Top 10 Bollywood Soundtracks of 2013

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It's been almost 4 months into 2014 and still Aashiqui 2's "Tum Hi Ho" is every one's hot favourite and is played every hour on some random music channel/radio station daily. Popularity of "Tum Hi Ho" was such a phenomenon year back (when it released) that people had that song as ringtone & caller tunes. I am neither against this song nor do I hate it. In fact, I too love this song. I am even happy that at least with this song people came to know about Mithoon who IMO is still much underrated composer in present day Bollywood inspite of giving some chartbuster soundtracks (Bas Ek Pal, Aggar, Anwar, The Train). But the fact that hurts me is that many people still haven't discovered some underrated gems that came out in 2013.

So here is my list where I will talk about Top 10 Bollywood Soundtracks of 2013 - some known, some unknown & some you might have heard but missed it.

But before you proceed further a RULE you should follow regarding this article -

There is no RIGHT or WRONG in music. Your choices may differ from mine. It's about personal viewpoint & liking.

Composer of the Year - Sachin Jigar

Truly 2014 belonged to young & talented composing duo - Sachin Jigar. From composing for flop films like Jayantabhai Ki Luv Story, Issaq, Ramaiyya Vastavaiyya & I Me Aur Main to hit soundtracks of Shuddh Desi Romance, Go Goa Gone & ABCD - Any Body Can Dance they were consistent throughout the year. None of their soundtracks were boring or noisy & had popular yet genuinely wonderful music. From working in small films to big banners, they consolidated their place in Bollywood with magical soundtrack of Yash Raj Film's Shuddh Desi Romance.

Talented duo Sachin Jigar 
It's always difficult to select which soundtrack enters the top 10 list. Sometimes a soundtrack appeals to you initially but in a long run it doesn't while sometimes you hate a particular soundtrack but after watching that movie you start loving & listening to it.

Soundtracks that missed the Top 10 list -

Goliyon ki Raasleela Ram-Leela (Sanjay Leela Bhansali)
Special 26 (M M Kreem)
Matru ki Bijlee ka Mandola (Vishal Bhardwaj)
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (Pritam)
3G (Mithoon)
Madras Cafe (Shantanu Moitra)

Top 10 Bollywood Soundtracks of 2013 -

10. David - Mikey McCleary, Prashant Pillai, BramFatura, Maati Baani, Remo Fernandes, Anirudh Ravichander, Modern Mafia & The Lightyears Explode

Even though David was not as impressive as Bejoy Nambiar's cult debut Shaitan (2011) but surely that man has some good sense of music & the way he incorporates them in his films is just brilliant. And probably it is only in his films that you get to listen a song from Indie rock band. Shaitan had a song by death metal band Bhayanak Maut while David offered a great platter of variety with some Indie names like BramFatura, Modern Mafia & The Lightyears Explode. Considering that David's story revolved around 3 time lines (London 1975, Mumbai 1999, Goa 2010) music too was created with a great detail referencing that era. One of the most underrated soundtracks of 2013.

My Pick - Ghum Huye, Mast Kalandar, Out of Control, Ya Hussain & Tore Matware Naina



9. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag - Shankar Ehsaan Loy

After lackluster music in 2011 & 2012 (barring Chittagong & ZNMD), SEL finally got their mojo back with impressive soundtrack of Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. It had some brilliant mix of genres from inspirational tracks to sufi love ballads & even a short "Gurbani" by Daler Mehndi. Soundtrack also saw an assured singing debut by Siddharth Mahadevan & as usual terrific lyrics by Prasoon Joshi.

My Pick - Zinda, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (Rock Version), O Rangrez & Mere Yaar


8. Ek Thi Daayan - Vishal Bhardwaj

It rarely happens that Vishal Bhardwaj - Gulzar combo goes wrong. They have been giving us some great soundtracks since past 2 decades right since Maachis (1994). Ek Thi Daayan was one such short effective soundtrack that had Gulzar's poetry all over it. Being a horror film, VB made sure to have couple of spooky tracks in it. Also try to listen to extremely terrifying background score by Clinton Cerejo.

