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“Music is my first love”, enthuses Amitabh Bachchan, who did ‘not’ depend on songs to achieve initial superstardom

A curated list of Big B-centric Eleven songs, since his Bday falls on 11th Oct!



Amitabh Bachchan

By Chaitanya Padukone

Superstar Amitabh Bachchan has often said, “music is my first love”. Not many may be aware that playing the classic sitar instrument is among Amitabh’s stress-busting passions and he loves to hear both Western and Indian folk music. In fact, the music-savvy, energetic Big B was fully involved in the fusion music Latin-American-Indo ethnic arrangements for the unique promotional Carnival dance rap-song ‘ Badumbaaa—Zumba Zumba’ for this Hindi movie ‘102 Not Out’ and he was in touch with me on cell-phone messages regarding the structure of that flamboyant song, had Big B singing in his own voice with co-star Rishi Kapoor.   first attained musical popularity with his initial chart-busting songs from the Hindi movie Bombay To Goa, especially the vibrant ‘Dekha Na Haay Rey’. Which was picturized on him dancing-prancing freestyle in a tourist-travel bus coach.


What needs to be noted is that unlike his iconic seniors like Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor, and Rajesh Khanna, the tall, suave Amitabh was not exactly a singing hero when he entered the zone of superstardom. Let’s take his three initial movies Namak Haram, Zanjeer, and Deewaar where he lived up to his then-newly created image of the ‘Angry Young Man’, Now in all these three movies Amitabh did Not, I repeat, did not have a single lip-sync romantic song picturized on him.


However much later on, the agile Senior Bachchan steadily had dozens of chartbuster songs picturised on him.  Gifted with a bass-baritone voice and potential musical talent, the versatile Big B has so many evergreen filmy chartbusters sung by him as ‘playback’ like ‘Range Barse’ (Silsila), ‘Mere Angne Mein (Laawaris), Tu Maike Mat Jaiyo (Pukar) and Holi Khele Rahuveera (Baghban).


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Using and tweaking a phrase from one of his iconic dialogues from ‘Don’, I would say selecting and curating hit songs from Amitabh’s fabulous huge hit repertoire—mushkil hee nahin—naa mumkin hai.


Amitabh Bachchan with Chaitanya Padukone

Keeping in mind certain factors including my association as a dedicated film journalist, with Amitabh Sir for the past 36 years and my fair knowledge of music and rhythm, I am presenting my personal curated choice. Here we go:

1}  Mere Paas Aao, Mere Doston –Mr. NATWARLAL–1979

This unique song marked the debut of Big B as a ‘playback’ singer—for himself–. Although it was more of a recitation story narration song composed by rhythm maestro Rajesh Roshan targeted little kids, it also became immensely popular with the masses. With minimal rhythm and gentle percussion and special vocal sound effects of wild animals done by a mimicry artiste, the song in Bachchan’s bass-baritone yet soothing voice continues to be loved by all his ardent fans.

2} Khaike Paan Banaraswalla—DON—1977

This sensational evergreen song composed by the versatile Kalyanji-Anandji was the major repeat-value of the crime-thriller ‘Don’ and proved Amitabh’s graceful agile dancing skills at folk-dance ethnic flavor songs with intricate ‘dholak’ beats. Singer Kishore Kumar

3} Jahaan Teri Ye Nazar Hai—KAALIA– 1981

With elements inspired by an Egyptian-Arabic song, this foot-tapping song was the highlight of the movie with an agile Bachchan-Saab paying a discreet tribute to iconic yesteryear dancing hero Bhagwan Dada with quite similar hand gestures. Punctuated with rhythmic claps and catchy brass instrument’s theme interludes by genius composer R D Burman {Pancham-da} the song had audiences dancing in their seats. Singer Kishore Kumar.

Also read: Amitabh Bachchan pens letter to Goodbye co-star and debutant Abhishekh Khan

4}  Samundar Mein Nahaake —PUKAR–1983

Yet another composed and sung by R D Burman peppy fast-tempo ‘namkeen’ song which was and is an evergreen chartbuster. Thanks also to its tantalizing visuals with hot hunk Amitabh and sex-symbol glam-babe Zeenat Aman dancing against the backdrop of the beach waves!!

5} Machh Gaya Shor—KHUD-DAAR–1982

The Big B impresses yet again as he swings and sways to this rhythmic song composed by Rajesh Roshan with those infectious Govinda Aala Rey folksy beats. Out here, the gorgeous Parveen Babi adds ethnic spice to the song with her ethnic outfit and sizzling dance moves. Singer Kishore Kumar

6} My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves—AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY—1977

One of those unusual songs picturized Amitabh in his flamboyant tough yet comic-bumbling tapori-bhai ‘Anthony’ character.  Interestingly Amitabh has also recorded a few English scat lines in his own voice! Composed by the illustrious duo Laxmikant-Pyarelal, this song is a ‘Guru-dakshina-tribute’ by Pyarelal to his real-life mentor-violinist Guru—Anthony Gonsalves.

7} Rang Barse –SILSILA—1981

The all-time favorite folksy song of every DJ and every Holi reveler on the occasion of Holi Utsav, composed by the genius maestro-duo Shiv-Hari.  Graceful Amitabh has not only sung as ‘playback’ perfectly with amazing pauses [thheraav] in his bass-baritone voice but also diligently danced to the complex ethnic rhythm patterns.

Also read: Rajshri’s Uunchai outs it’s second character poster, Anupam Kher looks riveting!

8} Pag Ghungroo Baandh –NAMAK HALAL—1982

Difficult song with so many complex variations in the foot-tapping song progression composed by Bappi Lahiri. A brilliant ‘fusion’ benchmark track of Indian classical, Afro-rock, Western beats, and more. The par excellence performer that he is, Amitabh does full justice to the song with his funny gestures, perfect dancing, and quirky expressions. Although there are pure classical Sargam vocal inputs by Pt. Satyanarayan Mishra. Kudos and full marks to genius Kishore Kumar for his awesome singing

9} Neela Aasmaan So Gaya—SILSILA—1981

One of those haunting yet soulful romantic songs sung by Amitabh in his resonating voice.  The tune of this soothing slow-tempo song was composed together by Amitabh and music-savvy Shammi Kapoor while they were shooting for Zameer [1975]. So, Amitabh sought Shammi’s prior permission when he suggested this tune to composer-duo Shiv-Hari.   Which Shammi gave readily.

10} Pyar Mein Dil Pe Maar Di Goli—MAHAAN— 1983

As it is, this movie has Amitabh in a unique ‘triple’ role, and in this romantic duet song Amitabh with co-star Zeenat Aman freaks out with his awesome dancing movies matching the rapid tempo song composed by R D Burman. Also proving how swift and daring he is, as he executes precarious leaps against the backdrop of historic monuments in Nepal. Singers Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle.

11} Jumma Chumma Dey Dey–HUM—1991

A smartly Indianised rehash of the international 1987 hit song Tama by Mory Kante, this lively, rhythmic Calypso-beats duet song is sung brilliantly by Kavita Krishnamurthy with Sudesh Bhosale perfectly mimicking Amitabh’s macho voice.  With his amazing high-energy dancing electrifying moves, Amitabh took this song to great heights of phenomenal popularity. Even his glam co-star Kimi Katkar became a sensation overnight. Composers Laxmikant-Pyarelal.

[The writer of this story-article Chaitanya Padukone is an eminent senior music-savvy film-journalist and author of memoirs book R D BurMania]