Greatest Bollywood Soundtracks – Part I

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Since the beginning of time music has been a crucial element of Indian Cinema. Bollywood without music is akin to fish out of water, day without light and body without soul. From heart-warming love duets to tear jerking melancholy tunes, from foot-tapping dance tracks to sexy item numbers, the Indian Music Industry runs parallel to its silver-screen counterpart, each lost without the other. Just imagine. Dilwale Dhulaniya Le Jayenge without ‘Tujhe Dekha To Yeh Jaana Sanam’, Sholay without its sexy ‘Mehbooba’ and the ultimate tragedy…a silent train chugging along devoid of A R Rahman’s ‘Chaiyya’.

So, keeping that in mind, BollySpice celebrates Bollywood music with a melodious, rocking, classical and orchestral collection of Bollwood’s greatest albums, right through from the dawn of Bollywood to the current evolutionary era of the 21st century. But like they say all good things come in small packages so this week we unfold the prestigious list of albums that stole our hearts away in the 50s, 60s and 70s!


1. Shree 420 (1955)

The winning pair of Shankar-Jaikishan and Raj Kapoor gave Indian Cinema its most outstanding soundtrack til date, Shree 420. ‘Pyar Hua Ikraar Hua’ became the King of romantic duets with the simple yet heart-warming lyrics. The way Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar’s vocals lovingly intertwine is almost magical. ‘Mera Joota Hai Japani’ can easily be regarded as a second anthem for India while ‘Icak Dana Bincak Dana’ and ‘Ramiya Vastavaiya’ have been immortalised as some of the best compositions of Bollywood. The same can be said for ‘Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh’ and ‘O Janewale’ which make Shree 420 a classic amongst classics.

2. Barsaat

Barsaat saw the debut of maestros Shankar-Jaikishen and was the launch pad for Lata Mangeshkar. One wonders whether these debutants knew that they were changing the face of Indian Music forever. There are absolutely no words to describe ‘Hawa Mein Udta Jaye’. Over the years, composers have tried to create another lal dupatta but none have even come close to Lata’s lal dupatta. Watch out for the incredible introductions Shankar-Jaikishan provide for each of the tracks, especially ‘Mujhe Kisi Se Pyaar Ho Gaya’, ‘Patli Kamar Hai’ and ‘Chhodd Gaye Balam’. Then there are the unforgettable ‘Jiya Bekaraar Hai’ and ‘Barsaat Mein Hum Se Mile Tum’. Despite being a debutante Lata got the opportunity to sing seven solo songs in Barsaat and not only did she pass with flying colours but she also immortalised every single track.

3. Awara (1951)

By now it is unsurprising that the winning combination of Shankar-Jaikishan and Raj Kapoor makes it onto the list once more with Awaara. An official selection for the Cannes Film Festival and a record breaking film, Awaara is considered to be the bestselling album of the 50s. The title track ‘Awara Hoon’ and ‘Ghar Aaya Mera Pardesi’ became instant favourites but it is the gems such as ‘Dum Bhar Jo Udhar’, ‘Awaara Hoon’, ‘Hum Tujhse Mohabbat Karke’ and ‘Jab Se Balam Ghar Aaye’ that make Awaara one of Indian Cinema’s finest soundtracks.

4. Aar Paar (1954)

It goes without saying that Aar Paar effortlessly makes its way into the Bollywood Music hall of fame. This O P Nayyar gem gave us ‘Kabhi Aar Kabhi Paar’, ‘Babuji Dheere Chalna’ and ‘Yeh Lo Main Hari Piya’, songs that have remained vivid in every music enthusiast’s mind (Just look at all those pathetic attempts to remix these tracks). Geeta Dutt and Mohd Rafi won countless hearts with the playful ‘Mohabbat Karlo Ji Bhar Lo’, ‘Sun Sun Zalima’ and ‘Na Na Na Tauba’. Dutt and Rafi’s chemistry while depicting lack of chemistry is simply outstanding, hear it to believe. Aar Paar defied its very title and refrained from merely being a through and through album. It hit the bullseye and has remained there since.

5. Anari (1959)

There is no other way to describe Anari other than award-winning. It is not just a compliment either – Anari bagged the Filmfare for Best Music, Best Playback Singer Male (Mukesh) and Female (Lata). Shankar-Jaikishan did not seize to amaze with memorable tracks such as ‘Kisi Ki Muskurahton Pe’ and ‘Dil Ki Nazar Se’. The latter, a romantic duet by Mukesh and Lata, has some of the most beautiful yet very simple lyrics ever written. ‘Sub Kuchh Seekha’, ‘Tera Jana’, ‘Ban Ke Panchhi’ and ‘Woh Chand Khila’ are all equally amazing, making the Shankar-Jaikishan and Raj Kapoor team, a force to be reckoned with.


