I thought the rock covers were unnecessary, except I liked the shredding on light my fire. Looking into this, it looks like the label forced the band to compromise on keeping these in to appeal to a western audience. Considering that, the novel sounds and the talented musicians invoked, I’m bumming my initial impression of 3 stars up to 4, this artist clearly knows what’s good.
east meets weast what a feast
This is not Hindustani music with rock instruments or Psychedelic rock with a sitar, it is a blend of the two strands, though it seems to lack the improvisation of traditional ragas. The result is a really enjoyable listen that foreshadows much of the Asian Underground that would come more than a generation later.
A lot of fun but unfortunately quite inconsistent. The covers are especially divergent in quality: The opener is transcendent while the Doors cut comes off as kitschy. Other than that, the meat of the record is pretty satisfying, though one wonders how unique it is in the sitar-rock space. And, sadly, the closing track reinforces that notion with its weakly perennial lyrics and uninspired second half.
Day 32 of Albums You Must Hear.. Today’s album is a very interesting one. Ananda Shankar was an Indian musician that fused Indian music with rock and electronic music. This self titled album is an instrumental piece, and you all know how I feel about full instrumental albums, however, I really enjoy the sitar and Mook synthesizer. Ananda Shankar has a really cool cover of The Door’s Light My Fire as well as The Rolling Stones Jumping Jack Flash. The song Metamorphosis really shines a light on the sitar skills of Shankar. This is a pretty dope record, not one I would personally consider a “must hear”, but nonetheless, it’s pretty cool and relaxing. I totally wouldn’t mind sipping on a mojito with my toes in the sands of Palolem Beach while listening to some Ananda Shankar. Please share your thoughts, memories and opinions!!
Transcendental. I have been conditioned to associate Indian music (the sitar) with transcendentalism thanks to movies and George Harrison
Cet album étrange a au moins eu le mérite de me faire dormir comme un bébé. Je fus toutefois pris à mon réveil d'importantes hallucinations. Vous avez probablement remarqué que le générateur d'albums traverse en ce moment une crise majeure dans son histoire, c'est la raison pour laquelle il a été fixé que la première Grande Grève du Générateur prendra effet dans neuf jours si la situation ne s'améliore pas d'ici là. Je vous rappellerai ses modalités sous peu.
Could really have done without the sitar covers of Rolling Stones songs, but I guess that’s just what life was like in the 70s? Presumably this sounds great when polishing your noggin with low grade acid. The second side where it moves away from pandering to our soppy western palettes is better. It’s a stark reminder that most albums until the 90s (?) had to physically be turned over, if nothing else.
Very calming, easy to enjoy
i didn't realize sitar could shred this hard. had some slow moments in the middle but overall i really liked this. 9/10
Very artfully done covers. An enjoyable and interesting listen
Amazing. It's a shame sitar didn't catch on better, but this album shows what could have been.
really great rock, i’m not a huge fan of the sitar but he fuckin slaps it hard, the production is genius I think the message he wrote on the album cover perfectly sums up this super cool project - 10/10
That was the surprise of the month for me. Wow, I really enjoyed that.
Being a huge fan of sixties psychedelia, I was already familiar with this and it's right up my street. It's a wonderful fusion of eastern and western (rock) instrumentation. It's trippy, mystical, euphoric, groovy and exotic. There's plenty of cool kaleidoscopic effects and far out shifting sounds. The mix of longer and shorter tracks works well and of course Shankar's sitar playing is exquisite. Also it sounds sincere, not some cheap flower power exploitation cash in. PS There's a cool series of compilations called 'Psychedelic Sitar Headswirlers' that is well worth checking out. Love and peace man.
Super groovy and fun! Yeah, baby!
This is totally digable music, and I totally dug it. I kept hitting start every time it ended.
I suppose I would look no further than the cover of this album for my comments. Ananda Shankar fulfilled his dream, I think. It is melodious and touching, and so interesting to bring the Moog synthesizer and the sitar together. I enjoyed the entire album, which has quite a range of music, making it difficult to pick favorites. I always love when something new and exciting is brought to a well worn song, and that happened with both "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "Light My Fire." I think "Metamorphosis" is a beautiful piece that showcases the creativity and skill of Shankar and makes its novel blend of instrumentation make absolute sense. "Raghupati" was such a lovely way to end the album with its joyous singalong. It feels very much of its time, but I really liked that about it. Beyond that, it was just beautiful music for a walk along the river today, nicely accompanying the sun shining through the trees and sparkling on the water.
