|Cultural origins||Mid-1960s, United Kingdom and United States|
|Music of India|
A Lady Playing the Tanpura, c. 1735 (Rajasthan)
|Media and performance|
|Nationalistic and patriotic songs|
|National anthem||Jana Gana Mana|
Raga rock is rock or pop music with a pronounced Indian influence, either in its construction, its timbre, or its use of Indian musical instruments, such as the sitar and tabla. In addition, rock music from the 1960s and 1970s that incorporates South Asian musical influences and instruments, along with Western ideas of the Indian subcontinent, is often regarded as raga rock.
Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.
Pop music is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form in the United States and United Kingdom during the mid-1950s. The terms "popular music" and "pop music" are often used interchangeably, although the former describes all music that is popular and includes many diverse styles. "Pop" and "rock" were roughly synonymous terms until the late 1960s, when they became increasingly differentiated from each other.
The music of India includes multiple varieties of Punjabi Music, classical music, folk music, filmi, Indian rock, and Indian pop. India's classical music tradition, including Hindustani music and Carnatic, has a history spanning millennia and developed over several areas. Music in India began as an integral part of socio-religious life.
Since Indian influences in popular music are primarily limited to the 1960s, most raga rock recordings originate from that decade, although there are examples of Indian-derived sounds in post-1960s rock and pop music.
Ragas are specific melodic modes used in the classical music of the Indian subcontinent. The term "raga rock" originated in March 1966 as a description of rock music that featured Indian sitar styling. According to musicologist Jonathan Bellman, citing Lillian Roxon's 1969 book Rock Encyclopedia: "This catchphrase eventually came to describe any Rock song that evoked an Indian or general Oriental mood, whether by use of sitar or another instrument imitating it."Music journalist Rob Chapman says the phrase was a "catch-all term" and "something of a misnomer", since it was often applied to any piece of rock music that "used non-European instrumentation or music styles to denote its exotic qualities".
A raga or raag is a melodic framework for improvisation akin to a melodic mode in Indian classical music. While the rāga is a remarkable and central feature of the classical Indian music tradition, it has no direct translation to concepts in the classical European music tradition. Each rāga is an array of melodic structures with musical motifs, considered in the Indian tradition to have the ability to "colour the mind" and affect the emotions of the audience.
Indian classical music is the classical music of the Indian subcontinent. It has two major traditions: the North Indian classical music tradition is called Hindustani, while the South Indian expression is called Carnatic. These traditions were not distinct till about the 16th century. There on, during the turmoils of Islamic rule period of the Indian subcontinent, the traditions separated and evolved into distinct forms. Hindustani music emphasizes improvisation and exploring all aspects of a raga, while Carnatic performances tend to be short and composition-based. However, the two systems continue to have more common features than differences.
The sitar is a plucked stringed instrument, originating from the Indian subcontinent, used in Hindustani classical music. The instrument flourished under the Mughals, and it is named after a Persian instrument called the setar. The sitar flourished in the 16th and 17th centuries and arrived at its present form in 18th-century India. It derives its distinctive timbre and resonance from sympathetic strings, bridge design, a long hollow neck and a gourd-shaped resonance chamber. In appearance, the sitar is similar to the tanpura, except that it has frets.
A major influence on raga rock was the music of Bengali sitarist Ravi Shankar. He himself became a pop music icon in 1966, following the rise of the raga rock trend.Rock's appropriation of elements from the Indian classical tradition included:
Ravi Shankar, born Robindro Shaunkor Chowdhury, his name often preceded by the title Pandit (Master) and "Sitar maestro", was an Indian musician and a composer of Hindustani classical music. He was the best-known proponent of the sitar in the second half of the 20th century and influenced many other musicians throughout the world. Shankar was awarded India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1999.
In music, a drone is a harmonic or monophonic effect or accompaniment where a note or chord is continuously sounded throughout most or all of a piece. The word drone is also any part of a musical instrument that is used to produce such an effect, as is the archaic term burden such as a "drone [pipe] of a bagpipe", the pedal point in an organ, or the lowest course of a lute. Α burden is also part of a song that is repeated at the end of each stanza, such as the chorus or refrain.
