The journey of Bangladesh rock music industry which is also popularly known as, 'band music' began in 1963 in Chattogram. Zinga Shilpi Goshty was formed in Chattogram and was one of the pioneering bands that introduced rock music in the 1960s., Around the same time, Dhaka Iolights was formed, but today we know little about the band. Consequently, many music experts consider Zinga Shilpi Goshty the first rock band of the country.
Rock music industry of Chattogram has traversed a long way since the 60s. Back in the days, a group of college students from Chattogram College including Najma Zaman, Shaila Zaman, and their brothers Shafaat Ali Khan and Nirghat Ali Khan came together and formed Zinga Shilpi Goshty. Later, they established the gramophone centre Ipsha in Dhaka. A total of 10 musicians released their records from Ipsha.
Zinga's first song, "Tomari Jiboney," sung by Najma Zaman became popular through the BTV show "Jodi Kichhu Mone Na Koren."
Line-up of the band featured many popular artists such as Linu Billah, Kaderi Kibriya, Nazmul Abedin, Dr Faruque, Rafique, Pradip and Rehnuma Hossain.
Currently, Shafaat Ali's son Shayan Ali is keeping the legacy of the band alive from Canada along with his daughter Nazia Sharmin and son Nahia Ali.
In 1965, Albert Sukumar Mondal formed the orchestra team "The Mondal'' in Chattogram's Rahmatgonj. The line-up featured Sukumar Mondal and his daughter Stela on Hawaiian guitar. Mandol's another daughter Rita Mondal on xylophone. Mondal's younger brother would play drums and percussion. The group released two cassettes.
The same year, Jacob Dayes, who hailed from Jamal Khan Road, founded another orchestra group called Apollo orchestra. Three years later, the group was renamed to Beshuro Shilpi Goshti. After the Independence War, the group again changed its name and was called Spiderman, and the line-up was consisted of Jacob Dayes on drums and piano, Saiful Islam Swapon on lead guitar, Sarwar on drums and Sahin on bass guitar. Apollo orchestra featured heavyweight names of the rock music industry like Mohammad Ali, Ayub Bachchu, Rashidul Anwar Roton, Shila Momtaz, Janhazir Sarkar, Iqbal Haider, Pantu Bhattachariya, Saiful Mahmud Kha, Uttam Datta and Alimgir Alauddin, among others.
Spider released two albums in 1987 and 1991 respectively.
Another band was formed in 1965 by a group of youngsters who were students of St Placid's School and College. Noel and Neo Mandes and Farid Rashid founded Lightnings. First line up of the band consisted of Noel on electric guitar, Neo on accordion and Farid on bass guitar. Later on Buchi and Shakil joined the band on Congo and guitar. Fransis joined the band at some point. In 1969, the band participated in a pop music competition held at Dhaka Lions Club Hotel Continental (Ruposhi Bangla). A few years later the band disbanded and all of its activities stopped.
In 1967, another group of Chattogram College formed Bangla band Balark, featuring Jilu Khan on keyboard, Ahmed Hasnine Chowdhury on accordion and vocals, Abdur Rashid on Hawaiian guitar, Shamser Taslim on drums and Congo. Probal Chowdhury and Uma Khan performed with the band as guest artists.
Journey of Souls
In an independent Bangladesh, later Sahed Ul Alam founded a band called Shurela along with Sajed Ul Alam, Momtazul Haquw Lulu, Fariyad, and Subrata Barua Roni. Writer Mahbul Ul Alam named the band Shurela. Two years later the band was renamed to Souls which went on becoming one of the most popular bands in the history of rock music in the country.
In the formative years of the band architect Taslim Uddin Chowdhury, editor of Daily Azadi MA Malek, and journalist Mainul Alam patronized the band members in various ways.
Many veteran musicians, instrumentalists, lyricists, worked with Souls from time to time including Rondy Tomas, Lorengo Paul, Priobroto, Tapan Chowdhury, Sanu Chowdhury, Tazul Imam, Ahmed Newaz, Naquib Khan, later Rouf Chowdhury, Ayub Bachchu, Shahbaz Khan, Nasim Ali Khan, Rally Pinaro, Shamshish Kainan Shuhash, Hena Islam, Tajul Imam, Mohammad Ali, Nuruzzaman Sheikh, Dr Arif, Masum Ferdous, Tanvir Morshed, Shahid Mohammad Jongi, Konkor Chowdhury, Salahuddin Sajol, Ali Tareque, Nimai Chowdhury Rintu, Ashraf Babu, Kabir Bakul, Partha Barua, and many more.
