Best Ever Songs of Bollywood
Best Songs of Bollywood
Five thousand years of rich musical tradition of India was brought to the world stage for the first time by the charismatic Indian Music Composer, A. R. Rahman, who created history by winning two Grammies and two Oscars in 2010 for his music in Slumdog Millionaire. Those who follow Indian music and Bollywood know that his music in Slumdog Millionaire was far from his best. In fact, in spite of the fact that Rahman ranks today as one of the all time great composers of Bollywood, his songs are yet to find place among the best of Bollywood.
The songs of Bollywood have been the best entertainment available to millions around the world, who love them, cherish them and are regaled by them. For almost seven decades, Bollywood songs have been the most popular genre of music in India and one of the most popular in the world. Their enormous following is reflective of the great reservoir of rich musical traditions of India as well as the genius of many great musicians, singers and other artistes who made them happen.
The best of these songs are those that are not only great music, but also a musical expression of the human emotions and the reality of life, with all its complexities and subjectivities in a manner that we all experience everyday of life. Here is a list of ten best ever songs produced by Bollywood in its history ... its best music ... with love ....
movie: ANAND (1970)
KAHIN DOOR JAB DIN ...
At the top of the list is this scintillating number from the movie ANAND (1970), which is the story of an ailing man suffering from incurable cancer and the victory of his positive human spirit over the tragedy faced by him. It is song about the memories of life, the world, nature and the antecedents of love, which over time become a part and parcel of your own self. It is an expression of a man, who knows that he is not going to be there very soon, and yet who wants to absorb every single experience, the memories and the life itself. It is a song of a person who has enjoyed life with all its highs and lows and wants to reabsorb it again through the memories, making it a musical depiction of life, as seen by him ! This eternal number, sung by the great Mukesh, was written by Yogesh - perhaps the greatest of his contributions to Bollywood, and composed by Salil Chaudhary.
Listen to it, absorb it and you will never feel human misery again.
movie: GUIDE (1965)
DIN DHAL JAYE ... HAYE ...
A soul touching number like this could only be sung by the great Mohammad Rafi, arguably the greatest male playback singer in Bollywood's history. It is said he could act with his voice, and if you do not believe it, just listen to this song and try to appreciate the effect his voice has generated. This number is an expression of the complex emotions of a man who loves but also knows he has made a mess of it .....and a very melodious expression indeed. An all time favorite emotional number of Bollywood romance ... it was composed by the great S D Burman for the movie GUIDE(1965), which is the story of elevation of a simple human being through romance to spirituality. Its lyrics were written by Shailendra, one of the greatest of Bollywood.
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movie: SHARMILEE (1971)
KHILTE HAIN GUL YAHAAN...
If Bollywood music is about elevating your spirits, mixing them in a fascinating mix of emotion and taking them to unforeseen heights, then this is the song that represents that facet. True melody can thrive on its own, and when complimented with right words, appearances and emotions, it almost rises beyond our world. This musical melody is a candidate for being the most melodious songs in the history of Bollywood. Sung by the great Kishore Kumar, for the movie SHARMILEE (1971), this is another great composition of S D Burman, often sited as the greatest music composer of Bollywood. Its lyrics were written by Neeraj, another great in his own right.
Kishore's voice and Burman's music takes you to a trip to heaven. Close your eyes and enjoy the divine experience.
movie: SHARAABI (1984)
MANZILEY APNI JAGAH HAIN.....
This great number was again sung by the legendary Kishore Kumar and composed by Bappi Lahiri, for the movie SHARAABI (1984). Its lyrics were written by Prakash Mehra.
It takes you to the depths of an ailing soul, in a manner that all forms of art and music aspire to achieve. If humanity is all about being able to feel the pain some one else has, then this number succeeds in bringing out the best of that quality. If you want to understand the meaning of the word 'compassion', this is the song you may want to listen to. No amount of knowledge, money, wealth, religious sermons or science can do what this number can do to you. Try it if you don't believe me.
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movie: VEER-ZAARA (2004)
TERE LIYE ...
