I've been maintaining this blog (for better or for worse) over the last eight years. Over these years, its natural evolution has led it into becoming something of a niche place for discussion of music in general and Qawwali in particular. Rather than trying to return my existing blog to its pre-Qawwali eclectic roots, I decided I’d start anew on Tumblr. So if you’re interested in music, Qawwali and subcontinental culture, keep reading/listening/watching/commenting here. For all of the above and everything else under the sun, head on over to my Tumblr page .

Thursday, July 5, 2012

...Of An Absolute Genius

This is an unqualified, unsolicited testimonial.

I think C Ramchandra was one of the greatest composers of Bollywood's golden age.

The inventiveness, freshness, melodiousness and how shall I put it, musicality of his compositions are second to none, and I'm absolutely, wholeheartedly in love with them; especially the ones he composed for Lata Mangeshkar, with whom he was reputed to have had a romantic attachment. Not even Madan Mohan's compositions seem as perfectly tailored for Lata's voice. Unfortunately he's not as well remembered as some of the other great composers of his age like Naushad, Shankar-Jaikishen, OP Nayyar, SD Burman etc. I'd rather let Youtube carry on from here, with some of my most favorite C Ramchandra compositions. Since there are dozens upon dozens of his compositions that I love, I'll limit myself to my ten most favorite ones, plus a bonus .

Katate Hain Dukh Main Yeh Din - Lata Mangeskar - Parchaiyyan 1952
An absolutely stunning composition with beautiful lyrics, sung by Lata in her most lilting voice.

 Shaam Dhale Khirki Tale - Lata Mangeshkar & C Ramchandra - Albela 1951
Geeta Bali is one of my favorite actresses, and Bhagwandada's shuffle-dance is utterly charming.

Woh Hum Se Chup Hain, Hum Un Se Chup Hain - Lata Mangeshkar & C Ramchandra - Sargam 1950
One of the sweetest duets ever, and Raj Kapoor is unbelievably handsome here.

Dil Ki Duniya Basaa Ke Saanwariya - Lata Mangeshkar - Amardeep 1958
That little piano flourish at the beginning of every verse absolutely slays me.

Yeh Zindagi Ussi Ki Hai - Lata Mangeshkar - Anarkali - 1953
C Ramchandra shows his versatility by composing a beautiful, classical-inspired score, ala Naushad.

 Main Jagoon Saari Raien - Lata Mangeshkar - Bahurani - 1963
An almost Madan Mohan like composition, with Lata's voice having matured from the shrillness of the '50s.

 Bholi Soorat Dil Ke Khote - C Ramchandra & Lata Mangeshkar - Albela - 1951
The castanets, the flute intro, the shehnai, the beat on the tambourine, the utterly charming dance steps, this is one of my favorite songs.

 Shola Jo Bharke - Lata Mangeshkar & C Ramchandra - Albela - 1951
Another classic from Albela - I could write a post with just songs from that one film, they're that awesome.

Abhi Shaam Ayegi Niklain Ge Taare - Lata Mangeshkar - Samadhi 1950
I used to have a childhood crush on Nalini Jaywant, it's not hard to figure out why.

Mohabbat Aisi Dharkan Hai - C Ramchandra - Anarkali - 1953
The great composer himself, singing one of his landmark compositions live.

And finally ... I found out very late the C Ramchandra-Lata combo was responsible for one of my dearest and sweetest childhood memories.  

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