The tanpura is a long-necked plucked string instrument, originating from India, found in various forms in Indian music. It does not play melody and it is not a supporting acoustic providing a continuous harmonic bourdon or drone. A tanpura is not played in rhythm with the soloist or percussionist: as the precise timing of plucking a cycle of four strings in a continuous loop is a determinant factor in the resultant sound, it is played unchangingly during the complete performance. The repeated cycle of plucking all strings creates the sonic canvas on which the melody of the raga is drawn. The combined sound of all strings, each string a fundamental tone with its own spectrum of overtones, supports and blend with the external tones sung or played by the soloist.
Writing for Crawdaddy! in December 1966, Sandy Pearlman traced the origins of raga rock to folk music, specifically the drone-producing guitar tunings which American folk musician Sandy Bull had been incorporating into his music since 1963.More recently, Chapman and author John Schaefer have both noted that English folk guitarist Davey Graham's raga-tinged arrangement of the Irish ballad "She Moved Through the Fair", from 1963's From a London Hootenanny EP, predated the raga rock experimentation of 1960s rock groups by two years.
Samuel Clarke "Sandy" Pearlman was an American music producer, artist manager, music journalist and critic, professor, poet, songwriter, and record company executive. He was best known for founding, writing for, producing, or co-producing many LPs by Blue Öyster Cult, as well as producing important albums by The Clash, The Dictators, Pavlov's Dog, Space Team Electra, and Dream Syndicate; he was also the founding Vice President of eMusic.com. He was the Schulich Distinguished Professor Chair at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal, and from August 2014 held a Marshall McLuhan Centenary Fellowship at the Coach House Institute (CHI) of the University of Toronto Faculty of Information as part of the CHI's McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology.
Alexander "Sandy" Bull was an American folk musician and composer. Bull was an accomplished player of many stringed instruments, including guitar, pedal steel guitar, banjo, and oud. His early work blends non-western instruments with 1960s folk revival, and has been cited as important in the development of psychedelic music.
John Schaefer is an American radio host and author. As a radio host he has been with WNYC for many years. He is also the author of the book New Sounds: A Listener's Guide to New Music, first published in 1987.
Music researcher William Echard states that "Heart Full of Soul" by the Yardbirds, which was released in June 1965, "is frequently cited as a key text in starting the trend" towards incorporating Indian-inspired elements in rock music.An Indian sitarist and a tabla player accompanied the Yardbirds on a demo recording of the song, but only the tabla part was deemed usable. Instead, Jeff Beck emulated the sitar figure, tone, and accompanying drone on the electric guitar for the master recording. The song reached number 2 on the UK chart and number 9 in the US. Author Andy Miller says that the subgenre's widespread popularity was preceded by the July 1965 release of "See My Friends", a top-ten single in the UK for the Kinks. Written by Ray Davies and inspired by a visit to India, the song used guitar to imitate the drone produced by an Indian tambura. Music historian Andrew Grant Jackson writes that Davies' "vocal whine and drone lend his voice an Indian quality". Before either of these examples, the Beatles' April 1965 single "Ticket to Ride", which was number 1 in many countries around the world, featured a melody that author Ian MacDonald terms "raga-like" over a subtle Indian drone produced by electric guitars.
"Heart Full of Soul" is a song recorded by English rock group the Yardbirds in 1965. Written by Graham Gouldman, it was the Yardbirds' first single after Jeff Beck replaced Eric Clapton as lead guitarist. Released only three months after "For Your Love", "Heart Full of Soul" reached the top ten on the charts in the United Kingdom and the United States.
The Yardbirds are an English rock band, formed in London in 1963. The band's core lineup featured vocalist and harmonica player Keith Relf, drummer Jim McCarty, rhythm guitarist/bassist Chris Dreja and bassist/producer Paul Samwell-Smith. The band is known for starting the careers of three of rock's most famous guitarists, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck, all of whom ranked in the top five of Rolling Stone magazine's list of 100 greatest guitarists. The band had a string of hits throughout the mid-1960s, including "For Your Love", "Heart Full of Soul", "Shapes of Things" and "Over Under Sideways Down".
