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Ananda Shankar

Ananda Shankar

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Album Review

Sure, this record really isn't more than an exploitation of the crossover between psychedelic music and Eastern sounds, but that shouldn't detract anyone from listening to it in its entirety; in fact, that would be a huge mistake. The opener, the sitar- and Moog-soaked take on "Jumpin' Jack Flash," is performed perfectly, with every choice accent milked for maximum drama. Once the novelty of sitar-dosed covers of your favorite songs wears off, you really begin to notice how excellent the performances are on this record. Ananda Shankar manages to bridge the gap between kitsch and fine art on these tracks, from the opener all the way to the cover of "Light My Fire." One minute he is playing simple notes like it was taking the place of a guitar, at other times utilizing the full reign of the sitar's sound possibilities. The originals on the album follow an equally impressive path. The dreamy, hazy bliss of tracks like "Snow Flower" and "Mamata" is both meditative and slinky — light melodies with twisted atmospherics and tweaked Moogs. The drum breaks in the gurgling "Metamorphosis" are worth the price of the album alone. For the most part, the album rarely strays from the East-meets-West formula, with the Eastern rhythms getting the short shrift and the focus relying on Western funk and pop styles getting an Eastern makeover. Not that this is bad at all, but when the track "Sagar" ends, you realize that this record could have been much more than it was. This specific track guides the listener through a space/water odyssey over the course of 13 minutes. It's a slow build that gains momentum as the music progresses and flashes of acoustic guitar help the rhythm along. The final track is a great mixture of folk guitars that takes the focus away from the sitar for once, instead incorporating vocals and a chorus that manages to lock into a repeated chant that is the unexpected highlight of the album.

Customer Reviews

Still love this after 30 years!

This was popular in 70's and used to listen on LP. I still love this after 30 years. It is a wondeful cross of Eastern Sitar and Western music. Its melodious sound is wonderful at night ( and anytime!). It is unfortunate that either Ananda Shanker did not make much more music or is not widely circulated.

Ananda is the Man - He was a pioneer in fusing the power of the Sitar with any style....

I had the lp for ever and was always disappointed that this was never on CD - did manage to find a bad cassette tape once. But this is awesome. If you have never listened to Ananda then you have to listen to this album. Snowflower, Sagar , Raghupati - all of them actually -

ananda shankar

I am addicted to 70's and 60's Indian Music and I loved the sitar ever since I heard Ravi Shankar play with George Harrison(on the radio when I was just a little girl)! The elements of Western Pop and Soul intermingle just as beautifully with the Ananda Shankar's sitar. Light my Fire has "camp" factor, but other songs like "Snow Flower" are beautiful and very romantic.


Born: December 11, 1942 in Uttar Pradesh, India

Genre: World

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

Ananda Shankar, nephew of world-famous sitar player, Ravi Shankar, never quite matched the success of his uncle, but made a significant impact in the '70s psychedelic underground scene by combining Western electronics...
Full Bio
Ananda Shankar, Ananda Shankar
View In iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music, Rock, Jazz, Psychedelic
  • Released: 1970

Customer Ratings


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