MonsoonMonsoon

1. WINGS OF DAWN (PREM KAVITA) 3.56
2. TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS 4.01
3. THIRD EYE AND TIKKA TV 2.53
4. EYES 3.41
5.   SHAKI (THE MEANING OF WITHIN) 4.54
6.   EVER SO LONELY 6.16
7.   YOU CAN'T TAKE ME WITH YOU 4.16
8.   AND I YOU 3.28
9.   KASHMIR 4.00
10.   WATCHERS OF THE NIGHT 3.47
11.   INDIAN PRINCESS 3.20
12.   SUNSET OVER THE GANGES 3.16
13.   EVER SO LONELY (HINDI VERSION) 5.55
14.   WINGS OF DAWN (PREM KAVITA) (HINDI VERSION) 4.02
15.   EVER SO LONELY (REMIX) 6.24
16.   EVER SO LONELY (INSTRUMENTAL REMIX) 6.21

 

 

 

This was an idea ahead of itās time - perfect for jotting the staid first generation Asians (and the new second generation coming through) out of itās complacency and semi-professional wedding folk music band mentality. The community had a tendency to look backwards culturally to India where the current big thing was Boney M and Abba in Hindi. And yet in the UK music industry there was not a scrap of encouragement or parallel music being made. Punk and Synth ĪNew Waveā bands ruled the charts and any project focussed on acoustic instruments seemed beyond the pale.

Nevertheless, Monsoon released their 4 track E.P. on Steve Coeās newly formed Indipop label. It received some airplay (John Peel etc) and a few favourable reviews and gave the band a chance to focus on their only live gig - for Independence Day at the Indian Cultural Centre - the ĪBharatiya Vidya Bhavanā.

It was time to hook in a big fish! But every major London label turned them down - including Phonogram the first time around. However Dave Claridge (TVās Roland rat) had the E.P. passed to him. He had just formed a new label at Phonogram - ĪThe Mobile Suit Corporationā which was looking to sign music from the East - particularly Japanese New Wave. His A&R cohort, Dave Bates, took a leap of faith and gave Monsoon his entire demo budget for the year to record a single at Rockfield, Wales in December 1981.

"Ever So Lonely" was released 5th March 1982. Initially it was top of the gay (Hi-Energy) charts and then went to be a Top 10 hit in the UK and a hit around the world.

The second single "Shakti" only got into the Top 40 and Phonogram panicked. They forced the release of "Tomorrow Never knows" (a cover of an old Beatles track which Monsoon had recorded only as a bonus track for the American version of the album), against the bandās wishes. The single flopped and Monsoon disbanded in protest in November 1982.

The Monsoon album ĪThird Eyeā was finally released in March 1983. The album vastly expanded the bandās repertoire of influences and instruments.

Steve Coe went to work virtually exclusively with Sheila Chandra as a co-writer and producer (always excepting his avant-garde projects as founder of the fictitious ĪGanges Orchestraā).

Martin Smith collaborated on Sheilaās first four solo albums and continues to work as a musician and writer.

Sheila Chandra Īcashed in her fame chipsā, using them to buy the space she needed to grow as a musician and produced a fine body of pioneering solo work, first on Steve Coeās Indipop label and later through her own production company - Moonsung - via Peter Gabrielās Real World label. She has never released another single.......so far. She is today regarded as one of the worldās finest living vocalists and is currently writing her 11th album.