The tabla is a membranophone percussion instrument originating from the Indian subcontinent, consisting of a pair of drums, used in traditional, classical, popular and folk music. It has been a particularly important instrument in Hindustani classical music since the 18th century, and remains in use in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. The name tabla likely comes from tabl, the Persian and Arabic word for drum. However, the ultimate origin of the musical instrument is contested by scholars, some tracing it to West Asia, others tracing the evolution of indigenous musical instruments of the Indian subcontinent.
Writing in 1997, Bellman commented that the Yardbirds and Kinks recordings were often overlooked in discussions of raga rock's origins, as history instead highlighted the Beatles' "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)".Issued in December 1965 on the band's Rubber Soul album, the folk-styled "Norwegian Wood" was the first Western pop song to incorporate the sitar, which was played by lead guitarist George Harrison, and the first to feature Indian instrumentation played by a rock musician. The song's popularity inspired a wave of interest in the sitar and Indian sounds, a phenomenon that Shankar later called "the great sitar explosion". According to authors Nicholas Schaffner and Bernard Gendron, raga rock was inaugurated by the release of "Norwegian Wood".
The Byrds' March 1966 single "Eight Miles High" and its B-side, "Why", were also influential in originating the subgenre.Whereas earlier recordings by the Kinks, the Yardbirds and the Beatles had used Indian sounds to complement standard song forms, the Byrds incorporated the improvisational technique typical of Shankar's work and of John Coltrane's jazz interpretations of ragas. In his 1968 Pop Chronicles interview, however, Byrds member Roger McGuinn denied that "Eight Miles High" was raga rock; co-writer David Crosby also dismissed the term. While many listeners assumed that the lead instrument on these and other songs on the Byrds' Fifth Dimension album was a sitar, McGuinn played a Rickenbacker 12-string electric guitar throughout, and had customised his guitar amplifier to achieve the sitar-like sound.
– David Crosby discussing the Byrds' raga rock sound in 1966, although he later rejected the term
The term "raga rock" was coined by the Byrds' publicist in press releases for "Eight Miles High" and was first used in print by Sally Kempton of The Village Voice in her report of the band's press conference for the single's release.Kempton wrote dismissively of the event, during which McGuinn and Crosby spoke earnestly of the group's adoption of Indian influences, with the two musicians demonstrating raga techniques on sitar and acoustic guitar, respectively, while their two bandmates appeared bored and instead read magazines. Kempton said that the message was lost on those attending the press conference, namely female reporters from teen magazines and conservative-looking representatives from the music industry.
Hit Parader reported on the Byrds demonstrating how "sitar-like sounds" could be played on guitar by tuning the standard E strings down to D; this allowed the guitarist to play in partial open tuning, whereby "the bottom three strings provide the drone sound and the upper strings are bent to play the melody."The term "raga rock" was soon adopted by British music publications such as the New Musical Express and Music Echo , and an early discussion of raga rock appeared in Melody Maker in April. According to Gendron, however, the fusion of Indian and Western sounds continued to be treated with disdain by writers from the American cultural press, who viewed the new subgenre as part of the consolidation of folk rock.
In May 1966, the Rolling Stones issued the raga rock single "Paint It Black",which featured a sitar part played by guitarist Brian Jones and became an international number 1 hit. According to author Mark Brend, the song "spawned a whole subgenre of minor-key psychedelia". The Hollies' "Bus Stop", released as a single in June, was another example of the style's growing popularity. Echard identifies the song's sitar-like guitar solo as both an authentic indicator of raga rock and a device seemingly aimed at exploiting the trend.
