The singing moon “Paadum Nila” is no more! Indian music lovers across the globe were distraught by the news of the demise of the legend, S P Balasubrahmanyam, on September 25. Considering that in the health updates from his son S P Charan it was mentioned that he was gradually recovering, his fans globally had hoped that SPB or Balu, as he was lovingly called by millions of his fans, will pull through, but alas!
SPB had united music lovers across generations and regions in the 80s and 90s. Having won 6 National and Filmfare awards each and having clenched the unachievable feat of 25 Nandi awards and more than 40000 songs in 16 regional languages, his legacy of songs shall always keep his memories alive.
VOICE OF KAMAL HASSAN LITERALLY
While SPB had made his singing debut in the Telugu music industry and later in the entire South Indian music industry in the 60s, the average Bollywood music lover woke up to his distinct and melodious voice in the 80s through his debut Hindi movie playback in ‘Ek Duje Ke Liye’. For someone who had already become the default dubbing artist for Kamal Haasan in Telugu dubbed versions of Tamil movies in the 70s, ‘Ek Duje Ke Liye’ made him Kamal Haasan’s default singing voice in Hindi thereafter in movies like ‘Saagar’, ‘Appu Raja’, ‘Dekha Pyar Tumhara’, ‘Zara Si Zindagi’, ‘Yeh To Kamal Ho Gaya’ and others with occasional playbacks by K J Yesudas in ‘Sadma’ and Kishore Kumar in ‘Raaj Tilak’ and ‘Sanam Teri Kasam’.
Similar was the case with Salman Khan, who started his career with ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ lip-syncing to songs crooned by SPB. In much of the late 80s and early 90s, SPB became Salman Khan’s romantic singing voice and lucky charm. After ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ and ‘Patthar Ke Phool’, producers dabbled with various contemporary Hindi playback voices for Salman but either the albums or the movies bombed. They touched Gold every time SPB did the playback for him, be it in ‘Saajan’, ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ or ‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun’. With the entry of T-series, Anand Milind and Nikhil Vinay, SPB lent his voice to many songs to the T-series music bank which was used in various albums that were super-hits but the movies with lesser-known actors either did not make it to the big screen or did not leave a mark at the box office.
SPIRITUAL CONNECT WITH RAFI
A hard-core fan of the legendary singer Mohd Rafi, SPB considered himself spiritually connected to his Guru and would often visit his family to celebrate his anniversary. Over the years, the disciple reached the legendary status no less, if not equivalent.
SPB will remain in the hearts of Bollywood music lovers across the globe for generations to come. The demise of personalities like his should not be mourned, their life and musical legacy should be celebrated instead. So, here are 25 movie albums that featured SPB songs that rocked the playlists of Bollywood music lovers globally in the 80s, 90s and beyond:
- Ek Duje Ke Liye (1981) – Composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal, Hum Bane Tum Bane marked SPB’s debut in the Hindi music scene and how! The song was literally being played in every nook and corner of the country in the early 80s.
Another of SPB’s hits from ‘Ek Duje Ke Liye’ was Tere Mere Beech Mein. The pathos that he brought out through his voice in this song elevated the performance of Haasan. As per Kamal Haasan’s own submission in one of his interviews – SPB did half of the acting for him through his voice.
The movie also had a noteworthy SPB solo Mere Jeevan Saathi with lyrics inspired from various Bollywood movies
- Andhaa Kanoon (1983) –The first film starring superstars Amitabh Bachchan and Rajnikanth together had a lovable SPB duet with Asha Bhosle composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal – Mausam Ka Taqaza
- Saagar (1985) – If you are an RD Burman fan or you simply love sad romantic songs, the song Sach Mere Yaar Hai would have definitely featured in your playlist for a long time. Composed by RDB for the movie Saagar, this is another SPB-Kamal Haasan combo that touched all the right chords of the Bollywood music lover’s heart.
The movie also had a fun song O Maria featuring Kamal Haasan and Dimple Kapadia on the screen with playback by SPB and Asha Bhosle, displaying SPB’s versatility and was frequently played on-demand on AIR Vividhbharti and Doordarshan’s Chitrahar and Rangoli back in the days.
The movie also had a noteworthy SPB duet with Kishore Kumar, Yunhi Gaate Raho.
- Appu Raja (1989) – Woh To Bana Apna is an SPB-Asha Bhosle duet from this movie that may not have featured in the regular music lover’s playlist but has a special place in the hearts of the Kamal Haasan, Illaiyaraja and SPB fans. Watch it and know why –
For those who like to listen to a song with a desi feel, may also like SPB’s Aaya Hai Raja from this movie reminding the Odia readers of ‘Danda Nacha’.
