Their careers began over a decade apart-Salman Khan‘s in 1988 and Vishal-Shekhar’s in 1999. But it is only in 2016 that the Numero Uno hero of Hindi cinema joined up with the duo for Sultan. Today, Salman is happy with the music and plans to record a version of every song in his own voice! Claim V-S, “He passed every song that went to him and complimented us when we met!”
Besides being mentor to Himesh Reshammiya and Sajid-Wajid (all V-S contemporaries), Salman Khan had worked with every top composer since he became a big name, be it Anu Malik, Nadeem-Shravan, Anand-Milind, Jatin-Lalit, A.R. Rahman, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy or Pritam.
With V-S, Salman’s only earlier association had been in a part of the qawwali, ‘Wallah Re Wallah’ (Tees Maar Khan) wherein he had done a cameo. Of course, Vishal Dadlani sang the chartbuster ‘Selfie Le Le Re‘ under Pritam for Salman in Bajrangi Bhaijaan, co-produced by Salman last year.
However, many top star-top composer unions have never happened. Here are some teams of top actors and composers that we have still to experience.
A name with whom V-S have never been associated is Aamir Khan. However, Vishal sang in Taare Zameen Par produced and directed by Aamir, under Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy-the background song ‘Jame Raho‘. Shahid Kapoor is another exception, though again Vishal has sung in his films like Kaminey and Paathshaala. The two have never worked with Kangana Ranaut.
Pritam may have crossed 100 films and 11 years, but he still has to work with Amitabh Bachchan, even with him in a cameo or as a voiceover artiste. A film they were to do, Har Pall, starring Preity Zinta, got stuck-but before that, Amitabh had already been replaced by Dharmendra!
The composer has still to open his tally with Aamir Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Ranbir Kapoor and John Abraham despite giving hit music in several films of Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn, including their home productions. Yes, he had two films with Shah Rukh Khan in cameos-Silsillay and Kuch Meetha Ho Jaaye, and a song was filmed on Shah Rukh in the former.
Himesh also composed the title-song of Ajay Devgn’s production Bol Bachchan, which was rendered by Amitabh Bachchan (who also enacted it in a cameo) along with Ajay and Abhishek Bachchan. But Himesh has never worked with Amitabh or Shah Rukh in the lead, and to score so high in mass popularity despite all these star omissions is indeed creditable!
On the female side, Himesh has an interesting exception in Deepika Padukone. And we say this because they did a music video together for his non-film bestseller album Aap Ka Suroor (2006). And it was after watching this video that Farah Khan signed her for her debut film Om Shanti Om!
Sajid-Wajid have never opened their accounts with Hrithik Roshan, Aamir Khan or Ranbir Kapoor as yet. They have also yet to open their account with Deepika Padukone.
Besides his cameo in Delhi-6 and his voiceovers in Lagaan and Jodhaa Akbar, Rahman has never composed any song for Amitabh Bachchan. The composer’s exceptions also include Saif Ali Khan and Shahid Kapoor.
And Rahman may have worked much internationally, but he has never done so with fellow ‘foreigner’ Priyanka Chopra even in India! Kangana Ranaut also remains an exception. Speaking strictly of Hindi cinema, his only films with Sonakshi Sinha (Lingaa) has been a dubbed film starring Rajinikanth.
The only name missing from their list is of Shahid Kapoor.
The old masters
Certain combinations never happened between toppers even in the older days. Shammi Kapoor never worked with Naushad, and the veteran actor stated that he was thrown out of Shabab in his flop phase thanks to the composer! Naushad never worked with Dev Anand either.
O.P. Nayyar never did a film with Rajendra Kumar, Raaj Kumar and Meena Kumari.
Top composer Ravi is missing from the films of Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand. And whoever heard of a film with music composed by S.D. Burman that starred Raaj Kumar?
Later, R.D. Burman missed out on Sadhana, Babita and even Nutan (who acted as a character artiste minus any song in his 1987 Hifazat). He was admired by Rajendra Kumar but they worked together only in his productions (The Train, Love Story and more) without any song filmed on him. Laxmikant-Pyarelal missed out on Shammi Kapoor, Raaj Kumar and Vyjayanthimala as leading men and worked with the first two as senior character artistes later.
Not all these cases were deliberate-including the cases of top leading ladies, who, unlike heroes, never had the clout to decide the composer of their films. But, as in Shammi Kapoor’s case with Shabab, not all such cases were organic either! As composer Laxmikant(-Pyarelal) had said once, “Shammi-ji wanted us to score the music for Sacchai (1970). But a precondition for us doing the film was spending evenings drinking and partying with him, which we could not afford to do as we were very busy.”
From there to his signing them for his aborted directorial venture Aaghaaz Aur Anjaam and, as Subhash Ghai recalls, ardently promoting their music in his Hero and terming them the “natural successors to Shankar-Jaikishan” on record was a story of continued admiration for a duo even if they had once refused to toe the line just for a film with him. None of the songs L-P scored for him later were classics, but that did not change his opinion.
As with all such interesting phenomena in Hindi cinema, every case was different.