Remembering Composer Laxmikant of Laxmikant-Pyarelal

Laxmikant-Pyarelal Laxmikant died two decades back on May 25, the senior half of Hindi cinema’s most prolific, longest-lasting, most versatile and successful music composers Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Their phenomenal records included scoring the maximum songs of Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi, topping the Binaca Geet Mala Annual countdown the maximum number of times in their 36 year career and having the maximum signature tunes (songs that are the first to be thought of for any star, like Dimple Kapadia’s “Hum Tum Ek Kamre Mein Band Ho” from “Bobby”).

It is common knowledge in the industry that of the two perfectly complementary talents, Laxmikant would compose the melody, rehearse the singers and look after the business angles, while Pyarelal would package the song and record it. Quite naturally, these were no watertight compartments. And together they were complete.


A lesser-known aspect of their music was their use of actors and actresses, leading as well as supporting artistes, as singers. Of course, in many cases, they only had interpolations made during the rendition, but in many cases, they also sang. In any case, the pitch and key would have to be taught and maintained during the live recording, where, for example, a Mohammed Rafi would be singing with Amitabh Bachchan or a Kishore Kumar with Hema Malini.

Amitabh Bachchan sang “Chal Mere Bhai” (“Naseeb”) with Mohammed Rafi as Rishi Kapoor’s voice. It is said that Rafi was as thrilled as a child at the prospect of recording with Bachchan, for whom he has sung more songs with L-P than under any other composer. And yes, Rishi Kapoor also voiced a portion here.

Bachchan also recited the famous nonsensical English portions “The coefficient of the linear is juxtaposition” in the epic “My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves” in “Amar Akbar Anthony.” The Easter song, a tribute by Pyarelal to his guru Anthony Gonsalves, had Kishore Kumar singing the regular segment.

And in 1992, Bachchan recited the “Khuda Gawah” theme in his home production “Khuda Gawah.”

Dilip Kumar sang the long introductory portion of “Ae Sanam Tere Liye” (“Karma”), which was a sing-song intonation. Mohammed Aziz sang the rest of the portion for him, with Kavita Krishnamurthi Subramaniam as co-singer.

Shashi Kapoor vocalized some passages in three of their songs, “Yashomati Maiyya Se” (with Lata Mangeshkar for Zeenat Aman and the actress herself speaking) in “Satyam Shivam Sundaram,” with Lata again in “Hum Kahaan Kho Gaye” in “Vakil Baboo” (again for Aman) and with Asha Bhosle in “Main To Beghar Hoon” (“Suhaag”).

Shatrughan Sinha rendered the last line of “Aa Bataa De Ke Tujhe Kaise Jeeya Jaata Hai” (“Dost”) with Mohammed Rafi singing for Dharmendra and Lata Mangeshkar for Hema Malini. And Sinha rendered “Aisi Waisi Na Samajh Sajna” (with Asha Bhosle) for “Jaani Dushman.”

Hema Malini herself sang “Hua Kya Agar Tu Zaraa Bewafa Hai” in her home production “Dream Girl” with Kishore Kumar.  Raakhee too sang a portion of another Kishore Kumar duet “Teri Nindiya Ko Lag Jaaye Aag Re” in “Taaqat,” again her home production.


Mehmood was another favorite as he was involved in several L-P numbers. Heading the popular list was “Yeh Kaisa Aaya Zamana,” from the Jeetendra home production “Humjoli,” the brilliantly variegated song for Mehmood in a triple role, rendered by Mukesh, Kishore Kumar and Mehmood himself, In an uncanny resemblance to real-life, Mehmood droned in a Prithviraj Kapoor-Esque voice for his old avatar, Mukesh sang for the father who spoke and sang like Raj Kapoor, while Kishore Kumar was the voice of the young swinger son.

And the best part was that “Kal Aaj Aur Kal” starring both of them with Raj Kapoor’s son Randhir Kapoor was still 18 months away, with no way of knowing in advance that Kishore would be his near-permanent voice!