- Maine Pyar Kiya (1989) – It will be easier to highlight the entire album instead of mentioning one because this iconic movie and its album (albeit with inspired music *) composed by Raam Laxman have had a lasting impression on generations of Bollywood music lovers. Be it SPB’s solos in Mere Rang Mein and Dil Deewana or the duets with Lata Mangeshkar in Aate Jaate, Aaja Shaam Hone Aayi or Aaya Mausam Dosti Ka.
*You can read more about the inspirations in a previous article –
- Jamai Raja (1990) – This Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit-starrer had compositions from the legendary composers Laxmikant Pyarelal including two melodious and peppy SPB duets with S. Janaki – Tere Pyar Mein Hum and Teri Pyar Pyari Baatein
- Saajan (1991) – This was another iconic movie album which consolidated Nadeem Shravan’s stature as the leading composers of the early 90s and SPB’s duet with Alka Yagnik in Dekha Hai Pehli Baar along with Bahot Pyar Karte Hain, Jeeye to Jeeye Kaise, Pehli Baar Mile Hain and Tumse Milne Ki Tamanna Hai are SPB songs from this movie that continue to be in every 90s music lover’s playlist
- Love (1991) – While the movie Love bombed at the box office in 1991, the landmark SPB duet with KS Chitra, Sathiya Tune Kya Kya composed by Anand Milind has featured as the top 50 Bollywood love songs in various playlists in the past three decades and even featured in a recent movie 2 states. You will probably never find a person who does not love this song.
Saathiya Tune Kya Kiya
- 100 days (1991) – This Jackie Shroff and Madhuri Dixit-starrer thriller was a blockbuster in the early 90s, remembered for Madhuri’s acting and for the concept of extrasensory perception. But that’s not just it, it’s also remembered for the Raam Laxman composed SPB & Lata Mangeshkar duet Sun Beliya which topped the charts during the movie’s release.
The movie also had a melodious but relatively forgettable Tana Dere Na Tana Na De sung by SPB and Lata.
- Jeena Teri Gali Mein (1991) – This T-series movie had a superhit soundtrack composed by Babul Bose but the movie only made it to VCRs and not big screens and fortunately so for the audience as will be evident to you from the choreography and dance moves of the title track of this movie Jeena Teri Gali Mein, which was melodiously rendered by SPB & Anuradha Paudwal
- First Love Letter (1991) – This movie repeated the debutante romantic lead from Saudagar – Vivek Mushran and Manisha Koirala and had immensely melodious music by Bappi Lahiri. While the movie bombed at the box office, SPB & Lata Mangeshkar duets Diwani Diwani and Jab Se Mile Naina found love from the audience.
Diwani Diwani – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkjTapYcpio
Jab Se Mile Naina
The album also had two more notable SPB songs – Tota Tota and Kaat Ke Ungli.
- Roja (1992) – The movie Roja marked the debut of the immensely talented and versatile composer A R Rehman and the SPB version of Roja Jaaneman and the duet with Chitra, Yeh Haseen Vaadiyan were on the lips of every music lover after the movie’s release.
Yeh Haseen Wadiyan
- Junoon (1992) – This supernatural thriller was a blockbuster hit directed by Mahesh Bhatt and is remembered for the use of morphing effect in the movie – a concept that was new for Bollywood in the early 90s. The movie also had a very melodious soundtrack composed by Nadeem Shravan including the SPB & Anuradha Paudwal duet Prem Prem
- Vansh (1992) – This Anand- Milind composed movie album was a huge hit with the audience although the movie did not fare as well as it’s music. The SPB & Lata Mangeshkar duet Aake Teri Baahon Mein is probably one of the most melodious compositions of the duo.
The movie also had an SPB solo – Hum Hain Raja Raj Karen
- Gardish (1993) – This cult classic had immensely melodious compositions by RDB most of which were sung by SPB. Although it was their last act together, RDB’s favourite “Madrasi” (as RDB used to fondly call SPB) rocked each and every mood in the album – there was fun in Rang Rangeeli Raat and Ae Mere Deewanon, romance in Yeh Mera Dil To Pagal Hai and pathos in Hum Na Samjhe The which was emoted amazingly by the legend in each of the musical gems.
Rang Rangeeli Raat
Ae Mere Dewanon
Hum Na Samjhe The
Yeh Mera Dil To Pagal Hai
- Chor Aur Chand (1993) – This T-series movie album composed by Nikhil Vinay was a treasure trove of melodious SPB & Anuradha Paudwal duets. Picturised on Pooja Bhatt and Aditya Pancholi Sapno Mein Aaana, Lagne Laga Hai, Baat Kya Hai, Sharma Ke Baadalon Mein and Sanson Ka Kya Hai Pata are some of the most melodious Hindi duets of SPB from the 90s.
