Greatest Bollywood Soundtracks – Part II

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Posted on May 25th, 2009 in Features, Music

Well, we here at BollySpice stay true to our promises and as we promised we return with the second part of our musical journey that pays tribute to those albums that stole our hearts in the 80s, 90s and the millennium!

1980s

1. Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988)

09may greatest music01 Greatest Bollywood Soundtracks   Part IIBetter known as the movie that shot Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla to fame, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak was also brought stardom to Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik. Possibly the biggest album in Anand-Milind’s career, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak surprisingly only has 5 tracks, all of them chartbusters. ‘Papa Kehte Hain’,’ Ae Mere Humsafar’, ‘Kahe Sataye’, ‘Gazab Ka Hai Din’ and ‘Akele Hai Toh Kya Gham Hai’, each track a masterpiece. It just goes to show that at the end of day quality trumps quantity.

2. Maine Pyaar Kiya (1989)

Despite having some unoriginal compositions, Maine Pyaar Kiya’s soundtrack is a force to be reckoned with. One of Ram-Laxman’s most successful albums, it is has Lata Mageshkar and S P Balasubramanium singing for the female and male leads respectively. Despite ‘Aate Jaate’ being inspired from Stevie Wonder’s ‘I Just Called To Say I Love You’, and ‘Mere Rang Mein Rangnewali’ from ‘The Final Countdown’, both tracks went on to be loved by all. The film has two title songs, ‘Aate Jaate’ and ‘Maine Pyaar Kiya,’ the former being more popular than the latter. ‘Aaja Sham Hone Ayi’, ‘Kabutar Ja Ja’ and ‘Dil Deewana’ were the other immensely popular tracks. Also hugely successful was the ‘Antakshri’ track, a compilation of famous Bollywood songs for the purpose of the game of Antakshri. Considered the most successful soundtrack of 1989, Maine Pyaar Kiya bagged the Best Lyricist, Best Music and Best Playback Singer(Male) award at the Filmfares.

3. Karz (1980)

09may greatest music02 Greatest Bollywood Soundtracks   Part IISubhash Ghai movies have always had great music, Rishi Kapoor starrer Karz was no exception and earned music directors Laxmikant-Pyarelal a Filmfare for Best Music. The top-achievers of the album were obviously ‘Om Shanti Om’, ‘Ek Hasina Thi’ and ‘Dard-e-dil’ that became extremely popular. The cute ‘Main Solah Baras Ki’ and the energetic ‘Paisa Paisa’ were also delightful. Karz successfully introduced disco into Indian Music and for that India will be forever in karz of Karz.

4. Umrao Jaan (1981)

Considered to the best of the 80s, Khayym’s Umrao Jaan is as classical as classics get. Asha Bhosle sings for Umrao Jaan and her every single rendition is mind-blowing. From the amazing ‘Dil Cheez Hai Kya’ to the highly acclaimed ‘In Aankhon Ki Masti’, from the incredible ‘Justuju Jiski Thi’ to the heartbreaking ‘Yeh Kya Jagah Hai Doston’, each song is just brilliant. It comes as no surprise that Khayym bagged a Filmfare for Best Music. Other songs such as ‘Jhoola Kinne Dala’, ‘Kahe Ko Byahi Bides’, ‘Rangmala’ and ‘Zindagi Jab Bhi’ are also fine examples of Indian Music at its best.

5. Ram Lakhan (1989)

Another Subshash Ghai movie with great music is Ram Lakhan with the musical-lyrical team of Laxmikant-Pyarelal and Anand Bakshi. Ram Lakhan is a typical Bollywood album, loud, romantic and overly melodramatic. It was a clear insight into what the 90s held for Bollywood Music. The energetic ‘My Name is Lakhan’ is just unforgettable and succinctly sums up Lakhan for you. The romantic ‘Tera Naam Liya’, ‘My Hoon Woh Hero’ and ‘Mere Do Anmol Ratan’ are all brilliantly composed and well-penned. They serve as songs that both entertain and move the movie’s narrative forward. However, the song that is most magnificent of the lot is Lataji’s ‘Ramji Bada Dukh Dina’. It is unique, with great musical arrangements and of course brilliantly picturised on Madhuri Dixit. Ram Lakhan is pure entertainment.

