Five iconic disco songs from the retro era of Bollywood

Pelvic thrusts under shiny disco balls of the times bygone


News - India & You

February 1, 2017

/ By Mehk Chakraborty / Kolkata

From the video of the song, Disco Dancer. Image- Screenshot from video

From the video of the song, Disco Dancer. Image- Screenshot from video

The 1970s and 80s, post the hippie movement across as the world, saw a disco movement, with mainstream cinema in India incorporating elements from the same.

With movies like ‘Disco Dancer’ making it to Bollywood, a disco revolution was underway with themes, visuals and music with a vibrant, colourful and energetic feel that lit up cinema screens across India in the 1970s and 80s. Whether it was hippie headbands or shiny lights with loud colours and flared bell bottoms, the get up of performers in these disco songs were natural complements to the synth-heavy catchy beats of disco songs that found resonance among many across the world at the time. While some of these songs have been remixed and transformed, some have been used as samples and are still very popular today.

Disco 82

Disco 82’ is a funky, upbeat song from the movie ‘Khud-Daar’ (1982), which starred Amitabh Bachchan and Parveen Babi. The song itself is sung by legendary Indian singers Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar. The video, with a reddish tone and blinking lights, speaks about the joys of being in the moment, and specific place of the disco.

Disco Station

Sung by pop queen Asha Bhosle, this song from the movie ‘Haathkadi’ (1982) was a product of disco king, Bappi Lahari’s musical direction. The video of ‘Disco Station‘ starts with hysterical laughter and the lyrics of the song calls for breaking away from the shackles of love. With high energy performances by dancers around a backdrop where a train is stationed, this song makes for a fun disco number. Recently, the TV show ‘Come Dine with Me’ from the UK featured the song.

Jhoom Jhoom Jhoom Baba

This hit from the 1984 flick, ‘Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki’, sung by the melodious Salma Agha, is yet another example of some of the eclectic disco music from Bollywood. With Agha dancing in a headband, the song contains lyrics that roughly translate to “That who has someone in their arms tonight is the one who has luck” and lines celebrating the joys of youthfulness, ‘Jhoom Jhoom’ makes for a quirky and fun disco number to shake a leg to. Another work conceptualised by Bappi Lahiri, this song lives on to this day.

Disco dancer

With words such as “Toh jhumo, toh nacho, Aao mere sath nacho gao” (So bounce, so dance… Come croon and dance with me), ‘Disco Dancer’ beckoned a generation to the vibrant disco life. A high energy-packed performance from the 1982 movie of the same name that has gained popularity in places such as Russia, ‘Disco Dancer’ is a song that is undeniably a classic in the desi-disco genre from the 1970s and 80s of India. With the performer enthralling audiences in the video, this song is guaranteed to uplift the energy of listeners.

‘Jimmy Jimmy, Aaja Aaja’

Jimmy Jimmy’ is undoubtedly one of the most iconic disco songs that was recently re-popularised by M.I.A in her version in 2007. Another song from the movie ‘Disco Dancer’ (1982), this is an up-tempo song that has been symbolic of disco-pop at the time when India was in sync with the western world of disco. With the signature tune that holds the song together and lyrics that encourage the addressee of the song to come and join in, ‘Jimmy Jimmy’ is a great sample of Bollywood-disco music.

M.I.A. remix

Russians dancing to the song



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