Sapno Mein Ana Dil Mein Samana –
Lagne Laga Hai Mujhe Aaj Kal
Baat Kya Hai Kaise Kah Doon
Sanson Ka Kya Hai Pata
Sharma Ke Baadalon Mein
- Shabnam (1993) – A lesser-know T-series movie album composed by Nikhil Vinay, Shabnam had an immensely melodious soundtrack including two SPB & Anuradha Paudwal duets – Do Ajnabee Dil Ke Sahaare and Chaha Tha Chaha Hai. Although this may not figure in regular 90s music lover’s playlists, they definitely figure in that of ardent fans of the singing duo. Please listen to the gems to know why –
Do Ajnabee Dil Ke Sahaare
Chaha Tha Chaha Hai
The movie also had a fast-paced SPB & Anuradha duet Mere Dil Ka Taar Baje Baar Baar.
- Aaja Meri Jaan (1993) – Although credited to composers Amar Utpal, this T-series movie that intended to be the launching pad for Gulshan Kumar’s younger brother Krishan Kumar had some of the most melodious picks from the T-series music bank for the album including those of other composers. One of those was a haunting composition of R D Burman sung by SPB & Anuradha – Aaja Aaja Meri Jaan which aptly utilized the singing prowess of the legend in all its glory and will leave you absolutely speechless.
Aaja Meri Jaan
Three other SPB & Anuradha romantic duets from the movie composed by Amar Utpal also made an impact on the music lovers of the 90s – Aaja Sanam Warna To Hum, Paagal Dil Mera and Shehar Ke Galiyon Mein.
Aaja Sanam Warna To Hum Mar Jayenge
Paagal Dil Mera
Shehar Ki Galiyon Mein
- Kasam Teri Kasam (1993) – Another T-series movie to extend Krishan Kumar’s career, which also had melodious picks from the music bank composed by Amar Utpal. Two notable SPB & Anuradha duets are Neend Mujhko Aaye Nahi (inspired* from ABBA’s Winner takes it all) and Dil Tera Dhadakne Laga
Neend Mujhko Aaye Nahi
*You can read more about this and similar ABBA inspirations in a previous article –
Dil Tera Dhadakne Laga
- Chor Chor (1993) – This Hindi-dubbed version of the Tamil movie ‘Thiruda Thiruda’ had a melodious soundtrack including the SPB duet with Chitra – Jhoom Jhoom Nache Hum
- Dhanwaan (1993) – Among Bollywood composers, Anand Milind had the longest association with SPB and although some of the compositions were inspired from the likes of Illayaraja, most of their SPB songs were loved by the audience. One such composition SPB duet with Sadhana Sargam and Kavita Krishnamurthy Ek Hi Ghosla Do Dilon Ka from this movie.
- Suhaag (1994) – Another pleasant SPB song composed by Anand Milind is a duet with Chitra Tere Liye Jaanam from Suhaag picturised on Ajay Devgan and Karishma Kapoor.
- Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994) – This blockbuster which was once the highest-grossing Indian film, the best-selling Bollywood soundtrack of 1994, needs no introduction nor does its timeless music composed by Raam Laxman. Like ‘Maine Pyar Kiya;, all the songs in this album were sung by Lata Mangeshkar and SPB including the gems – Hum Aapke Hain Koun, Mujhse Juda Hokar, Pehla Pehla Pyar, Yeh Mausam Ka Jadoo, Didi Tera Dewar, Joote Do Paise Lo, Dhiktana, and Waah Waah Ramji
All HAHK songs
- Duniya Dilwalon Ki (1996) – Another superhit soundtrack composed by A R Rahman which included two popular and soulful SPB solos – Jaana Jaana and Jaari Jaa E Hawa
Jaari Jaa E Hawa
- Sapnay (1997) – A film that was critically acclaimed for its songs composed by A. R. Rahman and won four National Film Awards and it’s Tamil original won three Tamil Nadu State Film Awards and a Filmfare Award South (Tamil) mostly for its music and soundtrack. The movie had only one SPB song but an impressive and memorable one –
Door Na Jaa Mujhse – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuK8g7vD1_E
While there were many more notable songs that SPB left his fans with in Hindi and multitudes more in Tamil, Telugu and other languages, these were a few memorable ones that most Bollywood music lovers identify with. Devastated as we fans are, we can only thank him the ABBA way –
Thank you for the music, the songs we’re singing
Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing
Who can live without it? I ask in all honesty
So we say thank you for the music SPB and thanks for all the joy they’re bringing today and forever …