LAXMIKANT-PYARELAL – Amar Akbar Anthony (OST, 1977)

Review by: Nina A
Album assigned by: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

India is a country in which people get their astrological natal charts when they are born and ride busses with no windows so that their karmas don’t tangle together. Or so I’ve heard anyway but there is undeniably a sense of great tradition and veneration for the Creation surrounding Indian culture.
And I would approach any cultural item that comes out of this land with a similar sense of deep respect because, well, because when the hero has a duet with a young lady, you are convinced that they are truly and deeply in love, more so than those posers Romeo and Juliet, and of course the lady is the most beautiful flower in the land… yes, like in the fairy-tales that have been given to us so that we may grow wiser by their morals and by the trials and success of the heroes. 
There is a love duet on this record, by the way. I recognised it right away because it was a duet with a lot of flourish and vocal embellishment in the lady’s part but the fact that part of the lyrics were “I love you” was also a good hint. But of course they are truly in love. They sound happy.
The film Amar Akbar Anthony is an Indian action comedy film with a curious set up – three brothers get separated and adopted by people of three different religions – a Hindu policeman, a Muslim tailor and a Catholic priest. The names of the brothers – Amar, Akbar, Anthony – are pretty indicative of who goes where. And of course they would reunite by the end and live prosperous and happy lives but it is the journey that is important here.
And these songs, of course, present you with the journey. Not only because the majority run past the 5 minute mark – I know, ages, right? But it is of course the steady rhythms, the orderly fashion in which all instruments round out the arrangements and of course the narration-like singing. You know the singer narrates, and very interesting stories at that, by the way his lines build, by the dramatic pauses he makes, by the Norse poetry-like alliterations (okay, getting a bit carried away here) and the occasional responding chorus.
I’d say the title track – Amar Akbar Anthony – stands out from the rest, and it is also the most instantly memorable one because of the hook which constitutes of three singers on it singing out consecutively and sustaining the three character names – Amaaaar Akbaaar Anthonyyyy. Have fun singing that to yourself while doing the dishes, by the way. It does sound so evocative, that particular songwriting decision. It sounds as if somehow the fates of the three brothers separate from one another and unravel before your very eyes. 
But I’ll stop making assumptions about what the content of the songs may be and assure you instead of the incredibly pleasant singing, the nice arrangements and picks for instruments and the overall joy for life that this soundtrack conveys.
Check it out, it’s very cool.