Mehmood also sang in other L-P films: “Patthar Ke Sanam” (with Rafi for Manoj Kumar), “Anari” (1975) with Kishore for Shashi Kapoor, “Pyar Mohabbat” (1988) and in the popular “Mehbooba Mehbooba” with Rafi singing most of the song for him. This was in his 1968 home production “Sadhu Aur Shaitan.”

Leena Chandavarkar told this writer that she regretted reaching the recording studio late as a fan of Kishore when L-P wanted her to interpolate a few lines in the hit song “Gham Ka Fasana” in “Manchali” (1974). Of course, she never knew she would marry him one day!

Jackie Shroff voiced a few lines in the Manhar-Sudesh Bhosle duet “Chhat Ke Oopar Do Kabutar” in “Dil Hi To Hai” (1993) with both singers vocalizing for “two” Shroffs. And while Shabbir Kumar sang “Tere Bin Main Nahin” in “Woh 7 Din” for the hero Anil Kapoor, Kapoor, Padmini Kolhapure and child artiste Master Raju also recited a few lines. Jeetendra similarly voiced a few words in his home production “Jyoti Bane Jwala” (with Lata Mangeshkar in “Kisi Din Uth Gaya Jo Mera Haath”).

Of course, beginning with Kishore Kumar (also an actor, who sang for himself in “Mr X In Bombay,” “Hum Sab Ustad Hain,” “Shreeman Funtoosh” and “Pyar Kiye Jaa.”) Laxmikant-Pyarelal also used other actor-singers like Shailendra Singh (never for himself as no film of theirs starred him), Sulakshana Pandit (for herself in “Thief Baghdad,” “Phaansi,’ “Apnapan” and “Amar Shakti”) and Salma Agha (in “Pati Patni Aur Tawaif”). Kishore, of course, had a limitless array of hits for them as a singer, and Pandit, who also sang playback for other artistes, had her own hits “Jab Aati Hogi Yaad Teri” in “Phaansi” and “Somvar Ko Hum Mile” in “Apnapan” as an actress.

L-P also scored Talat Aziz’s home production “Dhun,” in which he was the hero as well. Though the film never released, it was one of their best works in the 1990s and was directed by Mahesh Bhatt. Another Bhatt film was “Naam,” in which Pankaj Udhas sang the cult and compulsory (for every one of his concerts) “Chiithi Aayi Hai” even on screen.

Another such example was of the Sufi number “Beshak Mandir Masjid Todo” sung and filmed on Narendra Chanchal in “Bobby,” while Jani Babu Qawwal enacted his portion of the multi-singer “Mehangai Maar Gayi” from “Roti Kapada Aur Makaan” that topped the 1975 Binaca Geet Mala. Punjabi folk sensation Gurdas Maan also sang and enacted “Jag Mein Kya Tha” in the 1988 “Patthar Dil.”

L-P also had an affinity for supporting actors and comedians as voices—these ranged from veterans to the ‘80s and ‘90s names that were relatively new in their time. Here is the list that rounds off this unique aspect of their career:

I. S. Johar: “Bade Miyan Deewane” and “Duniya Pagal Hai” (“Shagird”)

Birbal: “Raj Kapoor Si Neeli Aankhen” (“Maa Aur Mamta”)

Rajendra Nath: “Babloo Miyan Jao Tum Bade Woh Ho” (“Jeet”)

Mukri: “Tayyab Ali Pyar Ka Dushman” (“Amar Akbar Anthony”)

Johny Lever: “Bhoot Raja” (“Chaalbaaz”)

Amrish Puri: “Aaj Bachna Hai Mushkil” (“Saki Haatimtai”)

Mangal Dhillon: “Suno Suno Ae Gaon Ke” (“Yugandhar”)


Raga Based Gems from SD Burman

The King of Manipur and married the princess of the royal family of Tripura. They had five children. When the youngest prince was born on 1st October 1906. The prince was named Sachin. He was barely two years old, his mother passed away. Sachin grew up in boarding schools but his obsession was music.

