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Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Melody in the movies: 1971

Rajiv Vijaykar (Screen)

R. D.Burman suddenly turns prolific and enters the top echelons. Many of his songs this year will be handpicked for remixes three decades later. Kati Patang is the first of his four major hits. The Kishore Kumar triumvirate 'Yeh shaam mastani...','Pyar diwana hota hai...' and 'Yeh jo mohabbat hai...' Lata's 'Na koi umang hai...' Mukesh's'Jis gali mein...' as well as Asha's 'Mera naam hai Shabnam...' and Lata-Kishore's 'Haath na chhodenge...' combine for an all-hit score.

Caravan has RD going folksy except for the situational 'Monica o my darling...' sung by RD himself with Asha Bhosle. One of the career-finest scores of the composer, Caravan also boasts of exquisite yet hit songs like'Are ho goriya kahaan tera des...' 'Chadti jawani...' 'Kitna pyaara waada...' 'Dilbar dil se pyaare...' 'Daiyyan yeh main kahaan aa phansi...' 'Hum to hain rahi dil ke...' and'Ab jo mile hain to...'. Hare Rama Hare Krishna and Amar Prem are the two other major master-strokes of the genius, but these scores are released in late 1971 and will create sensations in 1972 along with the films.

Two superstars of the '70s get to enact their career-first songs under this composer. Zeenat Aman makes her debut in the song-less suspense thriller Hulchul, which has Pancham scoring the background music. But before Hare Rama Hare Krishna, the trend-setting actress does a small role in the flop comedy Hungama and gets to enact the Lata-Mukesh duet 'Suraj se jo kiran ka naata...' with Vinod Khanna. Two more songs from this film, 'Kacchi kali kachnaar ki...' and 'Wah ri qismat...' are fleetingly popular.

Pyar Ki Kahani is Amitabh Bachchan's third release, and the first one in which he gets to lip-synch songs. The Rafi numbers 'Ek pate ki baat sunaaon...' and 'Koi aur duniya mein...' mark AB's musical debut, and at that point of time, Lata-Kishore's 'Ek khabar aayi...' and Lata's 'Umar hai satra saal...' are the more popular numbers.

Buddha Mil Gaya has Pancham scoring the timeless Kishore solo 'Raat kali ek khwab mein aayi...' along with 'Oye buddho lambo lambo...' 'Bhali bhali si ek soorat...' and the classical number 'Aayo kahaan se Ghanashyam...'.

Paraya Dhan boasts of popular songs like 'Aaj unse pehli mulaqaat...' 'Aao jhoome gaayen...' and'Tu pyar tu preet...' and Adhikar is symbolic of the quick ascent of Kishore Kumar is-à-vis Rafi as the latter is relegated to being the comedian's voice in'Rekha o Rekha...' and Kishore Kumar gets the hero's number 'Koi maane ya na maane...'. Ramesh Pant, veteran scriptwriter, makes his debut as lyricist. In a single year, RD composes two songs for Pran in this film and in Lakhon Mein Ek. But it is the twin version Kishore/Lata number 'Chanda o chanda...' that achieves hit status from the latter.

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