My Pick - Lautungi Main, Sapna re Sapna & Kaali Kaali


7. ABCD Any Body Can Dance - Sachin Jigar

They became immensely popular with their soundtrack for Remo Dsouza's debut F.A.L.T.U. (2011) & continued their success and popularity with Remo's second film - ABCD Any Body Can Dance. For a dance film what you need is an energetic & foot tapping soundtrack with fusion of various genres and that exactly is delivered by Sachin Jigar here. Though background score is equally fascinating.

My Pick - Duhaai, Bezubaan & Shambhu Sutaya



6. Nautanki Saala! - Mikey McCleary, Falak Shabbir, Rashid Khan, Ayushmann Khurrana & Rochak Kohli

Yet again New Zealander Mikey McCleary spins his magic here with rich magical score. His re-imagination of old classic numbers (Dhak Dhak & So Gaya Yeh Jahaan) were quirky while his original composition too had a fresh feel to it. Entire soundtrack was superbly arranged by Mikey even though he wasn't composer for certain songs & that's what complimented film's SoBo-ish look perfectly.

My Pick - Dil ki Toh Lag Gayi, Draamebaaz & Tu Hi Tu

New Zealander composer Mikey McCleary


5. Go Goa Gone - Sachin Jigar

After Ram Sampath's terrific soundtrack of Delhi Belly (2011), I rarely came across a soundtrack that had outrageously quirky lyrics in it. But Amitabh Bhattacharya is the same man who reinvented his Delhi Belly avatar here with crazy lyrics in trippy "Babaji ki Booti" & Anti Monday anthem "Khoon Choos Le". Sachin Jigar's uber cool music complimented Amitabh's lyrics really well. Also watch out for some amazing editing tricks in both the songs.

My Pick - Babaji ki Booti, Khoon Choos Le & Khushamdeed



4. Raanjhanaa - A R Rahman

No matter what A R Rahman soundtrack is always one of the most anticipated soundtracks of the year. Raanjhanaa was surely one of those soundtracks plus it had Irshad Kamil as lyricist teaming up with ARR after brilliant Rockstar. Rahman pleased us with wide range of genres starting from Folk Classical (Banarasiya, Ay Sakhi, Tum Tak & Raanjhanaa) to contemporary sounds in "Tu Mun Shudi", "Nazar Laaye" & "Aise Na Dekho" to use of aarti chants in "The Land of Shiva". Another great thing about this soundtrack was that Rahman used Shehnaai in almost all songs thus giving tribute to legendary Shehnaai player Ustad Bismillah Khan.

My Pick - Entire Soundtrack is great with wonderful shifts from one genre to another.


3. Kai Po Che - Amit Trivedi

I was fairly disappointed when I knew that this soundtrack by Amit had only 3 tracks. With Swanand Kirkire's fabulous lyrics & Amit's brilliant music made that disappointment disappear. Arshad Khan's melancholic esraj in "Maanjha" still haunts me & soon this short yet sweet soundtrack was on the repeat mode. Also listen to poignant background score by Hitesh Sonik which makers released online. You can listen to entire Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of Kai Po Che including songs & background score here.

My Pick - Amit Trivedi never ceases to amaze me.


2. Shuddh Desi Romance - Sachin Jigar

Shuddh Desi Romance was Sachin Jigar's big ticket to stardom with prestigious YRF producing it. Music had flashes of Rajasthani folk fusion with modern sounds (Jazz, Bossa Nova etc.) & insightful lyrics by Jaideep Sahni. Basically it was the choice of singers (Mohit, Benny, Sunidhi, Shalmali & Divya Kumar) that made this soundtrack a great listen. Sachin Jigar's best work till date.

My Pick - Songs are great no doubt but listen to beautifully orchestrated background scores.


1. Lootera - Amit Trivedi

And.... the Best Soundtrack of 2013 was Amit Trivedi's Lootera. Interestingly this was for the first time that Amit Trivedi collaborated with A R Rahman's regular Chennai String Orchestra. Listen to any song in the soundtrack and you can sense some amazing string sections. From pensive "Shikayatein" to Baul based "Monta Re" to SD Burman style "Sawaar Loon" everything was pitch perfect in this soundtrack. Amit Trivedi hit a great masterstroke here backed by some brilliant lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya.
"Kuch maangna baaki nahi, jitna mila kaafi hai".

