Monday, July 29, 2013

Chand Mera Dil - When Rafi came back..

In 1977, an award used following para to describe Rafi:

"For a Golden voice, with resonant timbre and charm, highly cultivated to convey the nuances of melodies based on classical and light classical ragas with as much ease and felicity as tunes set to the lift of light music; for the sheer brilliance of form and content in his powerful interpretations"

The inscription quoted above must have been a vindication for Rafi. Not only because the inscription was for him as a winner of the National Film Award - Male Singer but also because the music for the movie was composed by Pancham - one whose seemingly preferred choice was Kishore Kumar since the days of Aradhana.

He won this Award for "Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin" and though more popular number is Kya Hua Tera Wada, my preference is, however, another composition from the movie. 

This one is a medley - in the tradition that Pancham had built-up with Nasir Hussain - which starts with subdued beats and carries on with lovely notes of Guitar for a stanza, and then races up the tempo to build into a dance number. 

It perfectly showcases the brilliance of Pancham as he orchestrates Rafi, Kishore and Asha - uses an opportunity for himself to sing too, and yet never let the rhythm and tempo falter even a bit.

The song has remained ever-green and much later was used by Farah Khan in her debut movie as a director - Main Hoon Na. Of course, that movie was also a homage to R D Burman with numerous reference to his music, par woh kahani phir kabhi..

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Gulabi Aankhen jo Teri Dekhi..

By the time "The Train" was released, for some reason RD had decided to use only Kishore Kumar's voice for Rajesh Khanna, largely.

Of course, from 1970 till Rafi died, RD & Rafi did work together on a number of movies and gave some amazing memorable numbers - but only 3 of these were for Rajesh Khanna.

We will come to those songs later - but as a response to a friend's humorous comment regarding romancing the spouse, there are a whole lot of gems of RD out there to facilitate the romance. If, however, I have to restrict my choice to this movie, then the obvious choice, would be this number - one of the last hits of Rafi-RD-RK combine.

The location is also ideal - Observation Post Garden in Aarey, now known as Chhota Kashmir. Despite a very Shammi Kapoor / Jitendra kind of choreography, the song has an appeal, due to its lyrics and foot-tapping rhythm. So here it goes:

Bura ye jaadu teri aankho kaa
Ye meraa qaatil ho gayaa
Sambhalo mujhko O mere Yaron,
Sambhalna Mushkil Ho Gaya
Gulaabi Aankhen Jo Tero Dekhi
Sharabi yeh Dil Ho Gaya

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Kis Liye Maine Pyar Kiya

In 1969, Rajesh Khanna & Nanda starred together in the only songless movie by Yash Chopra - Ittefaq.

The Train, another suspense movie followed Ittefaq, and also did good business. Unlike Ittefaq, though, this movie had followed the song-and-dance formula of Hindi movies and RD did more than adequate justice to the plot & the situations.

Apart from the Meri Jaan Maine Kaha, which I shared yesterday, the movie also had a lovely Lata solo - one of her all time hits, which I would like to share here.

Friday, July 26, 2013

O Meri Jaan, Main Ne Kaha..

After Kati Patang, RD was soon to scale new heights with another Shakti Samant movie - Amar Prem.

Before that there was another movie though - another milestone in his career.

Those having spent their childhood in 70s in Mumbai would know that Sarvajanik Ganapati festival in mid 70s in Mumbai had a tradition - to exhibit movies all week long using 16mm projectors, huge boxes that would create a sound rising above the din of the streets, and white cloth - tied from one pole to another, as the screen.

That is how I had seen this movie first. Despite innumerable intervals that such screening had - essentially to facilitate the change over of reels, if the movie still managed to scare us, the credit was to the entire ambiance created through dark scenes, presence of that 70s mascor of evil - Shetty, and perfect use of background score. This was "The Train" - A Rajesh Khanna & Nanda starrer.

