From the 1960s to the 1990s, he composed scores for 331 movies. R.D. Burman is the maverick who introduced the Indian film industry to a new sound, a new taste by revolutionising it with the infusion of a western style. Today is his birth anniversary and eminent artistes in the industry tell MetroPlus what they love most about Pancham Da’s music
Shafqat Amanat Ali
Pakistani Classical singer
R. D. Burman was a pure genius. His body of work is simply unparalleled. I grew up with his music and it has stayed with me. It's unfair to ask me to just select one favourite of R.D. Burman’s songs as the canvas was just so huge. But I think ‘Tere Bina Zindagi Se Koi Shikwa Toh Nahi’ is simply beautiful and will always be meaningful to me.
Almost every song of R.D. Burman is a gem, a treat to our senses. No composer has or possibly will ever be able to match his musical genius. Choosing one song is next to impossible, but I think I love ‘Tere Bina Jiya Jaye Na’ From Ghar the most.
Composer and tabla maestro
My favourite RD song is ‘Aanewala Pal’ by Kishore Kumar from the film Gol Maal. The melody, the saxophone (played by Manohari Singh), the lyrics and the abandon, with which Kishoreda sang, make it a classic. I’ve been listening to the song literally once every two days for over 30 years now!
R.D. Burman made the guitar cool. He brought guitars into Hindi film music in a very organic, non-gimmicky way. His chord progressions had an almost Beatles-like magic. And the coolest bit is that he had an album called Pantera in the late 80s. My favourite songs of his are ‘Yeh Safar’ from 1942 A Love Story and ‘Sach mere Yaar Hai’ from Saagar.”
R.D. Burman is my most favourite music director of all time. I grew up with his music. He had the pulse, the groove and the melody to drive the most conservative to the dance floor and the most inhibited to break into song. His music was compelling, his melodies were ear worms and his clever incorporation of rhythms of the world with bongos and congas were simply superb. If anyone knew how to blend jazz, Latin and rock n roll into Hindi film music, creating a band new sound, it was R.D. Burman.
Some of my favourite songs of his include ‘Aa Gale Lag Ja, ‘Vada Karo Nahin Chodoge, ‘Ab Jo Mile Hain to Mujhko Nigahon Mein’, ‘Yaadon ki Baaraat’, ‘Chura Liya’, and oh there are hundreds!”
“Pyar Hamen Kis Mod Pe Le Aya’ from Satte pe Satta is my all time favourite. R.D. Burman managed to accomplish something we've all been attempting to do many decades ago- bring international influences into Indian music, but with honesty and respect for both forms of music. There is a timeless quality to his music. His songs will never fade. We have much to learn from Pancham Da and his brand of magic!”