STERLING but BELITTLED KISHORE KUMAR and LAXMIKANT-PYARELAL
It was in 1964 director Shantilal Soni was making “Mr X In Bombay” starring Kishore Kumar and Kumkum in lead role. Obviously, Kishore Kumar as a singer was the choice for all the songs of “Mr. X In Bombay”. Laxmikant-Pyarelal had already made a high impact, in hindi film music, through the songs of their earlier hit, B grade, films from “Parasmani”, “Harishchandra Taramati”, “Sati Savitri”, “Sant Gyaneshwar” & “Dosti” etc. In these films Laxmikant-Pyarelal had an opportunity to work with great singers like Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh, Mohammad Rafi and Manna Dey to compose “A Grade” music.
Now it was the time for Laxmikant-Pyarelal to work with Actor / Singer Kishore Kumar, in “Mr X In Bombay”. Kishore Kumar was passing through the lean period of his musical career, then. Both Laxmikant and Pyarelal went to Kishore Kumar’s house with the song “tune”. Kishore Kumar was so happy to listen to the tune that he started telling everyone present in the house, his gardener, stewards, security guard that see these two boys (Laxmikant and Pyarelal ) has bring very sweet and memorable tune for me. That song was “Mere Mehaboob Quyamat Hogi”
Thus this historical song “Mere Mehaboob Quyamat Hogi” become the first song for the STERLING but BELITTLED combo of Kishore Kumar and Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Later on this combo of KK-LP went on to score as many as 402 songs, from 1964 to 1987. This figure of 402 is the second highest songs sung by Kishore Kumar with any music directors, first being Kishore Kumar & R D Burman with 499 songs. Coincidently, this historical song, “Mere Mehaboob Quyamat Hogi”, also happens to be the first song of legendary song writer Anand Bakshi with Laxmikant-Pyarelal & Kishore Kumar, as well. Kishore Kumar’s very first reaction / judgment for this song was correct. The song is still popular, even today.
In the combo of Kishore Kumar and Laxmikant-Pyarelal, 402 songs with diversification, one will always find everything, in the form of ….
Folk (Main Jahan Chala Jaoun, “Banphool”, 1970),
Mujra (naach meri bulbul, Roti, 1974),
Gazal (Pyar Ko Chahiye Kya Ek Nazar, “Ek Nazar”, 1972),
Lori (Soi Ja Tara “Mastana, 1970),
Qawwali (Haal Kya Hai Dilon Ka, “Anokhi Ada”, 1973),
Philosophical (Aadmi Jo Kehata Hai, “Majboor”, 1974)
Classical (Chali Re Chali Re Gori (with Lata), “Mr X In Bombay”, 1964),
Romantic (Mere Dil Main Aaj Kya Hai, “Daag”, 1973),
Western Classics (Jaani O Jaani, “Raja Jaani”, 1972),
Sad (Ye Dard Bhara Afasana, “Shreeman Fantoosh”, 1965),
Devotional (Prem Ka Rog Laga Muze “Do Premee”, 1980),
Inspiration (Gaadi Bula Rahi Hai, “Dost”, 1974),
Patriotic (Dekho Veer Jawano, “Aakraman”, 1975),
Disco (Paisa Ye Paisa, “Karz”, 1980) to ‘Chalu’ songs.
These varieties of songs will not be found in Kishore Kumar’s songs with any music directors. It is unfortunate that this ‘combo’ did not get the kind of recognition, acclamation which certainly deserves, unbiasedly.
YES ! Intrinsically this ‘combo’ has given many memorable hits to Rajesh Khanna.
Moreover, Kishore Kumar have uniquely diversified his rendering style in many of the songs composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal.
We will discuss more useful aspects of few selected songs elaborating the features of this Sterling but underestimated combo of Kishore Kumar and Laxmikant-Pyarelal.
It would be more proper to listen to the songs, listed below, after reading the write up, for each song, you will enjoy the songs, more.
1) Mere Mehaboob Quyamat Hogi …(Mr X In Bombay, 1964) Sad song.
