I wonder if anyone could ever refute the significance of music in Hindi films. As much as we might have wondered in many a case why a sudden song erupted from nowhere and broke the flow of the film, we often don’t mind the break because the songs were so delectable. Just imagione a scene from Dabang where Chulbul Pandey asks, ”kahaan hai Makhkhan Singh?” and the song “Munni Badnaam” breaks out in the frames. And what does the inspector do when he reaches the venue – no, he doesn’t catch the goon, he starts dancing with Munni. “Wtf!” Did you say that when you sat in the theatre? I didn’t. Because the song was something I was anyways looking forward to, and surely the people around me awaited even more. As I sat in the balcony, the upper stall almost broke out in virulent melody, with people singing and dancing through the song – it was an experience altogether. Of course, Dabangg itself was an extremely successful film and it pretty much matched the popularity the song discussed above. The late 1980s and early 1990s had a plethora of such songs – could very well be termed ‘guilty pleasure’ songs – which you know are crap, make no sense and were absolutely not required in the film – but you just can’t resist watching it. Just imagine “Himmatwaala” minus the matka song “Naino mein sapna” – how much of the movie can you recall? The lyrics were filled with double meanings and sexual innuendos – “Sarkailo khatiya jaada lage” or “Bholi bhali ladki, khol tere dil ki, pyaar waali khidki”.. I rarely meet people who don’t have fond memories of such songs. Well, my post underneath is not really about these double meaning songs of 1990s – but about 10 such scores that went way beyond their films. At times the film fared decently but the song was a blockbuster, at some other times, the film tanked but the song won all hearts. As you read further, you will realise that there are instances when you remember the movie only by its songs or not know the movie but still heard the song many a time. Of course, the list is not expansive and am sure there are many more such songs. But when I sit to recollect such tracks which overpowered the movies, these are the ones that cross my mind the most.
So, here we go, in an order based on the approximate ratio of popularity of song : popularity of the film.
(NB: I have not included any song before 1990, just an attempt to ensure every possible reader was born when the movies released).
ZAKHM is not a film hated by people. Neither is it a film to be ridiculed. It’s just too niche a film – that wasn’t watched by as many people as should have. But this song by Alka Yagnik has touched every heart. Not just a lover, this song is the perfect ode for any person you care, and who returned after a long time. I have so treasured some of Pooja Bhatt’s performances and this one ranks high among her best. The surprise, the disbelief, the exhilaration – every feeling is so minutely portrayed by her. And look at little Kunal Khemu – so proud at making his mother happy. The song is at number 10 only because Zakhm is possibly the most loved film in the list of songs mentioned below.
Jumma Chumma and Tamma Tamma have been songs compared on multiple platforms. Both the music directors blamed each other for copying their tune. How naive! They didn’t even realise that the audience would figure out that neither of the songs is original?? Somehow though, actually pretty much like all other plagiarised songs, these two didn’t lose their popularity despite all allegations and are pretty famous even today. However, when it comes to the films, Hum (Jumma Chumma) still reigns strong on all viewers’ minds, thanks to the starcast and AB’s compelling performance, while I can ensure most people won’t be able to instantly recall “Thanedaar” despite the fact that they might love Tamma Tamma. Of course, the film isnt worthy to be remembered, unless you want to recollect Jeetendra wearing a black Persian soldier like gown and riding a horse. Before I move on to the next song, I leave you with a hilarious blog comparing the two songs.
I know so many who hated the film. I know there are people who didn’t bother to see the film. But I have not been to been to any club / party which hasn’t played this song. This has kind of become an anthem for party goers. Cool beats, very relatable lyrics for youngsters and the ‘yo’ factor made the song an instant hit. In fact, I must mention that the entire album of FALTU was damn good. I love almost all the songs. But as they say, in Bollywood, a huge part of your album’s success depends on how well your film does. Though the film didn’t lose money, they surely didn’t win a lot of hearts. Hence, more than the other songs, CHAR BAJ GAYE stole the show because it was the first song to be promoted.
I searched, searched and searched. But I did not find any video of this song only from the “ROCKFORD”. The closest I got was this one which looks more of a music video for KK’s album than from the film. But what I found were the innumerable covers of the number by various singers from across the country. I am not denying Indian Idol’s contribution in making the song even more popular. But only a reality show cannot take a song to this podium unless everyone listening to it can form a connection. Rockford was a nice sweet film by Nagesh Kukunoor, who was making good films in the early part of his career. However, the film never reached the masses – or may be it was never intended to – may be because of the subject matter or the language or both. Yet, till today, if there are farewell parties or friendship days, you will find schools / colleges / cafeterias / FM channels playing this song. Inevitably!!! I am sure the entire generation of schoolkids today might be unaware of the very existence of Rockford but they still love the song.
