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Usha Uthup – Blast-off

Usha Uthup’s crazy record Blast-Off (1984) is somewhat of an oddity in her otherwise¬† impressive discography. The Indian jazz singer did cool solo records like Scotch and Soda and Live in Nairobi and did many Bollywood and Tamil film songs whenever there were English lyrics or a need for a singer skilled in the jazz idiom. Check for instance her super cool funk song in the film Bombay to Goa. Good as she may be, there always was some tacky quality to her singing, not unlike other popular¬† jazz diva’s. There’s the fear for sudden bursts of unwarranted scat vocalizations. Combining this cheesy side of hers with science and philosophy themed lyrics is what this record sets out to do. With quite lurid results. Have a listen to The pressure cooker of love and Welcome, test-tube baby.

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The test-tube song made me curious so i checked online. DNAIndia.com writes the following:

“Both Dr Mukhopadhyay and British scientists Robert G Edwards and Patrick Steptoe — creators of the world’s first test-tube baby — started work at the same time. The Indian baby was born on October 3, 1978, just 67 days after Marie Louise Brown was born.

The ICMR (Indian council of medical research) recently acknowledged that Dr Mukhopadhyay was the creator of India’s first test-tube baby. But he was prevented from carrying out further work on in vitro fertilisation and transferred away from Kolkata. He was also prevented from going to Tokyo to present a paper. Frustrated and in failing health, Mukhopadhyay killed himself on June 19, 1981.”

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