Best Ever Songs of Bollywood

Best Songs of Bollywood : A R Rahman with Two Oscars (2010) brought Bollywood Music to global attention
Best Songs of Bollywood : A R Rahman with Two Oscars (2010) brought Bollywood Music to global attention

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)

Rajesh Khanna reserved his place in history with the movie Anand, for which this song was composed.
Rajesh Khanna reserved his place in history with the movie Anand, for which this song was composed.

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)

Dev Anand rose to etrnal stardom with the movie Guide, for which this great number was composed.
Dev Anand rose to etrnal stardom with the movie Guide, for which this great number was composed.

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.

movie: SHARMILEE (1971)

Shashi Kapoor and Rakhi in Khilte hain gul yahan - A great song in the movie Sharmeelee
Shashi Kapoor and Rakhi in Khilte hain gul yahan - A great song in the movie Sharmeelee

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)

This number brings out the pain of an ailing soul (played by Amitabh Bacchan), who is starved of affection, and having got it finally, has lost it again.
This number brings out the pain of an ailing soul (played by Amitabh Bacchan), who is starved of affection, and having got it finally, has lost it again.

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.

movie: VEER-ZAARA (2004)

Sharukh Khan and Preity Zinta in the movie Veer Zaara - a tale of cross border love echoed in this eternal number
Sharukh Khan and Preity Zinta in the movie Veer Zaara - a tale of cross border love echoed in this eternal number

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)

Guru Dutt - Geeta Dutt combine created this magical haunting number composed by S D Burman with their individual genius in direction and singing
Guru Dutt - Geeta Dutt combine created this magical haunting number composed by S D Burman with their individual genius in direction and singing

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.

movie: DULARI (1949)

The beauty of Madhubala was fully complemented by this great song sung by Mohammad Rafi
The beauty of Madhubala was fully complemented by this great song sung by Mohammad Rafi

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)

Sadhna in Woh Kaun Thi : This number has an out of this world quality that makes you feel in a different world.
Sadhna in Woh Kaun Thi : This number has an out of this world quality that makes you feel in a different world.

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 ....

movie: DIL HI TO HAI (1963)

Raj Kapoor in Dil Hi To Hai - The greatest classical based song in the history of Bollywood, sung by Mannade
Raj Kapoor in Dil Hi To Hai - The greatest classical based song in the history of Bollywood, sung by Mannade

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)

This Kishore - Lata duet takes you above the clouds, and beyond the reach of any hurricane (Aandhi).
This Kishore - Lata duet takes you above the clouds, and beyond the reach of any hurricane (Aandhi).

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 ...

Chose the Best Ever Song of Bollywood

Which is the best ever Bollywood Song?

See results without voting

© 2011 V Kumar

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Comments 25 comments

saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

I am amazed that you have not had any comments on this magnificent hub. I just skipped through it as I was tweeting you back a message on Twitter. I also am following your blogpost at Blogger. Mine ishttp://saddlerider.blogspot.com/ I will come back to read this Hub. Thank you for sharing.


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

I am amazed that you have not had any comments on this magnificent hub. I just skipped through it as I was tweeting you back a message on Twitter. I also am following your blogpost at Blogger. Mine ishttp://saddlerider.blogspot.com/ I will come back to read this Hub. Thank you for sharing.


V Kumar profile image

V Kumar 5 years ago Author

Thanks so much.


chander mehra profile image

chander mehra 5 years ago from Delhi

I love your choice, but do I miss some classics like "So ja rajmumari"


V Kumar profile image

V Kumar 5 years ago Author

Thanks. With only ten songs, there will inevitably be many notable omissions.


Sneha Sunny profile image

Sneha Sunny 5 years ago from India

that's an amazing list... I've been listening to these songs since childhood. My mom is such a big fan of music and especially of Lata Mangeshkar.


Hunbbel Meer profile image

Hunbbel Meer 5 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan.

Lag ja galay, Kaheen dur jab din dhal jae, Manzilen apni jgah hain and Tere liye are my all time personal favourites. A good collection any ways. Voted up!


V Kumar profile image

V Kumar 5 years ago Author

Thanks.


makusr profile image

makusr 5 years ago from India

V Kumar,

Greetings from MAKUSR. I am so happy to read your hub. Very good.

Lots of Love,

MAKUSR


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Hello, V Kumar! GREAT read! Amazing information and thorough research. Delightful hub. I am very impressed with your natural talent. Keep the great hubs coming. Sincerely, KENNETH AVERY, from rural Hamilton, a little, but peaceful town in northwest Alabama that looks like Mayberry, on the famous Andy Griffith Show. Peace.


sushil 4 years ago

Ud Jaa kale kawa.." is also melody song


Ph Neutral 4 years ago

Thanks for these songs. I love all of these. plz be in touch join me on fb. I am PH Neutral


Bhagwat 4 years ago

Nice collections.!


4 years ago

what about PAl pal dil k pass


V Kumar profile image

V Kumar 4 years ago Author

A great number indeed. I think it is your favourite. Mine too.


sanch 3 years ago

I cannot Understand Hindhi..I woder How u selected number one song??lirics??where is man re ??Lata's lot of supresub songs better than any of thing song except 2end one..


V Kumar profile image

V Kumar 3 years ago Author

You are right. Lyrics are the greatest strength of the first song, but it is one of the best ten and not number one. You are right, Lata's voice is the best ever heard in Bollywood - that is what makes her the biggest phenomenon of Bollywood music. These songs are the greatest because of their overall effect.


Pharmd988 3 years ago

Hello! eaaedek interesting eaaedek site! I'm really like it! Very, very eaaedek good!


3 years ago

Outstanding - haven't seen a more eloquent and better effort at compiling the best songs. Separately, you may like to look at http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?231648 for their view. Cheers


V Kumar profile image

V Kumar 3 years ago Author

Thank you so much for the encouraging words. It is great when people like what you do.


Uma Maheswar Nakka 3 years ago

A Nice job and compilation.

No doubt these are good songs, but not the best.

You missed the real best.

Few examples,'Ae maalik tere bande hum' from Do Ankhen Barah Haath, Yeh Zindagi usiki hai, 'jyothi kalash chhalake', and many more the best..

And after 1970, there are no best song in Hindi films. All best songs gone before.

You can imagine when 'Choli ke peeche kya hain', got Binca topper inn 1994, how low the quality has gone.

It is same with all films in every language.

Now it is the era of A.R. Rahman.

God save Indian films in Hindi and other languages.

Apologies, not intended to disappoint you.

Regards

Uma Maheswar Nakka


V Kumar profile image

V Kumar 3 years ago Author

I understand your disappointment with the way Bollywood music has moved away from its rich classical tradition.


ishwar prajapati 23 months ago

You are right. Lyrics are the greatest strength of the first song, but it is one of the best ten and not number one. You are right, Lata's voice is the best ever heard in Bollywood - that is what makes her the biggest phenomenon of Bollywood music. These songs are the greatest because of their overall effect.


Victor 8 days ago

Superb list to say the least..all songs are great and personal favs too. :)

Minor correction: lyrics of kahi duur jab din dhal Jaye from anand are written by yogesh , not gulzar.


V Kumar profile image

V Kumar 3 days ago Author

Thanks Victor. I have made the correction.

I can't believe I made this error. Maybe I saw Gulzar's name as lyricist of Jiya laage na ... from this movie and committed this error.

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