25 perennial anthems from Laxmikant 

Composer Laxmikant (second from left) and wife Jaya (third from left) with Mrs. Neela Shammi Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor. Photo: Publicity Photo

On May 25, 1998, composer Laxmikant Kudalkar (of the music duo Laxmikant-Pyarelal) attained immortality, like his songs and scores. It is well-known that L-P, for the sake of convenience, had an arrangement that Laxmikant would compose the tunes and Pyarelal look after the arrangements and background score, though, in their own words, the partners were capable of exchanging jobs.

Laxmikant would sit in with the filmmakers and offer tunes to lyrics already written or for the situation on which the songwriter wrote later. He also looked after the business angle, while Pyarelal would decide the shape of the orchestration and compose the score for a song in the studio itself after discussion with Laxmikant. It was then Laxmikant’s job to arrange the musicians and chorus suggested by Pyarelal, who would conduct the recording. Each, however, always had in the final shape of the song.

With this incredible arrangement, the duo notched up exactly 500 films (including 10 regional) between 1963 and 1999 (two more scores, partly complete, released in 2000 and 2004 respectively). Most of these films had their background music as well, whereas while all albums were released, some 20 to 30 films failed to have a proper release.

The magic of L-P was in their incredible variety, hit quotient and success rate that led to a phenomenal tally of scores and songs that launched new artistes, filmmakers, singers and songwriters, or got them their breakthroughs after a flop run. Today, with 30 film songs (and a few more non-film singles), they lead the list of re-created songs as well.

On this momentous occasion, we look at 25 songs of theirs that continue to be chartbusters, especially among today’s generation that was not even born when L-P had attained great heights already.

Aa jaan-e-jaan / Inteqam / 1969 / Rajendra Krishna / Lata Mangeshkar

The ultimate cabaret by Lata, even as sister Asha Bhosle was considered the czarina of this genre.

Aaj mausam beimaan hai bada / Loafer / 1973 / Anand Bakshi / Mohammed Rafi

This timeless Rafi exotica has been used in toto in the 2001 crossover film, Monsoon Wedding. Nothing more need be said about this masterpiece.

Accha to hum chalte hain / Aan Milo Sajana / 1971 / Anand Bakshi / Lata Mangeshkar & Kishore Kumar

This conversational humdinger became a rage six months before the film’s release in Kashmir where it was shot on Rajesh Khanna and Asha Parekh. It was created by a happy chance when no song was being worked out in a music sitting and Bakshi got up, saying these words, to which Laxmikant replied, ‘Phir kab miloge?’ And a mega-hit was born when they decided to sit down again after these words inspired them!

Chitthi aayi hai / Naam / 1986 / Anand Bakshi / Pankaj Udhas

This song made Pankaj Udhas a household name and topped the only countdown in those times, the annual Binaca Geet Mala, in 1987.

Laxmikant with directors Shekhar Kapur and Subhash Ghai. Photo: Publicity Photo

Choli ke peeche / Khal-Nayak / 1993 / Anand Bakshi / Alka Yagnik & Ila Arun

This song topped Binaca too, as well as all the three video countdowns that first made an appearance in 1993. It won awards for its singers too, and led the hit Subhash Ghai score, which was the only Hindi film soundtrack that sold in the black-market! One of the most popular songs ever in Hindi cinema, it was wrongly accused of obscenity in lyrics yet is endemically popular among children!

Dafliwale / Sargam / 1979 / Anand Bakshi / Lata Mangeshkar & Mohammed Rafi

Another Binaca annual topper, this song led an all-popular album that saw Rafi sing all seven songs, three of which were duets. And a small fortune was collected in movie halls as audiences threw coins on the screen at the song!

Dard-e-dil / Karz / 1980 / Anand Bakshi / Mohammed Rafi

The ghazal that got a Western treatment, with each interlude music and antara (inner verse) being different. Rafi’s only song in this Kishore-based score, which spawned seven subsequent film titles in the next 25 years, including Dard-e-dil and Aashique Banaya Aapne from this song itself.

Ek do teen char / Tezaab / 1988 / Javed Akhtar / Alka Yagnik  / Amit Kumar

Considered one of the five all-time biggest chartbusters in Hindi cinema, it was inspired by Marathi folk music, with Alka’s version topping over Amit’s. L-P decided to maintain the metre (rhythm) given to lyricist Javed in the form of these numbers and created a monster hit that catapulted Madhuri Dixit Nene to superstardom.

Ek haseena thi / Karz / Anand Bakshi / Kishore Kumar & Asha Bhosle

An evergreen climactic ‘narrative’, this Kishore-Asha duet remains another title-inspirer and had a complex musical phrasing. It inspired a re-creation in the film’s official remake (Karzzzz) as well as the climactic song Dastaan-e-om shanti om in the film Om Shanti Om, which was a smart rework of the film.