1. Guide (1965)

Waheeda Rehman and Dev Anand’s Guide bagged 7 Filmfare Awards that year but sadly missed out in the music category. This comes as a surprise since this S D Burman creation is downright brilliant. ‘Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamana Hai’ and ‘Piya Tose Naina Laage Re’ became Lata Mangeshkar’s biggest hits while ‘Gaata Rahe Mera Dil’ is still a treasured Kishore Kumar and Lata Mageshkar duet. Rafi’s ‘Tere Mere Sapne’, ‘Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya’ and ‘Din Dhal Jaye’ touches your soul even today. The amazing dance quality of ‘Saiyaan Beimaan’ combined with Lata’s classical rendition is sheer brilliance while SDB’s unique rendition of ‘Wahan Kaun Hai Tera’ and ‘Allah Megh De Paani De’ are simply outstanding. Award or no award, Guide is one of the most memorable albums of the 60s.

2. Mughal-e-azam (1960)

Mughal-e-azam, one of India’s first epic films, was accompanied with an epic soundtrack by Nashad. Words transcend the magic of ‘Jab Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna’ that has undoubtedly become one of the greatest love songs ever written. The same can be said about ‘Mohe Panghat Pe Nandlal’. Rafi’s ‘Ae Mohabbat Zindabad’ is truly unforgettable while ‘Aye Ishq Yeh Sab Duniyawale’, ‘Bekas Pe Karam Kijiye’, ‘Yeh Dil Ki Lagi Teri Mefil Mein’, and ‘Mohabbat Ki Jhoothi’ are forever etched in history as Indian Cinema’s most poignant songs. And who can forget the two wonderful qawalis, ‘Prem Jogan Ban Ke’ and ‘Shubh Din Aayo Re’. Another album that missed out on a Filmfare for music, Mughal-e-azam reigns in the world of music even today.

3. Aradhana (1969)

One cannot be a music-buff without knowing about the glories of Sharmila Tagore and Rajesh Khanna starrer Aradhana. An S. D. Burman masterpiece, Aradhana is full of magnificent songs from start to finish. Indian Cinema would be considerably dull without the bold ‘Roop Tera Mastana’ and the highly entertaining ‘Mere Sapno Ki Rani’. Then there is a melodious ‘Gunguna Rahe Hai Bawre’, the endearing ‘Kora Kaagaz’, the playful ‘Baagon Mein Bahaar Hai’ and the motherly ‘Chanda Hai Tu’. Aradhana is a tour de force of an album, the likes of which cannot be re-created.

4. Sangam (1964)

Shankar-Jaikishen were literally incapable of producing an album that was not a blockbuster. Sangam, another example of their brilliance, has a total of seven tracks and every one of them has chartbuster status. Mukesh’s legendry ability to express an array of emotions is evidenced in the heart-wrenching ‘Dost Dost Nah Raha’ and the playfully romantic ‘O Mehbooba’ and ‘Bol Radha Bol’. Lata sounds utterly adorable in ‘Buddha Mil Gaya’, while Rafi makes you reach for the tissues in ‘Yeh Mera Prem Patra’. And who can forget the evergreen ‘Har Dil Jo Pyaar Karega’? Sangam is a milestone in the history of Indian Music.

5. Junglee (1961) and Teesri Manzil (1966)

When youngsters think classics, they think boring old songs moving at the pace of a tortoise. They could not be more mistaken. Mohd. Rafi and Shammi Kapoor gave Indian Cinema some of its most fun-filled and rocking numbers, the songs of Junglee and Teesri Manzil (both featuring Rafi Saab extensively) being the best of the best.

Another awesome Shankar-Jaikishen album, Junglee has a winning combination of songs, one of which is ‘Yahoo! Chahe Koi Mujhe Junglee Kahe’, one of Indian Cinema’s landmark songs. In the same cocky-attitude is the delightful ‘Suku Suku’. Lata Mageshkar possibly sung the cutest songs of her career, ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’ and ‘Ja Ja Ja Mere Bachban’. Rafi and Lata gave us another awesome duet, ‘Din Sara Guzara’ (Mere Yaar Shaba Khair) but it is the singers’ separate solo renditions of ‘Ehsaan Tera Hoga Mujh Par’ that wins countless hearts.

