Reelin’ in the Years – 1987

It’s 1987 and I’m twenty-five years old. Looking over the charts I realize I’m at a loss in the pop world. This is a bit strange for me. Sort of like I fell into a black hole and couldn’t receive all the signals of Western culture.

Image – – At Visva-Bharati University – Fair Use / Fair Dealing Rationale


Let me explain.

Toward the end of the school year, I had applied for a scholarship to study in India. That summer I was working as an outdoor gardener for the City of Toronto and got word from the Indian officials that I had won the scholarship.

So I hustled around town, getting shots, a passport, and buying some gear for the two-year trip. I’ll never forget arriving in (what was then called) Bombay in the middle of the night. It was surreal.

Settling into my little room in a village by a lake, I soon realized that I was pretty much cut off from Western culture. No TV, the internet wasn’t around then, and the radio only picked up local stations that broadcast traditional Indian folk and classical music.

Image – – Shantiniketan

My lifeline was a bookstore that sold Indian made tapes of the biggest Western releases (Madonna, Michael Jackson, etc.). And I did visit my folks and friends the following summer in Toronto. So I tried to soak up what I had missed, as much possible, in a few weeks.

But for the most part, I was out of touch with the pop culture of the West. I didn’t really mind, however. My experience was so rich in India. I delved into the world of Hindi pop, which back then was largely unknown to Western audiences.

This single is from a tape I bought in India. I liked it the moment I heard it. Back then Hindi and Bengali pop borrowed elements of Western music and put a definite Indian spin on it. Seems there are remixes of this song with a stronger dance beat. But this is the version I enjoyed back in ’87.

Looks like you’ll have to click on this link to hear the song on YouTube.

Reelin’ in ALL the Years

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