1990s

1. Dil Se (1998)

09may greatest music03 Greatest Bollywood Soundtracks   Part IIA R Rahman gave some mind blowing soundtracks in the 90s but Dil Se takes the cake, the cake being the Filmfare for Best Music. With only 5 tracks, Dil Se took Indian Music to a whole new level. With the lyrical genius Gulzar behind the score, every single song is just out of this world. Sukwinder Singh and Swapna Awasti’s ‘Chaiya Chaiya’ became the biggest hit of the year and went down in history as one of the most entertaining songs of Indian Cinema. ‘Chaiya Chaiya’ also earned Gulzar a Filmfare for Best Lyricist while Sukwinder Singh bagged the Filmfare for Best Playback Singer (Male). The title song sung by Rahman itself is pure genius while Sonu Nigam re-invented himself in ‘Satrangi’. Lata Mageshkar’s ‘Jiya Jale’ leaves you speechless, the songs shining moment being the exotic foreign lyrics interwoven with Lata’s heavenly vocals. Nonetheless, the most applause-worthy song of the lot is Udit Narayan’s ‘Ae Ajnabi’. Relegated to simple mediocre songs about chunaris etc, Udit wows listeners with this number. He weaves through the complex melody with utmost ease, his haunting vocals heavy with melancholy.

2. Dilwale Dhulaniya Le Jayenge (1995) and Dil To Pagal Hai (1997)

Yash Raj’s two most successful films of the 90s, Dilwale Dhulaniya Le Jayenge and Dil To Pagal Hai both have remarkable soundtracks and serve as landmarks of a modern Indian Cinema.

09may greatest music04 Greatest Bollywood Soundtracks   Part IIThe longest running film of Indian Cinema, Dilwale Dhulaniya Le Jayenge is considered to be modern classic. Music directors Jatin-Lalit became the 90s’ top composers after audiences could not get enough of ‘Tujhe Dekha Toh Yeh Jaana Sanam’,’Mere Khawbon Mein Jo Aaye’ and ‘Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna’. Just like ‘Darr’ and ‘Baazigar’, ‘Tujhe Dekha Toh’ became one of Shahrukh Khan’s trademark tunes. ‘Ruk Ja O Dil Deewane’ and ‘Zara Jhoom Lo Main’, though not equally popular as the three above are still entertaining and well-composed. ‘Ho Gaya Tujhko To Pyaar Sajana’ has to be best of the lot because the lyrics so beautifully mirror the characters’ emotions. The way Lata and Udit effortlessly jump from emotional verses to playfully joyous ones is one of the many reasons why the song works so well. Highly underrated is ‘Ghar Aaya Pardes’i that succinctly and poetically summarises the woes of one far away from one’s motherland.

Yash Chopra’s musical Dil To Pagal Hai, also somewhat of a modern classic had music by Uttam Singh. The highest point in Uttam Singh’s musical career, Dil To Pagal Hai has entertaining tunes from start to finish and also won a Filmfare for Best Music. The album commences with Asha Bhosle’s racey ‘Le Gayi Le Gayi’ followed by the beautiful ‘Bholi Se Surat’ and ‘Pyar Kar’ and the infectiously catchy ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’. Then came the sweet and simple ‘Koi Ladki Hai’, followed by the unforgettable ‘Are Re Are’ and ends melodiously with ‘Dholna’. Surprisingly invisible for a song used in the opening credits was the beautiful ‘Ek Duje Ke Vaste’ that summed up the movie’s concept of everyone having a someone out there that has been created just for them.

Dil To Pagal Hai and Dilwale Dhualniya Le Jayenge gave the 90s some of its greatest love songs and in doing so became love legends.