Equally, fantastic was R D Burman’s Teesri Manzil. ‘O Haseena Zulfonwali’ and ‘Aaja Aaja Main Hoon Pyaar Tera’. Enough said. Although not as famous as the first two, ‘Tumne Mujhe Dekha’, ‘Deewana Mujhsa Nahin’ and ‘O Mere Sona Re’ are still excellent songs, memorable in more ways than one.


1. Hum Kissi Se Kam Nahin (1977)

This Nazir Hussain and R D Burman masterpiece is an entertainer all the way from the immensely popular ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’ to the award-winning ‘Kya Hua Tera Waada’. One of the very first movies to have four songs back to back by way of a dance competition, Hum Kissi Se Kam Nahin ended up with a series of short yet brilliant numbers namely, ‘Chand Mera Dil’, ‘Dil Kya Mehfil’, ‘Mil Gaya’ and ‘Tum Kya Jaano’ all picturised back to back. In addition to that, there was the incredible title song in form of a lovely qawali, the cute ‘Yeh Ladka Haye Allah’ and ‘Humko Toh Yaara Teri Yaari’. Furthermore, Hum Kissi Se Kam Nahin has some of the most brilliantly composed musical pieces, energetic drum rolls, mind blowing guitar solos and enthusiastic screams of words such as “Wakow! Hum Kissi Se Kam Nahin” truly lives up to its name as no other soundtrack has even come close to what it had to offer.

2. Yaadon Ki Baraat (1973)

Yaadon Ki Baraat, another R D Burman gem that is still a chartbuster today. One cannot even begin to comprehend the popularity of ‘Chura Liya Hai Tumne’, a duet like no other. The two versions of the title song, by Lata and then Kishore Kumar and Mohd Rafi are equally outstanding while the peppy and youthful ‘Lekar Hum Deewana Dil’ gets those feet tapping no matter what era you are in. ‘Meri Soni Meri Tamana’ is all sugar and very nice, and it is really hard not to sing along to the “I love you” bit in the chorus. Yaadon Ki Baraat is a great musical experience.

3. Bobby (1973)

Bobby is Indian Cinema at its best. Bobby did not only give audiences a young hot-blooded love story with debutantes to die for, it gave audiences incredible music as well. Songs like ‘Jhoot Bole Kauwa Kate’, ‘Hum Tum Ek Kamre Mein Baand Ho’, ‘Main Shaiyer Toh Nahin’ and ‘Na Maagon Sona Chandi’ are embedded in India’s popular culture. Laxikant-Pyarelal created this amazing blend of youthful and unique songs that are truly unforgettable. In addition to being a crowd-pleaser Bobby also bagged a Fimfare for Narendra Chandra’s incredible ‘Besak Mandir Masjid’. Also noteworthy was the tearjerker ‘Ankhiyon Ko Rehne Do’, the lovely ‘Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai’ and Aruna Irani’s dance number ‘Ae Ae Ae Phaansa’. If Bobby is not part of your music collection, you are missing out big time.

4. Pakeezah (1972)

Magnum Opus is one of the many prestigious terms associated with Pakeezah. Lata Mangeshkar is the crowning glory of Pakeezah. Gulam Mohammad and Naushad’s extraordinary compositions would have been totally useless if not for Lata’s magical vocals. Every song is a work of art, be it the endearing ‘Chalte Chalte’, the poignant ‘Inhi Logon Ne’ or the lovely ‘Mausam Hai Ashiqana’. Although the real limelight stealers have to be ‘Thare Rahiyo’ and ‘Teer-e-nazar’. Also very beautiful is the album’s only duet, ‘Chalo Dildaar Chalo’ by Mohd. Rafi and Lata. Pakeezah is an outstanding piece of Indian Music that even the most talented of today’s artists cannot re-create.

5. Don (1978)

Salim-Javed’s edge of the seat thriller also had music to match. With Kalyanji-Anandji in charge, how could there not be a chartbuster or two in the making? Asha’s killer ‘Yeh Mera Dil’ and Kishore Kumar’s equally sensational ‘Khaike Paan Banaraswala’ answered the hell out of that question. While ‘Yeh Hai Bombai Nagariya’ did not score as much, the title song, ‘Main Hoon Don’ is a winner all the way. However, the real beauty of Don is Lata and Kishore’s ‘Jiska Mujhe Tha Intezaar’, a mysterious romantic duet that is to die for, literally. No offense to the brilliant remake created by Shankar-Eshaan-Loy, but kicking it old school Kalyanji-Anandji style has its merits.

Well, picture abhi baaki hai mere dost. This is not the end. We hope you enjoyed the first segment of our musical feature but there is still more in store as we uncover the rest of the legendry scores from the 80s, 90s and millennium next week! Stay tuned to BollySpice!

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