|Bangladeshi Rock Music|
|Cultural origins||Early 1960s, Chittagong, Dhaka|
|Derivative forms||Bangladeshi heavy metal|
Bangladeshi rock or Bangla rock originated in Chittagong with roots in 1960s and 1970s rock and roll. Bangladeshi rock music was influenced by the American and British rock and roll music. In the 1960s, blues rock was introduced by Zinga, The Windy Side of Care, The Lightnings, Rambling Stones etc. From early to mid 1970s pop rock music was introduced by Uchcharon, Souls, Feedback and Miles. In the 1980s number of subgenres such as hard rock and heavy metal was introduced. In the 1990s hard rock and heavy metal broke through the mainstream with bands like LRB, Feelings, Ark and Warfaze etc.
- 1 Early rock and roll (1960s to late 1970s)
- 2 Progression (1980s to early 1990s)
- 3 Emergence (mid-to-late 1990s)
- 4 New Millenium (the 2000s)
- 5 Indie Wave (the 2010s)
- 6 Progressive/Experimental Rock Wave (the 2000s onwards)
- 7 Notable bands of Bangladesh
- 8 See also
- 9 References
Early rock and roll (1960s to late 1970s)
Zinga was the first rock music group of Bangladesh. The band was originally formed in 1963 in Chittagong. Formed by a group of young students from Chittagong College. Under the inspiration and leadership of Shafaat Ali, Zinga soon became the most popular rock band in East Pakistan. In 1964, Shafaat Ali's teenage sisters Najma and Sheela Parvin joined the band. In 1965, they were invited to perform in the first ever television broadcast show of BTV. In 1970, they moved to Dhaka, and they also released some hit singles from the label HMV. The Windy Side of Care was the first rock band from Dhaka. It was formed in 1964 by Fazle Rob. They were formed as Lolite, but later they changed it. Fazle Rob, while studying in class eight of St. Gregory School formed the band. Their first lineup includes Fazle Rob on vocals and guitars, Mazhar Islam Shazu on guitars, Rafi Omar on bass and Khawaja Sabbir Kader on drums. They used to perform in Shahbagh Hotel and Dhaka Club regularly. The Lightnings was another band from Chittagong. It was formed in 1966 by students of St. Placid High School. Twin brothers Noel and Neo Mendes along with bassist Farid Rashid and guitarist Shakeel formed the band. They were regarded as one of the best bands of East Pakistan that time. They had the highest quality instruments at that time in the country. They used Fender guitars and amps, Ludwig drums and VOX keyboards. After some years of the War of Independence, the band disbanded. Noel and Neo Mendes started their own business, guitarist Shakeel left the country and bassist Farid Rashid along with Happy Akhand formed the band Miles. Famous Dhaliwood actor Zafar Iqbal formed his own band Rambling Stones in 1966 in Dhaka, before he was an actor. He was inspired by the music of Elvis Presley. Iqbal's elder brother Anwar Parvez and sister Shahnaz Rahmatullah was also into music. His band performed every Saturday and Sunday night in the Hotel Intercontinental and Dhaka Club. They only performed English songs, and they were the first band to perform English songs. The band disbanded after Iqbal got into acting. But, he was still performing in his solo band. Iqbal died in 1992 because of drug abuse. Other rock bands of the 1960s included Insex Dui, Ugly Phases, Fire in Ice and Time Ago Motion. None of this bands released an album.
