Legendary music director RD Burman’s 77th birth anniversary on June 27 gives us a chance to reminiscence his immortal tunes and their powerful impact on music lovers of all generations.
His versatile compositions ranging from an array of peppy numbers like ‘Yamma Yamma’, ‘ Golmaal Hai Bhai Sab Golmaal Hai’, ‘Piya Tu’, ‘Aa Dekhen Zara’, ‘ Dum Maaro Dum’ and many more timeless classics earned him the title of the best composer of all time.
Other treasured tracks orchestrated by him include ‘Tere Bina Zindagi Se’, ‘Raat Kali Ek Khwab’, ‘Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai’, ‘Duniya Mei’, ‘Jai Jai Shiv Shankar’, ‘Jaane Jaan’, ‘Kya Hua Tera Wada’ and ‘Aaja Piya Tohe Pyaar Dun’.
Born to a family of musicians and married to lyricist Meera Dasgupta, RD Burman rose to fame with his first hit film ‘Teesri Manzil’ which embraced his musical capacity to the fullest with songs like ‘Aaja Aaja Mein Hoon Pyaar Tera’, ‘O Haseena Zulfonwali’ and ‘O Mere Sona Re Sona Re Sona Re’. All the songs in this movie were sung by Mohammed Rafi and written by Majrooh Sultanpuri.
Burman composed music for well-known singers Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle that went on to become the sensational hits marking their names on the hall of fame of the music industry.
To recall an anecdote that proves his musical genius, actor and director Dev Anand eliminated parts from the original version of the song ‘Dum Maaro Dum’ from his film ‘Hare Rama Hare Krishna’ because he was apprehensive that the song might eclipse and outshine the film.
In the 1970s, RD Burman’s songs with singer Kishore Kumar and filmmaker Rajesh Khanna were made immensely popular with instant hits such as ‘Yeh Shaam Mastani’ and ‘ Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai’.
Transforming the Bollywood music with sheer musical genius, Pancham Da incorporated several genres from a variety of cultures like Bengali Folk music and Western dance music. Latin, Oriental and Arabic music also had a huge influence on him. He mixed disco tunes with rock rhythms which gained massive popularity back in his time.
His out of the box thinking was evident in his use of makeshift musical instruments. He used cups and saucers to create the tinkling sounds in the song ‘Chura Liya’ and produced the introductory beats of ‘Mehbooba Mehbooba’ by blowing into beer bottles.
His remarkable compositions, exuberant tunes and unconventional methods to create them made him unforgettable. Heavens might have our beloved Pancham Da but his phenomenal music still reverberates in our memory.