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12 Underrated RD Burman Songs That Belong To Your Evergreen Playlist

By Trishi Dhingra

Updated - June 25, 2021 7 min read

One cannot talk about Hindi music without mentioning Rahul Dev Burman. Inspired by Latin American folks, jazz, rock and funk — the legendary music director revolutionised the Indian music industry half a century ago. And the inspiration still lives on!

 

Go to any barbershop down the street or any chaiwallah thela on the railway station or the most sophisticated clubs in the city — you can still hear his melodies amping up the place, like it's the 1970s. And even though I was born after his time, there are no songs of his I could have missed.

Image Courtesy: The Indian Express

 

So, from creating interesting sounds using unusual instruments such as glasses clinking together to inspiring generations of musicians and music composers, Pancham da made a dent in the music industry with his passion, determination and love for music. Some of his most celebrated works are from films like Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958), Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959), Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963), Bandini (1963), Ziddi (1964), Guide (1965) and Teen Devian (1965)

 

But like everyone else, RD Burman also had his ups and downs, except, he never stopped. While everybody loved and cherished his greatest hits, a few enthusiasts like myself dug a little deeper into his other underappreciated works. And guess what? We found a whole new playlist of Pancham da's 12 most underrated songs that definitely belongs to your evergreen playlist. 

 

Turn up the volume!

 

1. Kya Jaanu Sajan, 1967

Film: Baharon Ke Sapne

 

You know it's magic — when Majrooh Sultanpuri's painful lyrics are backed by RD Burman's sweetest melody and Lata Mangeshkar's mystical voice. Once heard, the song stick with you for a long time. Filmed with Rajesh Khanna and Asha Parekh, the song is actually a dream sequence shot in colour while the rest of the movie is still black and white. 

Image Courtesy: Facebook

 

 

2. Raah Pe Rehte Hain, 1982

Film: Namkeen

 

Gulzar-Pancham-Kishore is a musical love affair that gave us a bunch of hit songs like "Musafir Hoon Yaaro", "Aane Wala Pal Jaane Wala Hain" and "Tere Bina Zindagi Se Koi". But it also blessed us with an underappreciated number called "Rah Pe Rehte Hai". It's a perfect road song dominated by Gulzar's lyrics and Kishore Kumar's deep voice until you reach 2 min mark. This is where RDB weaves his own composition "Hum Dono Do Premi" into the song's interlude to make it even more memorable. The song is effortless, poetic and so underrated. 

Image Courtesy: LyricsIndia

 

 

3. Tu Jahan Mile Mujhe, 1974

Film: Doosri Sita

 

A not-very-popular song composed by RD Burman from an equally less-known Jaya Bhaduri movie - Doosri Sita. This song is the result of Pancham da and Gulzar's early associations which later turned into an unbreakable relationship we adore today. It's a cheerful composition in the bubbly voice of Asha Bhosle you'd regret not listening to. 

Image Courtesy: MoneyLife

 

 

4. Dil Se Dil Milne Ka, 1974

Film: Charitraheen

 

Take a free trip to snow-capped mountains and lush green gardens with one of the most underrated songs by RD Burman today. Failed to gain as much popularity as it deserved, the song is a classic Indian melody accompanied by a basic synthesiser and madal for a deep effect it leaves on the listeners.

Image Courtesy: YouTube

 

 

5. Aao Sanwariya, 1968

Film: Padosan

 

Amongst the top songs of Padosan, lies an underrated RD Burman song called "Aao Sanwariya"! Brought to life by Manna Dey's comical voice and Mehmood's role in the film, the song is quite a shift from Pancham da's personal style, however, he still manages to justify the Carnatic music and instruments he used by making it super hilarious for the viewers. 

Image Courtesy: Hindi Songs Lyrics

 

 

6. Aisa Kyon Hota Hain, 1985

Film: Ameer Aadmi, Gareeb Aadmi

 

Aisa Kyon Hota Hain is a Nida Fazil's heart-touching ghazal composed into a fine number by RD Burman. It's one of those mesmerising yet underappreciated songs by Pancham da which people usually don't remember until they hear it again. 

Image Courtesy: The Indian Express

 

 

7. Yeh Zindagi Kuch Bhi Sahi, 1983

Film: Romance

 

This song is a sneak peek into the rare side of RD Burman! Mostly famous for his throaty baritone in popular Hindi songs like "Mehbooba Mehbooba" and "Yamma Yamma", Pancham da also had a gifted voice which he used in this beautiful piece. The song did not receive much attention then but if you give it a chance today, this will easily land in your RD Burman music playlist. 

Image Courtesy: YouTube

 

 

8. Pyar Ke Mod Pe, 1989

Film: Parinda

 

The late 80s wasn't a cheerful time for Pancham da's career. By this time, he came to be known as an isolated genius who was trying to come to terms with his downfall. But a man who pours his heart into his songs and experiments with instruments could not stop here. In fact, the sombre tune reflects his mood entirely. He even used a memorable arrangement of a flugelhorn and saxophone you will definitely appreciate.

Image Courtesy: Hindi Songs Lyrics

 

 

9. Bheegi Bheegi Aakhon Main, 1974

Film: Ishq Ishq Ishq

 

Even though the film was a total flop, this song managed to stick around even today. TBH, this song is just a click away from becoming one of your favourite RD Burman songs. It's the perfect blend of melody, a bubbly voice — courtesy Asha Bhosle — and great picturisation. 

Image Courtesy: Pagalworld Songs

 

 

10. Joshilaay, 1989

Film: Joshilaay

 

Imagine the cowboy theme from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly by Ennio Morricone. Now, envision Javed Akhtar's pumping lyrics in a similar setting. You've got yourself one of the most underrated but peppy RD Burman songs of all time. It's also the last song Kishore Kumar recorded for RDB before his death. 

Image Courtesy: NaijaGreen Movies

 

 

11. Chanda O Chanda, 1971

Film: Lakhon Me Ek

 

Regardless of his inclination towards western tunes, RD Burman didn't shy away from creating magic using semi-classical tunes as well. And there's no song better than "Chanda O Chanda" to support the statement. It's a simple arrangement made better by Kishore Kumar's soothing voice. Although this song is too flashy for a lullaby, but Pancham da managed to keep it soft and hummable.

Image Courtesy: YouTube

 

 

12. Aisa Sama Na Hota, 1984

Film: Zameen Asmaan

 

A badly made film and the changing taste of the audience in the '80s allowed one of Pancham da's most stellar composition to slip away until after his death. "Aisa Sama Na Hota" is also a rare Pancham-Lata collaboration you've been missing out on. Don't forget to notice the traditional Indian flute paired with a recorded English flute and off-beat western beats hitched with a classical Indian melody to truly enjoy the music. 

Image Courtesy: Hindi songs Lyrics

 

 


RD Burman's underrated songs are living examples of how legends never die. 


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