Folk and Pop rock
After the War in 1971, Spondan was the first Bangla band to be formed. They were formed in January 17, 1972. Their sound was mixed with pop/rock and folk rock . Their first line up consisted of Nasir Ahmed Apu (rock singer, song writer of Spondan ), Firoz Shai (folk rock singer ), Ferdous Wahid ( singer ) , Aftab Kamal ( singer ), Larry Burnaby ( lead guitarist),Jerry (lead guitarist ), Happy Akhand ( Key board player ), Shahedul Huda ( Drummer ), Syed Jaglul Ali( Rhythm guitarist ), Younus ( Rhythm guitarist ), and Musa Rahman (Bass guitarist). Founder of Spondan was Mansur Ahmed Nipu and chief adviser was Sheikh Kamal. Nasir Ahmed Apu was the rock singer and only lyrics writer and music composer of Spondan, pioneer of Bangla pop/rock and re-invented Bangla folk music. They became one of the most popular rock bands during the 1970s. Spondan's album " Bangladeh Spondan" , record label Bangladesh Gramophone company , year 1975 was a super hit and had largest sell of copy in that year according to journal Bichitra, Dacca, Bangladesh, published in 1975. One of the song of that album " Emon Ekta Maa Dena "lyrics and music by Nasir Ahmed Apu was the most popular song in Bangladesh. They were the first to mix traditional Bangla folk songs with western musical instruments.Sheikh Kamal died in 1975. the band disbanded for that year. Uccharon was formed in 1973 in Dhaka by freedom fighter Azam Khan. They introduced pop rock sound in Bangladesh. They are considered to be the greatest band in the country. Khan soon became an icon in Bangladeshi music. Songs like "রেল লাইনের ওই বস্তিতে (The Slum in the Railway)", "আলাল ও দুলাল (Alal and Dulal)", "সালেকা মালেকা (Saleka Maleka)", জীবনে কিছু পাবো না রে (I'll Not Get Anything in Life)", soon became some of the biggest hit songs in the country. They released albums like "দিদি মা", "Bangladesh" which were all successful. The band stayed active until the death of Azam Khan in 2011. Souls was formed in Chittagong in 1972. They are considered as the most important band in Bangladeshi rock and roll. They were influenced by the music of The Beatles. Although, they started in 1972, their debut album Super Souls came out in 1982. The song মন শুধু মন ছুয়েছে (The Mind Just Reaches the Heart) became a classic standard in Bangladesh. Albums like কলেজ এর করিডোরে (In the Corridors of College), মানুষ মাটির কাছাকাছি (People are Near the Ground), East and West produced some of the greatest rock songs in the region. They experimented blues rock and pop rock music. They are one of the pioneering bands in Bangladesh. They have released some of the significant rock songs in the region. They also released English songs. They first appeared in BTV on 1985. Their classical line up included Tapan Chowdhury and Nasim Ali Khan on vocals, Ayub Bachchu and Naqib Khan on guitars, Shahed ul Alam on bass guitars, Ahmed Newaz on keyboards and Subrata Barua Ronny on drums. The band was very influential to bands like LRB and Ark. Feedback was formed in 1976 in Dhaka by Fuad Naser. They didn't always released rock songs, some of their hit songs were more of a pop sound. They released their first album "Feedback: Volume I" in 1985. It was considered a pop rock and blues album. Their 1994 album "Bongabdo 1400 (বঙ্গাব্দ ১৪০০)" was a great hit album in Bangladesh. They won the best pop album award for their album "Jai Jai Din (যায় যায় দিন)" in 1995. In 1996, vocalist Maqsudul Haque left the band and formed the pop band Maqsood O Dhaka. After Spondon disbanded in 1975, Happy Akhand wanted to form his own band. At the same time, 1960s blues rock band The Lightnings were also disbanded. In the late 1978, bass player Farid Rashid came to Dhaka and met Akhand. They both had the idea to open up a band. They both wanted to do pop rock music. Then they formed the band Miles in 1979. Their first line up featured Farid Rashid on vocals and bass, Larry Burnaby and Ishtiaq on guitars, Kamal Moinuddin on drums and Happy Akhand on keyboards. They released their self titled debut album Miles in 1982, from Modhumita Productions Ltd. It contains seven cover songs and three original songs of the band. The songs were all in English. In 1983, Farid Rashid and Ishtiaq left the band. Their places were filled with Shafin Ahmed and Hamin Ahmed from Barracks. They were the children of famous singer Kamal Dasgupta and Firoza Begum. In 1986, they released their second studio album A Step Further. It was also written in English. After the death of founding member Happy Akhand in 1987, the band members struggled some years. His place was filled by Manam Ahmed in 1988. After three years they released their first Bengali album প্রতিশ্রুতি (Promise) in 1991. It was their first album to get commercial success. Their fourth studio album প্রত্যাশা (Expectation) was a big hit album. It had sold over 3 million copies in Bangladesh, and is still the best selling album in Bangladesh. Their current line-up includes Shafin Ahmed on vocals and bass, Hamin Ahmed and Iqbal Asif Jewel on guitars. Syed Ziaur Rahman Turjo on drums and Manam Ahmed on keyboards.
