WARNING: This article has been penned by a die-hard R.D.Burman fan. Any biases and prejudices, please be excused! 🙂
RD Burman or Pancham Da! – the name itself rings melody. He reigned supreme, churning out hit after hit from the early 60's right up until his untimely demise in 1994. Even though his first official debut movie is "Chhote Nawab (1962)", he had been working under the baton of his talented father, SD Burman for a long time before then. Hai Apna Dil To Awara from Solva Saal (1956) is one such song that features RD on harmonica. As an assistant, he tasted success for the first time with the famous maalish song Sar Jo tera Chakraye in Pyasa (1957). Unfortunately he was not credited for either film.
"RD Was by far the stand-out talent among the younger line of composers, at all times innovative like me, at all times experimenting like me,'' said Salil Chowdhury. "In fact, I would go step further and rank him alongside all the top composers of my generation, such was his range and variety.'' As the pace-setter, RD was the trend-setter in the 70s. If the 90s found him confused and uncertain about what to give, it was because RD made the cardinal mistake of going public, in the film glossies, about the fact that 23 of his films had flopped in a row.
In quite a few such cases, the songs got lost in obscurity when the movie flopped – classic example being the absolute gem Roz Roz Aankhon Tale (Amit/Asha) from SanjayDutt-Mandakini starrer Jeeva (1986). Ever heard of the movie? Go listen to the song though!
On the other hand, there were some songs that we still get to hear today, perhaps because of the bigger names associated with the movie, even though the movies were flops… classic example being Shaan (1980) – Yamma-Yamma, Ye Khubsoorat (Mohd Rafi, R.D.Burman).
Below is a list of such movies and some of the sample songs from therein – that seem to have been lost in obscurity but have not lost their lustre, not one bit!! (Yes, I am an ardent RD fan and have heard these songs over the years .. but give them a listen, allow them to grow on you …)
Bandhe Haath – O Maajhi, O Maajhi (Asha Bhosle)
Bada Kabootar – Haye Re Haye Re (Asha Bhosle, Kishore Kumar)