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The Era, The Music

Music plays an integral role in Indian cinema. And its rhythm has ebbed and flowed over the decades

Music In The ’60s:

The period after the ’60s was the post-Independence era. We were in our teens and that era saw the emergence of Shankar-Jaikishan, who composed fantastic music for Sangam. Music burst into our consciousness with songs like Yeh mera prem patra padh kar, Allah tero naam ishwar tero naam and Abhi na jao chod kar. In the ’60s, music had sheen and glitter even when it was fading. It was the beginning of films like Junglee, when a strange crossroad emerged in India. The songs of that film, like Ehsaan tera hoga mujhpar, were well-known. It was a time when Raj Khosla, who gave exceptional music in films like Do Raaste, CID and many others, added to what we already had. Later in that phase, one could see melody in lyrics and one could also see the beginning of change.

Music In The ’70s:

The ‘70s saw the work of composer duo Laxmikant-Pyarelal and the emergence of a new talent with RD Burman. He dominated the music industry. Raj Khosla’s film Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki had great compositions by Laxmikant-Pyarelal. The ’60s and ’70s also saw the great Madan Mohan’s music. The music of the ’70s left an imprint on the heart. Raj Kapoor’s films, Satym Shivam Sundaram and Bobby are great examples of soulful music. Anand Bakshi was a lyricist who brought in young, peppy songs with the film Bobby. The ’70s also saw the iconic Rajesh Khanna, who gave strength to the songs of RD Burman and Laxmikant-Pyarelal.

Music In The ’80s:

The ’80s saw the beginning of a new phase in Indian cinema. It was when music was withering and people began to watch action films, and the angry-young-man image had already come to the fore. The focus was on action films and the importance of music began to fade. But with the film Arth, I brought singer Jagjit Singh and writer Kaifi Azmi together. I kept music alive with all my films. The bar was raised with the film Naam and the song Chitthi aayi hai sung by Pankaj Udhas. Nontheless, the ’80s saw the decline of the music industry.

Music In The ’90s:

There was a revival in the music industry in the ’90s with Gulshan Kumar. The film Aashiqui saw a new phase of music with young, romantic and youthful music. Films like Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke and Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin are also examples of youthful music. A new horizon opened with Nadeem-Shravan even as Laxmikant-Pyarelal faded. With the genius Gulshan Kumar, a new era of music had emerged. And with the advent of satellite television, marketing became aggressive and music was sold like a product at the time. The ‘90s were ruled by Gulshan Kumar and Nadeem-Shravan.

Music In The ’2000s:

The late ’90s saw the decline of Nadeem-Shravan. And it got a new face in Anu Malik who was re-born with Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayee. However, music of the ’2000s did not make its presence felt. It was then that we brought in Pakistani singers with films like Jism, Murder and Raaz. MM Kreem emerged as one of the music composers. We had Jism’s songs like Jadu hai nasha hai, Kaho na kaho from Murder, sung by Amir Jamal, and Punjabi singers from Pakistan. For the film Paap, my daughter Pooja (Bhatt) brought Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan with the song Lagi tum se mann ki lagan. There was also Atif Aslam with song Woh lahme in the film Zeher. Pakistani musicians and their music added hysteria to Hindi music.

By then, music had become a very big established part of this industry. With the films Tum Mile and Jannat, Pritam emerged as a successful composer. Even if the films did not succeed, the music was a hit. These films brought back the power of music. It was crazy!

Now we have lyricists like Sayeed Quadri, who is fabulous, and Sanjay Masoomm. Masoomm wrote the lyrics of Jannat 2. I call him the Shailendra of writing because of the Indianess and the Urdu touch he has in his writing. He is emerging as a new talent.

We are at a stage where we are understanding music once again and adding new talent to it. We have to keep re-inventing and keep bringing in new talent and energy to keep music alive.


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