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    VS - a guide to their music

    I remember some people (Mehnaz being one) here were beginning to take an interest in Pak music. I thought the following was an excellent summary of some of the best modern music produced in Pak and should be a very good starting point for anybody who is just tuning into the Pak scene.

    I think everybody knows NFP - foremost Pakistani music critic, no intro needed there. The only thing I disagree with him on is that I personally rank Hum Tum as the best VS album ahead of VS 2.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    Vital Times
    By Nadeem F. Paracha

    Fifteen years ago in early 1989, a band called Vital Signs released their debut album which would kick-start Pakistani pop music as we know today.
    It wasn't only an aesthetic breakthrough, but a political and cultural statement in a country which had just come out of a tormenting eleven-year-dictatorship of one General Zia-ul-Haq.
    VS are no more, but rumors of them reforming keep poping up and prayed by many to actually come true. However, till they do (?), thousands of young Pakistanis and those who were in their teens when the Signs first hit the stage, regularly buy the continuous re-issues of all the all the five Signs releases on CDs. They, along with their contemporaries of the era, Junoon, remain to be perhaps the most influencial Pakistani pop acts in the country.

    Volume 1 (1989)
    The local neo-pop album that not only 'pioneered' the kind of 'post-modern' Pakistani pop music as we know it today, but the one that finally made talented matter like Nazia and Zoheb Hasan, Alamgir, Mohammed Ali Shehki, etc., sound like old news (and school). Within its tight neo-pop ditties was a pretty vivid documentation and reflection of all the euphoria and hope running through a new, urban middle-class generation of Pakistani's at the fall (from the sky) of a myopic, repressive dictatorship and advent of liberal democracy.

    Top Tunes: Yeh Shaam, Musafir, Do Pal Ka Jeevan.

    Volume 2 (1991)
    In sound and production, Volume 2 was way ahead of its time, so much so that it can still match the well-produced and rich sounding pop albums today, a good ten years after its initial release. Deep, dark and subtly melancholic in mood, it is Rohail, the Floydian producer/engineer/co-composer in great form along with Junaid Jamshed and lyricist Shoaib Mansoor. Better still is the deeply melodic and moody playing by guitarist Rizwan-Ul-Haq who, though perfect for the Vital Signs' brand of rich FM-pop, was so very underrated.

    Volume 2 (minus the two obnoxious Pepsi jingles introducing corporate-pop to the local scene), is not only the Vital Signs' finest and emotionally sincere hour, but it is also one of the post-'88 scene's very best albums.

    Top Tunes: Mera Dil, Yaad Karna, Teray Liye, Bazaar, Aisa Na Ho Yeh Din.

    Aitebar (1993)
    The Vital Signs returned to the upbeat mood and theme of Volume 1, but apart from the beautiful title track and the explosive 'Yehe Zameen,' one would rather turn to the Strings, Awaz and the up 'n' coming Fringe Benefits for all the happy-go-lucky (albeit energetic and decently danceable) fluff stuff!

    Top Tunes: Aitebar, Yehe Zameen, Woh Kon Thi.

    Greatest Hits (1994)
    Packed with the standard Vital Sign's hits (with, ironically, most of them being not exactly their best or greatest, as such), the impressive Vital Signs as the brooding-modern-urban-cowboys cover (by Asif Raza), becomes the best thing about the predictable album!

    Top Tunes: Yeh Shaam, Sanwali, Do Pal Ka Jeevan, Aitebar.

    Hum Tum (1995)
    The album on which Rohail fired Rizwan-Ul-Haq, hired Aamir Zaki, fired Aamir Zaki to rent Assad Ahmed from Awaz and the last time the Vital Signs could be seen with their cool, long locks, tight cowboy boots and denims. Hum Tum also sees Rohail injecting the Floydian ambience and the moodiness of Volume 2 by further expanding it, enough to come out clean as one of the local pop scene's finest producers. And even though Junaid Jamshed and Shoaib Mansoor again do well to compliment the album's Floyd-meets-Eagles aura and the fusion of Volume 2-type moodiness and the Vital Signs trademark FM-pop melodicism with modern funk-rock. Hum Tum is really Rohail's baby, supported well (maybe even better than he would have by Aamir Zaki), by Assad Ahmed who brilliantly grabs Rohail's idea of blending together Dave Gilmour wailings, wah-wah-guitar and post-Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan eastern progressive-rock. The Vital Signs could have gone to greater heights, had Rohail not started to daydream about becoming a local Rupert Murdoch. He seems so tired now.

    Top Tunes: Jaana Jaana, Main Chup Raha, Teray Liye (Unplugged).

