The RD Burman playlist: Iconic Pancham songs by which to remember him on his birthday

Ask anyone in your house what their favourite RD Burman song is, and you can be sure that a 2 hour long conversation (possibly a fight too) will break out.

Everyone has a favourite RD Burman song of their own — and will defend to death why it should be the universal favourite too.

RD Burman's pairings, with singers, actors an lyricists, is also celebrated widely. There's RD and Asha Bhosle; RD, Kishore Kumar and Rajesh Khanna; RD and Gulzar.

Burman's first tryst with music came by accompanying his father, SD Burman to recordings. He is known to have been pushed by his father into the classical music realm, but decided to merge his interest in international music with an Indian sound, to create his own sense of musical style.

No one really knows where Rahul Dev Burman got his nickname — Pancham, but it's only fitting.

On his 78th birthday this year, beyond these snippets, let's take a trip down memory lane and list out the perfect playlist to listen to on a rainy day:

'Bheegi Bheegi Raaton Mein' is possibly the most fitting song that clubs monsoon, romance and music together. No matter how many times the song gets remixed, the original from the film Ajnabee, with Rajesh Khanna and Zeenat Aman, is still a sensual, favourite of many even in this generation.

Play 'Gulaabi Aankhen', from the film The Train, in any party with people belonging the 60s and 70s, and you're sure to find someone get up and dance. It was once considered a dance anthem of its time, and still stands as a foot-tapping number. It's been remixed and re-mastered multiple times to suit contemporary sounds, but the original is layered and melodic.

Teesri Manzil was one of RD Burman's first few films as a composer, and also his first collaboration with Asha Bhosle. While there are many lovely tracks from the film, such as Oh Mere Sona Re, and 'Aaja Aaja Mein Hoon Pyaar Tera' — both of which are very popular songs to date — 'Tumne MujheDekha is possibly the most melodic of the lot.  

Jawani Diwani as an album has more hits than misses. Each song from the film can possibly be on someone's favourite songs list, whether it is 'Saamne yeh kaun aaya''Nahin nahin' and 'Yeh Jawani Hai Diwami' — but possibly the one song that stands out as the most hum-able of the lot, and also the one song that is a sure shot part of most singing reality shows, it would have to be 'Jaane Ja Dhoondta Phir Raha'

RD Burman also added the trademark retro sound to his songs, most easily recognisable in songs such as 'Mehboob Mehbooba' from Sholay, where he would use a deeper bass voice with a nasal distortion. This sound became a Pancham trademark, and one of our favourites is 'Yamma Yamma' from Shaan.

Also a champion of slow, philosophical songs that really pierce your heart, Burman has many compositions that would be a perfect companion on a gloomy day. Kuch Toh Log Kahenge is one such example, but for a more varied sound (a duet), Tere Bina Zindagi Se Koi hits the spot.

One of the most iconic songs to feature the golden trio, Kishore Kumar, Rajesh Khanna and RD Burman, is, according to our humble opinion, 'O Mere Dil Ke Chain' — one of those rare songs where the verses are as popular as the chorus, if not more.

1942: A Love Story is one such film where every song is immensely popular. In the 90s, these songs — Ek Ladki Ko Dekha, Kuch Na Kaho, Rhim Jhim would be played on the radio and TV on repeat. Picking a favourite from Pancham's last album (that was released posthumously) is a hard task. We're going with Pyaar Hua Chupke Se  for its sheer playfulness.


Published Date: Jun 27, 2017 12:26 pm | Updated Date: Jun 27, 2017 12:42 pm


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