Along with "Eight Miles High", Echard highlights the Beatles' Revolver album among the "landmark" raga rock music issued in 1966.Released in August, it included "Love You To", written by Harrison especially for sitar and tabla interplay, and "Tomorrow Never Knows", which featured heavy tambura drone, tape loops and psychedelic instrumentation. The album represented pop music's most overt incorporation of Indian instruments, musical form and philosophy up to that point, with the influence also evident in the use of vocal melisma and in the Indian-inspired guitar solos on "Taxman" and "I'm Only Sleeping". That same month, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band released the album East-West , the title track of which (originally titled "The Raga") had evolved from their live performances since February. Led by guitarist Mike Bloomfield, the 13-minute instrumental fully explored the modal improvisation introduced by McGuinn on "Eight Miles High". Bloomfield likened the Indian drone to "the sound a bee makes: a steady hum" and said that while the pattern was essentially simple, the "challenge" was in "improvis[ing] a free melody around the one basic drone". In author Peter Lavezzoli's view, Bloomfield's playing on "East-West" "opened the door to unlimited freedom of expression for all rock guitarists, from Eric Clapton and Jerry Garcia to Duane Allman and Jimi Hendrix".
During the height of the subgenre's popularity that year, Indian musicians also contributed to its development.Released on the World Pacific record label in June, the Folkswingers' Raga Rock album featured Harihar Rao, a Los Angeles-based sitarist and ethnomusicologist, accompanied by jazz musicians and members of the Wrecking Crew. A September 1966 issue of Life magazine reported on the growth of the raga rock trend in association with the proliferation of psychedelic-themed shops in San Francisco and New York. Acts such as Donovan, the Moody Blues, Them, the Doors, the Pretty Things and Traffic also recorded in the raga rock style. Having been accepted as a student by Shankar in June 1966, Harrison travelled to India for intensive sitar study in September. Harrison's championing of Indian culture further popularised the trend among Western musicians and, in Schaffner's description, earned him the sobriquet "the maharaja of raga-rock". While many musicians at this time adopted the sitar as a fad, he, Jones, Shawn Phillips (Donovan's guitarist) and session player Big Jim Sullivan were among the London-based guitarists who approached the instrument with a serious interest and shared their ideas.
In his article for Crawdaddy!, Pearlman identified two categories of contemporary raga rock songs: those that merely adopted Indian sounds as an exotic feature, such as "Norwegian Wood", "Paint It Black" and Donovan's Sunshine Superman track "Three King Fishers"; and recordings that incorporated aspects of Indian music in their compositional form, such as "Eight Miles High" and Donovan's "The Trip".Davies' second raga rock song with the Kinks, "Fancy", from 1966's Face to Face album, again used chord changes minimally, but sufficient to keep the composition identifiable as Western pop. By contrast, Harrison adhered to the authentically Indian, single-chord form in "Love You To" and "Within You Without You", released on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in June 1967, and both songs were arranged in a Hindustani classical structure, with distinct alap, gat and drut gat sections. He also incorporated a wide range of Indian instrumentation by 1967, with sitar, tambura, tabla, dilruba and swarmandal, and later on, sarod, shehnai, bansuri and pakhavaj. Another foray into raga rock on Sgt. Pepper, John Lennon's "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" included tambura drone and a guitar part in which Harrison, playing in unison with Lennon's vocal, imitated the role of a sarangi player accompanying a khyal singer.
One of Crosby's final songs with the Byrds, "Mind Gardens", from the 1967 album Younger Than Yesterday , incorporated drone and raga rock ambience,and vocals evoking the khyal tradition in style and ornamentation. The Doors closed their self-titled 1967 album with "The End", an 11-minute piece in the raga rock style. In Lavezzoli's description, guitarist Robbie Krieger successfully conveyed "the brooding quality of the darker ragas" in his contribution to "The End", by first creating a drone on plucked open-tuned strings while also playing a motif in the manner of a sitar or veena, and then, towards the climax of the song, adopting the Indian jhala style, with rapid strumming alternating with the melody line. Lavezzoli writes that sitar sounds were becoming a "fixture in pop music" in 1967, with Dave Mason contributing sitar parts to Traffic's first two hit singles, "Paper Sun" and "Hole in My Shoe". Other acts used a Coral electric sitar, designed by American guitarist Vinnie Bell and manufactured by the Danelectro guitar company. Bell's 1967 album Pop Goes the Electric Sitar added to the collection of what Brend terms "sitarploitation" LPs – containing raga rock-style cover versions of well-known pop songs – a phenomenon that, inaugurated by Rao's Raga Rock, also included Sitar Beat and Lord Sitar by Big Jim Sullivan.