Nepotism will get you everywhere. Loved the Rolling Stones covers, and the rest of the tracks were a jam too.
Really cool how this album worked. Added it to my background music list
I listened to this album at a friend's house and was blown away by the covers.
This was.... awesome. I don't know what I was expecting, but what I got was something that sounded as if George Harrison, during his sitar phase, put out an album of proggy instrumental jams.
I just get the vibe.
Love the sound! The sitar goes hard and I gotta give props to how experimental the sound is
Classical Indian meets Rock - lovely!
I flipping loved this, thoroughly good sounds babe
Oh yeah this is a great album!! Ananda Shankar is a genius and this album has my favourite tracks from him too. Light my Fire is on a couple of my favourite playlists I have and it's just pure brilliance. The instrumentation is so impressive to me, I could never!! Anyone who can play the sitar is pretty much a God and I could listen to it forever. Such a magical sound. The entire album is super creative and exciting. Major love. Including the beautiful album artwork and the sweet message he's included on there. Love how Metamorphosis grows and builds.
Incredible! Such a creative, spirited album. You can read much about Amanda Shankar’s ambitions for this album— he put his statement right on the cover!— so it’s a manifesto kind of album. His goal is to combine his advanced study in the sitar, plus Indian classical forms, with 60s psychedelic rock, heavy Moog synths, big operatic arrangements. A platform for him to show us how expressive the sitar can be. On every one of these points he succeeds. The album is innovative as a piece of music for its time, but it’s also fun, and you can tell that everyone is having fun. The idea of combining Sitar and Western music could have been boring, or academic, or shallow in its exploration. This album is none of these things. I get the sense that Amanda Shankar is exploring this idea to its absolute fullest, complete with some crazy Moog sound effects on the tracks! And it’s a perfect environment to show us his skill in playing, with different shades of an instrument you might have overlooked. I’m getting major Herbie Hancock vibes on this album, in the way the album feels so inviting, excited about its own sound, like he’s the first explorer. And the musicianship is just amazing throughout. This album made me re-discover the sitar! Which makes me one more convert to Amanda Shankar’s way of thinking. What more can you ask for. 5 stars!
So good. I was between 4 and 5 on this one. But this album just feels hugely important and groundbreaking. And something I'll return to frequently. 5 it is.
I really really enjoyed this album. Tasteful playing all around and even counter melodies. Sometimes there was like 3-4 Melodie’s all happening at the same time and it worked? Didn’t bother me at all. Sonics were great. Sometimes a lil harsh on the sitar but hey that’s the vibe. Super tight drums and drum breaks, loved all the percussion happening. This is something I’m keeping in my library and when I’m tired of words I’ll live here for a bit. Fantastic synth work and really enjoyed the whole album with the exception of the ocean song. 13 minutes or whatever it was, was just a lil too long. Beautiful track but yea anyways I’m done loved this tbh
Doing his uncle proud in my opinion. These tracks are gonna slip right into my instrumental playlists.
loved this - hidden treasure
I loved this, until I looked at the release date I assumed these versions of jumpin jack flash and light my fire were the original but i guess this is reinterpretations? Either way this album is sick
A complete masterpiece. Incredible album that is damn near perfect.
soothing and a bop
Fun covers of contemporary pop mixed in with beautiful, engaging sitar. Good for a drive, also great background music to video games
Pretty groovy, many tracks sounds like they could’ve been lifted off an Austin Powers soundtrack.
this was great, love the mix of covers and originals. also love citar and moog, so this was a perfect match
A really fun psychedelic, sitar driven trip.
That cover of Jumpin Jack was fantastic. A great mix of Indian beats with pop sensibilities
This was lovely. Very relaxing.
A really good album. Recreating some classic rock hits("Jumping jack flash, and "light my fire") into more 'dream-like' ambient music, with the combination of synthetic and sitar blends well. I enjoyed the east v. west fusion.