3. Hum Aapke Hai Kaun…! (1994)

What makes Hum Aapke Hai Kaun special is this Ram-Laxman creation has songs for all occasions. Choosing songs for Indian weddings have become as easy as ABC. Just put in Hum Aapke Hai Kaun in the CD Player. ‘Wah Wah Ramji’, ‘Joote Do Paise Lo’, ‘Didi Tera Devar’, ‘Lo Chali Main’, and ‘Samdhi-Samdhan’ have got all your wedding functions covered. It even has a tear jerking bidaai song, ‘Babul’, where the bride bids farewell to her family members. That’s not all. Hum Aapke Hai Kaun also has the most beautiful love songs. You cannot get any more romantic than ‘Pehla Pehla Pyaar Hai’ and ‘Tujhse Juda Hokar’. ‘Maine Mayi’, ‘Yeh Mausam Ka Jadoo’ and ‘Chocolate Lime Juice’ are also highly entertaining while ‘Dikhtana’s’ got post-marital events such as the birth of the first child covered. However, it’s the title song that has a magical melody. ‘Hum Aapke Hai Kaun’ aside from being a god-send to wedding planners, is one of Indian Cinema’s most entertaining and successful soundtracks ever.

4. 1942: A Love Story (1994)

09may greatest music05 Greatest Bollywood Soundtracks   Part IIR D Burman’s last album, 1942: A Love Story was released after the passing away of legend. It walked away with all four Filmfare Music Awards. Kumar Sanu won Best Playback Singer(Male) for the beautifully written ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha’, for which Javed Akhtar won Best Lyricist. That song has to be the most flattering love song ever written about a female lead. Kavita Krishnamurti won Best Playback Singer (Female) for the melodious ‘Pyar Hua Chupke Se’. Kumar Sanu’s ‘Kuch Naa Kaho’ and ‘Rooth Na Jaana’ were also excellently composed and very popular. RDB’s last offering is as magnificent as ever reminding us all that he is still the Boss!

5. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999)

The 90s was full of mediocre tracks that all sounded alike which is why Ismail Darbar’s epic score for Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam is considered as almost a revolutionary soundtrack. Whether its K.K’s intense ‘Tadap Tadap Ke’ or the energetic ‘Dholi Taaro’, the music of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam in mind-blowing. While dance and masti tracks such as ‘Nimooda’, ‘Kaipoche’ and ‘Manmohini’ were entertaining, it is the emotionally charged romantic numbers that make Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam a masterpiece: the haunting title song, the award-winning ‘Chand Chupa’ (Filmfare for Best Playback Singer Male: Udit Narayan) and melodious ‘Aankhon Ki Gustakiyan’. However, the truly outstanding numbers have to be Hariharan’s ‘Jhowka Hawa Ka’. What Mehboob’s brilliant lyrics combined with Ismail’s endearing musical arrangements created was extraordinary. In a way Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’s magnificence was the reason why Ismail did not create anything as magical ever again because he had already given his heart and soul to Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam.

2000s

1. Rang De Basanti (2006)

09may greatest music06 Greatest Bollywood Soundtracks   Part IIWhile A R Rahman is known to give audiences outstanding musical pieces, with Rang De Basanti he created something truly out of the ordinary. Rahman captured the million faces of Rang De Basanti with utmost ease and at the same time gave a soundtrack that captured the hearts of millions. Whether it be the heart pumping title song, the youthful ‘Patshala’, or the fun-filled ‘Khalbali’, Rahman struck gold. However, the real winners of the soundtrack are Rahman and Lata Mangeshkar’s ‘Lukka Chuppi’ and Mohit Chauhan’s ‘Khoon Chala’. The emotions packed in these two numbers was incredible, especially the mother-son relationship invoked by Lata and Rahman. Then there was the lyrically fantastic ‘Roobaro’ sung by the extremely talented Naresh Iyer who also rendered the romantic ‘Tu Bin Bataye’ alongside Madhusree. Iyer’s rendition of ‘Roobaroo’ earned him the R D Burman Award for New Musical Talent. The music of Rang De Basanti is an unforgettable experience.