Ek pyar ka naghma hai / Shor / 1972 / Santosh Anand / Lata Mangeshkar & Mukesh

The Lata-Mukesh winner (of so many L-P duets by them) had a violin riff to die for, and was composed in minutes when Laxmikant was playing on a small toy harmonium presented to his son Rishikesh by Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, the santoor ace, and Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, the flute wizard.

Hawa Hawaii / Mr India / 1987 / Kavita Krishnamurthi Subramaniam

Asha Bhosle was to sing this funky number, but dubbing artiste Kavita proved so good that it was decided to retain her voice for this crazy song filmed on Sridevi.

Hum tum ek kamre / Bobby / 1973 / Anand Bakshi / Lata Mangeshkar & Shailendra Singh

Can teenage love ever be so innocently phrased as in this song? This Bobby classic has few equals, if at all, among youthful romantic duets even now, and Raj Kapoor’s concept and execution, and Rishi Kapoor’s and Dimple Kapadia’s performances took this song to the next level.

Hungama ho gaya / Anhonee / 1973 / Verma Malik / Asha Bhosle

The first song ever filmed in a pub, with lighting, camerawork and choreography to match, this Bindu-enacted classic was re-created in the 2013 film, Queen.

Jumma chumma de de / Hum / 1991 / Anand Bakshi / Sudesh Bhosle & Kavita Krishnamurthi Subramaniam

Inspired from a Mory Kante number, as a keen request from Amitabh Bachchan, this song, originally planned for Agneepath, was filmed in a novel manner. So completely did the singers fit the actors that most thought it was sung by Amitabh and Kimi Katkar themselves!

Favourite singer of over 700 songs, Lata Mangeshkar with Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Photo: Publicity Photo

Kaate nahin kat-te / Mr India / Javed Akhtar / Kishore Kumar & Alisha Chinai

The benchmark seduction number is Alisha Chinai’s true breakthrough song. It was shot spectacularly on Anil Kapoor and Sridevi by Shekhar Kapur and choreographer Saroj Khan.

Lambi judaai / Hero / 1983 / Anand Bakshi / Reshma

The Pakistani singer’s smash debut remains an epic. L-P’s normal orchestra of 100-plus musicians was replaced by less than 10! This was to maintain the soul of the song and also keep the unused-to-playback Reshma comfortable.

Maar diya jaaye / Mera Gaon Mera Desh / 1971 / Anand Bakshi / Lata Mangeshkar

By now, this song, thanks to its catchphrase mukhda with its nuanced tune, has become an evergreen hit.

Main jat yamla pagla deewana / Pratiggya / 1975 / Anand Bakshi / Mohammed Rafi

Re-created as the title-track of the Deols’ 2011 home production Yamla Pagla Deewana, this Rafi classic was choreographed by Gopi Krishna, a classical dance maestro whose imaginative steps were merely copied by Dharmendra!

Rishi Kapoor re-enacts Main shaayar to nahin as Saif Ali Khan’s father in Hum Tum (2004). Photo: Trailer Video Grab

Main shaayar to nahin / Bobby / Anand Bakshi / Shailendra Singh

The song remains the epitome of a declaration of love at first sight. The first song recorded by a debut-making Shailendra Singh and by L-P for Raj Kapoor, it was re-recorded and filmed, on a middle-aged Rishi himself and Saif Ali Khan, in the 2004 Hum Tum!

Mere mehboob qayamat hogi / Mr X in Bombay / 1964 / Anand Bakshi / Kishore Kumar

Kishore always considered this song among his all-time Top 10. It was a historic song, it was his first with L-P, in the first film in which L-P and Anand Bakshi, who worked in over 300 films, first came together.

My name is Anthony Gonsalves / Amar Akbar Anthony / 1977 / Anand Bakshi / Kishore Kumar & Amitabh Bachchan

The song was a tribute to Pyarelal’s guru, Anthony Gonsalves, who actually played on the song. At Pyarelal’s request, Manmohan Desai renamed Amitabh’s character Anthony Fernandes as Anthony Gonsalves.

Om shanti om / Karz / Anand Bakshi / Kishore Kumar

Nothing needs to be said about this cult classic that inspired not just the film but also its ingenious title, Om Shanti Om. Except that Karz remains the only ‘disco’ score to win a Best Music award.

One two ka four / Ram Lakhan / 1989 / Anand Bakshi / Mohammed Aziz, Anuradha Paudwal & Nitin Mukesh

The mukhda, helped by the catchy musical hook, has again become a catchphrase.

Satyam shivam sundaram / Satyam Shivam Sundaram / 1978 / Pt. Narendra Sharma / Lata Mangeshkar

The music was sublime and the song has now crossed the boundaries of film music to become a traditional devotional that will live on for centuries.

Yeh jeevan hai / Piya Ka Ghar / 1972 / Anand Bakshi / Kishore Kumar

L-P coerced Kishore to sing in a soft tenor, and this percussion-free background number attained immortality with its fantastic truisms in the words and the awesome tune.





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