The band released its first album, "Super Souls" in 1981 which was the first cassette album by any Bangladeshi band. "The best of Souls," "East and West," "Manush Matir Kachhakachhi" are among popular album by Souls.
After 1975 a number of good bands emerged into the music scene in Chattogram. Feelings, Rhythm 77, Runner 77, Night Crackers, Crescent Road, Ugly Boys are among those bands that changed the music scene in the 1970s.
Spark was founded in October of 1984 by a group of youngsters which included Jamal, Sohel, Shahjahan, Probal, Iqbal, Nasir, Motin, Liton, Sonjoy, Rahim, Ikram, Sabu and Gias. Spark released three cassettes which are, "Ami Bjioy Dekhechhi," "Chole Jabo Ekdin'' and "Tumi Beche Thako."
Journey of Renaissance
In 1985, renowned singer-composer-songwriterNaquib Khan formed Renaissance along with Pilu Khan, Faisal Siddique Bogi, Kazi Hablu and Mamun. So far, the band has released five albums.
Between 1987-88, a bunch of students from Chottagram Collegiate School founded the band Ocean. Line up of the band featured Mohsin on bass, late Wahidur Rahman Sachchu on lead guitar, Tanim on rhythm guitar and vocals, Pantha Kanai on drums and Azad on keyboard. The band's first album "Nilima" was released in 1990. "Sohag Chaand Bodoni Dhoni Nachoto Dekhi'' is a popular number.
First female band, Bluebird:
First female band of the country, Bluebird was formed in 1987 under the guidance of Jacob Dayes in Lal Khan Bazaar area of the port city. The band released two cassette albums-"Shoikotey Ekdin," and "Bluebird."
The band consisted of Shoma, Tina Dicosta, Shila Dayes, Anjuman, Jhumri, Ishika, Poppy, Romnoshoni, Keya, Mikta, Salma, Shimul etc.
Next year, Mainuddin Ahmed, Kader Akhand, Shonkor Roy, Imtiaz Bachchu, Mithu Saha formed Jamming. In 1979, the band members also had another band called Shoptorshi.
Journey of LRB:
One of the popular bands of the country LRB was formed in 1990 by Ayub Bachchu. In the beginning the band was called Little River Band (LRB) later which was changed to Love Runs Blind. Some of their popular album include "LRB-1," "LRB-2," "Skhukh," "Tobou," "Ghumonto Shohore," "Swapnp," "Amader," "Bisshoy," "Mon Chaile Mon Pabe," "Ochena Jibon," "Mon Achhe Naki Nai," "Sporsho'' and "Juddho."
From 1985 to 2000 was the golden time for the Chottogram rock music scene. Many bands were formed around that time. Those are--Message, Picasso, Cheers, Sustain, Stealers, Liners, Revenge, Reverb, Riders, Orpheus, City Boys, Rhythm, War Pigs, Rainbow, Lyrics, Choice, Juveniles, UR, Beatles lovers, Soft Touch, Genesis, Hearts, Green Peace, Dewdrops, Flame, In Chittagong, Linkers, Strand, Blinds Sky, Green Valley, Prism, Black Ice, November Eleven, Generation, among others.
Chittagong Musical Band Association(CMBA):
According to Chittagong Musical Band Association(CMBA) there are more than two hundred bands enlisted as members of the association. Some of the mention worthy bands are: Aswad, A-99, Aronno, Sin, Warriors, Bindu, Amus, Artonad, Ontim, Onneshon, Amithur, Heart, Borno, Warriors, Bisshorgo, Bonsai, Cactus, Cascade, Dreams, Drighima, Dishari, Ditio Prishtha, Divine, Dessert, Escape, Earth, Energy Soul, Pherari, Faith, Freedom, Gypsy, Heaven, Relation, Juvenile, LSB, Liners, Millennium, Mukhosh, Mangrove, Nexus, Avtrack, Oshomoy, Pleasure Rock, Prantor, Roses, SickroScent, Shororitu, Soldiers, Swapno, Trim, Soave, Sargam, Shadow, Sky Touch, Shimantohin, Rising Force, Raindrops, Rear, Rain, Rainmaker, Recital, Rebellious, Trio, Triangle, Trishnarto, Tepantor, Trantrik, Tirondaaz,Tune, Wings, Warrior, Wills, Warfare, OIRB, Future, Natai, Bandor and many more.
Many of the popular rock-stars of the country began their musical careers from Chattogram including Tapan Chowdhury, Ayub Bachchu, James, Partha Barua, S I Tutul, and Pantha Kanai, among others.