The movie had some chart-toppers, yet what made the movie special for RD's fans was this being the first time when he joined Asha for a duet. An exuberant cabaret number sung with gusto by Asha, that only, nay - ONLY Helen's vivacious dancing skills could have done justice to, is an absolute treat.

So here it goes:

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Nateeja Hamari Mohabbat ka..

What made RD special?

My take is that he could create new milieus within the accepted idiom of Hindi Cinema. For example this song from a movie which was not really among the top-of-the-charts ever.

Puraskar, released in 1970, had nothing extraordinary about it. Of course the cast had Joy Mukherjee - quite popular in late 60s. But thats about it.,except perhaps this song which had RD using Sitar as a prelude before mixing into seductive notes of Guitar, and post Mukhda, during the song the mixing of western instruments like Sax leading to sudden interlude of Sitar.

The vocals had similar structure - on screen Joy Mukherjee was trying to match steps with naturally tharakte kadam of Helen, while off-screen Asha Bhosle's seductive sweetness matched the calm serenading of Mukesh.

Nateeja? - aapke samne hai..

Bahaki hui hai jab ye fizayein,
Kaise na hongi akhir hamse khatayein
Lage jhoomne jab kali ghateiye,
Aise mein kyu na kadam dagmagaye
Kabhi kabhi aisa bhi to hota raha hai
Tumhari khata ya hamari khata hai
Yeh tum bhi na socho.. yeh hum bhi na soche..

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Main Bhookha Hoon...

Its pouring outside - a perfect time to listen to some of the melodies that RD composed with rain as a backdrop.

Before that, however, on the death anniversary of Mehmood - an actor par excellence, let me share with you a song which had both RD & Mehmood sharing the screen - including even singing the song.

So here is, to two great friends - off the screen as well as on the screen, from the movie Bhoot Bangla.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Koi Nishani Chhod, Phir Duniya Se Gol..

Today being Mukesh's birth anniversary, why not once again look at the combination of Mukesh & RD.

Unfortunately, Mukesh had very few songs with RD. In fact, even with SD, the number of songs he sang were not too many- though even those few turning out to be classics like Chal ri Sajani from Bambai ka Babu & O Jaane Wale from Bandini - both under SD and Jis Gali men Tera Ghar na ho from Kati Patang under RD. . The reason for this can be anybody's guess, but there was a clear distinctive preference by the Burmans for Rafi, Manna Dey & Kishore. 

On the other hand composers like Shankar Jaikishan clearly preferred Mukesh and Rafi. Of course, there was also Raj Kapoor who identified only with Mukesh as his own voice when it came to singing - and rightfully so. As a result it was unimaginable to have a RK banner movie without Mukesh singing for Raj Kapoor.

Pancham did only two movies for RK Films - that too only after the demise of Jaikishan in 1971 & Randhir Kapoor making Pancham an essential team member for his movies in R K banner. 

Yet, the first movie which he did for RK, released just a few months before Mukesh's untimely death in August 1976, had Mukesh singing two songs, penned by Majrooh (another lyricist who never worked with RK, except for this movie). 

It could only have been a coincidence but both the songs also could have been used as an epitaph for Mukesh - specially these lines:

Har dil ko teri yaad, aaye tere bad
Itna to karta ja, phir duniya se gol
Duje ke hotho ko, dekar apane geet
Koi nishani chhod, phir duniya se gol
Ek din bik jayega, mati ke mol

Jag me rah jayenge, pyare tere bol

The composition has an accordion in its prelude, an instrument that RK also identified with (remember him playing that in his guest appearance in Naseeb & bringing the house down). Of course, guitar and santoor gives it the Pancham touch.

Binaca Geet Mala's Sartaaj Geet list of 1976 had this song on no. 2 - the first one being Kabhi Kabhie mere dil men..another Mukesh hit. Incidentally, the filmfare award for that year also had 3 Mukesh songs nominated for the best playback (out of 5) - these 2, while the 3rd one was Main Har Ek Pal ka Shaayar hoon - from Kabhi Kabhie.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pyar Deewana Hot Hai..

