Tracking the music directors who embellished the evergreen hero Dev Anand’s films with timeless songs down the years, we look at a mix of superhits and some lesser known films in a tribute to the icon on his birth anniversary.
In the 120 plus films that Dev Anand acted in from 1946 to 2011, the one thing that has transcended all tests of time and technology is the music. Arguably though, the likeable music drew an end around 1980. Yet, even so, 35 years is a big span in the life career of any actor to keep entertaining with music that has lived beyond.
In these 120 plus films, a total of 44 music directors worked on the score. However, when music from Dev Anand’s films is referred to, the first and foremost name that comes to our mind is S D Burman. For sure, Burman Senior had the lion’s share. He was there with Dev in over 24% of all his films.
SD Burman scored music for 28+1 films where Dev was the hero. Plus one is for the English version of Guide, directed by Tad Danielewsky. Their pairing started with Girish Trivedi’s Suraiya starrer Vidya in 1948 and their last film together was in 1973 Navketan’s Vijay Anand-directed, Hema-starrer Chhupa Rustam. We will need to dedicate an entire write up on SDB-Dev music, and I promise to do so. But today, let’s talk about all other music combinations in Dev films.
The closest second is RD Burman with whom Dev Anand had 11 releases. Third position goes to Shankar Jaikishan, they scored music in 8 films starring the evergreen hero.
There was a certain standard set with SD Burman-Dev pairing that was followed almost by all other music directors while composing for a Dev Anand film. It is this standard that has given to us all those immortal songs that have lasted decades. These songs enthral and entertain us in our day to day lives allowing us to live those magical moments and memories, singing along and enthusiastically reading or writing or discussing about them on social platforms that are now our daily activity. The elixir of our lives.
Khoya khoya chand khula aasman (Kala Bazar, 1960) SD Burman/ Shailendra/ Rafi
One/Two Films Each
The music directors who paired in one film each with Dev were mostly either very early or really late in his career. To enlist these let me mention Manna Dey as music director. He provided music for two Dev starrers, but in both he shared honours with other music directors. Hum Bhi Insan Hain in 1948, directed by Phani Majumdar, had him share music credit with HP Das. Next in Tamasha in 1952 also directed by Phani Majumdar he shared credits with the two brothers, Khemchand Prakash and Basant Prakash. Khemchand Prakash had earlier given music for Ziddi in 1948, directed by Shahid Lateef. It was the first film in which Kishore gave playback for Dev.
Sudhir Phadke gave music in 1947 Aage Badho, directed by Pethkar. Ghulam Mohammed scored for Shair in 1949 directed by Chawla. It had that hit duet by Mukesh and Lata, Yeh duniya hai yahan dil ka lagana kisko aata hai. Shyam Babu Pathak shared the music credit for Mohan Sinha’s Jeet in 1949 with Anil Biswas. Chic Chocolate gave music in 1951 for Heera Singh directed Naadan, though the popular belief is that the music was by C Ramchandra, as Chocolate was his assistant.
Sajjad Husain gave music for 1950 film Khel, directed by SM Nawab and Gyan Dutt scored for Dilruba also in 1950 directed by Dwarka Khosla. Lachhiram in 1950 provided music for Madhubala, directed by Prahlad Dutt. Another in 1950 was by S Mohinder, Nili, directed by Rati Bhai Punatar and based on George Bernard Shaw’s famous play Pygmalion.
Pankaj Mullick in 1952 gave music for Zalzala, directed by Paul Zils. In 1954 Timir Baran and SL Pal combined to score music for Phani Majumdar directed Baadbaan. Though not filmed on Dev, it had that immortal Geeta and Hemant tandem, Kaise koi jiye, zahar hai zindagi.
Hemant Kumar gave music for the Hemen Gupta directed Ferry in 1954. The film had Hemen Gupta’s daughter, Bula Gupta (known as Archana, remember the heroine in Hrishikesh Mukherji’s Buddha Mil Gaya?) and Hemant Kumar’s son Babu (Jayanto). Both did kid roles and sang in their voices as well.
