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6 Great Songs Of Manoj Kumar



Manoj Kumar

Songs Of Manoj Kumar

Raj Kapoor, Raj Khosla and Manoj Kumar had  the best music sense  ever heard  and seen  in commercial Hindi cinema.

They  knew how to get the  best songs out of their composers—Shankar-Jaikishan and then Laxmikant-Pyarelal  for Raj Kapoor, Madan Mohan and Laxmi-Pyare  for Raj Khosla , Kalyanji-Anandji and Laxmi-Pyare for  Manoj Kumar. Manoj Kumar in fact is a composer  himself.But he believed in letting the official composers  do their job.And what a  job.Presenting  6 great songs from Manoj Kumar directed films.

1.     Kasme vaade pyar wafa sab(Upkar) : According to me Kalyanji-Anandji saved  their  best for Manoj. Upkar had a gallery of great songs, from  Mahendra Kapoor’s evergreen Mere desh ki dharti  to Mukesh’s Dewaanon  se yeh mat pucho to Lata Mangeshkar’s Har khushi hai  wahan.  None  greater than Manna Dey’s Kasme vaade a song about the  loss of family ties in a world filled with greed and materialism. The song  was  shot on Pran,who counted the song among the high points of his career.Poet Indeevar’s best lyric ever.

2.     Koi jab tumhara hriday tod de(Purab  Aur Paschim):  Manoj Kumar’s preferred  voice  was Mahendra Kapoor who sang  Hai preet jahan ki reet sadaa and  Dulhan chali haan pehan chali teen rang  ki choli(about the tri-colour flag). But  this one  solo went to Mukesh , why? Says Manoj Kumar, “I think I’ve an ear and eye for the right casting. That goes  for songs  as well. I know Mahendra sang my other songs.  But this …this one…cried for Mukesh.” I agree.

3.     Ek pyar ka naghma hai(Shor): This is  one  of  the most pitch-perfect love songs ever written  composed and sung  in  a Hindi film. Lata Mangeshkar and  Mukesh bring to  the table an aching melodic sweep. Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s composition  whispers  waves of romance and nostalgia.Santosh Anand’s lyrics  for this  are  simply immortal. An added  attraction: that’s  Payrelal  himself playing the  violin  in this magnificent  ode to  love. I once asked Manoj KumarSaab to single out one song from his cinema as  his favourite. He  chose this. Good taste, Manoj Kumar Saab.

4.     Main na bhoolunga(Roti  Kapada Aur Makaan):  It is  hard to single  out any one song in this film. One of  the most pitch-perfect soundtracks ever Roti Kapda Aur Makaan  belts out classic  after classic. This  Lata Mangeshkar-Mukesh ditty  is  a dizzying ode to romance,  the  crests and dips  of the orchestra  are breathtaking.Every note is a sparkling gem. Every word, a promise  to  eternity. Composers Laxmikant-Pyarelal  proved themselves geniuses beyond  the  definition of the term.

5.     Panditji mere  marne  ke  baad(Roti Kapada Aur Makaan): I have often wondered why  this  Lata Mangeshkar classic  is not counted among the  best songs  in  Manoj Kumar’s  films.And  why  Lataji’s Hai hai yeh majboori went on to be far more popular than this  other Lata solo which is much more hefty in content  far more innovative  and  one of the most challenging  songs of Lataji’s career. Varma  Malik’s lyrics mock at the rituals  after death . The song suggests that  singer be sent off to the other world not with gangajal  in her mouth but alcohol. Delectably irreverent  and provocative, this is vintage Manoj Kumar. “You  like it?So  do I?  I  agree  it  is a neglected song maybe because Hai hai yeh majboori  was  filmed on Zeenat Aman while  Panditji was on Aruna Irani,”  suggests Manoj Kumar. He has a point.

6.     Zindagi ki na toote ladee(Kranti):  The magnificent Laxmikant-Pyarelal  out-excelled  themselves in  this  love ballad. A marvel of creation  the duet  was  meant  to be  sung my Mukesh and Lataji. But then Mukeshji suddenly passed away. Lataji made sure his son Nitin Mukesh  got all the  pending songs of his father.Among them, Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s Woh aurat hai tu mehbooba  in Satyam Shivum Sunderam and  this  ballad .  Though I think Zindagi ki na toote ladee is an all-time great I wonder what  it would have been like  if Mukesh  had sung it. Or  what Manoj Kumar’s career  would have been if after Kranti he didn’t slip into  directing Clerk and Jai Hind .

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