When John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison took a trip to India in 1968, the quartet’s journey — a virtual pilgrimage of sorts — became the stuff of legends, so to speak. The group’s trip remains talked about among audiences even today, so much so that it became the topic of the newly released streaming documentary, The Beatles and India. Produced by British Indian music businessman Reynold D’Silva and directed by author Ajoy Bose, the documentary started streaming through Britbox Feb. 15 and was accompanied by a two-disc soundtrack that will appeal to a wide range of fans. The soundtrack will appeal to a wide range of audiences first and foremost because of its general presentation, which will be discussed shortly. The distinctly different sounds featured in the overall soundtrack plays its own key part in the recording’s presentation. It will be discussed a little later. The soundtrack’s packaging rounds out its most important elements and will be discussed later, too. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the soundtrack’s presentation. All things considered, they make this collection of songs quite the unique entry among this year’s field of new soundtracks.
Silva Screen Records’ newly released soundtrack to the rock-umentary, The Beatles and India, is a presentation that will find appeal among a wide range of audiences. Those audiences are not limited to just fans of The Beatles, but also fans of World Music and even modern classical. That is due in no small part to the recording’s general presentation. The general presentation presents not just one collection of songs, but two. The unique covers of so many classic songs from The Beatles featured in The Beatles and India are accompanied by the completely different instrumental tracks that are also used throughout the documentary. This is important to note because presenting both the soundtracks in one set is so rare when it comes to such presentations. More often than not, the standard for record labels is to split soundtracks — whether from movies or documentaries — into two separate presentations, and charging audiences twice to get them. In this case, audiences are essentially getting two soundtracks in one setting for the average price of one. The average price point for the collection is $20.55. That price point is reached by averaging prices at Amazon, Walmart, Books-A-Million, and Barnes & Noble Booksellers. It was not listed through Target and Best Buy at the time of this review’s posting. Considering this price point against the offering of two soundtracks in one, this set’s general presentation proves to be a strong starting point in examining the overall soundtrack.
Keeping in mind the note that the overall presentation offers audiences the documentary’s instrumental and covers side of things in one set, this duality is important because it offers audiences who might not have otherwise listened to one side or the others the means to give that other side the chance. For others who might already have a wide range of musical tastes, it brings that all together, again. The instrumental soundtrack is welcome because it really serves as its own foundation for quiet meditation, what with its strings arrangements opposite the penny whistle and other instruments. Each song boasts its own identity separate from its counterparts yet is so calming in its own right. On the other side, audiences get what are unquestionably some of the most unique covers of hits from The Beatles to ever receive any play. Case in point is Vishal Dadlani’s take of ‘Revolution.’ The fuzzed sound of the original is still there in this case. What sets it apart from the original is that it presents the song in more of a bluesy, almost stoner rock style. It is close to the original, but still unique, as can be heard through a close listen. On another note, Dhruv Ghanekar’s take of ‘Love You To’ brings out the original song’s Indian influence far more than the original. Where the original blends the two elements together, Ghanekar’s rendition focuses much more on those leanings. Ghanekar’s vocal styling is notably different from that of Lennon, too, adding to the contrast in the two renditions. It’s another example of the importance of the actual content in the soundtrack. When these examples are considered along with all of the full, instrumental score, and with the rest of the unique covers featured in this collection, the whole proves to offer audiences so much reason in itself to hear this soundtrack, whether they are fans of The Beatles, World Music, modern classical or a mix of all three. Add in that all of this unique music is joined in one setting and at an affordable price, all of that strengthens this soundtrack’s appeal even more. Even with all of that in mind, it still is not all that makes the soundtrack stand out. The set’s packaging rounds out its most important elements.
The packaging is important to examine because of its ergonomic design. Both discs are placed on either side of a foldout plate inside the case, which is the size of one that holds a single disc. While this does still happen today with packaging, it seems increasingly rare, with many labels opting instead for the more bulky, gatefold packaging. Yes, the plastic “plate” on which the two discs rest does have a chance of breaking, no packaging is perfect. For true audiophiles, having this space saving design will find its own share of appeal. It means that the noted audiences will get two separate soundtracks full of unique musical presentations at a relatively affordable average price point, and with packaging that will save at least some space on their racks. All of this combined makes this soundtrack that much more of a win for the label and for audiences.
Silva Screen Records’ recently released soundtrack to The Beatles and India is a welcome presentation among this year’s field of new soundtracks. It has a lot to appreciate, beginning with its general presentation. The general presentation does something that few if any other soundtracks do. It brings the documentary’s two separate soundtracks into one housing and does so at a relatively affordable average price point. The separate listings are themselves even below that average price point. The unique musical presentations within each soundtrack make for even more interest because of their originality. The set’s packaging rounds out the most important of its elements. That is because it is so ergonomic. Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the soundtrack. All things considered, they make The Beatles and India‘s soundtrack a standout offering in this year’s field of new soundtracks.
The Beatles and India‘s soundtrack is available now. More information on the soundtrack and other titles from Silva Screen Records at: