Happy Birthday S.D. Burman: Select Hindi films featuring signature songs of the music maestro
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Happy Birthday S.D. Burman: Select Hindi films featuring signature songs of the music maestro
Hia Datta
Oct 01, 2021

Think of Hindi cinema music in the 90s and S.D. Burman is one name that would inevitably come to mind among the all-time great music composers. Born to Tripura’s Rajparibar in 1906, S.D. Burman aka Sachin Dev Burman, began his career in 1937 as a music composer in Bengali films. Versatility was his signature as both a singer and a composer, and he churned out memorable semi-classical numbers in Bengali film music while also contributing significantly to the genre of Bengali folk music. From thereon, S.D. Burman carved an indelible league of his own as a playback singer and music composer in the Hindi film industry.

The stalwarts of Indian film music, from Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi, Talat Mehmood, Samsad Begum to Hemant Kumar, have sung his songs and etched them as timeless numbers. Burman has won numerous awards, such as the Sangeet Natak Academy Award, Asiatic Film society award, Sant Haridas Award, the Gold Medal from Bengal All India Music. He won the National Film Award for Best Playback singer for Saphal Hogi Teri Aradhana from the film Aradhana. He also clinched the National Film Award for the Best Music Director for his work in the 1974 film Zindagi Zindagi. Pyaasa, Teen Devian, Zindagi Zindagi, Abhimaan, Aradhana, Jewel Thief, Guide are among the famous films in his illustrious repertoire.

On the 115th birth anniversary of the musical man whose strains reverberate in the ears of every seasoned music lover in India, here are select Hindi films that feature the simple yet soulful compositions by the stalwart.

8OTTplay Rating
Tuned to Anand Bakshi’s lyrics, the 1969 romantic drama had lovely songs sung by Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, Kishore Kumar, and Mohammed Rafi. The plot of the film is propelled through the songs organically. For instance, the film’s hero and heroine, IAF officer Arun Varma played by Rajesh Khanna and Vandana played by Sharmila Tagore meet through the unforgettable opening song Mere Sapnon ki Rani. For Roop Tera Mastana, Kishore Kumar won the 1969 Filmfare Award for best male playback singer too. Apart from this, the love songs Baghon Mein Baahar Hai, sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi, Gunguna Rahe Hai Bhanvar, sung by and Asha Bhonsle and Mohammed Rafi are indispensable to the film as a whole. The song towards the end, Saphal Hogi Teri Aradhana is sung by S.D. Burman himself, and it got him the National Film Award for Best Male Playback singer. Each of the 7 songs is evergreen in its own way, for instance, Chanda Hai Tu Mera Suraj Hai Tu sung by Lata Mangeshkar, has gone down to be one of the quintessential Hindi songs to express a mother’s love for her child.
Chupke Chupke
8.5OTTplay Rating
This 1975 comedy was directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, produced by N.C. Sippy is the Hindi remake of the Bengali film Chaddmabeshi. It features Dharmendra, Sharmila Tagore, Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bhaduri, and Om Prakash in key roles. S.D. Burman composed songs 4 songs that play up every beat of the story, along with, of course, the humour. There’s the iconic fun song in the film, Sa Re Ga Ma, sung by Kishore Kumar and Mohammed Rafi, which is a sheer delight to the ears. Lip-synced by Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra, this song stands to be an unforgettable comedy song of Hindi cinema.
6.5OTTplay Rating
This 1971 film starred Rakhee in double roles. Produced by Subodh Mukherjee and directed by Samir Ganguly, the film stars Shashi Kapoor and Nazir Hussain in key roles. Tuned to lyrics by Neeraj, each of the seven songs, that had Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle lend their voices to, became big hits, featuring on the Binaca Geetmala top 100 songs of the year. Be it Megha Chaaye Aadhi Raat sung by Lata Mangeshkar, Aaj Madhosh Hua Jaye Re, sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar, the older generation have a fond nostalgia for the bygone times associated with the songs, and music aficionados can’t stop marvelling at the sheer craft of S.D. Burman that plays through them.
Helmed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, the 1973 musical romantic drama is centred on music as the key element in the plot. Perhaps the film can be cited as one of the best examples of how integral S.D. Burman’s signature songs were in making a successful film in the late 90s. The film, which is a milestone in S.D. Burman’s musical career, is rather remembered for the songs. Burman won the Filmfare Award for Best Music Director for the ethereal tunes set to Majrooh Sultanpuri’s lyrics and sung by Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar, and Mohammad Rafi. The film comes full circle both narratively and musically as the couple that fell in love through music and broke apart due to music, and eventually gathered the broken bits to find their way back to each other through music. The final song Tere Mere Milan Ki Ye Raina, also the most moving one on the gem of an album is sung by Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar. Ab Toh Hai Tumse, sung by Lata Mangeshkar, Teri Bindiya Re sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi, Lootey Koi Mann ka Nagar, sung by Lata Mangeshkar, Meet Na Mila Re Mann Ka, sung by Kishore Kumar, Nadiya Kinare and Piya Bina sung by Lata Mangeshkar are equally fresh and resonant today too.
8OTTplay Rating
Written by Bimal Dutta, produced and helmed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee with N.C. Sippy as the co-producer, Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bhaduri, Ashok Kumar Ansari, Aruna Irani feature in prominent parts in this 1971 romantic drama. The musical film was the last film of S.D. Burman and his son R.D. Burman co-composed the songs as his associate music director. Yogesh penned the lyrics. Badi Sooni Sooni Hai, sung by Kishore Kumar, Aaye Tum Yaad Mujhe sang by Kishore Kumar, each of the songs has its own old-world charm for the young generation and a visual memory bubble for the older generation. Lata Mangeshkar’s Maine Kahin Kahan Phoolon Se, featuring Jaya Bachchan musically enlivens the defining nuance of Mili as the sprightly girl who lives life to the fullest. S.D. Burman’s songs are tailored to the situations and the mood in the film. Watch the film to see for yourself how songs were seamlessly woven into the narrative to tell a simple story.

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