Creo que no tengo mucho que decir porque soy más bien ignorante de la música india. Entonces, sólo comento que disfruté el disco, es como escuchar lo que conocemos como "música clásica", nada más que con otros instrumentos, la pista más larga, "Sagar (The Ocean)" tuvo un efecto tranquilizante y, en general, aprecié todas las canciones, quizá "Metamorphosis" un poco más y "Raghupati" por el uso de las voces. Me gustó sobre todo oír sonidos distintos. 8/10
Me gustó mucho, me imagino que innovador y emocionante para la época, una producción re buena, más psicodélico que el rock psicodélico. Siento que es algo asiático (XD XD XD) aquello de que hasta la fecha surgen de dicho continente músiques profesionales de un instrumento clásico que saltan a la fama mundial solo por interpretar los géneros populares de su época como Vanessa Mae con el violín y el pop/EDM en los 90-2000, los Yoshida Brothers con el shamisen y el rock alternativo en los 2000-2010 y más recientemente Henry Lau con el violín en el K-pop. Anyway, pasando las generalizaciones sobre Asia jaja, canción favorita: Metamorphosis porque es un viajesote y dan ganas de bailar drogado en un campo de flores. Mood: Yo soy paz, yo soy amor, yo soy luz, :VVV
7/10. Not quite my thing, but some cool sounds to be sure
Groovy, love a sitar. Maybe a 7?
Nice with something new. Pretty good mix of different genres. Ravis nephew!
Trippy shit yo
No tengo muy claro que comentar porque es un disco que, aunque sí suena mucho a su época, no se parece tampoco a nada que haya escuchado. Pero está ok.
What a compelling blend of influences and styles! Jumpin' Jack Flash blew my socks off. I love the fusion of Indian, rock, and electronic elements. 3.5 rounded up.
Great version of Jumping Jack Flash! 3 1/2 stars
Surprisingly easy to listen through, and the ending was great, both message-wise and just my musical enjoyment I guess.
I actually enjoyed this quite a bit. Who knew sitar and synths would sound so good together?
This was great. I love hearing interesting takes on tracks I already know.
Ну так, музыканты играют хорошо, но слушать каверы на ситаре довольно утомительно. Фоновая музыка
Much more interesting than I anticipated. Sitar-remakes of Jumpin' Jack Flash and Light My Fire? Awesome.
I've stated my dislike for Sitar as an instrument before but this thing was both good and very funny
Funky, cool, I really liked that
Not quite what I'd listen to normally but very interesting psychedelic playing
Upphafslagið, Jumping Jack Flash, hef ég þekkt nokkuð lengi þökk sé Discover weekly. Algerlega frábær útgáfa. Restin nær ekki alveg sömu hæðum, en heilt á litið er þetta þó mjög skemmtileg plata og um margt töff.
Opening with an awesome Sitar solo over a sample of the Stones doing Jumping Jack Flash is not what I expected when I saw this album cover. A few songs deep, looks like the whole (or most) of the album is going to be Sitar covers of Classic Rock hits. Really interesting take, I dig it.
Groovy. The couple of covers are good but just different enough where you don't immediately recognize them.
Playing classic rock songs on the sitar? Sign me up. I can honestly say that I've never heard anything quite like this before.
Really cool stuff and some funky covers
This was pretty cool! It's the reverse of the Beatles, etc. "borrowing" from Indian music.
Fun album. Love the covers on the album (light my fire and jumpi jack in particular). Overall really enjoyed
4/5. Banging, love that sitar
Great listen. Very psychedelic, and I think this is the pinnacle of sitar on rock music.
I enjoyed this. Having a Moog as a foil to the sitar made it more interesting than the standard 60s trope of adding sitar to a guitar line up. I even enjoyed the covers! The extended drone of 'Sagar (The Ocean)' was the only down track for me.
Cool and good and fun :)
This was really good
Was good, good for the background
This was very good. It is different from the music I listen to, and I enjoyed it a lot.
4/02/2022 Today's Album: "Ananda Shankar" by Ananda Shankar - This album starts off with a great song, Jumpin' Jack Flash, which has really elaborate production, with fuzzy synths, a grooving sitar, and some really colorful chorus vocals. The whole track feels really jamming and chill and generally colorful. Jumping to this next track, it's clear I am going to be listening to a lot of Indian inspired music infused with 70s psychedelic rock, with this one being an awesome sitar solo with some backing synth, bass, and bongos. I have given the rest of these tracks a listen and they are all just consistently amazing psychedelic sitar tracks with no vocals. Just a bunch of groovy and meditative instrumental tracks, with Sagar (The Ocean) being over 13 minutes long and fantastic from start to finish, shifting in tempo, style, and instrumentation throughout. Dance Indra sounds like a Mario Desert level backed up by these dark piano and synth chords and I really love it. The final track, Raghupati actually does have lyrics and I don't know how much I really dig it. There is a nice message about accepting each other despite our beliefs, but the singing in Indian just doesn't appeal to me due to the language barrier. The instrumentals go pretty wild, but I think it would honestly fit better somewhere in the middle of the track list and I can't really enjoy it casually like I have the rest of these tracks. I just can't really be blasting this Indian chanting in my car and expect to not get intentionally crashed into. Overall, this album has a ton of amazing psychedelic instrumental sitar tracks that are almost perfect in my opinion topped off by one track that is just kind of meh for me. If you like Indian or Psychedelic music, give this one a listen. P.S. I think if you listened to Raghupati and Dance Indra after Metamorphosis and then close it off with Sagar, it would be a really nice listening experience and would conclude more concisely. Score: 9/10 Really fun to listen to but feels a little out of order Highlights: Jumpin' Jack Flash, Snow Flower, Light My Fire, Mamata (Affection), Metamorphosis, Dance Indra, Sagar (The Ocean)
Música hindú. Alguna versión de canciones conocidas. Venga, un 4 por lo original.