SD Burman

1924 after graduation he decided to get trained in music. The legendary musician KC Dey was the first musical guru for SD Burman. He also learned from Bhishmadev Chattopadhyay and Ustad Allauddin Khan. SD Burman was a very successful composer and singer in Bengali cinema when he decided to move to Bombay to try his luck as a composer for Hindi films – a language he barely knew. He brought in the sound of folk music of the East to Bollywood. I would love to know which five songs of SD you would choose as the finest examples of folk music in popular melodies?

Today I want to play some raga based gems composed by SD.

1. Raga Jhinjhoti: The film Guide (1965) has a few raga based gems. SD was nominated for the Filmfare award for the Best Music Director but never won. This film has two Jhinjhoti based songs – Kya se Kya Ho Gaya and my favorite, Saiyyan Beiman is one of the finest examples of this evening raga.
2. Raga Patdeep: This raga sounds at its best between 4pm and 6pm and depicts the pangs of separation from the beloved. SD used it in the film Sharmilee. The song Megha Chhaye Aadhi Raat is a good example of Rag Patdeep. The song begins with a Western sound and then moves to a classical sound with the sitar leading. The antara has  a small segment of the Rabindra Sangeet Laho laho tule laho in the antara.

Megha Chhaye Aadhi Raat
3. Raga Pilu: During the years 1958-62, SD Burman and Lata Mangeshkar parted ways. During this time Asha Bhosle sang one of the finest examples of Raga Pilu. According to folklore, SD Burman asked him to imagine the feeling of isolation and homesickness a woman feels when she is not allowed by her in-laws to visit her parents.

4. Chhayanat: This is a late evening raga that sounds its melodious best between 8pm and 10pm at night. SD Burman gave us one of the gems that Manna Dey sang to perfection. This song from Talash is one such example

Learn More:- Top 50 Bollywood Songs of the 70s and 80s

5. Ahir Bhairav: According to legend, this raga was inspired by the sound of the cowbells as the Ahirs take their cattle to the fields to graze. Read more about the Charm of Ahir Bhairav This song. Puchho Na Kaise Maine Rain Bitayi written by lyricist Shailendra and set to Raga Ahir Bhairav by SD Burman and sung by Manna Dey for the film Meri Surat Teri Ankhen (’63) will always remain the best example of this raga being used in Bollywood.Let me end with a small quiz:
This Raga Pahadi based hit Bengali song was later adapted by SD for Dev Anand’s film Prem Pujari. It is the MOST popular song sung by Kishore Kumar fans. Name the Bengali song.
For the answer listen to the first track in this compilation of SD compositions.


Top 50 Bollywood Songs of the 70s and 80s

The 70s and 80s were decades that became trend setters for Hindi films. Song and dance in films changed dramatically in these colorful decades. Here’s a comprehensive showcase of the best Bollywood songs of the 70s and 80s.

With the 70s arrived a gamut of changes in the Hindi film industry. The song and dance sequences continued to trend like in past decades, however, a new sound emerged bringing in diverse musical influences from the west. The 70s fueled a new indo-western sound that went onto become an integral part of Bollywood. Slow songs and fast-tempo songs were popular in the 70s. While the number of playback singers in the Hindi film industry was few in the 70s, it all changed in the 80s. The 80s spawned a new era for playback singers in Bollywood.

A number of singers owe it to the 80s for kick starting their careers.

Bollywood in the 80s

The 80s showcased the Hindi film industry in a new glam avatar. New movie genres emerged bringing in new sounds. Few disco songs became exceedingly popular in late 70s and early 80s. The trend of mixed tapes became magnanimous in the 80s. Record labels released a numerous song compilations from Hindi films of the 70s and 80s. Furthermore, ‘Greatest Hits’ compilations and ‘Best Of’ compilations of playback singers became excessively popular in the glam 80s. In this decade every lower middle class and middle class home in India had a tape recorder playing songs from Hindi films.