Further examples of the subgenre in 1968 were the Rolling Stones' "Street Fighting Man", with its use of tambura and shehnai over distorted acoustic rhythm guitars, 's influence on the later raga rock sound of 1990s indie band Kula Shaker. In addition to using Indian elements in their single "Dark Star", Garcia's band the Grateful Dead incorporated raga rock, among several other styles, in the extended jams they performed in concert in 1968.and Harrison's final Indian-style composition for the Beatles, "The Inner Light", which he recorded in January with Indian classical musicians in Bombay. These Bombay sessions also yielded part of Harrison's first solo album, a raga rock soundtrack to the 1968 film Wonderwall , titled Wonderwall Music . Music journalist Chris Ingham has noted Wonderwall Music
According to Echard, the raga rock trend was largely over by early 1968, having declined late the previous year.In Bellman's opinion, the musical exploration evident in raga rock over 1965–67 was largely replaced by a formulaic approach in 1968. He cited the Moody Blues' July 1968 release In Search of the Lost Chord as a work that combined the now-familiar sounds of sitar and tabla with an album-wide concept that reinforced the perceived connection between LSD and Transcendental Meditation (TM), following the Beatles' and Donovan's public endorsement of TM guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
From 1969 and though the early 1970s, the British progressive rock band Quintessence mixed elements of Indian classical music with rock and jazz.Ananda Shankar (a nephew of Ravi Shankar) released his self-titled album in 1970, a raga rock work that blended sitar with Moog synthesizer. Later in the decade, guitarist John McLaughlin and his band Shakti introduced a jazz-influenced version of raga rock over the course of three albums.
In the 1990s, the British indie rock group Cornershop began to assimilate Asian instruments such as the sitar and dholki into their music, culminating with their 1997 album When I Was Born for the 7th Time .The album, which fused Indian music with rock, funk, hip hop and country music, featured the UK number 1 single "Brimful of Asha" (itself a tribute to Indian singer Asha Bhosle) and a cover of the Beatles' "Norwegian Wood" sung entirely in Punjabi. In 1996, the British rock group Kula Shaker had top 10 raga rock hits with "Tattva" and "Govinda", both of which included Sanskrit lyrics. The band continued to introduce raga rock material into their repertoire, including "Song of Love/Narayana", which lead singer Crispian Mills had also sung on the Prodigy's 1997 album The Fat of the Land . The Brian Jonestown Massacre released the albums Their Satanic Majesties' Second Request in 1996 and Give It Back! in 1997, both of which contained Indian and psychedelic rock influences.
Recently, a revival of sorts has been heralded by Western bands such as the Black Angels and the Brian Jonestown Massacre and Indian bands such as the Raghu Dixit Project, Agam and Swarathma, with an increasing blend of Western instruments with the traditional Indian ones – the flute and the sitar.
Some scholars approach raga rock and other uses of non-Western musical materials in Western popular music from sociological perspectives, especially as a manifestation of Orientalism. Common lyrical themes include drug use, sexual exploration, and spirituality.
"Eight Miles High" was the subject of radio bans in the United States due to its interpretation as an LSD song in which "high" referred to drug-induced euphoria."Love You To" reflected countercultural ideology and, according to music critic Kenneth Womack, advocated hedonistic and carnal pursuits, while Lennon's lyrics in "Tomorrow Never Knows" were taken from the book The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead by Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert and Ralph Metzner. Partly under Shankar's guidance, Harrison channelled the teachings of the Hindu Vedas into his lyrics for "Within You Without You", providing a message that also served as the ethos behind the 1967 Summer of Love. Bellman writes that "the Kinks' use of eastern musical influences to allude to personal and sexual matters is directly in keeping with historical uses of exoticism as signifier for forbidden sexuality." Bellman and other scholars suggest that, through raga rock, the Orient once again becomes a Western fantasy land, mediated to mass culture audiences of the mid- and late twentieth century through rock and roll.