Well...whoa! Had nary a clue what to expect, who this is, what they would do, and...well, it is definitely interesting. As a Westerner who grew up on, and still mostly listens to, music made by Western musicians, I am always glad to be introduced to music outside my normal listening bubble. This album does, of course, have quite a lot of familiarly Western elements -- covers of Jumpin' Jack Flash and Light My Fire (And that one is so fun! Like a hyper-psychedelic video game soundtrack) are on it -- but the elements and instruments they weave in from Indian traditions really work here. The percussion work in Metamorphosis is fantastic. Sometimes, in other settings, when I've heard Western musicians add Indian instruments to their music, it just stands out too differently for my ear in contrast to the musical context of the particular song, and at least for me I experience it as an afterthought or add on. Here, Ananda Shankar and the other musicians do a masterful job of not letting one style overpower the other. I'll admit it's opened my ear to this music in a very welcome way. I like the album. Very cool. Well done, 1001 Albums project!
An album of two halves, the first to entice the Western audience - something familiar, with a mix of Indian culture... with the second half delving deeper in the raga psyche. Sagar (The Ocean) is magnificent - albeit only if you're in the right mind-space for it.
Interesting album, enjoyed the music, would listen again
Solid album of oriental, indian music. My favourite was Sagar (The Ocean)
3.5: some really awesome and fascinating tracks with some great sitar work, surprisingly very easy to get into. The jumping jack flash cover is a great highlight
I discovered Ananda Shankar sometime in the 80s courtesy of the used record market. I love remakes that really remake a song, and the groovy sitar versions of Jumpin' Jack Flash and Light My Fire more than qualify! I also love Moog music, and there’s plenty of that here. It's great to have this album make the list! Some great sitar jams... and the go-go arrangements are icing on a delicious cake! Definitely worth a listen for its unique style.
You know I love that sweet, sweet sitar. And sitar covers? Go on with ya bad self
Here we go!
I love the combination of the sitar and the synthesizers! Favorite track: Metamorphosis.
Great album. Deff glad listened to that experience
A lot of Indian covers of rock and roll tracks. Interesting, but nothing that's making me think anything over and above some good, if uninspired musicianship.
Very cool album. Both the covers and originals were equally impactful and showed the versatility of Indian music. Favorite track: Indra Dance
A lovely fusion between Indian music and western music. It gets very psychadelic and the sitar sounds great.
Well this is the third Indian artist that I came across in this list and the third one that pleasantly surprised me. It’s surprisingly earnest and the songs pump through with very awesome renditions of Jumping Jack Flash and Light My Fire. It’s a tad tad longer than it feels like it should be - but otherwise a record i would return to.
Awesome listen! Wow. Everything from the guitar and sitar tones to the juicy Moog lines to the unexpected backbeat grooves. The mix is airtight; sitar can sound really pokey and bright but here it sounds warm and full. I love all of these songs, but "Mamata (Affection)" comes to mind as a favorite. The sitar tones sound really thick and rich, they play super well with electric guitar and I can't say I've heard a blend like that before. I get chills every time the sitar swells out over a simple backbeat pocket or flourishes out of the texture. It's such a simple recipe: Western rock guitar tones and harmonies, spacey Moog lines and textures, a rock solid battery of bass and drums bolstered by Indian drums, all as the perfect backdrop for the beautiful sitar lead.
Not only a really cool idea for an album, very impressive to pull it off the way he has. Everything sounded so clear and clean (except maybe the sitar at times) and the album as a whole felt so natural and almost familiar rather than an experiment of sorts. Dance Indra stood out as a favourite to me. Brave sticking his manifesto on the front because if he fucked it, it would've been embarrassing. But I think he's pulled it off perfectly.