When I think of the 80’s Hindi Film Music, what comes to my mind is Sridevi-Jeetendra dancing around the ten thousand matkas, music by Bhappi Lahiri, production by Padmalaya, some cheap lyrics and several raucous Kishore-Asha duets. Was that really what our 80’s music was all about? I would say YES – for the most part! While on the one hand, we had the latka-jhatka tukbandi songs and Ramba Ho-Samba Ho type of disco numbers, there was also the birth of parallel music industry of Bhajans and Ghazals – (Jagjit Singh, Anup Jalota, Pankaj Udhas etc. came to the fore) – trying to lead us away from the jarring sounds that seemed to be ruling large.
However, around mid-80’s, the release of Pyar Jhukta Nahin seemed to have dealt a blow to this cacophony. Not a masterpiece in itself (in retrospect, it had very ordinary music), but the numbers like Chahe Laakh Toofan Aayein, Tumse Milkar Na Jaane Kyon, Tumhein Apna Saathi Banane Se Pehle stood tall for their (comparative) melody. Then there were movies like Prem Rog(Laxmi-Pyare) – Meri Qismat Mein Tu Nahin, Bhanvre Ne Khilaya Phool, Tezaab(Laxmi-Pyare) with Ek Do Teen Chaar, So Gaya Ye Jahaan, Satte Pe Satta (R.D.Burman) with Pyar Hamein Kis Mod Pe, Zindagi Mil Ke Bitayenge, and Namak Halaal (Bhappi Lahiri) with Aaj Rapat Jayein, Pag Ghungroo Baandh Meera – they all had hit music but was it melodious? How many of these songs do you hum today?
These were then followed by several other movies that had at least a handful of numbers that we dare remember until today…
Hero(Laxmi-Pyare) – Lambi Judai (The other songs were popular, but melodious? No!)
Ye Vaada Raha (RD Burman) – Tu Tu Hai Wahi, Mil Gayeen Aaj Do Lehrein
Saath-Saath (Kuldeep Singh)– Pyar Mujhse Jo Kiya, Tumko Dekha To Ye
Prem Geet (Jagjit Singh) – Hoton Se Chhoo Lo Tum, Aao Mil Jayein Hum
Silsila (Shiv-Hari) – Neela Aasmaan So Gaya, Ye Kahan Aa Gaye Hum, Dekha Ek Khwab
Ghulami (Laxmi-Pyare) – Mere Pee Ko Pavan, Zeehale Muskin Makun Baranjish
Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (Anand-Milind) – Papa Kehte Hain, Akele Hain To Kya
Maine Pyar Kiya (Ram-Laxman) – Dil Diwana Bin Sajna Ke, Aaje-Jaate Hanste-Gaate
However, not to take the credit away completely from this decade, there were, miraculously, some movies in the 80s where each song was a gem and these are still remembered for their numbers, but such movies were few and far between….
The Laxmi-Pyare tuned Utsav (with the ultra melodious Asha-Lata combo Man Kyun Behka, Suresh Wadekar sung Saanjh Dhale Gagan Tale and Suresh-Anuradha-Aarti sung More Man Baaja Mridang, for which Anuradha won the National Award)
The Ravindra Jain tuned Ram Teri Ganga Maili which brought him together with Lata after they decided to bury the hatchet and created such melodies as Sun Sahiba Sun, Husn Pahadon Ka, Ek Radha Ek Meera and the title song, to name just a few.
Finally, there was Saagar and Ijaazat – both tuned by R.D.Burman with heavy-duty numbers such as Saagar Kinare Dil Ye Pukare, Jaane Do Na, Saagar Jaisi Aakhon Waali, Qatra-Qatra Milti Hai, Khali Haath Shaam Ayee Hai and who can forget Asha crooning the many-awards-winning Mera Kuchh Samaan Tumhare Paas Pada Hai!
Readers, what do you think? Was 80’s really the worst decade in Hindi music?