Krsna Culture in Music, Part 4
BY: JAHNAVA DEVI
May 13, 2012 CANADA (SUN) From the time Srila Prabhupada arrived in the West, Krsna Culture began to seep into popular music around the world. In today's serial edition of Krsna Culture in Music we'll look at a fascinating collection of albums in various music genre that include songs inspired by Krsna Consciousness.
The surprising number of occurrences of Hare Krishna on albums produced outside of Srila Prabhupada's society just goes to show the great impact his preaching mission has had on the world. While this list is far from conclusive, it will give the reader an idea of the great variety of popular albums containing the maha-mantra.
Psychedelia and Acid Rock
Collaboration - "Give Me Wings: Music for the New Age"
This album was a collaboration by numerous artists, including Radha Krishna Temple w/ John Fahey, Jim Tomkinson, Judy Mayhan, Happy Valley, Fairfax Street Choir, Pat Craig, Cathy Hundall, Bill Champlin, Pamela Polland, Jeffree Cain, Marla Hunt, Laura Allen, and Hope & Her Friends
New Formula - "Hare Krishna/Stay Indoors"
The flip side of this 45 RPM record on the Pye label was "Stay Indoors". The "Hare Krishna" cut by New Formula also appeared on an album entitled Pictures in the Sky, a 16 track compilation of some of the most obscure British psych from the late sixties.
The Love Band - "The Oneness Space"
This Northern California band was affiliated with Ken Keyes. Jr.'s "Cornucopia Institute". Keyes is featured on one of the cuts, "Om - Living Love". The band apparently lived on a commune near Berkeley. The album is replete with spacey vocals and a cosmic mindset. While no Hare Krishna songs are included on the album, the cover is a big hippie-love gatefold with a compendium of Krishna Consciousness philosophy on the back.
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The Unfolding - "How to Blow Your Mind & Have a Freak-Out Party"
This one's a classic. "How to Blow Your Mind" was produced as a prop for hippie head parties in the 60's. Side A is dubbed "Acid Rock", while side B is "Meditations". Track include: Hare Krishna, Electric Buddha, I've Got A Zebra ~ She Can Fly, Play Your Game, Girl from Nowhere, Flora's Holiday, Love Supreme Deal, Prana, and Parable. Lord Hanuman is pictured on the album cover.
This album actually provides full instructions for hosting a successful 'Freak-Out party', complete with a day-glo tutorial on how to chant Hare Krishna. What follows is probably the strangest set of instructions in existence on how to chant the maha-mantra. (Don't try this at home, kids.)
"It's easy to organize a FREAK-OUT PARTY, all you have to do is relax your mind and let things happen. Digging wild psychedelic colors, swinging with way-out sounds, grooving on yourself, grooving on everything at once. LOVE.
To set the scene for the party, spray pop bottles or an old chair with DAY-GLOW PAINT in bright colors, then light the whole room with DAY-GLOW light (you can buy these in any hardware or art-supply stores). This will make everything glow with weird luminous psychedelic colors. Guaranteed to blow their minds right away.
You can really turn your guests on with a mind-blowing light show with two things you probably have in your house right now: a TV set and a see-through kaleidoscope (not the kind with colored glass in the bottom). First put a rock and roll record on the phonograph. Turn on your TV and make the image jump in time to the music by turning the vertical knob all the way to the left or right. Now point the kaleidoscope at the TV screen. This is a guaranteed TRIP. Now play the same record at another speed. YOU ARE NOW FREAKING OUT. Enjoy it.
TURN ON yourself and your guests to an ancient Indian chant which brings ecstasy and peace of mind. When the chanting begins on the A side of this record join in. It will really BLOW YOUR MIND, a guaranteed trip into another dimension of consciousness. George Harrison has said of this chant (International Times No. 13) "...saying Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Krishna...it's not the words you're saying, it's the sounds...sounds are vibrations and the more you can put into that vibration, the more you can get out...these vibrations that you get through yoga, cosmic chants...it's such a buzz, it buzzes you out of everywhere." These are the words:
HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA
KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE
HARE RAMA HARE RAMA
RAMA RAMA HARE HARE
Quintessence - A self-titled Album
The UK band Quintessence released this album on the Pink Island label. The album includes a heady mix of psychedelic tracks, with superb guitar interlinked with Hare Krishna chanting.