My Pick - Every song is spectacular. If you still haven't heard it Do yourself a favour by listening to this poetic masterpiece.




Having read the entire list you may be surprised to see not even a single mention of Aashiqui 2 here except the opening paragraph. Frankly speaking Aashiqui 2 was just an average soundtrack which gained immense popularity just because of 2 tracks (Mithoon's Tum Hi Ho & Ankit Tiwari's Sunn Raha Hai Na Tu). Otherwise Jeet Gannguli's compositions were pretty decent & not that great. Having read this you may be infuriated & would be getting ready to type that how the hell did I missed Aashiqui 2 in the list but before you do that hold on.... & READ THE RULE mentioned in the beginning.

Like, share & comment about your Best Soundtracks of 2013 below. It would be glad to know what others think. :)

Remembering 1952 - The Coming of Age for Hindi Music

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So we will definitely talk about how 1951 was a better musical year than 1952, maybe some other day. But today we are here to appreciate 1952 for the year of musical gems, it was. India had been independent for 5 years already. And despite sounding donnish, there can't be a better year to start engulfing oneself into the magic of old Indian bollywood.

But before we get started, let me share the greatest thing on Internet first with the readers -
http://www.mohdrafi.com/

Yes, there is a complete website for Mohammad Rafi, and thats not even close to the most awesome thing this website has. It boasts of an unparallel feat of having a 24 hr Rafi channel. So if you had been searching for God all your life and didn't know which website to look at, here it is. 24 hr of Rafi and you have found God.

Period

1952 holds a special place in Indian history because of the first general elections held in India that year and how India as a country came out of shackles in many aspects. And Bollywood slowly became the pulse of the nation by then. One of the biggest happening that will change the way people had access to music would change dramatically with the beginning of Binaca geet mala on radio Ceylon. A quick trivia there: Binaca is a part of Dabur Group, and would become Cibaca later on. The show would also give India its first and the only superstar of radio - Mr Ameen Sayani. The show ran non stop on Radio Ceylon till 1988 after which it went over to Vividh Bharti and ran for 6 more years before ending in 1994. And if you aren't warmed up yet, then here is something that will start you up (like Cibaca and Binaca)


Now back to business, Hindi cinema kept buzzing with brilliance of Dev sahab, Dileep sahab and Raj Kapoor. But the year became notable for the new talent on the block, Bharat Bhushan. With Baiju Bawra and Anand Math, Bhushan had 2 brilliant inks to his name this year. Both were musical and cinematic masterpieces. Talat and Mukesh kept having a brilliant year as singers but it was slowly becoming obvious that the times were changing and Rafi, being the force of nature he was, was slowly taking over erverything by storm.

And in females, it was obvious in 1951 itself that there was nothing like Maa Saraswati but only Lata mangeshkar, who continued to have a fantastic year in 1952 as well.

It would be interesting to note the best films of the year. Aan, Baiju Bawra, Daag, Jaal, Anhonee, Sangdil and Aandhiyan. Among music composers Naushad had come into his own. With the seminal work in Dulari with Rafi - Suhani raat dhal chuki, the song which some people mistook as the national anthem of Trinidad & Tobago, it was so popular; he was back again and the duo created magic in Baiju Bawra. Each song of the film is a classic and continued to inspire generations of composers and singers. Each song from this soundtrack is a masterpiece starting from the devotional Man Tadpat Hari darshan ko and O Duniya Ke Rakhwale to the poignant Tu Ganga Ki Mauj. It is said that a Hindu from Nepal came to Mumbai afer hearing 'man tadpat hari darshan' and was dumbfounded to know that it was sung by a muslim (Rafi sahab). He literally fell onto his foot and worshipped him like Hari.


