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LEGENDS, SHAMMI KAPOOR

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. Inevitably, lots of them feature the great Mohammed Rafi, who in later years too belted out an astonishing number of chart-busters for Shammi Kapoor.

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). Rafi and Asha are utterly brilliant and complement each other magnificently.

The second CD has many of the actor's popular hits. It opens with the trademark “Yahoo! Chahe Koi Mujhe Junglee” (“Jungee”), which pitchforked him to the top echelons of Bollywood, and has other hits like “Baar Baar Dekho” (“China Town”), the all-time favourite “Tarif Karoon Kya Uski” (“Kashmir Ki Kali”), “Nazar Bachakar Chale Gaye” (“Dil Tera Diwana”), “Khuli Palak Mein” (“Professor”), “Is Rang Badalti Duniya Mein” (“Rajkumar”), “Meri Mohabbat Jawan Rahegi” (“Jaanwar”), and “Akele Akele” (“An Evening in Paris”).

The third disc opens with the melancholic song “Aasman Wale Teri Duniya Se” (Talat-Lata duet) from “Laila Majnu”. The second one by Rafi “Tune Mera Yaar Na Milaya” (“Shama Parwana”), a touching number, is an out and out beauty. Rafi, it is again who is featured in a number of super hits in this CD. Like the O.P. Nayyar masterpiece “Jawanian Yeh Mast Mast” (“Tumsa Nahin Dekha”), title song from “Dil Dekhe Dekho”, “Ehsaan Tera Hoga” (“Junglee”), “Mujhe Kitna Pyar Hai Tumse” (“Dil Tera Deewana”), “Aye Gulbadan” (“Professor”), the lilting “Isharon Isharon Mein” (“Kashmir Ki Kali”) and “Govinda Aala Re” (“Bluff Master”).

In the fourth too Sa Re Ga Ma has included a number of Shammi's ever-green hits. It opens with the high-pitched voice of Mohd. Rafi “Dil Ke Jharokhe Mein” (“Brahmachari”) followed by the boisterous “Nazar Mein Bijli” (“Prince”), the heady Bhangra-style song composed by O.P. Nayyar in his inimitable style “Meri Jaan Balle Balle” (“Kashmir Ki Kali”), “Savere Wali Gadi Se” (“Laat Saheb”), “Main Chali Main Chali” (“Professor”) and “Tumne Pukara Aur Ham Chale Aaye” (“Raaj Kumar”).

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. Some of the other songs include “Janam Janam Ka Saath” (“Tumse Achha Kaun Hai”), ”Dil Use Do” (“Andaz”), “Sau Baras Ke Zindagi Se” (“Sachai”), “Na Rootho Na Rootho” (“Jawan Mohabbat”) and “Tum Mujhe Yoon Bulana” (“Pagla Kahin Ka”).

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” and “Tum Ne Mujhe Dekha” (“Teesri Manzil”) the seductive songs “Sar Par Topi Lal” and “Dekh Kasam Se” (“Tum Sa Nahin Dekha”) and well, how can one exclude the matchless songs “Deewana Huva Badal” and “Subhan Allah” (“Kashmir Ki Kali”)? 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.

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