Progression (1980s to early 1990s)
Feelings was formed in 1978 in Chittagong by James. They were the first psychedelic band in the region. Vocalist and singer James formed the band when he was 13 years old. Ayub Bachchu also worked with them from 1978 to '82. Their first album Station Road came out in 1985. It contained hit songs like Station Road, Glass Beat Games etc. Their second album জেল থেকে বলছি (Speaking from Jail) was a major success for them. In 2000, Feelings changed their name to Nagar Baul. Their last album was released in 2001, which was দুষ্টু ছেলের দল (Bad Boys Group). They have released only one album under the new name.
Although early Bangladeshi rock is characterised by romantic songs and mellow tunes, the scene began to change during the 1980s. Waves introduced Heavy Metal music in Bangladesh. Warfaze was also a progressive band during this period. Feedback was another band, who released the albums Ullash and Mela. From the mid 1980s to the early 1990s, hard rock became more popular. "It was around 1986 when Miles performed hard rock in Dhaka. They performed songs of Iron Maiden which was rocking to people. The next concert was a mind blowing performance, in which they covered several numbers of Iron Maiden and they did very well indeed!" The band was called In Dhaka, Warfaze and Rock Strata. Different Touch was also active during the late 1980s and early 1990s, playing "Sraboner Meghgulo". Nova (1986) and Renaissance were bands from the same period. The era also witnessed the emergence of artists such as Ayub Bachchu (who created LRB) and solo performers Tapan Chowdhury and Kumar Bishwajit.
Emergence (mid-to-late 1990s)
The heavy-metal scene further developed during the early 1990s. "Mixed album Hooray was, back then, a huge inspiration and boost for many celebrated bands from today", said Shakib of Cryptic Fate. Warfaze and Rock Strata also released albums. Another band was Winning, which later disbanded. That year metal bands such as Cryptic Fate, Mysteria, Dethrow and PsychoDeth also emerged, playing at underground shows. Shironaamhin, formed in 1996, is still active as of 2013. Around 1998, Koprophilia, Clovermind and Spanking Monkeys began playing alternative music. After a period of turmoil, around 1999 Artcell (formerly Tantrik), Metal Maze, Migraine, Black, Wire, and Nemesis surfaced.
New Millenium (the 2000s)
By the early ears of the 21st century, bands such as Aurthohin, Dalchhut, Shironamhin, Black, Artcell, Poizon Green, Kronic, Reborn and Nemesis became active on the Bangladeshi music scene with the release of debut albums and songs. Newer bands emerging during this period, such as Stentorian, Arbovirus, Shunno and Lalon, also became established. The era also saw the revival of the Chittagong rock-music scene. Although the city is considered the birthplace of Bangladeshi rock it declined during the 1990s, when most local musicians and bands began moving to Dhaka for more opportunity and better facilities. During the early 2010s, the Bangladesh Music Bands Association (BAMBA) and the Chittagong Musical Band Association (CMBA) began organising rock concerts in the city, which gave exposure to local underground bands. This resulted to the emergence of new rock bands in the city, such as Hemorrhage and Blunderware.
Indie Wave (the 2010s)
Nearing the end of the first decade of the millennia, bands like Blunderware, Joler Gaan, Ashes, Chirkutt and the likes started to penetrate the scene, swaying away from traditional rock to cater to niche audience. With the fall of many major labels, and no availability of streaming platforms, rock musicians took to the internet to self-publish their songs and albums. Many bands such as Minerva, Owned, Poraho released their album through digital platforms. One of the emerging bands of the current decade is Indalo, a post-grunge band with modern influences, who self published and self distributed their own album without the help of sponsorship. While metal and rock music are still heavily heard throughout the rock scene, a budding indie scene started to flourish in smaller concert arenas. Bands like The Crowd, Embers in Snow, Pieket, Orfred, Headline, and Attic - to name a few - have brought about a change in the sound of rock with English songwriting being a common practice in their music.