Psychedelic rock is a diverse style of rock music inspired, influenced, or representative of psychedelic culture, which is centred around perception-altering hallucinogenic drugs. The music is intended to replicate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of psychedelic drugs, most notably LSD. Many psychedelic groups differ in style, and the label is often applied spuriously.
"Norwegian Wood " is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1965 album Rubber Soul. It was written mainly by John Lennon and credited to the Lennon–McCartney songwriting partnership. Influenced by the introspective lyrics of Bob Dylan, the song is considered a milestone in the Beatles' development as songwriters. The track features a sitar part, played by lead guitarist George Harrison, that marked the first appearance of the Indian string instrument on a Western rock recording. The song was a number 1 hit in Australia when released on a single there in 1966, coupled with "Nowhere Man".
"Within You Without You" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Written by lead guitarist George Harrison, it was Harrison's second composition in the Indian classical style, after "Love You To", and was inspired by his stay in India in late 1966 with his mentor and sitar teacher, Ravi Shankar. Recorded in London without the other Beatles, the song features Indian instrumentation such as sitar, dilruba and tabla, and was performed by Harrison and members of the Asian Music Circle. The recording marked a significant departure from the Beatles' previous work; musically, it evokes the Indian devotional tradition, while the overtly spiritual quality of the lyrics reflects Harrison's absorption in Hindu philosophy and the teachings of the Vedas.
"Tomorrow Never Knows" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles. It was released in August 1966 as the final track on their album Revolver, although it was the first song recorded for the LP. Credited as a Lennon–McCartney song, it was written primarily by John Lennon. The song marked a radical departure for the Beatles, as the band fully embraced the potential of the recording studio without any consideration for being able to reproduce the results in concert.
"Blue Jay Way" is a song recorded by the English rock band the Beatles. Written by George Harrison, it was released in 1967 on the group's Magical Mystery Tour EP and album. The song was named after a street in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles where Harrison stayed in August 1967, shortly before visiting the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. The lyrics document Harrison's wait for music publicist Derek Taylor to find his way to Blue Jay Way through the fog-ridden hills, while Harrison struggled to stay awake after the flight from London to Los Angeles.
"Love You To" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1966 album Revolver. The song was written and sung by George Harrison and features Indian instrumentation such as sitar and tabla. Following Harrison's introduction of the sitar on "Norwegian Wood" in 1965, it was the first Beatles song to fully reflect the influence of Indian classical music. The recording was made with minimal participation from Harrison's bandmates; instead, he created the track with tabla player Anil Bhagwat and other Indian musicians from the Asian Music Circle in London.
"If I Needed Someone" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles, written by George Harrison, the group's lead guitarist. It was released in December 1965 on their album Rubber Soul, except in North America, where it appeared on the 1966 release Yesterday and Today. The song reflects the reciprocal influences shared between the Beatles and American band the Byrds. On release, it was widely considered to be Harrison's best song to date. A recording by the Hollies was issued in Britain on the same day as Rubber Soul and peaked at number 20 on the national singles chart.
While the sitar had earlier been used in jazz and Indian film music, it was from the 1960s onwards that various pop artists in the Western world began to experiment with incorporating the sitar, a classical Indian stringed instrument, within their compositions.
Raga is a 1971 documentary film about the life and music of Indian sitarist Ravi Shankar, produced and directed by Howard Worth. It includes scenes featuring Western musicians Yehudi Menuhin and George Harrison, as well as footage of Shankar returning to Maihar in central India, where as a young man he trained under the mentorship of Allauddin Khan. The film also features a portion of Shankar and tabla player Alla Rakha's acclaimed performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.
"Be Here Now" is a song by English rock musician George Harrison from his 1973 album Living in the Material World. The recording features a sparse musical arrangement and recalls Harrison's work with the Beatles during 1966–68, through its Indian-inspired mood and use of sitar drone. Part of Harrison's inspiration for the song was the popular 1971 book Be Here Now by spiritual teacher Ram Dass – specifically, a story discussing the author's change in identity from a Western academic to a guru in the Hindu faith. Some Harrison biographers interpret "Be Here Now" as a comment from him on the public's nostalgia for the past following the Beatles' break-up.