There is a lot that has been written, said and explored about the combination of Gulzar & R D. I wonder why, the same importance has not been given to another combination - that of R D with Anand Bakshi.

In fact, for the statistically inclined, the number of movies which RD did with Anand Bakshi were almost 4 times of what RD & Gulzar did. Qualitatively also, the songs created by RD & AB together were as superlative, if not more.

For example, this song from Kati Patang. The musical arrangement consisted largely of Piano, with lovely prelude before Kishore makes this song his own:

Suno kisi shaayar ne ye, Kaha bahot khub
Manaa kare duniyaan lekin, mere mehaboob
Woh chhalak jaataa hai jo, paimaanaa hotaa hai
Har khushee se, har gam se, begaanaa hotaa hai....

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Tu Chali Aa Chunar Pyar ki Odh ke..

Kishore, Rafi & Manna Dey - all RD's favourites & all had fair share of contribution in his music.

Wait, are we not missing out on someone? Yes, Mukesh!

Surprisingly, Mukesh sang very few songs for RD. One reason could be his untimely early death in 1974. But even otherwise, apart from one duet - Pyar ka Fasana, Bana le Dil Deewana - which he sang for Teesra Kaun, a 1965 movie, there was no composition where Mukesh lent his voice till 1970.

Then came another milestone movie of RD's career - 7 compositions and all evergreen classics. In this movie, though he used Kishore Kumar's voice for the hero, for one song, he used Mukesh and what a song that turned out to be! Holding on its own amidst some of the memorable ones of Kishore from this movie.

Listen to this amazing song with Mukesh, RD & Anand Bakshi teaming up to add maturity & depth to the wooing of Asha Parekh by Rajesh Khanna in Kati Patang:

Aa ye rasame ye kasame sabhi tod ke
Tu chali aa chunar pyaar ki odh ke
Yaa chalaa jaaugaa mai ye jag chhod ke
Jis jagah yaad teri sataane lage
Us jagah ek pal bhi thaharanaa nahi

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Tum Bin Jaoon Kahan..

Tum Bin Jaoon Kahan...the song runs like a strand through the movie, and is utilised in a way to make lost family members meet.

Sung by Kishore for Bharat Bhushan, and by Rafi for Shashi Kapoor, both the versions have their own fan club.

As the fellow RD fan Shantanu Bhattacharya said:
For me there was a major cognitive (musical?) dissonance in the most famous Pyar Ka Mausam song -Tum Bin Jaun Kahan. As it turned out, the Rafi version was picturized on Shashi Kapoor and the Kishore version, qualitatively better in my view, was picturised on Bharat Bhushan! The dissonance was at 2 levels: a) Bharat Bhushan yodelling was faintly ridiculous, and b) Rafi had sung some of his most accomplished classical and semiclassical numbers for Bharat Bhushan in films like Baiju Bawra! Personally I think that Shashi being the star - he must have forced the director to use Rafi for him, because at the time, Rafi was considered the better and more famous singer. 

In fact 1969 is an interesting year for Rafi & Kishore & their fans. The year started with Rafi being the preferred singer for almost all the lead stars of that time. Pyar ka Mausam was released in April 1969 and hence this conjucture could be quite right about Rafi being preferred for Shashi Kapoor, despite Kishore's yodelling not suiting Bharat Bhushan. However, by the time 1969 ended, the things had suddenly changed, due to release of Aradhana - which catapulted Kishore to a different league altogether - and he never looked back.

Here is another version though, not available on the record easily, but is used in the movie to begin the process of reuniting. Devoid of all but a couple of instruments, in this version one can focus on the tune itself. Listen to this song with no other distraction around, and you can feel Kishore infusing his soul in this version: 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Pancham's On-screen Avatar..

Rajendra Nath was a permanent fixture in Nasir Hussain movies, leading the comedy routine, right from the days of Dil Deke Dekho. Such was the case also in Pyar ka Mausam - where he played a character called "Jhatpat SIngh".

