Rahul Dev Burman, popularly known as RD Burman, is one of the most prominent and influential Indian music directors of the 20th century. His career spans over 4 decades during which he inspired multiple generations of composers and singers. Fondly referred to as Pancham da, RD Burman composed songs for a whopping 331 films!
His signature singing style was inspired by the jazz legend Louis Armstrong. Popular song ’Sar Jo Tera Chakraaye’s tune was created by RD Burman when he was a kid which was included by his father in the recording of Guru Dutt's Pyaasa. He is responsible for giving us timeless classics like ‘Chura Liya Hai Tumne Jo Dill Ko’ (Yaadon Ki Baaraat), ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’ (Hum Kisise Kum Nahin), ‘Kya Huva Tera Wada’ (Hum Kisise Kum Nahin), and many more unforgettable pieces.
On the occasion of his death anniversary, let’s revisit some of his most memorable songs that still make us hum.
RD Burman’s first hit film came in the form of Teesri Manzil (1966). The film was a musical thriller and went on to become a box office hit. This film can be considered the starting point for RD Burman’s popularity. He composed scores for all of the 6 songs from the movie, 4 of which were duets featuring Asha Bhosle and Mohammed Rafi.
Another hit song from the movie Teesri Manzil (1966), features Helen and Shammi Kapoor dancing to the melodious tune of the song.
The music of the film Kati Patang (1971) was composed by RD Burman and this classic song is sung by Kishore Kumar. The movie was praised for its casts’ strong performance and its musical scores.
Easily one of the most popular and evergreen songs of Bollywood, ‘Mehbooba Mehbooba’ from the film Sholay (1975), is one of the rare songs that were not only composed by RD Burman but also voiced by him. This song is a legend and has been remade by various artists on multiple occasions.
This particular composition of RD Burman has reached the status of being even more popular than the movie it was featured in. It was sung by Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey. Widely recognized as an anthem of friendship even today.
‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’ was one of the biggest chart-busters of 1977. The song features Rishi Kumar performing the classical steps while dancing to the beats of the classic. This song has been recreated for the film Bachna Ae Haseeno (2007) starring Rishi Kapoor’s son, Ranbir Kapoor.
Mohammed Rafi won a National Award for singing this song that was composed by RD Burman. It is picturized on Rishi Kapoor, Kajal Kiran, and Tariq Khan.
Though the movie Mere Jeevan Saathi (1972) did not bode well at the box office, its songs have received the status of classics and still continue to be relevant. Rajesh Khanna, the lead of the movie, did not approve of the song ‘O Mere Dill Ke Chain’ in the beginning, but was later convinced by RD Burman. RD Burman went into Rajesh Khanna’s room with a harmonium and came out after 15 minutes saying he has approved the tune.
This song is sung by Manna Dey and composed by RD Burman. Apart from composing all the songs of the movie, he also voiced the title song ‘Bhoot Bungla’ along with Mehmood. Bhoot Bungla (1965) also marked the onscreen debut of RD Burman.