The song is based on raag “Bhairavi” and it starts with the beautiful “prelude” of 20 sec0nds with the glimpses of VIOLINS, ACCORDION, GUITAR and MANDOLIN. Wonderful take off by Kishore Kumar with the “beats” of BONGO DRUMS. One can feel the “dard” (pain) in Kishore Kumar’s voice. Kishore Kumar has rendered this song with some peculiar voice. Both the “interludes’ are orchestrated with the VIOLINS, ACCORDION, MANDOLIN and GUITAR. The song is written by Anand Bakshi.
When we watch this movie and see that Kishore Kumar himself is singing this song gives healthy impression for this song. What were the days when Kishore Kumar used act as well as sing. Kishore Kumar himself has rated this song, as a favorite, among the top ten songs.
2) Pyare Batate Chalo …(Hum Sab Ustad Hai, 1965) Patriotic Song.
One of the rarest of rare Patriotic song sung by Kishore Kumar. Laxmikant-Pyarelal have composed this song in western beats with “Rock-N-R0ll” and “Twist” style. “Prelude” of 46 seconds is mesmerizing. Train Sound is brilliantly synchronized with the VIOLINS and ACOUSTIC GUITAR. One of the best song filmed on train. Kishore Kumar is simply awesome, both in rendering and in acting, as well. The song has harmonious BONGO DRUM ‘rhythm’. It is written by Asad Bhopali
3) Mere Naseeb Main Ai Dost…. (Do Raaste, 1969) Emotional Song
The song is based on raag “Yaman Kalyan”. Kishore Kumar’s soft rendering and Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s SYMPHONY style orchestra arrangements with overlapping sound effects of VIOLINS, VIOLA, FLUTE and SANTOOR are the significant aspects of this song. Another beauty of this song is that Kishore Kumar has brilliantly ‘synchronized’ the “pause” in the LP orchestra. The rhythm of the song is completely on BONGO DRUMS. The song is written by Anand Bakshi.
4) Vaada Tera Vaada …(Dushman, 1972 ) Mujra /Qawwali
First class rendering by Kishore Kumar. Kishore Kumar was reluctant to sing this song because he felt that Rafi Saab suited it more. As Laxmikant-Pyarelal had crafted the song with him in mind. Rajesh Khanna and the composers duo hoodwinked him into singing it, by stating that they were scrapping the song because he was not ready to sing it. This song is composed as Mujra in Qawwali style. Entire song has “qawwali” style DHOLAK / MATAKI rhythm. SANTOOR and SARANGI are well executed in the ‘interludes”. SARANGI is also used as filler in the “mukhada” to give Mujra touch to the song. The song is written by Anand Bakshi.
Such was a craze for Rajesh Khanna and this song that a downpour of coins on the screen were seen. It was a super duper hit song in ‘Binaca Geeetmala’.
5) Yeh Jeevan Hai ….(Piya Ka Ghar, 1971) Western
One of the finest songs from Kishore Kumar with Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Kishore Kumar’s extremely soft and silky rendering in a totally different way and LP’s westernised orchestra used and notes for the “interludes”, are the features of this lovely song. The song is completely woven around the glimpses of ACOUSTIC GUITAR. Another beauty of this song is ‘finger pinch’ used in the ‘rhythm’, at the end of each ‘antara’. Essence of life captured beautifully in simple words by Anand Bakshi.
6) Mere Dwanepan ki bhi …. (Mehaboob Ki Mehandi, 1972) Romantic
This romantic song is based on Raag “Tilang” starts with the ‘humming’ sound by Kishore Kumar. “Mukhada” is wonderfully synchronized by ‘filling’ SARANGI and FLUTE around Kishoreji’s melodious and romantic rendering. All the three ‘interludes’ have different type of tunes and orchestral arrangements. First ‘interlude’ is orchestrated with the sounds of FLUTE, VIOLINS and SANTOOR. Second ‘interlude’ is decorated with SARANGI and SAXOPHONE with overlapping sound of the VIOLINS in ‘symphony’ style. Third ‘interlude’ starts with VIOLINS, VIOLINS and SANTOOR. The song has lovely ‘DHOLAK’ beats. It is written by Anand Bakshi.
7) Krishna Krishna ….(Naya Din Nayee Raat, 1974) Devotional
One of the rarest of rare ‘devotional’ song sung by Kishore Kumar (with Lata Mangeshkar).