Emraan Hashmi hasn’t had many flops in his career. But even when his films didn’t work, the songs still weaved their magic. Of everything that can go wrong with Hashmi films, music is not one. The above song exemplifies the same. ‘The Train’, a remake of American thriller ‘Derailed’, was panned by both critics and viewers alike. Even Emraan Hashmi’s lovemaking scenes with beauty paegant winner Sayali Bhagat and Bhajji’s lady-love Geeta Basra didn’t save the scene. But “Beetein Lamhe” touched all hearts. K. K. is one of the most underrated singers of India. The man who rose to stardom with the epitome of painful songs “Tarap Tarap” from HDDCS has proved time and again that when it comes to melancholic songs, he is par excellence. No wonder, “Beetein Lamhe” was the only good thing about “The Train”.
I was in FY college and in a pretty ripe relationship when this song came out. And it was my girlfriend’s favourite song. No wonder, I have heard it for some 1000 times. But more than that, what surprises me is the fact that I haven’t met a girl who doesn’t ‘absolutely adore / really love’ it!! A crappy film that it was, Krishna Cottage was doomed the day they had done the casting. But to its credit, it had to chartbuster songs – the other one being Bindass. Suna Suna has an amazing quality of haunting melody that takes it beyond a regular love song. All said and done, what works most for me in this song is Shreya Ghoshal’s voice. She is blessed man, her voice is just cathartic!!! In fact, whenever I am depressed, I lie down and put on her playlist on my ipod. Along with this song, the other absolutely favourites are “Teri Ore” from Singh is King and ‘Agar Tum Mil Jaao’ from Zeher.
As director Mahesh Bhatt confesses himself, “Criminal” – a copy of Harrison Ford starrer “The Fugitive” (based on an American TV series of the same name) is a shitty movie. One of Nagarjuna’s worst performance, where he hams so much through the entire film that by the end of the film you want to kill him and not the actual villain. Not many people have been through the torture of bearing the film, as it tanked miserably at the box office. However, the film is remembered for one very good reason – the theme song “Tum Mile”. It’s an ultimate romantic ballad. Kumar Sanu, who was then in his purple patch, barely got anything wrong. After Aashiqui and 1942 A Love Story, the man seemed to weave magic with every song. And Tum Mile added on to his bank of melodies. Add to that Alka Yagnik’s voice – no lover can go wrong singing Tum Mile to his lady love. Veteran music director M.M. Kreem, who composed the song, himself claims that it was one of his best works amidst his vast repertoire of films in multiple languages.
The grand setting, the choreography, everything about this song belies the fact that it’s actually from not so grand a film “Krishna”. Look at the number of shots taken, the lighting, the plethora of dancers in the background – and you would realise how serious an affair were the songs then. The costumes are garish, the steps are laughable and of course, a dancing Suniel Shetty is a sight in itself. But, can you raise your hands and say ‘I haven’t heard the song’ or even ‘I hate this song’. Even if you do, you will be a part of a feeble minority. Star choreographer Remo D’Souza recently paid a tribute on a dancing reality show by recreating the song on stage – replacing the sand with water. An ode to all those ‘guilty-pleasure’ songs of the era, Jhanjhaariya is a great song to hear by the then popular Abhijeet and lovely to see, thanks to its brilliant picturisation. By the way, there’s also a female version to the song, which is though not as popular as the male one.
Trust Madhuri Dixit to to take a normal song to a different tangent altogether. I dare anyone say they loved this crap of a film which had Aditya Pancholi playing a psychopath. And Madhuri Dixit was his doctor. LOL !! Only our Bollywood can have doctors dancing seductively, dressed in fisherwomen’s clothes. Makes absolutely no sense. But who cares? When the dancer is MD and when the song is the only good thing about the film. The song has been recreated over and over again in dance shows, and is surely one of the more popular numbers of MD besides Choli Ke Peechhey aur Chane ke khet mein… One cannot admire the fact that how sleazy the song or choreography may be, Mads never made it look vulgar – thanks to her charming smile and graceful movements.
This was possibly Jugal Hansraj’s 3rd debut film as lead actor, before obviously he was introduced again in Mohabbatein. And I had to google the film and figure out the heroine’s name. And I was saddened to figure out that the movie was directed by Mahesh Bhatt. What was wrong with the man who made such beautiful films like Arth & Saraansh. Coming back to the song, I am sure all those who have avoided watching the film also know the song. A beautiful song in Udit Narayan’s voice – the man has by far the sweetest male voice in Bollywood. There was a time when he was the only choice to sing for all actors, simply because he could make any song sound melodious. And obviously a Bhatt film never goes without good songs. A romantic melody perfect to hum.
After compiling the list, I figured out that 3 out of these 10 songs were actually from Mahesh Bhatt films. Not that I was ever skeptical about his taste in music but the list has made my love for his music even more (and respect for his films – well, a bit less). And I also realised that I have never had so much fun writing a post as this one. Watched the all videos and loved them. So, even if you ignore the post, do watch the videos. Have fun!!!