Three chords, incredibly catchy melody, clever, cheeky bosom lyric hook, what more can you want in a song? As with yesterday's Hawkwind tune of 1977, Cornershop nailed it in the 90s. The 1997 original was a slower version, but here we showcase a remix by DJ and former Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim, that helped it reach No 1 in the UK charts a year later. The band's name is a wryly humorous reference to the Asian-British shopkeeper stereotype, and their music is an east-west indie fusion fronted by the affable British-Punjabi Tjinder Singh.
But what, or who is Asha? "There’s dancing behind movie scenes,/ Behind those movie screens – saddi rani." The song refers to the joy and escapism found in the Indian movie industry, known as Bollywood – but in particular is a tribute the background singers whose voices are heard when actors lipsync and dance. Asha Bhonsle is one of the genre's greatest and most prolific singers, "saddi rani" meaning "our queen in Punjabi: "She’s the one that keeps the dream alive, / From the morning, past the evening, till the end of the light." Forty-five, of course, refers to the love of spinning records, and there are no shortage of western music references either, including Marc Bolan, Jacques Dutronc, Georges Brassens's song Les Amoureux des bancs publics, Argo Records and Trojan Records. The band continue to perform and their ninth album, Hold On It's Easy, was released in 2015.
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