India has been home to several musicians over the years but none quite exceptionally talented as Lata Mangeshkar. This singer has won the hearts of audiences for decades with her singing talent and melodious voice.
Whether you’re looking for soft soulful music, inspirational music or feeling melancholy, you can find whatever emotion you’re feeling expressed beautifully in the best Lata Mangeshkar songs.
1. Tu Jahan Jahan Chalega - Mera Saaya (1966)
A haunting melody, this is easily one of the top Lata Mangeshkar hit songs ever. Sung to music composed by Madan Mohan and beautiful lyrics by Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, this composition is an evergreen classic. It talks about the depths of love in a relationship and also the pain when the love is lost. The movie features Sunil Dutt who is able to emote the feelings of this song perfectly.
2. O Sajanaa Barakhaa - Parakh (1960)
Among the most popular Lata Mangeshkar songs, this track was written by lyricist Shailendra with music by Salil Chowdhury. A stunning background score coupled with the singer’s melodious and evocative voice brings forth a powerful melody. The song is focussed on actress Sadhana against a backdrop of rain further enhancing the feel of the song.
3. Lag Jaa Gale - Woh Kaun Thi (1964)
A beautiful melody woven around poetic lyrics, Lag Jaa Gale is one of the biggest Lata Mangeshkar hit songs ever sung. The music for this track was given by Madan Mohan and lyrics written by Raja Mehdi Ali Khan. This song is perfect for Lata Mangeshkar’s voice and while a lot of people have tried singing this popular song over the years, no version has ever come close to matching the original.
4. Yeh Kahaan Aa Gaye Hum – Silsila (1981)
This movie was hugely popular owing to its stunning star cast. The music and composition were brilliant throughout, but this song stands heads and shoulders above anything else. The melody and lyrics are extremely expressive, and the song was sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Amitabh Bachchan, himself. Music was composed by Hariprasad Chaurasia and Shivkumar Sharma and Javed Akhtar was the lyricist. The emotion that was delivered in each line easily puts it on the best of Lata Mangeshkar songs list.
5. Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya - Mughal-E-Azam (1960)
One of the grandest movies ever made in Bollywood, Mughal-E-Azam is the larger-than-life movie that can still hold its own. With top-notch actors, directors and a music score to die for – this movie has it all. It also has some of the finest choreography and a huge musical element. Lata Mangeshkar’s voice lends perfectly to this brilliant film taking the songs a step higher. The music for this track was given by Naushad and lyrics written by Shakeel Badayuni.
6. Chalte Chalte Yun hi Koi– Pakeezah (1972)
A hummable song, this track is definitely one of the best Lata Mangeshkar songs ever. While the movie delivered a phenomenal music album, this song is certainly the biggest highlight, and the main reason is the voice of Lata Mangeshkar. With music given by the likes of Ghulam Mohammed and Naushad, this track has been sung and released by several pop stars over the years, but the original melody is still undoubtedly the best.
7. Ehsaan Tera Hoga Mujh Par – Junglee (1961)
Sung by the dynamic duo Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi, this song packs emotion and feelings in every line. The music given by Shankar-Jaikishan is outstanding and delivers a range of emotions to anyone listening. The gentle way in which heartfelt passion has been described in this track makes it among the most treasured Lata Mangeshkar songs ever.
8. Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh – Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai (1960)
Musing on the journey of life and dilemmas of love have been sung several times before but never like this. The track boasts of one of the finest compositions by Shankar-Jaikishan and Lata Mangeshkar’s evocative voice bring forth an array of emotions penned by lyricist Shailendra. For decades this song was on every list that played the best of Lata Mangeshkar.
9. Tere Bina Zindagi Se Koi Shikwa to Nahin- Aandhi (1975)
This song is the epitome of love, heartbreak and passion in a raw and honest manner. Sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar, the picturesque backdrop and a beautiful composition by RD Burman further elevates this track. The poetic lyrics by Gulzar have deep meaning making this song one of Bollywood’s eternal treasures.
10. Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon (1963)
Honouring the veterans who gave their lives for the country against China in the 1962 war, this patriotic song could not have been sung by anyone other than Lata Mangeshkar. At a time when film music got all the attention, this song written by Pradeep and composed by C. Ramachandra had the entire nation under a spell cast by Lata Mangeshkar’s voice. It is one of those songs that are so evocative that it can bring anyone to tears, every time they listen to it.