Thursday, November 15, 2012


 One of the delightful news items from the world of Hindi film music this week was the release  of the music album of the Hindi film AAWAAZ DIL SE. What makes the album significant for lovers of Hindi film songs, particularly the old timers, is the fact that the music is by none other than Pyarelal Sharma (Pyarelal) who formed the redoubtable duo of music directors with Laxmikant Kudalkar(Laxmikant) from the year 1963 till the demise of the later in 1998.

The news item took my mind back  to those wonderful songs tuned by the duo, Laxmikant-Pyarelal(affectionately called Laxmi-Pyare) during a career of four decades beginning with the film PARASMANI and ending after  about 600 films. They arrived at a time when the great musical duo of Shankar Jaikishan was dominating the world of Hindi film music along with the other great duo of Kalyanji-Anandji  and the stalwarts  like S.D.Burman, C.Ramachandra, Madan Mohan Ravi and so on. In the beginning of their illustrious career their music had a lot in common with that of Shankar Jaikishen and to a lesser degree with that of R.D.Burman.The songs of PARASMANI  which catapulted them as one of the leading music directors of Hindi films are examples for this evaluation. But the fact remains that the songs of Parasmani is one of the best for an upcoming music director duo. The duet by Lata and Kamal Barot,'Hasta hua noorani chehra' was one of the most popular duets of the period heard over and over again on the radio.The other duet(Lata-Rafi), 'Voh jab yaad aaye , bahut..' was an outstanding number and the Rafi solo,' Salaamat Raho' was melody at its best.

The duo proved that the success of their music in PARASMANI was not a splash in the pan with their outstanding songs in DOSTI (1964)  which fetched them their first  Filmfare award for best music in the year 1964.  The three songs by Rafi,viz.,'Jahoonga mein thuje saanj..'. Koi jab raaha .......mere dosti mere par' and 'Rahi manwa dukh ki chinta' established Rafi as the favourite singer of LaxmiPyare. Several Fiulmfare Awards followed with MILAN(1967) in which all the songs were by Lata and Mukesh. The duet, Sawan ka Mahina is one of the top duets of all time reviving nostalgic memories of Binaca Geeetmala and Radio Ceylon whenever it is heard even now. It was the top song of Binanca Geetmala in the year 1967.The solo,' Main to diwana diwana' is also a typical grief ridden Mukesh song. There were several other top of the chart songs of LaxmiPyare in Binaca Geetmala like 'Dil vil pyar vyar' from film Shagird(1968-Lata), Kaise Rahoon chup' from film Inteqam (1969-Lata), 'Bindiya chamkegi from film Do Raaste(1970-Lata) and 'Mehamgai maar gai' from film Roti Kapda aur Makan(1972-Lata, Mukesh, Chanchal, Jani Babu and chorus) during the period from 1963 to 1977.

 In the year 1969 in spite of strong competition from films like Aaradhana(S.D.Burman)  and Prince(Shankar-Jaikishen) the film JEENE KI RAAH brought LaxmiPyare their next Filmfare Award with songs like 'Aane se uski aaye bahar(Rafi), 'Ek banjara gaaye(Rafi) and 'Badi mastani hai mere mehbooba(Rafi-Bhupinder). This was followed by Amar Akbar Antony in 1977 the famous Qawwali,' Pudhah hai purdha( Rafi)' topping the popularity chart  and getting rated as one of  the best film quawwalis. The Rafi-Amitab Bachhan number 'My name is Antony Gonsalves' is another popular number. Then came Raj Kapur's spectacular Sashi Kapur-Zeenat Aman starrer SATYAM SHIVAM SUNDARAM with the title song by Lata becoming the number one song in 1978. The childrens' song 'Yashomati maiya se bole nandlala (lata)'is another notable song of the film. The LP record of the songs is special for the collector for its beautifuly designed jacket with a magnificent centre spread!

