Nepal, a land of cultural richness and diversity, has given birth to a myriad of artistic expressions. In the realm of music, few bands have achieved the iconic status and enduring popularity that 1974 AD has enjoyed. Let's take a journey through the musical odyssey of this legendary band that has left an indelible mark on the Nepali music scene.
- Phiroj Shyangden
- Adrian Pradhan
- Nirakar Yakthumba Limbu
- Manose Singh
- Manoj Kumar KC
- Sanjay Kumar Shrestha
Formation and Early Years
1974 AD was formed in the early 1990s, a period marked by political and social changes in Nepal. The band's name, a nod to the Western calendar, reflects both a global perspective and a commitment to creating timeless music. The original lineup consisted of Phiroj Shyangden, Nirakar Yakthumba, Bhanu A, and Subash Kunwar, with later additions that contributed to the band's evolving sound. In the beginning, the band performed a variety of musical styles, including hard rock, heavy metal, rock, and blues. For the most part, the band played original music. Their first album, "Time Out," featured the popular song "Mayaluleh," which made the band 1974 AD well-known.
In the winter of 1994, Flames, a hard rock band from Kalimpong played their maiden show at Dasharath Stadium in Kathmandu. They essentially performed covers of Iron Maiden, Metallica, Extreme, and other rock bands' songs. Adrian Pradhan, their future band member sang and played rhythm guitar in the Flames. Adrian's singing has a hint of early heavy metal influence. Adrian joined 1974 AD in 1994, first joining the group as a pianist. Since 1998, Adrian has been a regular member of the group, contributing as a drummer, harmonica player, and singer. Another future band menber percussionist Sanjay Shrestha, was a member of the Nepali fusion rock group Shristi.
Manoj K.C, a local guitar enthusiast from Dhobighat, Lalitpur, joined 1974 AD in the late nineties to round out the roster. When combined, they would create a powerful act that would win over millions of loyal supporters.
What sets 1974 AD apart is its ability to seamlessly blend genres, creating a distinctive fusion that resonates with a wide audience. The band's music incorporates elements of rock, blues, jazz, funk, and traditional Nepali tunes, resulting in a sound that is both eclectic and uniquely Nepali. Popular songs in Nepali pop culture, their compositions feature lyrics on love and togetherness among Nepalis, self-confidence as a Nepali, and patriotism. At times of significant changes in the nation, such as political upheaval and other major occurrences, they have composed songs that have served to bring the country together and communicate shared emotions. Although the lyrics and meaning of the songs can be melodious, they are also often incredibly dark.
The band's discography boasts a string of chart-topping hits that have become anthems for multiple generations. Songs like "Sambodhan," "Yo Mann Ta Mero Nepali Ho," and "Nepali" not only showcase the band's musical prowess but also capture the spirit of the times, addressing societal issues and expressing the collective sentiment of the Nepali people.
1996 - Time Out
1998 - Samjhi Baschu
2001 - Satabdi
2002 - Jungi Nishan
2002 - Limited Edition
2004 - Pinjada Ko Suga
2007 - On Air
2010 - Aath Athara
2016 - Hazaar Sapana
2019 - Nirantarta
New Line Up And Reunion
Over the years, 1974 AD has weathered changes in the music industry, lineup adjustments, and shifts in popular taste. Yet, the band's resilience and commitment to quality have allowed it to remain relevant. For personal reasons, Phiroj Shyangden has left the band. It is hardly unexpected that a lot of fans, some more than others, feel let down by the band's sound and image. The band is still searching for a fresh sound, though, with Adrian on vocals and Sanjay on drums. The audience has responded favorably to their album, 8:18 (aath:athara). A few tracks on the album, including Timi Bina, Bardaan, and Rain Song, stood out and won. But a major blow to the band's most recent album was Phiroj Shyangnden's departure, who was both a vital component of the group and Nepal's most influential guitarist.
1974 AD reappeared with new faces to record a new studio album, following a six-year hiatus. For personal reasons, Adrian and Phiroj departed the band; Rohit John Chettri, the singer, and Prajjwal Mukhiya, the pianist, took their places. The group also had a new horn section, featuring trumpeter Jacko Wacko and trombone player Pratik Baniya. To promote their recently recorded album, Hazaar Sapana, they embarked on a US tour and the WAVE 'Rock The Nation' Tour. The band announced their reunion with its original lineup, which included Phiroj Shyangden, Adrian Pradhan, Manoj Kumar KC, Nirakar Yakthumba, and Sanjay Shrestha, at an event titled "Nirantarta" that was held at Moksh, Jhamshikhel, Kathmandu, Nepal, on July 8, 2019. Each era of 1974 AD's music tells a unique story, reflecting the evolution of the band and its members.
Beyond the stage and recording studio, 1974 AD has actively engaged in social causes. The band's members have lent their voices to issues such as peace, unity, and social justice. Through their music and advocacy, they have become not just musical icons but also influential figures in the broader social landscape. As the band celebrates its decades-long journey, the legacy of 1974 AD continues to inspire aspiring musicians and fans alike. The torchbearers of Nepali rock, the band's influence can be heard in the work of subsequent generations of artists, ensuring that their musical legacy endures.
In conclusion, 1974 AD stands as a testament to the power of music to transcend boundaries and capture the spirit of a nation. With its genre-defying sound, socially conscious lyrics, and enduring popularity, the band remains an integral part of Nepal's cultural fabric, inviting new generations to discover the magic of their timeless melodies.
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