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Trivia Tunes: From Pritam letting go of Jawan and Animal to Mahendra Kapoor song being compulsory in BR Films

en Bollywood News Trivia Tunes: From Pritam letting go of Jawan and Animal to Mahendra Kapoor song being compulsory in BR Films

Padma Bhushan Mithun Chakraborty and Bappi Lahiri
Padma Bhushan Mithun Chakraborty has had the maximum number of his films with music by the late Bappi Lahiri, including his breakthrough film, Suraksha and his disco movies. But the actor and his fellow-Bengali composer have more than that in common. Two of Mithun’s films, Chandni Chowk To China and Golmaal 3, had re-creations of Bappi sung by the composer himself. In the latter film, one of the two songs, ‘I am a disco dancer’, was again filmed on a middle-aged Mithun 28 years after the original cult hit from Disco Dancer (1982).

Trivia Tunes: From Pritam letting go of Jawan and Animal to Mahendra Kapoor song being compulsory in BR Films

And there is more. Both Mithun and Bappi made (separate) cameos as themselves in the 2007 film Om Shanti Om. And when Mahakshay, Mithun’s son, made his debut in Jimmy, one song was composed by Bappi Lahiri in the movie for his son. What’s more, while Bappi’s son, Bappa Lahiri, composed some songs for C Kkompany starring Mithun (though not filmed on him), Bappi also composed a dance song, ‘Paani paani paani kam chai’, in Mithun’s home production, Enemmy—Law and Disorder, a 2013 film, officially produced by his former-actress wife, Yogeeta Bali.

The Banner Faithful
Since Dhool Ka Phool (1959), BR Films and producer B.R. Chopra had always been loyal to veteran Mahendra Kapoor, with negligible exceptions in Chhoti Si Baat, The Burning Train and Kal Ki Awaz. Kapoor even went on to sing at least one song each in Chopra’s TV serials, including Mahabharat. A Mahendra Kapoor song was thus almost compulsory even when an actor was not really identified with Kapoor’s voice, like Rishi Kapoor, besides new heroes like Raj Babbar and Jackie Shroff. Chopra insisted on Kapoor with composers not really attuned to him, like R.D. Burman (Karm, Mazdoor), Sapan Chakravorty (Zameer) or Bappi Lahiri (Kirayadar).

Kapoor’s last song for a B.R. Chopra film came in Kalyanji-Anandji’s Praigyabadh (1991), in which he sang the sentimental ‘Dhin tara dhin tara bole man ka iktara’ for character artiste Lalit Tiwari.

When Junglee was reborn in Dharam Karam!
Why do we single out only new or young composers for lifting ideas, interludes and music bars? A piece of music from Shankar-Jaikishan’s hit, ‘Aiyyayya karoon main kya suku suku’ in Junglee has been used in toto by R.D. Burman in Raj Kapoor’s Dharam Karam as the popular interlude refrain that goes ‘La la la la la la’ in the hit, ‘Ek din bik jaayega’.  Wonder if there is some small story behind this, as a fellow scribe informs me that R.D. openly adored Shankar-Jaikishan!

When R.D. Burman approached Madan Mohan and Jaikishan
When S.D. Burman heard his son, R.D. Burman’s composition, ‘Na jaa o mere humdum’ (Pyar Ka Mausam) before it was recorded, he suggested that the tenor was a shade Madan Mohan-ish and advised him to take the senior composer’s advice on the song’s compositional and orchestral nuances. His son did so, and even consulted Jaikishan, before finally taping this evergreen Lata Mangeshkar-rendered soulful masterpiece.

Pritam was to do two more films in 2023
As per Pritam, the busybee composer was scheduled to do both Jawan and Animal due to his closeness to Shah Rukh Khan as well as T-Series and Ranbir Kapoor. But he was tied up with the music of another film and had to let go of Jawan as well as Animal. When songs from other composers were brought in to Animal after Pritam had recorded one song, he decided to let the film go as he always preferred to be a solo composer in a film.

No big composers in web series
Wonder why there are barely any big names doing music for web series—whether it is only a title or theme track, or more songs in a musical subject. The only exceptions I can recall are Pritam (The Forgotten Army—Azaadi Ke Liye) due to his nearness to Kabir Khan, and Amit Trivedi (Jubilee) because of his closeness to Vikramaditya Motwane. Time was when a lot of big names, beginning with Naushad all the way to Anu Malik would also do television serials. Himesh Reshammiya, in fact, began his career by producing, co-writing and composing music for TV shows!

What’s in a spelling?
Shekhar Ravjiani of Vishal-Shekhar has recently modified his spelling to Sheykhar Ravjiani. That takes me to other names in music who either changed spellings for luck or whose names were spelt differently and for different reasons by different entities! Remember the times when ARR was A.R. Rehman, not Rahman? Kumar Sanu was Kumar Shanu and Sukhwinder Singh was Sukhwindara (!) Singh. Ilayaraja is now spelt as Ilaiyaraaja (and variants!) and Sudesh Bhosle as Bhosale or Bhonsle. Sonu Nigam had a phase when he was Sonu Niigaam, and we had diverse spellings for S.P. Balasubramaniam (I am told the label Saregama preferred S.P. Balasubrahmanyam!) and Alisha Chinoy (Chinai) too. It is therefore preferable and easier when a music person officially changes his name—Poornima and Preeti Uttam were the ‘adult’ names of Sushma Shrestha and Gurpreet Kaur respectively, as it was believed that child singers never succeeded as adult singers. And I still think that M.M. Keeravani calling himself M.M. Kreem in Hindi cinema is innovative!

Also Read: Trivia Tunes: From lyrics communicated emotions to hiccups with multiple-composers, how film music has changed


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