A number of music directors established a firm foothold in Bollywood in the 80s. Also, the trend of musical duo music directors became huge in the 80s bringing in fresh new soundscapes to songs. Many music companies started releasing songs from two Hindi films on side- A and side- B of tapes. This marketing strategy to sell music soundtracks became popular in the 80s. Furthermore, if you’ve travelled in a rickshaw or taxi in the 80s you would be familiar with ‘Jhankar Beats’ which emerged as a legal way of producing low cost tapes without breaking copyright laws.

Read More:- 25 Romantic Hit Songs of Kishore Kumar

Typically drum beats and additional instruments were added to existing songs producing vague remix of beats while retaining the original vocals and music. Majority of taxis and rickshaws across India had ‘Jhankar Beat’ songs playing in the 80s for travelers. While the ‘Jhankar Beat’ trend fizzled out with the emergence of remixes in the 90s, it did spark a figment of imagination among the masses. Songs of the 70s and 80s have made moments beautiful and they continue to make memories associated with nostalgia grand.

The lines below showcase a list of the best Bollywood songs of the 70s and 80s

100 Greatest Songs of the 70s and 80s

  1. Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas- Black Mail (1973)
  2. Gazab Ka Hai Din- Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988)
  3. Dil Deewana- Maine Pyar Kiya (1989)
  4. Chingari Koi Bhadke- Amar Prem (1972)
  5. Ae Mere Humsafar- Qamayat Se Qamayat Tak (1988)
  6. Aanewala Pal- Golmaal (1978)
  7. Saagar Kinare Dil Ye Pukare – Saagar(1985)
  8. Dil Kya Kare- Julie (1975)
  9. Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho- Hanste Zakhm (1973)
  10. Har Kisi Ko Nahi Milta- Jaanbaz (1986)
  11. Neele Neele Ambar Par- Kalakaar (1983)
  12. Mera Jeevan Kora Kagaz- Kora Kagaz (1974)
  13. Aaja Shaam Hone Aayee- Maine Pyar Kiya (1989)
  14. Do Lafzon Ki Hai Dil Ki Kahani- The Great Gambler (1979)
  15. Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Mein- Kabhi Kabhi (1976)
  16. Mujhe Neend Na Aaye- Dil (1989)
  17. Main Shayar To Nahin- Bobby- (1973)
  18. Humein Tumese Pyaar Kitna- Kudrat (1981)
  19. Kahin Door Jab Din Dhal Jaaye- Anand (1971)
  20. Agar Tum Na Hote- Agar Tum Na Hote (1983)
  21. Jaaane Kahan Gaye Woh Din- Mera Naam Joker (1970)
  22. Papa Kehthe Hain Bada Naam Karega- Qamayat Se Qamayat Tak (1988)
  23. Dard-E-Dil- Karz (1980)
  24. Gum Hai Kisi Ke Pyar Mein- Raampur Ka Lakshman (1972)
  25. Tujhse Naraz- Masoom (1983)
  26. Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli- Anand (1971)
  27. Tere Bina Zindagi Se Koi- Aandhi (1975)
  28. Aaya Mausam Dosti Ka- maine Pyar Kiya (1989)
  29. Yeh Kya Hua Kaise Hua- Amar Prem (1972)
  30. Yeh Shaam Mastani- Kati Patang (1970)
  31. Dum Maro Dum- Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971)
  32. Geet Gaata Hoon Main- Lal Patthar (1971)
  33. Mere Rang Mein Rangane Wali- Maine Pyar Kiya (1989)
  34. Akele Hain Toh Kya Gum Hain- Qamayat Se Qamayat Tak (1988)
  35. Hum Bewafa Hargiz Na The- Shalimar (1978)
  36. Saathi Re- Muqaddar Ka Sikandar (1978)
  37. Chhookar Mere Man Ko Kiya Toone Kya Ishaara- Yaarana (1981)
  38. Rim Jhim Gire Sawan- Manzil (1972)
  39. Zindagi Ka Safar- Safar (1970)
  40. Phoolo Ka Taaro Ka- Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971)
  41. Aaj Mausam Bada Beimaan Hai- Loafer (1973)
  42. Yeh Dosti Hum Nahin Todenge- Sholay (1975)
  43. Jawani Jan E- Man- Namak Halaal (1982)
  44. Zindagi Ke Safar Mein- Aap Ki Kasam (1974)
  45. Teri Galiyon Mein- Hawas (1974)
  46. Chala Jata Hoon- Mere Jeevan Saathi (1972)
  47. Pyaar Manga Hai Tumhi Se- College Girl (1977)
  48. Apni To Jaise Taise- Laawaris (1981)
  49. Tum Itna Jo Muskura Rahe Ho- Arth (1982)
  50. Bheegi Bheegi Raaton Mein- Ajanabee (1974)