The Magic Mushroom Band - Singles and Rarities
The Magic Mushroom Band is another UK psych band influenced by the Hare Krsnas. This compilation album of singles includes tunes recorded since the band's inception in 1982. Cover versions of Pink Floyd and Byrds tunes are included, along with "When Dreams Collide", which incorporates chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra in the chorus.
R&B & Soul
Stevie Wonder - Songs In the Key of Life
Recorded at the Hit Factory in New York and the Record Plant studios in Los Angeles and Sausalito, Songs In the Key of Life is one of Wonders' master albums. The LP spent 14 of its 80 charting weeks at number one. Stevie Wonder employed a host of great musicians on this album, including a group of Hare Krishna devotees singing background vocals.
Marion Williams - "Standing Here Wondering Which Way to Go"
This one of the rarest albums on the Atlantic label. The famous lead singer for the Clara Ward Singers during the 1950's, Marion Williams usually sang gospel, but turned toward soul-infused spiritual songs with a message of peace and love. Album tracks include Hare Krishna, He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother, Standing Here, Turn Turn Turn, This Generation Shall Not Pass, My Sweet Lord, Heaven Help Us All, Make Peace with Yourself, Wicked Messenger, Put Your Hand in the Hand, and Danger Zone.
Hollins & Starr - "Sidewalks Talking"
This album by Hollins & Starr is a mix of folky, mystical, pop-psych tunes with very 70's flute backing. It includes a track entitled "Krishna Dov"
John Prine - "Common Sense"
The John Prine song, "Come Back To Us Barbara Lewis Hare Krishna Beauregard" has probably gotten as much air play as any popular tune with "Hare Krishna" in the lyrics.
Albert Roussel -- Joveurs de Flute
Four pieces for the flute and piano. Pan, tityre, Krishna and Mr de la Pejaudie
Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops
Reel to Reel Tape
Orchestral Medley from the Broadway musical Hair, including the song Be In (Hare Krishna).
Fast Cats and Mysterious Cows: Songs from America
This collection of old American songs (e.g., Aaron Copeland) sung by the American Boys Choir under the direction of James Litton includes "Krishna Portraits for Flute & Drone: The Loves of Krishna" by James D'Angelo
Hip Hop and Rap
Jack Black and Tenacious D
This live recording of a concert by Jack Black and Tenacious D from April 4, 2002 in Austin, Texas includes a tune called "Hari Krishna".
Euro and World Beat Music
Roberto Delgado - "Lounge Legends"
Roberto Delgado released an album of South American dance hits entitled "Lounge Legends", which included a cut called "Hare Krishna". This albums represents one of the more eclectic mixes of tunes we've seen Hare Krishna included in.
Tracks included are: Mas Que Nada, Mocoto, Salambo No.1, Brazilian Afternoon, Last Tango In Paris, Hurricane, Music To Watch Girls By, Hawaii Five O, Return Of Django, Batucada, Un Poco Rio, California Sunday Morning, Hare Krishna, Cast Your Fate To The Wind, Grazin In The Grass, Summer Samba, Moonglow, Up Cherry Street, Corcovado, and Fly Me To The Moon.
Papudinho - Pap's Modern Sounds
This Bossa Samba groove album features Brazilian music, and a track entitled 'Hare Krishna".
Gilles Zeitschiff -- Cosmic Jokers
Zeitschiff did this album with Manuel Gittsching (later of Ash Ra Temple), Klaus Schulze (Tangerine Dream), Gille Lettman and Timothy Leary. Tracks include Downtown, Lord Krishna, Power drive, Cosmic Courier Queen of Sunshine, etc.
Ronnie Burns - Prophet/Maggie Mine
This Australian 45 was a minor hit. Side A has a great track written by Johnny Young, a Hare Krishna chant that got a lot of radio play.
Chitra Neogy - The Perfumed Garden
Middle Eastern music on a UK album release, "Perfumed Garden" features four classic Indian poems set to psychedelic musical arrangements, including "Krishna And The Lovely Cowgirls".
Daevid Allen - Je ne Fum' Pas de Bananas
This French band included an original album cut entitled "My Mother's Gone to India/Hare Krishna".
Tomorrow we'll begin the first of several parts on Krsna culture in Classical music.