Aan was the other masterpiece of Naushad this year and is considered an epic film in its entirety with Dileep kumar and Nadira giving one of the best performances on-screen. Each song of the movie would come across as a claasic with Maan Mere Ehsaan, Lagi Tanman Mein, Tujhe Kho Diya Humne Paa Leneke Baad being the popular numbers, the stand out was Dil Mein Chhupa Ke Pyar Ka Toofan which has Rafi in his melodious best

While Rafi and Naushad were busy in their own league, Talat sahab was having his best year as well. Claimed by many as the replacement of Saigal, Talat was destined to greatness had Rafi storm not invaded the Bollywood planet. But having said that, his smooth silk voice was at its best in 1952. He had so many brilliant songs this year that its hard to figure out some of  the better ones, but Main Dil Hoon Ek Armaan Bhara (Anhonee), Tum Ko Fursat Ho (Bewafa, AR Quereshi aka Allah Rakha Khan or father of Tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, the movie had Ashok Kumar and Raj Kapoor in their only screen appearance together), Aye Mere Dil Kahin ( Daag, Shankar Jaikishen), Mohabbat Mein Kashish Hogi (Khoobsurat, Madan Mohan) and the entire soundtrack of C Ramchandra's Parchhayaian with songs like Woh Zalim Pyar Kya Jaane and Kya Dil Ka Lagana Bhool Gaye


SD burman and OP Nayyar had a silent year by their general standards. But someone who did get out if shadows was Hemant da. Jaal and Anand Math turned out to be epitomes of harmonic music, bringing out the essence of Rabindro sangeet. He also got prominence for the toxicating vocals in 'Ye raat ye chandni fir kahan'. SJ also had a silent year, probably the only silent year in the 50s with their prominent creation being Daag.


And now to the singer who would be the only one to out sing Rafi sahab in the bigger scheme of things.  Lata sang more than 100 songs again as she did in 1951.Khelo Rang hamare sang with Shamshad Begum (Aan), all ongs of Nirmohi with Madan Mohan (A relationship that will not end even with the latter dying and lata coming back out of retirement to sing in Veer Zara for him). The total list of Lata songs can be found here, as it would be wrong to pick some out of these gems in 1952 - http://cineplot.com/music/lata-mangeshkars-song-list-1952/

So all in all a special year for hindi music and something that generations will keep listening to. And before we part, here's my fav song of the year.



P.S. Kishore da was active too this year but the extent was still lower, would love to hear what other hindi music fans can add here

Remembering the Kapoor Khandan through some images

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Bollywood is more than 100 years old now and the journey has been breathtaking. To look back and feel proud of this spectacle is the 'haq' of every Indian. But what hasn't been away from Bollywood is the Kapoor family or the Kapoor Khandan as we call it with love. Starting with Prithvi raj Kapoor in the first ever Bollywood talkie - Alam Ara to the latest Besharam, the bollywood is laden with imprints of this glorious family that gave so much to us

So here's to them, reflecting back through some images

The family tree of Raj Kapoor

PRITHVI RAJ KAPOOR
source: rediff
One of the old classics, Shafi Inaamdar can be seen in the background

One of the few pics where PRK was there with all his sons.
 This is a pic that defined Bollywood 

The brightest star to come out from the Khandan. The dazzling Raj Kapoor


Shashi Kapoor married English Actress Jennifer Kendal
 while both were pursuing their passion for theater

As much as he is known for his 'junglee' image, the ageing Shammi Kapoor
 looked as majestic as ever (Baratiyon ka swagat Pan Parag se hi hua)


This pic resulted in Bollywood's 2 hottest divas over the period of time

And that's what they look like


The latest star to emerge out of the galaxy of extremely talented family

One of the latest congregations in Toronto IIFA

Kapoor's remain etched in the memories of the fans and will do so for years to come. Time to sit back and admire what they brought to the plate for the whole industry, the whole country. The sound of Mera Joota hai Japani slowly fades in the background, slowly dissolving to the tunes of Balam Pichkari. Times have changed but the legacy goes on

And here is a bonus pic. A Rare pic of the Khandan where even Karan Kapoor was present (remember Loha?)