25 Romantic Hit Songs of Kishore Kumar

This is a compilation of 25 greatest romantic songs sung by Kishore Kumar. It contains many moods and flavors of romance, of different era- 1960s, the 70s, and 80s.

Kishore Kumar

Songs have always been an integral part of Bollywood movies. They act as a soul and guiding light to the screenplay. 50% of the movies produced in Bollywood are romantic in nature and hence millions of songs have been created to depict romance and its many moods in Indian cinema. These songs are played in marriage and birthday parties, lounges and restaurant, proposals and candlelight dinners thus elevating the gravity of the situation.

Read More- Cask is King!

Kishore Kumar has been an absolute favorite since childhood and has listened to his songs on repeat a zillion times. I have always loved romantic songs sung by the great man and here I am mentioning my list of top 25 romantic songs sung by Kishore Kumar so that readers can also listen and appreciate them:

25 Best Songs of Kishore Kumar

  1. Phoolon ke rang se, dil ki kalam se – Prem Pujari (1970); Kishore
  2. Ye jo mohabbat hai, ye unka hai kaam – Kati Patang (1971); Kishore
  3. Mere dil ne tadap ke jab naam tera pukaara – Anurodh (1977); Kishore
  4. Hamein tumse pyaar kitna, ye ham nahi jaante – Kudrat (1981); Kishore
  5. Ye shaam mastaani, madhosh kiye jaaye – Kati Patang (1971); Kishore
  6. Mere sapno ki rani kab aayegi tu – Aradhana (1969); Kishore
  7. Aankhon mein humne aapke sapne sajaaye hai – Thodi si Bewafai (1980); Kishore, Lata
  8. Roop tera mastana – Aradhana (1969); Kishore
  9. Kucch to log kahenge – Amar Prem (1972); Kishore
  10. O Saathi re – Muqaddar ka Sikandar (1978); Kishore
  11. Dekha ek Khwab to ye silsile hue- Silsila (1981); Lata, Kishore
  12. Tere mere milan ki ye raina – Abhimaan (1973); Lata, Kishore
  13. Badi sooni sooni hai – Mili (1975); Kishore
  14. Aaye tum yaad mujhe – Mili (1975); Kishore
  15. Koi hota jisko apna keh lete – Mere Apne (1971); Kishore
  16. Aankhon mein kaajal hai – Doosra Aadmi (1977); Kishore, Lata
  17. Chal kaheen door nikal jaaye – Doosra Aadmi (1977); Kishore, Lata, Rafi
  18. O hansini, meri hansini – Zehreela insaan (1974); Kishore
  19. Dar-e-dil, dard-e-jigar – Karz (1980); Kishore
  20. Pal pal dil ke paas – Blackmail (1973); Kishore
  21. Bhool gaya sab kuch – Julie (1975); Kishore
  22. Aap ki ankhon mein kuch – Ghar (1978); Kishore, Lata
  23. Ghum hai kisi ke pyaar mein – Rampur ka laxman (1972); Lata, Kishore
  24. Dil Kya Kare Jab Kisi se Kisi ko Pyar ho jaaye – Julie (1975); Kishore
  25. O mere dil ke chainn – Mere Jeevan Saathi (1972); Kishore