2. Dil Chahta Hai (2001)

They may churn out chartbusters on a daily basis, but no one can forget Shankar-Eshaan-Loy’s Dil Chahta Hai, the shining moment of the trio’s career. Shankar-Eshaan-Loy introduced contemporary Indian Music to audiences and made us realise that Bollywood does not need to be confined to dhols and tablas while singing about chunaris and duppattas. They literally took Indian Cinema into a new era of music and that earned them the R D Burman Award for New Musical Talent at 2002 Filmfare Awards. Equipped with Javed Akhtar’s finest lyrics, Dil Chahta Hai is winner all the way. After Sholay’s ‘Yeh Dosti’, it was title song of ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ that re-captured the magic friendship. ‘Koi Kahen’, while being a youthful cry for the film’s young protagonists, also can be seen a SEL’s personal war-cry, announcing that they are newcomers and everything about them is brand-spanking-new. ‘Koi Kahen’ also earned Shaan a Filmfare for Best Playback Singer (Male). SEL was not just a trio of hyped up musicians, they could deliver quality music, equivalent to the caliber of India’s yesteryear legends. This was proven by the beautiful ‘Kaisi Hai Yeh Rut’, the heart-breaking ‘Tanhaiye’ and the highly entertaining ‘Woh Ladki Hai Kahan’. Of course, the real gem was ‘Jaane Kyun’, a beautiful, simple, conversational number with the divine jodi of Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik who won Best Playback singer (Female) for this track. Dil Chahta Hai is without a doubt one of the millennium’s winning soundtracks.

3. Rock On!! (2008)

09may greatest music07 Greatest Bollywood Soundtracks   Part IINot only is Rock On!! India’s first Rock film but it sees its lead actor, Farhan Akhtar, singing his own songs in the film. Farhan, who underwent serious training with Shankar Mahadevan, plays the lead singer of a rock band in Rock On!! . Some stars have lent their voices for a song or two in the past but none as extensively as Farhan who sings every single song his character is singing. An acclaimed director turned actor Farhan’s singing talents were outstanding for a person who is not a trained or experienced singer. Farhan’s energetic vocals literally rock in the title song, ‘Socha Hai’, ‘Sinbad The Sailor’ and ‘Maine Pichle Saath Dinon Mein’, but it is ‘Tum Ho Toh’ that leaves you speechless. Farhan conquers the complex melody of the track with a pro-like precision as his voice. Also accompanying Farhan’s tracks are two outstanding female solos ‘Phir Dekhiye’ and ‘Yeh Tumhare Meri Baatein’. Shankar-Eshaan-Loy’s music is extraordinary, as they come up with some brilliant compositions. Rock On!! is a truly rocking album that will surely keep on rocking for generations to come.

4. Jhankaar Beats (2003)

Another musical team that had a hand in taking Indian Music to the next level is Vishal (Dadlani) and Shekhar (Ravjiani) with one of their very first soundtracks, Jhankaar Beats. Every single song in Jhankaar Beats is a work of art and earned them Filmfare RD Burman Award for New Music Talent. ‘Tu Ashiqui Hai’ has to be one of K.K’s most brilliant tracks, which according to the singer himself surpasses his famous ‘Tadap Tadap Ke’ from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, and went on to be big hit with the audiences. Then there is the award winning ‘Suno Na’ from Shaan and the melodious ‘Jab Kabhi’ by K.K and Mahalaxmi Iyer. The title track by Sudesh Bhosle is most impressive as he re-creates the voice of R D Burman. Another impressive re-creation was ‘Hume Tumse Pyaar Kitna’ sung by Amit Kumar. The yesteryear hit still had RDB’s magic present despite Vishal-Shekar giving it a modern touch. ‘Jo Gaya Woh Gaya’ and ‘Tera Muskurana’ are equally incredible if not equally well known. Jhankaar Beats sure beats the hell of out the competition.

5. Lucky (2005)

09may greatest music08 Greatest Bollywood Soundtracks   Part IIAdnaan Sami, one of India’s biggest singing sensations made his debut with Lucky. Lucky has collection of beautiful numbers with an impressive list of singers. Asha Bhosle sings the delightful ‘Lucky Lips’, a peppy teen number for the film’s 16 year old heroine while Sonu Nigam tugs those heartstrings with the endearing ‘Sun Zara’. Anuradha Paudwal and Udit Narayan sing the simply enchanting ‘Jaan Meri Jaa Rahi Sanam’ while Alka Yagnik and Sonu Nigam are heard in the entertaining ‘Chori Chori’. The real gem of the album has to be ‘Shayad Yehi To Pyaar Hai’ where Lata Mangeshkar and Adnaan Sami come together for the first time and the result is just magical. Unfortunately, Adnaan luck ran out shortly after and has yet to create an album that even comes close to Lucky.