“Prelude” of 34 seconds is full of traditional religious instruments, sets the mood of this extremely melodious song. Kishorji’s beautiful take off, rendering, “Krishna Krishna” is a mesmerizer. Entire song is rendered in a ‘soft’ voice and on high pitch too. The song is orchestrated with SITAR and FLUTE with the ‘rhythm’ of MRIDANGAM. Another ‘beauty’ of this “Bhajan” is the overlapping sound effect of rendering of Kishoreji and Lataji, in different tunes and notes. This song is penned by Rajendra Krishna.
8) Ruk Jana Nahin Tu Kahin Har Ke…. (Imtihan, 1974) Inspiration
Wonderful Singing by Kishore Kumar on “high notes” and perhaps one of his best songs in mid-seventies, carrying variety. Beautifully penned by Majaroooh Sultanpuri, truly an inspire words. Wonderful decoration of highly RICH orchestra consists of CHURCH BELL (overlapping with the ‘rhythm’), GUITAR, IRANI SANTOOR, ACOUSTIC GUITAR, VIOLINs, FLUTE and TRUMPET (Military BIGUL). Western style “rhythm” with Bongo Drums. All the three “interludes’ have three different tunes. Another ‘killer’ part of the song is the various “pauses” given by KK-LP.
9) Aap Ke Anurodh Pe…. (Anurodh, 1977) Classical
Hypnotizing orchestra from Laxmikant-Pyarelal and stupefying rendering by Kishore Kumar. This mellifluent song is composed on Raag “Yaman Kalyan”. 13 seconds of ‘prelude’ enthrals with the sounds of VEENA and PIANO. Cool and calm rendering by Kishore Kumar with fascinate TABLA/KONGA Drum ‘rhythm’. First ‘interlude’ orchestrated with VEENA and SANTOOR. Second ‘interlude’ is decorated with PIANO and VEENA and also used as a ‘filler’ in the second ‘antara’. Third ‘interlude’ is executed with SITAR and SAROD supported with soft surround VIOLINS. One of the best song from KK-LP combo. The song is written by Anand Bakshi.
10) Ek Ritu Aaye Ek Ritu Jaye…. (Goutam Govinda, 1979) Soft Rendering
Exceptionally soft rendering by Kishoreji, many pathos. In the beginning of the song Laxmikant-Pyarelal have used BICYCLE BELL sound in the ‘rhythm’ in support with KONGA Drums. Later the ‘rhythm’ pattern converted to DHOLAK. Fascinating “interludes” are orchestrated with the instruments like solo VIOLIN, SAROD, CLARINET, IRANI SANTOOR and VIOLINs. The song is written by Anand Bakshi.
11) Om Shanti Om…. (Karz, 1980) Disco /Western
Spellbind, Huge and Enrich orchestra arrangements in western style, throughout the song. Despite Kishore Kumar’s usual shouts and Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s boisterous orchestra, the melody part of the song is not lost. The song has become a youth anthem. Kishoreji sounds like a ‘man’ of the age of 30. This composition from Laxmikant-Pyarelal came up with a solid riposte to their critics. All the BRASS musical instruments like TUBA and FLUGELHORN, SAXOPHONE and CLARINET along with GUITAR are wonderfully orchestrated in enrich orchestra arrangements with the powerful western ‘beats’. The song is written by Anand Bakshi.
12) Kahan Ja Raha Tha….(Qatl, 1986) Roaring Kishore Kumar
The ‘roaring’ like sound by Kishore Kumar. Tune and orchestra creates a strong feeling just like a man hatching conspiracy to do some crime like killing a person. The background orchestra played in the second stanza and at the end shows tremendous mind storming of a person, Sanjeev Kumar. The song has PIANO in ‘prelude’ & in all the ‘interludes’ with beautiful DHOLAK rhythm. This song is written by Rajendra Krishna.
Long Live Laxmikant-Pyarelal Music.
LP has taken both Rafi and Kishore, wherever suitable. Variety and generosity
Such wonderful songs—- if one is being played even when they are going to place my lifeless body in the electric furnace ……perhaps I will sit up and tell them , “not now , let the song be finished.”