People may have noticed by now that my favorite musical directors tend to be from the Vintage and Golden Age eras (and that my tastes continue to drift further back in time). My fondness for classic Bollywood soundtracks, as with movies, begins to decline after the early ’60s. I do have some favorites in the early ’70s (Pakeezah, Mera Naam Joker…), but these films and soundtracks are the works of artists from the Golden Age. I find it more difficult to think of favorite material that came from artists who actually emerged at this later time. But there are exceptions, especially in music – i.e., composers who came up with songs that I find startlingly good, causing me to “rethink” the ’60s and ’70s, leaving me open to the idea that I might actually catch some of the love that other fans of classic Bollywood have for this era.

 Chief among those composers are the duo Laxmikant-Pyarelal.  Their soundtracks – especially their earlier ones – have continued to hook me and surprise me at the same time.  And there are a few songs of theirs that I always find it difficult to get out of my head…

First in my mind are a couple of songs from Mastana (1970). I appreciate this movie most because of the rare combination of Padmini co-starring with Mehmood, but aside from that, the music is great! [Note in looking at this some time later: The original song was wiped out on YouTube, but there is another great one, the Holi song, which I've also posted elsewhere in this blog.] 

I imagine that just about every fan of old Hindi soundtracks must love the next one. Parasmani (1963) was Laxmikant-Payarelal’s first film, and what a debut it was!  I love the opening, especially…  Is that an early ’60s example of the Western (notice capital “W”) influence on Bollywood music?  This is one of my favorite Helen dances too (in the top 10, maybe the top 5), and I’m glad that I have access to the subtitles, because there are some very amusing lines in the lyrics (btw, still trying to find out who wrote those)…

And as I pointed out when I posted “Ooi Maa Ooi Maa” close to two and a half years ago, the song was apparently a hit in China too:

The more I hear the next song, from Jal Bin Machhli Nritya Bin Bijli, the more it delights me. Of course, Sandhya’s dance here is fantastic too, but the music by itself stands out as one of the greatest film music compositions of the 1970s (at least among the ones that I know). I posted this once before (prompting much discussion!), but the copy that I posted was removed – which is perfectly OK, because that gives me more of an excuse to repost this song via Mr. Bollywooddeewana’s copy with English subtitles:

About these ads