Progressive/Experimental Rock Wave (the 2000s onwards)
Bangladeshi music scene has been changed a lot for couple of years. There are so many Progressive Rock and Experimental Rock bands have come up with new genre and new sound which people have not experienced before. Bands like Karnival and Owned have made an exceptional example of progressing our industry. Although the market is growing slowly, they already have created their own ground. Karnival released their three successful albums; whereas Owned has given two exceptional albums to the listeners.
Eclipse is one of the finest band who have successfully moving with symphonic rock musical patterns. They have an album which became more famous these days. they were in the D-Rockstar contest sponsored by D-Juice along with the popular bands like Power Surge, Dreek, Radioactive & so on. Recently, there are some experimental rock bands who are cracking the ground with their unique sound and musicality. Following the unique trends, some bands like Messianic Era, Seventh Sign, Jogot, Attic; are moving forward with dedication.
Notable bands of Bangladesh
|Formed||Name||Genre||Language||City of origin|
|1964||The Windy Side of Care||Rock N' Roll, Blues Rock||Bangla (Instrumental)||Dhaka|
|1966||The Lightnings||Rock N' Roll, Blues Rock||Bangla||Chittagon|
|1966||The Rambling Stone||Rock N" Roll, Psychedelic Rock||English||Dhaka|
|1968||INSEX Dui||Experimental Rock||English||DHaka|
|1980||Nagar Baul||Hard rock, Psychedelic rock||Bangla||Chittagong|
|1983||In Dhaka||Hard rock, Heavy metal||Bangla||Dhaka|
|1984||Warfaze||Hard rock, Heavy metal||Bangla||Dhaka|
|1985||Different Touch||Pop rock||Bangla||Khulna|
|1986||Nova||Rock music, Hard rock, Psychedelic rock||Bangla||Dhaka|
|1991||Love Runs Blind (LRB)||Rock, Blues, Alternative, Metal, Psychedelic Rock||Bangla||Chittagong|
|1993||Cryptic Fate||Heavy metal||Bangla||Dhaka|
|1995||Metal Maze||Heavy metal||Bangla||Dhaka|
|1995||The Trap||Rock music||Bangla||Dhaka|
|1996||Maqsood O' dHAKA||Jazz Rock Fusion||Bangla||Dhaka|
|1996||Shironamhin||Folk music, Alternative rock, Psychedelic rock||Bangla||Dhaka|
|1997||Vikings (Bangladeshi band)||Hard/Soft Rock||Bangla||Dhaka|
|1998||Aurthohin||Rock music, Heavy metal||Bangla||Dhaka|
|1998||Black||Rock music, alternative rock, Grunge||Bangla||Dhaka|
|1999||Artcell||Progressive metal, Progressive rock||Bangla||Dhaka|
|1999||Bangla (Band)||Folk rock||Bangla||Dhaka|
|2001||Stentorian||Hard rock, heavy metal||Bangla||Dhaka|
|2001||Lalon Band||Rock, folk, Fusion||Bangla||Dhaka|
|2001||Vibe||Heavy Metal, Alternative Rock||Bangla||Dhaka|
|2002||Arbovirus||Experimental music, alternative rock, Nu metal||Bangla||Dhaka|
|2002||Chirkutt||Rock fusion, Pop rock||Bangla||Dhaka|
|2005||Mechanix||Heavy metal, Thrash metal||Bangla||Dhaka|
|2006||De-illumination||Symphonic rock, Symphonic metal||Bangla||Dhaka|
|2006||Ashes||Alternative rock, Psychedelic rock||Bangla||Chittagong|
|2007||Shunno||Pop rock, Alternative rock||Bangla||Dhaka|
|2009||PIN CODE||Rock, Heavy Metal||Bangla||Dhaka|
|2009||Moruvumi||Rock, Classical rock||Bangla||Dhaka|
|2009||Manob||Rock, Classical rock||Bangla||Dhaka|
|2011||Deatholic||Rock, Heavy metal, Hard Rock||Bangla||Dhaka|
|2016||Bay of Bengal||Rock, Metal||Bangla||Chittagong|
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