In the year 1979 it was the film SARGAM which fetched them the Filmfare Award for the best music. The film, a remake of K.Viswanath's Telugu film Siri Siri Muwa, with Rishi Kapur and Jayaprada in the lead established the beautiful Jayaprada as a top heroine in Hindi films. All the seven songs of the film were rendered by Rafi, three of them with Lata the song  'Dafli wale dafli baja' by Rafi , the most popular of the lot. In the year 1980 it was the film KARZ, a Rishi Kapur-Tina Munim starrer , for which LaxmiPyare got the Filmfare Award , the record breaking fourth in a row. The song 'Om Shanti Om' by Kishore Kumar is rated as the best of the film. 

Though the Raj Kapur's  film SATYAM SIVAM SUNDARAM could get LaxmiPyare a Filmfare Award, it was film BOBBY(1973) that brought them to the RK fold ending the exclusive, longstanding and highly successful  association of Shankar Jaikishen with R.K.Films.Apart from the debut of Shailendra Singh as the male voice of the songs with the pleasing song 'Main shair to nahim' , the songs ,in general, were not wholeheartedly accepted by listeners. Probably, the magic of Raj, SJ and Mukesh  with which they had lived nostalgically for long  was too strong to be shaken by the  entrance of a new duo. For collectors of LP records there is this exclusive SOUL OF BOBBY giving the background music of the film and an introduction by Raj Kapur.

From the more than 600 films for which the duo had tuned music I have mentioned mainly  those songs for which they had got the Filmfare Award and also those which had reached the number one status each year in Binaca Geetmala of Radio Ceylon which was the benchmark  for the popularity of Hindi film songs those days. Let me mention a few others also before I conclude.The first song coming to my mind is Lata's title song of 'Suno sajana' from the film AAYE DIN BAHAR KE, a haunting melody in the Madan Mohan mould,  which even now  can  take one nostalgically back to those melodious years.Then there is the pathos filled Mukesh song from film ANITA, viz., 'Gore gore chand se mukh pe' which is as good as many other top Mukesh numbers. Who can forget the melodious, 'Mere mehboob qayamat hogi', in two parts by Kishore Kumar from the film MR.X. IN BOMBAY?The song' Jhilmil sitaron ka' by Lata in Rajshri Film's production JEEVAN MRITYU was so popular that the tune still survives in the minds of discerning listeners. 

It is true that Rafi and Lata were the preferred singers of LaxmiPyare and to a lesser extent Mukesh, Kishore and Manna Dey. But it is also true that he had given chances to lesser known singers also like Kamal Barot, Bhupinder Singh and Shailendra Singh. It is a pity that in spite of the wonderful beginning in BOBBY with a number of popular songs he could not establish himself in Hindi films. In the Kamal Hasan Rati Agnihotri starrer, EK DUUJE KE LIYE he used the voice the Southern singer S,P Balasubramaniam to create a few melodious songs including three duets with Lata. The song 'Tere mere beech men' sung solo by SPB and as a duet with Lata was a pleasure to the ears with the sweet voice of SPB complementing that of Lata.The title duet  'Hum bane tum bane ek duuje ke liye' was another pleasantly  popular song of the film. In Mahesh Bhatt's film NAAM  Laxmi Pyare gave all the songs a ghazal touch and used the voice of singers like Mohammed Aziz, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Manhar Udhas  and, of course, Pankaj Udhas. The song, 'Chithi aai hai' by Pankaj Udhas proved to be extremely popular with the masses as it touched a chord with the sentiments of the common man. I still nostalgically remember hearing this song for the first time in the year 1987 while travelling in a taxi from New Delhi to Agra with the driver tapping his fingers on the steering wheel to the tune of the song!Well a great song! Who can forget the two fast numbers in the ShankarJaikishen  style from film FARZ,viz., Rafi's 'Mast Baharon ka' and the duet with Suman Kalyanpur, 'TumseO haseena'/

I wish LaxmiPyare had used the voice of Manna Dey, Talat, Asha, Hemant kumar, Suman Kalyanpur Mahendra Kapur and so on more. The fact that they did not is surely the  loss of the discerning listeners.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

L-P were tepid & mediocre composers and were the ones who ruined film music during the 80s. Nobody can deny L-P's role in the degeneration of film music during the decade. Beyond the first few years, they did nothing extraordinary in terms of quality work.