NON BOLLYWOOD MUSIC: PRIVATE ALBUMS:
In a rare feat, noted lyricist, Gulzar, music director, R.D. Burman and Asha Bhosle, came together in 1987, to create a double album, titled, Dil Padosi Hai, which was released on September 8, 1987, Asha Bhosle’s birthday. In 1995, Asha underwent the gatha bandan (thread-tying) ceremony with Hindustani classical music maestro Ali Akbar Khan to learn a classical repertoire held within the Maihar gharana (stylistic school of Indian classical music), as handed down to Khan by his father Allauddin Khan (the guru of Ravi Shankar). Later, Asha and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan recorded eleven fixed compositions (or bandishes) in California for Legacy, a private album that won them a Grammy Award nomination.
In 1990s, Asha experimented with the remixed R D Burman songs. She was criticized by many, including Khayyam for tampering with old melodies. Nevertheless, albums like Rahul And I became quite popular. In 1997, Asha did a private Indipop album Janam Samjha Karo with Leslie Lewis. The album was hugely popular and won her many awards including the 1997 MTV Award.
Ashha had been once asked by the director B R Ishaara to compose music for one of his films, but she had politely declined. In 2002, she turned music composer with the album Aap Ki Asha, an eight-song music and video album. The lyrics were written by Majrooh Sultanpuri (his last lyrics) and the music was composed by Asha herself. The album was released by Sachin Tendulkar on May 21, 2001 at a lavish party in Mumbai. The album received mixed reviews.
Asha had spotted Pakistani singer Adnan Sami’s talent when he was about 10 years old. At that time was performing in London, with R D Burman. It was she who had asked him to pursue his interests in music seriously. When Adnan grew up and became a professional musician, Asha sang the title duet with him for his best-selling album Kabhi to nazar milao. The two came together again in the album Barse Badal. The album comprises eight songs, based on Indian Classical music. She contributed the song Yun Na Thi to the recording Womad Talking Book Volume Four: An Introduction to Asia 1 on Womad Records.
Asha has sung ghazals for many albums like Meraj-E-Ghazal, Aabshar-E-Ghazal and Kashish. In 2005, Asha released a self-title album (Asha), a tribute to the four ghazal maestros – Mehdi Hassan, Ghulam Ali, Farida Khanum and Jagjit Singh. The album features eight of her favorite ghazals like Farida Khanum’s Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo, Ghulam Ali’s Chupke Chupke, Aawargi and Dil Mein Ek Lahar, Jagjit Singh’s Ahista Ahista and Mehdi Hassan’s Ranjish Hi Sahi, Rafta Rafta and Mujhe Tum Nazar Se. These classic ghazals were recreated with modern sounds by the musician Pandit Somesh Mathur. The album was aimed at the younger generation, who, according to Asha, are “turned off” by the traditional sounds of tabla and sarangi.
Numerous compilations of Asha’s songs have been released as well. To commemorate her 60th birthday, in 1993 EMI India released three cassettes: Bala Main Bairagan Hoongi (devotional songs), The Golden Collection: Memorable Ghazals (non-film ghazals by composers such as Ghulam Ali, R D Burman and Nazar Hussain), and The Golden Collection: The Ever Versatile Asha Bhosle (44 popular film songs).
In 2006, she recorded an album Asha and Friends, singing duets, with film actors Sanjay Dutt and Urmila Matondkar and famous cricket player Brett Lee, with whom she sang, You’re the One for Me (Haan Main Tumhara Hoon). All these songs composed by Shamir Tandon were shot on video by journalist turned director S Ramachandran.