Although my entire MP3 collection consists of new post-90’s songs, when I sat down to compile my top twenty list, I found difficult to ignore the golden oldies. These are some of the songs that have withstood the test of the times and still evoke the same feelings in listeners today as much as they did when they were first released. I have ignored the songs of Kishore Kumar and AR Rehman, who are legends, and need separate lists.
1. Waqt ne Kiya (Kagaz ke Phool): Jaayenge Kahan,Sujhta nahin, Chal paden magar rasta nahin Kya talaash hai, kuch khabar nahin This song has been immortalized by Geeta Dutt, a singer who was as much talented as the Mangeshkar singers, but never got her due. One of the greatest songs in Indian music history, Geeta’s dutt’s rendering of this magical number still sends shivers in my body.
2. Tum Pukar lo: Hemant Kumar has one of the most mesmerizing voices and this song is composed by the maestro himself for the film Khamoshi Some great lyrics by Gulzar - Honth pe liye huey dil ki baat hum jaagte rehenge aur kitni raat hum..., but it is the haunting, divine melody and the incredibly rich voice of Hemant Kumar, that makes this ballad an all-time classic.
3. Itna na mujhse pyar bada: Oh, neel gagan ke deewane, tu pyar na mera pehchane main tab tak saath chalun tere, tu jab tak na kahen main haara” Sung by Talat Mahmood and Lata Mangeshkar, this song has been inspired by Mozart’s symphonies. An incredibly mesmerizing melody!
4. Yaad Kiya Dil ne: “Raata dhal chuki hai, subah ho gayi mai tumharey yaad le ke Kho gayi Ab to meri dastaan ho tum” Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar excel in this enchanting melody from the movie “Patita” with music by Shankar Jaikishan.
5. Suhani shaam dhal chuki: Tadap Rahen Hain Hum Yahaaa….n. Tumhare intezar main… I get goose-pimples whenever I hear Rafi singing those lines. But I believe, this song can be bettered. Even the great Mohd.Rafi fails to do full justice to the powerful emotions that this song evokes.
6. Dil Tadap Tadap: Composed by Salil Choudhary and sung by Mukesh and Lata for the film “Madhumati” – A beautiful melodious number in a movie filled with half-a-dozen unforgettable songs like – Suhana safar, Aaja re pardesi, Daya re Daya, etc.
7. Barsaat Mein: The combination of Raj Kapoor and Shankar Jaikishan produced some of the finest melodies, and this song written by shailendra, sung by Lata for the film “Barsaat” is one of the best song of the fifties.
8. Mere Saajan Hai Us Par Composed and sung By S.D.Burman for the film “Bandini”. SD Burman’s voice had a rawness, that is immediately appealing.
9. Chalo Dildar Chalo: To the moon and back – Sheer Ecstasy!!!. What a song!!! Infact all songs composed by the little known composer Ghulam Mohammed for the movie “Pakeezah” have become immortal. But this song is extra special – Lata’s singing is efficient as ever and some great lyrics “Hum nashe me hain sambhalo hume tum”. Equally delightful is “Chalte Chalte yuhi hoi”
10. My Heart is Beating Composed by Rajesh Roshan and sung by Preeti Sagar, for “Julie” - this song even now has the potential to break into the world charts, if remade with a international-quality of our reviewers recommend us singer and with modern arrangements.
11. Chura Liya Can there be a top twenty list without this fabulous composition by RD Burman from the film “Yaadon ki barat”? One of the greatest tune ever composed with Asha Bhosale scaling unprecedented heights rendering this sensuous number.
12. Aap Jaisa Koi A path-breaking song! I remember when I was a kid, we used to listen to song, dozens of times at a stretch. It used to be play-rewind-play-rewind… Even twenty years later, this “Disco” number from the film “Qurbani” never fails to excite me. What a voice Nazia Hassan had! A pity our music directors were not able to exploit it..Music composer Biddu’s finest composition on par with his international super-hit “Kung-foo” number.
13. Solah Baras Ki Movie: Ek Duje ke Liye, Composed by: Laxmikant Pyarelal and sung by Lata Mangeshkar. Perhaps one of the finest composition by LP, with some good lyrics by Anand Bakshi - Dil se nikalwaane raste ka shukriya, dil tak pahunchne waali dagar ko salaam Absolutely majestic and soulful rendering by Lata Mangeshkar.
14. Jawaani Janeman: The much maligned Bappi Lahiri did compose some fabulous music for few films like Namak Halal and Chalte-Chalte. This song from Namak halal is my favorite Bappi number, not only for superb singing by Asha Bhosale but also for its incredible background arrangement.
15. Har Kisi Ko Nahin Milta Pyar: Hothon se hoth mile na bhale, chahe milen ne bahen bahon se, Do dil zinda rah sakte hai, chahat hi bhari nigahon se Composed by Kalyandji-Anandji and sung by Sapna Mukherjee and Manhar Udhas, this song from “Jaanbaaz” is one of the finest compositions of the musically dry 80’s.
16. Saanjh Dale-Neelam pe naleh chhaye Another incredible melody by Laxmikant-Pyarelal for the movie “Utsav”. This song has two versions – one the semi-classical version by Suresh Wadkar and the other, a variation of it, which is more playful, sung by Lata and Anuradha podwal. Although the Suresh Wadkar’s song is more popular, I like the other one more, due to some fantastic use of instruments like Jaltarang. LP’s genius lies in the way they managed to create two completely divergent songs from a single tune.
17. Gazab ka hai Din: This song from the the movie “Qayamat se Qayamet tak” was overshadowed by other hits like “Papa kehta hai” and “Ay mere Humsafar” Composed by Anand-Milind it is a beautiful, breezy romantic song, but could have been much better, had it been sung by a more accomplished singer like Asha Bhosale.The guitar work at the beginning and end of the song is an absolute delight!
18. Pehla Nasha Another great romantic song, composed by Jatin-Lalit for the movie “Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar”
19. Na Tum Jaano Na Hum Rajesh Roshan and Lucky Ali come together in this brilliant romantic number for the movie “Kaho Na Pyar Hai” Lucky Ali’s voice always has that extra depth and feeling which combined with the beautiful melody, makes this song an absolute winner.
20. Roshi se Maine Samay Rok Ke, Tera Pata Poocha Hain Mili Nadi Se Kehse, Saagar Tale Dhoonda Hain I would have never imagined that copy-cat Anu Malik would be able to compose a melody as beautiful as this one!. This is an absolutely stunning song, captivating melody, gorgeous lyrics by Gulzar, and superb arrangements by Ranjit Barot (who gives all the songs of Asoka, the AR Rehman effect)