In conclusion, I would like to leave you with some soundtracks that despite of not being listed above deserve special mention.

1) Anu Malik’s LOC-Kargil and Refugee that introduced another side of Anu Malik to us. Best Tracks: ‘Ek Saathi Aur Bhi Tha’ – LOC , ‘Paanchi Nadiya’–Refugee

2) Nadeem-Shravan’s Ashiqui is full of great tracks, probably Sameer’s best written work til date. Best Tracks: ‘Jane Jigar Jaaneman’, ‘Bas Ek Sanam Chahiye’, ‘Nazar Ke Samne’ and ‘Dheere Dheere Se’

3) Shiv-Hari gave Yash Raj some of its 80s and 90s hit songs, Chandni and Lamhe being the best of the lot. Best Tracks: ‘O Meri Chandni’ and ‘Mere Haathon Mein’ — Chandni, ‘Chudiyan Khanak Gayee’ and ‘Meri Bindiya’ – Lamhe

4) Himesh Reshamiya’s Aashiq Bantaya Aapne and Tere Naam stand out in the crowd of Himesh’s countless albums that clogged music bazaars. Best Tracks: Title Track — Aashiq Banaya Aapne, Title track and ‘Odni Od Ke’ — Tere Naam

5) Sandesh Sandaliya is probably the most underrated composer in Indian Cinema. Chameli and Socha Naa Tha are his most incredible albums. Best Track: ‘Jaane’ (Solo Sundhi Solo Version) — Chameli, ‘Yaara Rab’ and Title Song — Socha Naa Tha

6) M M Kreem composing for the Hindi Film Industry is a rare occurrence since the music director works mostly for South Indian films. When he does grace us with his talents, the results are amazing. Zakhm (1998) and Jism (2002) being the best of the best Kreem compositions. Best Tracks: ‘Gali Mein Chand’and ‘Hum Yahan Tum Yahan’ — Zakhm, ‘Jadoo Hai Nasha Hai’, ‘Chalo Tumko Lekar Chale’ and ‘Awarapan Banjarapa’n – Jism

7) Khamoshi. This Sanjay Leela Bansali movie is often forgotten but it has amazing songs from Jatin-Lalit. Best Tracks: ‘Aaj Main Upar’ and ‘Jaana Suno’

8) Life In A Metro. Pritam Chakraborty masterpiece amongst all the loud noisy tunes he usually comes up with. A few tracks have been lifted from Colombian, Pakistani and Egyptian sources but any music enthusiast knows that Pritam is not one to be very original. Best Tracks: ‘O Meri Jaan’

9) Viju Shah’s Gupt: The Hidden Truth (1997) was undoubtedly the most unique album of the 90s, second to all A R Rahman works of course. The pulsating techno beats are to die for, perfect for this edge of the seat thriller. Best Tracks: ‘Gupt Gupt Extended Mix’, ‘Yeh Pyaar Kya Hai’ and ‘Mushqil Bada Yeh Pyaar Hai’.

10) Vishal Bhardwaj was an excellent music director first and an equally acclaimed film director second, his most credible work being Omkara and U Me Aur Hum. Best Tracks: ‘Beedi’ and ‘O Saathi Re’ – Omkara, Title Track (Vishal Solo Version) and ‘Jee Lee’ — U Me Aur Hum

Now that was one hell of a count down! We hope that after this journey down memory lane you’re all rapidly editing your play lists to once again relive the magic of some of the great composers and artists that we’ve acknowledged. So without distracting you too much from this noble task we’ll sign off after this most exciting musical adventure but not before promising you of more great reads in the future! Till then, keep visiting!

Kuch Toh Bolo!

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