    URL: http://www.chowk.com/show_picks_musi...sicid=00000041

    #2
    red red wine
    airwolf
    feels like heaven

    they played a key role- will let you guess what

    and heck I like VS, among the best pop music ever to come out of Pakistan.. but eagles and floyd? come on..duno what Paracha is smoking.
    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Fraudz:
      red red wine
      airwolf
      feels like heaven

      they played a key role- will let you guess what
      Koi gal nahee Fraudia bhai, sometimes pioneers need some sort of inspiration.

      Comment


        #4
        VS 2 was the best ever album of Pakistani Pop music. Every single song is a hit and still a hit. You can just listen over and over and will never get tired of it. Not all of the songs from Hum Tum or Aitebar are remembered by everyone.
        charah saazon se alag hai mayar mera kay main
        zakham khaaonga tou kuch aur nikhar jaaonga

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Fraudz:
          red red wine
          airwolf
          feels like heaven

          they played a key role- will let you guess what

          and heck I like VS, among the best pop music ever to come out of Pakistan.. but eagles and floyd? come on..duno what Paracha is smoking.
          Fraudz, it depends man. sometimes, while istening to the radio I've heard north american tunes I could swear were copied off much older Pakistani songs. how likely is that, you tell me - a north american artist copying one of our artists?

          I'm not saying that VS hadn't heard these songs. they quite possibly were even inspired by these songs. but then again who hasn't? I can quote similar examples of other bands/artists but I won't since I can't handle their militant fans. also, even if the Signs did copy these artists, fact of the matter is that they took modern Pak music to the level where it is today. their contribution was immense and their talent unmistakable.

          Right on, smoothy. VS 2 or Hum Tum, VS were one of a kind.

          Comment


            #6
            No one can ever close to VS...they are simply the best band in the history of Pak Music
            Everyone has the right to be stupid. Some people abuse the privilege - Joseph Stallin.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Spock:
              Koi gal nahee Fraudia bhai, sometimes pioneers need some sort of inspiration.
              haan bhai inspiration theek hai magar agar lift kiya hai toh admit toh kar lo.
              The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by sambrialian:
                Fraudz, it depends man. sometimes, while istening to the radio I've heard north american tunes I could swear were copied off much older Pakistani songs. how likely is that, you tell me - a north american artist copying one of our artists?

                It is entirely possible, as demonstrated by the sampling of some of the rap artists. However more likely is lifting of music by desi artists case in point tehseen javed's "dilbar jan e man" which is a complete lift of an old turkish song..unless those guys used a time machine to come up and steal tehseen javed's work.

                I'm not saying that VS hadn't heard these songs. they quite possibly were even inspired by these songs. but then again who hasn't?

                Inspiration is one thing..e.g. many people say that Oasis is deeply influenced by Beatles and sounds very similar. some even say that oasis has copied beatles style. However, Oasis has to the best of my knowledge not actually used the same music.

                I can quote similar examples of other bands/artists but I won't since I can't handle their militant fans.

                actually you should, I had a thread on it a long time ago to collect info on all charbaas.

                also, even if the Signs did copy these artists, fact of the matter is that they took modern Pak music to the level where it is today. their contribution was immense and their talent unmistakable.

                No doubt about it, this band was the most influential thing to happen to pakistani pop music.. they carried the baton from nazia/zohaib and took it to the next level.

                However, what is wrong is still wrong.. Intelelctual rights and artists rights exist. You can not just take the music and not even credit the original artist. That has been my one and only point of contention with VS.
                The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.

                Comment


                  #9
                  teray liay hai mera dil meri jaaan
                  hotay hai tho ho faaslay dharmian..
                  apnay aghaaz sey, lalallalalallalala
                  lalalalallallaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllaaaallalala


                  teray liya hai meeraaa dill meree jaaannnn
                  I have OCD: Obsessive Cullens Disorder
                  Bite Me! -- Please
                  I like running with scissors...makes me feel dangerous

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Wow Sambrilian ... I'm so impressed that you noted how I was beginning to pay attention to Paki music. That means people actually read my posts. Awww ...
                    Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning how to dance in the rain.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I only have a passing interest in Pakistani pop music as I tend to rate stuff according to it's quality rather than nationality. I liked Nazia's stuff, am a big fan of Abrar, Haroon and Faakhir are ok too, I think they both used to sing for Awaz which was quite a decent pop band too.

                      VS may have ripped off some tunes but for me the reason for their success was Junaid Jamshed. He sang catchy tunes with a voice made for pop and sometimes that's all there is to it.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Fraudz:


                        haan bhai inspiration theek hai magar agar lift kiya hai toh admit toh kar lo.
                        Oh bhai, me ne kab kaha ke unhoon ne lift nahee kiya, even though I termed it inspiration, for obvious reasons Kher, they made some lovely music, even though it lacked originality.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Fraudz:
                          It is entirely possible, as demonstrated by the sampling of some of the rap artists. However more likely is lifting of music by desi artists case in point tehseen javed's "dilbar jan e man" which is a complete lift of an old turkish song..unless those guys used a time machine to come up and steal tehseen javed's work.
                          True, it happens all the time. Dr. Dre recently ripped Bappi Lahri (Indian guy)'s music and Bappi bhai sued him for such an exuberant amount!!! But I guess some people cant think of north americans copying our music

                          Comment


                            #14
                            ^

                            I dont know who those "some People" may be, because bands have been sued in the past or have faced some major criticism.