In this movie, however, his comedy routine, also involved another actor - for whom this was his second appearance in the movies. It is also rumored that before this movie, he was also offered Bhola's role in Padosan, but refused to do so.

Fortunately, despite being a competent performer, he never acted again in the movies - preferring his other vocation in the movies - that of a music composer. 

Yes, here is Pancham, playing a Bertie Wooster-cum-Stan Laurel kind of a character, engaging in slapstick routine as a perfect foil to Rajendranath.

And because yeh dil maange more, here is another scene from the same movie involving Pancham and Rajendra Nath.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Che Khush Nazare..

Pyar ka Mausam - starring Shashi Kapoor, Asha Parekh, Bharat Bhushan & Rajendra Nath was another movie based on lost & found formula - so popular since the time of Waqt. Nasir Hussain, by then had started mastering this formula and finally reached its zenith with Yaadon ki Baraat.

 Pyar ka Mausam is an interesting movie for R D's fans - for the reasons other than music.

But before I get to this, I would like to stray away from the more popular & evergreen numbers of Pyar ka Mausam, and would love to share this song - purely for the opening prelude music of this track - where R D, starting with softer notes on a Guitar, creates a crescendo involving Violin and Tap dance routine - before letting Rafi totally take over the song.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Sar Jo tera Chakraye..

Today, on the birth anniversary of India's most enigmatic actor & director - Guru Dutt, there is an interesting tale to tell.

While Chhote Nawab was the first release of R D, his first signed movie was Raaz, which was to be produced by Guru Dutt. Unfortunately the movie got shelved and post that, since Guru Dutt dies in 1964, both could never work together - at least not directly.

 I use the word directly, because, much later, in fact 16 years after R D's death, in 2010, for a movie, Arun Dutt (son of Guru Dutt) confirmed that original composition of one of the songs of Guru Dutt's most celebrated work Pyaasa was by R D, and fine tuned by S D.

 While we listen to the magic of this song, I am sure Guru Dutt's association with R D could have also led to some amazing music numbers.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Tumhe Dekha Hai Maine..

If Padosan was a milestone for RD, so was Pyar ka Mausam, released in 1969 - where he teamed up again with Rafi, Majrooh & Nasir Husain to serve a sumptuous treat of music.

However, post Teesri Manzil, this was not the first movie where Rafi & RD created some beautiful music. There were a few moree, including this one from Chandan ka Palna in 1967.

The composition begins with Santoor & Sarangi, and through out Pancham has also added instruments like Tabla as well as Flute, thus giving the song a very traditional touch. Interesting, however, is that little touch of Bongo that begins each of the interlude.

Rafi is, of course, on very familiar ground over here rendering softly as a very debonair looking Dharmendra wooes Meena Kumari, using some beautiful verse penned by Anand Bakshi:

Tumhi hi ho meherbaan, tum hi sitamgar

Badal sakata hai iss dil ka mukkadar

Tumhaari ek na mein, Ek haan mein

Ke jannat dhundh li hai Is jahaan mein

Friday, July 5, 2013

Woh Chali Woh Chali..

Padosan was a landmark movie of Hindi cinema. Its perfectly suited cast's performance, with the help of the crackling screenplay & dialogues by Rajinder Krishan, and directed within limitation yet avoiding the cinematic cliches,  elevated the movie to such a sublime level that one does not find it jaded even after 45 years of its first release. 

Perhaps due to the Wodehousean kind of caper as well as this being one of his initial movies, one finds RD in superb form - creating some wonderful compositions that suited the situations like a T. Mere Saamne wali khidki men, Ek chatur nar, Mere Bhole Balam (a wonderful piece), Aao Sanwariya - The fans of Manna Dey & Kishore Kumar never had so good. 

These songs almost overshadowed two better songs (IMHO) - one of them finding Lata Mangeshkar & Asha Bhosle singing in tandem. Almost at the turn of the century, in year 2000, this song was superbly remixed by Bombay Vikings - which in fact started a trend for RD's remix.