The only number produced in this century that finds a place in this list was actually composed by the great Madan Mohan many decades back, before it was rediscovered and used for the movie Veer-Zaara (2004). The music stands out by its virtuosity and riches of vibrations that perfectly depict the platonic love of two birds unfortunately caught in the vicious destruction of nationalism, religion and politics, who chose to pay with their lifelong suffering rather than give up their feelings. This number is great because it conveys the expressions of these pure souls by not only words, but even by its music. Roop Kumar Rathode (male singer) joins the two living legends of Bollywood - Lata Mangeshkar (female singer) and Javed Akhtar, who has written the lyrics of this great masterpice.
movie: KAAGAZ KE PHOOL (1959)
WAQT NE KIYA KYA .....
This song is great not just because of its music but also because of the way in which it was filmed by the great Guru Dutt, one of the greatest and most original Directors of Bollywood. The number depicts ironic tragedies of human life and has a haunting quality that pierces deep in to your heart. If you have never experienced pain in real life, just listen to this number to understand what that would mean.
Experiences of life are the greatest riches one can have, but those riches are not always pleasant. They are sometime tragic, yet they are equally precious, as is this melodious song. It was sung by Geeta Dutt, and composed by S D Burman, for the movie KAAGAZ KE PHOOL (1959). Such magic could never be recreated again in Bollywood.
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movie: DULARI (1949)
SUHANI RAAT DHAL CHUKI...
Another masterpiece by the great Mohammad Rafi for the movie DULARI in 1949, actually one of his first. It was composed by another legend Naushad.
This number is great because of its very high vocal skills and the way it is able to generate great music even with very limited intrumental and orchestral support that were available in the late forties, in an era that preceded the golden age of Bollywood music. This number will always remain one of the best ever produced by Bollywood, because of its simple soft sounds and the astonishing depth of their impact. One of its great strengths is its lyrics written by Shakeel Badayuni. This song was also considered as his best by Mohammad Rafi, something that he mentioned in his last interview before his death.
If anyone harbors anoy doubts about the greatness of this song, ask him to try singing it !!
movie: WOH KAUN THI (1964)
LAG JA GALE KE PHIR YE...
This amazingly almost out of this world number was sung by Lata Mageshkar, the greatest legend of Bollywood Music for the movie WHO KAUN THI 1964). Its music was composed by Madan Mohan, who is said to have invariably reserved his best for Lata, and its great lyrics were written by Raja Mehndi Ali Khan. Together with them, Lata's voice renders creates an an extra-ordinary rendition of music that is an expression of love and its longing in a mystirical way, and with a haunting quality that befitted the suspense and horror tale of this movie.
Listen to this song to experience the sweet but haunting world of love and...paranormal ....
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movie: DIL HI TO HAI (1963)
LAGA CHUNARI MEIN DAAG...
This number is the the best depiction of the strong classical vocal tradition of Indian music. It was sung by the legendary Manna Dey, one of the greatest exponent of classical music in Bollywood for the movie DIL HI TO HAI (1963). With lyrics written by Sahir Ludhianavi and music composed by Roshan, the number owes its greatness largely to its perfect rendering by Manna Dey. The greatness of this number lies in the overall balance that it achieves between preserving the purity of Raag BHAIRAVI on which it is based, the skills that define classical music and the melody that the audience wants to experience.
It is a song without which the list of greatest Bollywood songs can never be completed. It is also a song that introduces you to Classical Music of Bollywood !
movie: AANDHI (1975)
IS MOD SE JAATE HAIN ...
Music elevates you.... great musical elevates you even further ... till the greatest of it takes you to a plane where you can close your eyes and forget everything that is part of this world. That is exactly what you experience with this number, a duet by Kishore Kumar and Lata Mageshkar, two great legends of Bollywood. It makes you fly in the air, taking you above the clouds and even farther ... letting you experience how music can transgress the boundaries of time and space. It has great lyrics written by Gulzar and its music was composed by R D Burman, another of musical greats of Bollywood for the movie AANDHI (1975).
Close your eyes .... listen to this song ... and forget whatever else exists ...
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© 2011 V Kumar
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