Ashutosh Gowariker’s historic epic Lagaan: Once Upon A Time In India (2001) may have missed the Oscar but its music has made it to Amazon.com’s 100 Greatest World Music Albums of All Time. It’s the only Bollywood film soundtrack to have made to the list that features revered artistes like Bob Marley, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Willie Bobo.
Five Indian artistes who have made it to the list are Asha Bhosle, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Ustad Shujaat Hussain Khan and the fifth, of course being AR Rahman for Lagaan on number 44.
Rahman who is currently in Los Angeles, California was unavailable for comment but the Oscar-nominated film’s director-producer Gowariker said, “That’s great news,” before he rushed to check the site for himself. An excited Gowariker said he always thought that the album had great potential. “But you know, I’m especially happy because this is the only album that represents Indian cinema on the list.”
He says he got a reason to believe that soundtrack has an international appeal at the Locarno International Film Festival in South Africa in 2001. “When I was at Locarno, I saw French, German, Swiss and Italians dancing and cheering the songs — without knowing the Indian culture, the movie or even Hindi.”
Happy for Rahman, he said, “He’s a blazer, he’s completely unstoppable now.”