So here it is, a very vivacious & beautiful Saira Banu lip-syncing to the melodious voice of Lata while Asha renders for her other friends ,as they romp around on a cycle through the gardens of Mysore, with some refreshing thoughts - unlike the coy heroines of those times: 

Kahin Aankh Na Mili, Kahin Dil Na Laga
To Pyaar Ka Zamana Kis Kaam Aaya
To Ye Rut Ye Ghata Bolo Sochegi Kya
Jo Kisi Ka Na Hothon Pe Naam Aaya
Main Chali Main Chali, Dekho Pyaar Ki Gali
Mujhe Roke Na Koi, Main Chali Main Chali

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Aao Aao Sanwariya..

With Manna Dey more popular for his semi-classical film songs, how could Pancham have resisted the temptation to compose something that would suit Manna Dey's calibre? And the opportunity came soon with Padosan - the evergreen laugh riot, where Manna Dey, lending his voice to Mehmood competed with Kishore Kumar in Ek Chatur Naar.

Yet, it is another composition of RD, lesser popular though, from the same movie which does better justice to Manna Dey's prowess as a classical singer. So here is, Mehmood, a comedian par excellence, showcasing his progeny as a dancer while wooing Saira:

tu kya jane piya
jale mora jiya
mori najariya tori atariya
re atki re atki re atki
Aao Aao Sanwariya

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Aao Twist Karen..

For those rooted in the magic of RD, the singers that come to mind immediately are Asha & Lata, Kishore & Rafi. Yet, when you hear something like "Mastana Hoye" from "Chandan ka Palna", one can not help wondering about the musical equation that RD shared with Manna Dey.

By the time RD started composing music independently, Manna Dey was already well established - more so for the songs with classical base. 
RD also used Manna Dey's voice for some of the numbers based on classical music. Yet the first song that Manna Dey sang for RD was an out and out western tune -  partially inspired by Chubby Chucker's "Come, lets Twist Again" - one of the contemporary hits of those time. The music, despite being inspired, had that uniqueness and style which only RD could have had. 
If you would like to check Chubby Chucker's number, given below is the link:

Meanwhile, let us twist on this number from "Bhoot Bangla".

Mastana Hoye, Parwana Hoye..

It is difficult to talk about Pancham and not share with you the songs that he created while teaming up with Gulzar. But let me get back to his early years as a music director - specially his penchant for trying something new.

In the year 1967, when Baharon ke Sapne was released, came another movie - Chandan ka Palna - a typical formulaic driven social pot-boiler, starring Meena Kumari & Dharmendra with comedy track comprising of Mehmood & Dhumal. 
Not much scope for R D to try something different. Right?

Well almost, till one comes across this song - picturised on Mehmood & Mumtaz . While Asha & Manna Dey's rendition make this song worth listening to, and one can not miss noticing the impact of Bossa Nova & Rock-n-roll of late 60s on this song, what is more interesting is the jugalbandi- starting at 4:37 th minute of the song between Indian & western instruments. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Yug Aate Hain aur Yug Jaayen..

Ijaazat was just one of the milestones for the duo of Gulzar & Pancham. Like Sahir, however, Gulzar's first movie with R D was more than a decade after RD made his debut. The movie was  Parichay, made in 1972 - loosely inspired from Sound of Music.

From this movie began a relationship that proved to be inimitable as far as Hindi movie music is concerned. In fact, with both of them, it is difficult to understand whether - ek achche geet ko umda sangeet ka sahara mila, ya us dhun ka janm hi us kavita ke liye hua tha.

Listen to this song from Parichay - which also got Lata Mangeshkar her first National Award.
Yug Aate Hain Aur Yug Jaae,  
Chhotii Chhotii Yaadon Ke Pal Nahiin Jaae
Jhuuth Se Kaalii Laage, Laage Kaalii Ratiyaa 
Ruuthii Huiin Ankhiyon Ne Laakh Manaaii Rainaa