Best of Yash Raj Films’ music
From “Daag” and “Kabhi Kabhie” to “Dil To Pagal Hai” and “Veer-Zaara”, the songs from Yash Raj Films’ romantic sagas always had a dreamy quality and the haunting melodies captivate listeners even today.
Here are some of the best musicals from the Yash Raj banner:
1. “Waqt” (1965) – Before Yash Chopra branched out on his own to form Yash Raj Films he regularly made films for his brother, the illustrious B.R. Chopra. “Waqt” started the long association between B.R. Films and composer Ravi who came up with some of his choicest jingles for this one.
At the peak of the Lata Mangeshkar mania, Ravi audaciously got Asha to do “Kaun aaya ki nigahon mein khanak” and of course, the evergreen “Aage bhi jaane na tu”. But the pick of the lot was “Ae meri zohra zabeen”, Manna Dey’s evergreen number that was also used by Aditya Chopra in “Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge” three decades later.
2. “Daag” (1973) – Yash Chopra branched out as an independent filmmaker with this melodious ménage a trois, remarkable for being the only time Laxmikant-Pyarelal teamed up with poet Sahir Ludhianvi. The end-result was there for all to hear in Kishore Kumar’s “Mere dil main aaj kya hai” and Lata’s “Jab bhi jee chahe nayee duniya” – the latter was appropriated from a Noorjehan ghazal.
But at the end of the endeavour, Ludhianvi vowed never to work with the mighty Laxmikant-Pyarelal again. “They don’t understand poetry,” Ludhianvi sneered. For his next project, Yashji had to choose between the poet and the composing duo. He chose Ludhianvi.
3. “Kabhi Kabhie” (1975) – Yash Chopra’s most poetic film and arguably his best musical to date, fished out Khayyam from semi-hibernation. Using Ludhianvi’s poetry and Lata-Mukesh’s vocals as crutches, Khayyam created a wonder world of poetry, passion and pain.
“Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein”, “Main pal do pal ka shayar” and “Mere ghar aayee ek nanhi pari”, are perennials. There were also some young tunes for Rishi and Neetu like “Jaan-e-man tum kamaal karte ho”, “Pyar kar liya to kya” and “Tera phoolon jaisa rang”. Lata went from being sweet 60 for Waheeda Rehman to sweet 16 for Neetu Singh without skipping a beat.
4. “Trishul” (1978) – Yash Raj-Khayyam’s follow-up to “Kabhi Kabhie” suffered for being an action movie. But the magnificent theme song “Tu mere saath rahega munne” lifted the whole score to the stratosphere of the sublime.
One of Amitabh Bachchan’s favourite songs, “Tu mere saath”, is arguably the best song that Lata has sung for a Yash Raj film. Bachchan played the protagonist in the film. Also, up there among the greats is the Lata-Yesudas duet “Aapki mehki hui zulf”.
5. “Silsila” (1991) – Shiv-Hari and Javed Akhtar created quaint and compelling numbers like “Yeh kahan aa gaye hum”, “Neela aasman so gaya” and “Dekha ek khwab”. “Silsila” painted as many shades of romance as possible.
The other scores that Shiv-Hari did for Yash Raj Films, namely “Chandni”, “Lamhe”, “Parampara”, “Vijay”, “Faasle” and “Darr” were no patch on that of “Silsila”.
6. “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” (1995) – Though they couldn’t create a title tune to match the song of the name that Ravindra Jain composed in “Chor Machaye Shor”, there was nonetheless an everlasting swerve towards verve in “Tujhe dekha to yeh jana sanam” and “Ho gaya hai tujhko to pyar sajna”. Lata and Asha Bhosle belted out a solo each – “Mere khwabon mein jo aaye” and “Zara sa jhoom loom main” – for the effervescent Kajol.
7. “Dil To Pagal Hai” (1997) – Uttam Singh’s feisty songs were led by the foot-tapping “Dil to pagal hai” where the then 70-plus Lata sounded no more than 20. Yash Chopra’s utter devotion to the Lata’s vocals came to full fruition.
8. “Veer-Zaara” (2005) – Madan Mohan’s dormant songs were rejuvenated by his son Sanjeev Kohli. The numbers had an incredible amount of melody quotient, especially in the number “Tere liye”.
Udit Narayan’s voice dipped to an incredible bass in “Main yahan hoon yahan”. Every singer from Lata to Roop Kumar Rathod put his or her best foot forward to create a score that never bored.
9. “Bunty Aur Babli” (2005) – “Chote chotey shehron mein” the mood of lingering fun reached a full crescendo in this soundtrack. Gulzar put on his zany cap to write his sauciest song yet.
“Kajra re” ranks as one of the new millennium’s most successful item songs. But the love ballad “Chup chup ke” sung by Gaytari Iyer and Shankar Mahadevan ranks much higher.
10. “Dhoom” (2007) – “Dhoom machale” need we say anything more?
And the also-rans: “Kala Patthar” – Rajesh Roshan’s only tryst with Yash Raj contained the hit duets “Ek rasta hai zindagi” and “Bahon mein tere”.
“Mashaal” – On Lata’s recommendation, Hridaynath Mangeshkar got the chance to do one score for Yash Raj. Remembered for the bhajan “Om namah shivay”.
“Chandni” – “Mere haathon mein nau-nau chudiya” pulsated with the power of Lata’s vocal chords.
“Lamhe” – It had elegant though somewhat listless ballads by Shiv-Hari.
“Darr” – “Tu mere samne” and “Tu hai meri kiran” by Shiv-Hari were quite popular at that time.
“Mujhse Dosti Karoge” – Shiv Kumar Sharma’s son Rahul composed some extremely pleasant melodies. Lata went from papa Shiv to son Rahul with age-defying fluency.
“Salaam Namaste” – the zing sting by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.
And last but not the least, “Fanna” – Jatin-Lalit got together for the last time.