Radiodiffusion Internasionaal Annexe

The Silhouettes
June 24, 2008, 8:04 pm
Filed under: Pakistan


Hodge Podge

The Silhouettes were from Pakistan.

The name “Pakistan” means “Land of the Pure” in Urdu, as well as in Persian. It was coined in 1934 as “Pakstan” by Choudhary Rahmat Ali, who published it in the pamphlet Now or Never. The name represented, according to Ali, the “thirty million Muslims of PAKSTAN, who live in the five Northern Units of (British) IndiaPunjab, North-West Frontier Province. (a.k.a. Afghania), Kashmir, Sindh, and Balochistan.” The nation was founded officially as the Dominion of Pakistan in 1947 after the Partition of India, and was renamed the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in 1956.

Apparently, there was a market for traditional music played on Western instruments. Not sure who this was being marketed to, either the indigenous population or foreign tourists. But there were a number of bands that released similar records, most notable being The Fore Thoughts, The Mods and The Panthers.

Here are the liner notes:

In your hands, is the first ever stereo long playing album recorded and manufactured in Pakistan.

We present to you a top, pop local group, ‘THE SILHOUETTES’. These brilliant young contemporary musicians play tunes, some of which are folk, and were written before they were born, in such an original way as to give these melodies a new concept.

We have called the L.P. ‘THE SOUND OF THE SILHOUETTES’, mainly because we could not think of a more apt title. You will enjoy listening to the scintillating rhythms, the unique combinations of Guitar and Electric Sitar in SOFT SILHOUETTES and BHAWAIYA, the ingenious blending of vibraphone and Electric Sitar. In SOUND OF THE SILHOUETTES, you will also listen to classical numbers like RAGA AMEN and PEELO which they have played with gusto and perfection.

Versatility is a strong point of THE SILHOUETTES. In addition to featuring exciting folk tunes, they also make a point of featuring some of their own compositions in meticulous execution.

With “MAIN DIVANA” and their great performance of “SOUND OF THE SILHOUETTES” the Silhouettes are sure to become the most popular entertaining group for a long time to come.

The Silhouettes did release one other single, as the backing band for Runa and Dina Laila. But as far as I know, that was it. As for their record label, which is the only record I have seen from the region that was not on some version of EMI / HMV / RCA, Arokey Chemical Industries was taken over by the Pakistani government in 1972.

Catalog number ACI.S-I on Arokey-Records, “A product of Arokey Chemical Industries, Ltd. 3rd Floor, N.G.B. McLeod Road, Karachi”. No release date listed.




Can anyone tell me how I can hold of this classic album. I have been trying to find it but in vain.

Comment by Sagheer

They were from Karachi:; Azam Shaikh (living at that time on Khalid-bin-Waleed Road, PECHS, Karachi) was the lead guitarist, Sattar Haque was on bass ( also made the pick-up for the sitar, by hand). I don’t remember the name of the third member. They did a lot of jingles for Ads.

Comment by Shahid Haque

This band was originally from Dacca. If I’m not mistaken. Can you kindly reconfirm. It was then East Pakistan.

Comment by lmkonline

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