It is rare that one franchise retains its composer(s), unless there is a Rakesh Roshan working with composer and brother Rajesh Roshan in Koi…Mil Gaya, Krissh and Krrish 3. The recent Tiger 3 has music by Pritam, though Ek Tha Tiger had Sohail Sen (with one song by Sajid-Wajid at Salman Khan’s behest) and Vishal-Shekhar did Tiger Zinda Hai.Trivia Tunes: From Laxmikant composing 6 hit songs in a single day to Kajol never working with Nadeem-Shravan after her debut
But if you thought trends and the market value of a composer when the sequel is made is what it is all about, think again! Pritam was approached for Ek Tha Tiger but had turned down the 2012 film as he would have had to then let go of his Aditya Chopra franchise, Dhoom:3, because of his busy schedules at that time! “I preferred to choose my own franchise!” Pritam had told me then. And when we look at franchises like Golmaal, Singham, Housefull, Fukrey and more, we see composers being changed all the time!
When older songs provide a film’s title
An older song has often decided the title of a film (Dum Maaro Dum, Yamla Pagla Deewana) when apt. The latest example is Jaane Jaan (sweetheart), which director Sujoy Ghosh decided to make the title of his murder mystery thriller because of the heroine’s character and the fact that the male protagonists both fall in (unrequited) love with her. Lata Mangeshkar’s cult cabaret number from the 1969 Intaqam, ‘Aa Jaanejaan’ composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal, written by Rajendra Krishen and filmed on Helen, was re-created by Sachin-Jigar and filmed on Kareena Kapoor Khan, shown as a bar-dancer, to further consolidate this. It was pure coincidence that Kareena’s father, Randhir Kapoor, had acted in a 1983 flop of that name, so Kareena told me, “This title fit the story!”
Like poles repel even in voices
Voices with similar tenors are not usually preferred as co-singers in the same song. An interesting exception is when Lata Mangeshkar and Suman Kalyanpur sang a duet in Chand (1959) under Hemant Kumar, ‘Kabhi aaj kabhi kal kabhi parson’. But have you ever heard Lata and Anuradha Paudwal together? But no one has heard any combination of Kumar Sanu, Amit Kumar and Vinod Rathod together, or of Shabbir Kumar, Anwar, Mohammed Aziz and Sonu Nigam.
Rare vocal combinations
Today, when just about any voice lip-syncs a song for anyone, we dare look back to the times when we had a few but titanic singers, when we had just one standout example of a legendary and big-name singer voicing for a big-name actor. Mahendra Kapoor for Dev Anand (Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja), Hemant Kumar for Shammi Kapoor (Bluff Master), Kishore Kumar for Raj Kapoor (Pyar) and Rajendra Kumar (Aap Aaye Bahaar Ayee), Mukesh for Rishi Kapoor (Mera Naam Joker) and Manna Dey for Rajendra Kumar (Zindagi) are standout examples. However, between the two of them, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle were common to all the top female names in their times.
The composer-star issue
Famous composer-star combinations have been endemic in our films—from Naushad-Dilip Kumar to S.D. Burman-Dev Anand and Shankar-Jaikishan-Raj Kapoor and even Himesh Reshammiya and Sajid-Wajid with Salman Khan. But there has been the reverse case also—of friction. Shammi Kapoor once told me that he was replaced in his struggling phase with Bharat Bhushan in Shabab (1954) at the recommendation of Naushad, which is why no Shammi-Naushad film ever happened later. Kajol never worked with Nadeem-Shravan as Nadeem’s behaviour on the sets of her maiden film, Bekhudi, is said to have upset her. O.P. Nayyar even asked filmmaker Guru Dutt why he had signed someone who looked like a maid (now Phalke laureate Waheeda Rehman!) as the second lead of C.I.D., which might be the explanation for why Waheeda never worked in a O.P. Nayyar film again!
Fast and furious!
The need for speed affects different composers in different, illuminating ways! Rajesh Roshan recalls how Priyadarshan once wanted to sign him but needed five or six situational songs pronto. Said a wry Roshan: “I had to turn down the film as I cannot manufacture instant songs!” Anu Malik, a speedy composer, stated that this was when he took recourse to modelling a song from a past source. “I am no Beethoven, I am not even a Shankar-Jaikishan!” he had told me as explanation.
Family and work both first!
But Laxmikant had a different take. Six songs for the 1980 Judaai were quickly needed and the Chennai-based producer and director asked the composer-duo and lyricist Anand Bakshi to accompany them to the hill-resort of Khandala for three days to finalize all tunes. This left Laxmikant’s daughter, Rajeshwari, then just seven years old, howling as her father would be away. But around 12 the same night, the family was surprised to hear his car honking at their gate. Laxmikant (as the composing half of this film) had made six tunes in a single day, so that he could return home, and needless to say, every song in the film became popular!
Also Read: Trivia Tunes: From the chasm between lyrics and poetry to meaning behind songs; here’s looking at the changing face of music
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