"Marwa Blues" is an instrumental by English rock musician George Harrison. It was released on his final studio album, Brainwashed, in November 2002, a year after his death, and subsequently on a single as the B-side of "Any Road". The song is a slide guitar instrumental and named after Raga Marwa, an Indian classical raga traditionally played at sunset. "Marwa Blues" won the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. Along with "Any Road" and the Brainwashed track "Rising Sun", it was also included on the 2009 compilation album Let It Roll: Songs by George Harrison.
"Why" is a song by the American rock band the Byrds, written by Jim McGuinn and David Crosby and first released as the B-side of the band's "Eight Miles High" single in March 1966. The song was re-recorded in December 1966 and released for a second time as part of the band's Younger Than Yesterday album.
In Concert 1972 is a double live album by sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar and sarodya Ali Akbar Khan, released in 1973 on Apple Records. It was recorded at the Philharmonic Hall, New York City, in October 1972, and is a noted example of the two Hindustani classical musicians' celebrated jugalbandi (duet) style of playing. With accompaniment from tabla player Alla Rakha, the performance reflects the two artists' sorrow at the recent death of their revered guru, and Khan's father, Allauddin Khan. The latter was responsible for many innovations in Indian music during the twentieth century, including the call-and-response dialogue that musicians such as Shankar, Khan and Rakha popularised among Western audiences in the 1960s.
"I Am Missing You" is a song by Indian musician Ravi Shankar, sung by his sister-in-law Lakshmi Shankar and released as the lead single from his 1974 album Shankar Family & Friends. The song is a rare Shankar composition in the Western pop genre, with English lyrics, and was written as a love song to the Hindu god Krishna. The recording was produced and arranged by George Harrison, in a style similar to Phil Spector's signature sound, and it was the first single issued on Harrison's Dark Horse record label. Other contributing musicians include Tom Scott, Nicky Hopkins, Billy Preston, Ringo Starr and Jim Keltner. A second version appears on Shankar Family & Friends, titled "I Am Missing You (Reprise)", featuring an arrangement closer to a folk ballad.
Collaborations is a four-disc compilation box set by Indian classical musician Ravi Shankar and former Beatle George Harrison. Released in October 2010 on Dark Horse Records, it compiles two studio albums originally issued on that label – the long-unavailable Shankar Family & Friends (1974) and Ravi Shankar's Music Festival from India (1976) – and Chants of India, first issued on Angel Records in 1997. Although all three albums were originally Shankar releases, for which Harrison served in the role of music producer and guest musician, both Shankar and Harrison are credited as artists on the box set. Each of the collaborative projects represents a departure from Shankar's more typical work as a sitarist and performer of Hindustani classical ragas, with the box set showcasing his forays into, variously, jazz and rock, Indian folk and orchestral ensembles, and devotional music.
Live: Ravi Shankar at the Monterey International Pop Festival is a live album by Indian sitarist Ravi Shankar, released on the World Pacific record label in November 1967. It consists of part of Shankar's celebrated performance at the Monterey International Pop Festival in California on 18 June 1967. Shankar was accompanied throughout by his regular tabla player, Alla Rakha, who performs a frenetic five-minute solo on the recording.
Raga Rock is an album credited to "the Folkswingers featuring Harihar Rao", who was a Los Angeles-based Indian classical musician and ethnomusicologist. The album was released in June 1966 on the World Pacific record label. The title refers to the raga rock trend in popular music, as artists such as the Beatles, the Byrds, the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds had all begun incorporating Indian influences into their recent work. Led by the sitar playing of Rao, a longtime associate of Ravi Shankar, the album contains instrumental versions of several of these contemporary songs, including "Norwegian Wood", "Eight Miles High" and "Paint It Black". Other members of the Folkswingers for this release included jazz musicians such as Herb Ellis and Dennis Budimir, and members of the Los Angeles pool of session musicians known as the Wrecking Crew.
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 ".