Sa Re Ga Ma, Five CDs, Rs.1000

I t has been timed to a nicety – the release by Sa Re Ga Ma of a five-set CD album to commemorate the 80th birth anniversary of the Bollywood legend Shammi Kapoor, who was born on October 21 in 1931. Aptly the CDs contain 80 songs! Many of the songs are popular numbers which we have been hearing for a long time but importantly, the producers have included a number of rarely heard gems composed during the professionally formative years of the ‘yahoo' star. The opening CD has such delicious oldies like “La De Mohe Balma” from “Rail Ka Dibba”, a delightful Shamshad Begum and Rafi duet (music by Ghulam Mohammed), early Talat Mahmood hits like “Chal Diya Caravan” from “Laila Majnu” and “Aye Gham-e-Dil kya Karoon” from “Thokar”, “Mai Ne Pae Hai” from “Raat Ke Raahi” (Mohd. Rafi), the rollicking Manna De-Lata duet “Jhoomta Mausam Mast Mahina” from “Ujala” and the unforgettable title song from “Tum Sa Nahin Dekha” (Rafi). But the pick of the CD is “Chori Chori Ek Ishara Ho Gaya” from “Basant” (set to music by the inimitable O.P. Nayyar and sung by his favourite singers Rafi and Asha Bhonsle). The second CD has many of the actor's popular hits. The third disc opens with the melancholic song “Aasman Wale Teri Duniya Se” (Talat-Lata duet) from “Laila Majnu”. In the fourth too Sa Re Ga Ma has included a number of Shammi's ever-green hits. The last CD – perhaps the weakest among them all – opens with a very ordinary “Aye Mere dil Yahan Tu Akela”) “Pagla Kahin Ka”. This could have been easily avoided in preference to some better one. While the CDs do contain a fair selection of Shammi's hits there are many glaring omissions.

Like “Husn Chala Kuch Aisi Chal” (“Bluff Master”), title song of “Dil Tera Deewana” and “Dhadakne Laga Hai Mera Dil Tere Naam Se”), “Lal Chhadi” (“Jaanwar”), “O Mere Sona Re” amongst others.

But more sadly one of the rare songs sung by Mukesh for Shammi “Socha Tha Pyar Hum Na Karenge” (“Bluff Master”) is also missing.

Though these are original sound tracks some of the songs seem to end abruptly. A case in point is “Meri Jaan Balle Balle” (“Kashmir Ki Kali”), the last part has been blissfully omitted robbing the beauty of the song. The vibrant bhangra beats, the continuous rhythm that transports the listener to a different world, the typical folksy ending are all missing.

The CDs have been created seemingly in a great hurry perhaps to catch the deadline and without much research having been done before production. And at Rs.1000 they are sure very over-priced.

For such a steep price, the producers should have at least included a booklet with lyrics of the songs.