                            Case in point, Vanilla Ice basically lifting music from "under pressure" by Queen and Bowie, for his sone "ice ice baby" It is a different thing if someone has secured artist permission to either sample their music, or re-make their song or whatever. going back to bands like PM Dawm who used music from Spandau Ballet's song "true"

                            P diddy, has copied lyrics in his "ben around the world" from Lisa stansfield, and the music in the background is "lets Dance" from david Bowie...recently there was some song "it's gonna be allright" which had Clash's "rock the casbah" music.

                            But they either get artists permission or get sued. Here are some right and wrong ways to do it..sadly VS took the wrong way, they were kids then..fine, but they should have the artist integrity to admit that they lifted music back then.

                            Any sample is a copy so permission must be sought in order to use it- some people might say that 'if you can recognise a separate work within another then an infringement has been committed' or 'its not quantity but quality'. The fact that any sample must be paid for is thought to be so crucial that at Polygram there is a whole department whose job is to listen to records to check for unlicensed James Brown samples.

                            P.M. Dawn obtained permission from Spandau Ballet to use samples from 'True', which helped them make their song 'Set Adrift On A Memory Bliss'. Spandau Ballet even helped promote it. The music for the P.M. Dawn song was very similar to the original and instantly recognisable, as the main samples were a couple of bars repeated and arranged into a new sequence, so if a licence had not been obtained an infringement would certainly have been committed. The details of the licence meant that P.M. Dawn had to split the royalties/ earnings with Spandau Ballet 50%/50% . In the process the original 'True' was re-released and was a hit a second time around. Everybody was happy but things aren't always this simple or easy.

                            De La Soul's first single 'Plug Tuning' sampled LiberacÚ which did not cause much of a problem, probably as it made very little money, but when they sampled Hall and Oates on 'Say No Go' and the song became a hit they encountered a law suit, and worse, at the end of 1989 the Turtles sued for $1.1 million for the use of an unlicensed sample from their 1969 single 'You Showed Me.'. However the case was settled out of court for a figure 'rumoured to be in the low five figures'.


                            Biz Markie and his record label Warner Bros. Inc./ Cold Chillin' were cited for violation of US copyright laws and he was condemned for his use of an eight bar sample from Gilbert O'Sullivans 1972 song 'Alone Again (Naturally)' as well as the titled refrain, (published by Grand Royal Music).

                            Again in 1990 both MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice released records. MC Hammer sampled' Superfreak' after obtaining a licence and although he had to pay out a large but undisclosed amount of expenses to the original artist, the record was a hit and he encountered no problems.

                            Vanilla Ice however sampled the most identifiable riffs from David Bowie and Queen's song 'Under Pressure' for his only hit from his LP entitled 'In The Extreme'. The samples however were not licensed or even credited. As it is generally accepted that readily identifiable riffs or hooks in a song are what generates the sales, the similarity of Vanilla's track to the original would lead it to compete directly. The case never went to trial, although it is believed that after a threatened law suit from 'Under Pressure's' copyright owners Vanilla Ice settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

                            In early eighties Kraftwerk sued Afrika Bambataa for sampling a drum beat.

                            In November 1992 Redman was taken to court by Bridgeport Music for sampling from the Clinton/ Parliament/ Funkadelic back catalogue without permission.

                            Big artists such as Marly Marl and L.L. Cool J. have been challenged for sampling 'Rappers Beware' an old drum track

                            Michael Jackson has been in trouble for sampling 67 seconds of the Cleveland Orchestra's rendition of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

                            A Tribe Called Quest supposedly had to give over 100% of their copyright in a deal negotiated with Lou Reed after the release of their single 'Can I Kick It?' when they sampled the bass line from his single ' Walk On The Wild Side'.

                            In the UK a band called 'Shut Up and Dance' (comprised of two members- PJ and Smiley), and their small independent record label of the same name were put out of business by excessive fines after having been found guilty of using a sample from Mark Owens' 1974 hit single 'Walking in Memphis' in their 1994 single 'Raving, I'm Raving' without first gaining clearance.

                            Some of the artists sampled included Suzanne Vega and Prince, and Shut Up and Dance were made to pay for every one. As is often the situation in these cases the final settlement was made out of court and the sum involved remains undisclosed.

                            In 1964, Roy Orbison and William Dees wrote the rock ballad 'Oh, Pretty Woman', which in 1989 The 2 Live Crew sampled as a basis to construct their own song.
                            The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.

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