Rangili rangili chhabili rani nindiya (Ferry, 1954) Hemant Kumar / Rajinder Krishan / Hemant Kumar and Geeta Dutt
N Dutta gave music for Raj Khosla directed Milap in 1955, which had quite a few hit songs. The Hemant and Lata tandem, Yeh baharon ka sama chand taaron ka sama kho na jaaye aa bhi jaa, the Geeta dance number, Humse bhi karlo mithi mithi do mithi mithi do batein, and another Geeta number, Jaate ho to jaao par jaaoge kahan, were all hits. This soulful melody from a first time music director was much appreciated for its’ creative composition with Geeta Dutt singing for Geeta Bali. Enjoy:
Chahe bhi jo dil jana na wahan hum tumse miley thhe jahan (Milap, 1955) N Dutta/ Sahir/ Geeta Dutt
Only other old timer to do one film with Dev was Salil Chowdhury for the DD Kashyap-directed Maya in 1961. Other than Manna Dey and Khemchand Prakash mentioned above, those who did two films each with Dev were, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan for Aandhiyan in 1952 directed by Chetan Anand and the 1953 film, Humsafar directed by Anadi Nath Banerji (both Navketan films). Vasant Desai also provided music for Uddhar in 1949, directed by SS Kulkarni, and Hindustan Hamara in 1950 directed by Paul Zils.
OP Nayyar too gave music for two Dev starrers, CID in 1956 directed by Raj Khosla and the 1960 Jaali Note, directed by Shakti Samanta. Both the films did very well with the music though the songs of CID remain ever so popular even today.
Chand zard zard hai (Jaali Note, 1960) OP Nayyar/ Raja Mehdi Ali Khan/ Asha Bhosle and Rafi
The Rafi, Asha and Shamshad song, Leke pehla pehla pyar, and the Geeta-Rafi duet, Ae dil hai mushkil jeena yahan, in CID as also that Geeta solo that never found its final place in the film, Jaata kahan hai diwaane are still fresh in our musical memory as is the superb Geeta Rafi duet Aankhon hi aankhon mein ishara ho gaya. VK Murthy’s outstanding camera work is so evident in that song. Murthy had informed our small group of movie enthusiasts in Bangalore, that in the last shot of the song, Shakila’s hair untied by itself and almost spread over the lens. When he raised the point, Guru Dutt, who was directing the song, said just leave it that way, it looks naturally beautiful. Murthy first handled camera as an assistant to V Ratra in Baazi in 1951 and then became Guru Dutt’s cinematographer and shot for Dev in Jaal next year. Milap, CID and then Warrant in 1975 were his other films with Dev.
Jaidev also got the chance to provide music for two Dev films. Both had superb songs. First being Hum Dono, directed by Amarjeet in 1961 and Kinare Kinare in 1963 directed by Chetan Anand. In Kinare Kinare the Manna solo on Dev was popular, Chale jaa rahe hain mohabbat ke maare kinare kinare. All the songs in Hum Dono were super hit and remain so even now and one of them became a leitmotif in Dev Anand’s life and philosophy.
Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya (Hum Dono, 1961) Jaidev/ Sahir/ Rafi
Three Film Companions
Three film companions were three – Madan Mohan, Laxmikant Pyarelal and Jatin Lalit. Jatin Lalit scored music in Gangster, 1994 and shared the credits in The Return of Jewel Thief, 1996 and Censor in 2001.
Madan Mohan was the music director in Pocketmaar, directed by HS Rawail in 1956, Sharabi by Raj Rishi in 1964 and Saahib Bahadur directed by Chetan Anand in 1977, which released after Madan Mohan had died.
Pocketmaar had popular songs; Yeh nai nai preet hai (Talat-Lata), Duniya ke saath chal pyare (Geeta) and Balma anadi manga de ghoda gaadi (Lata). Sharabi had superb music coupled with immortal lyrics by Rajinder Krishan and rendered by Rafi. While Rafi’s Sawan ke mahine mein was sung in two parts, by Rafi, his duet with Asha, Jaao ji jao dekhe hain bade tum jaise chor lutere, was chirpy and fun filled. The crowning glory was Mujhe le chalo aaj phir us gali mein, by Rafi.
Mujhe le chalo aaj phir us gali mein (Sharabi, 1964) Madan Mohan / Rajinder Krishan / Rafi
Laxmikant-Pyarelal was the popular music duo during Dev’s second innings and continued into seventies, but their styles did not quite match. Prem Shastra in 1974 with direction by BR Ishara flopped and its’ music got wiped out. Jaaneman by Chetan Anand also flopped in 1976, leaving behind only a title song by Kishore worth remembering. Their only hit was the Mohan Kumar directed Amir Garib in 1974. The Lata-Kishore tandem, Soni aur moni ki hai jodi ajeeb was a hit. But the song to remember the LP and Dev togetherness would be this one:
Ladies and gentlemen, mujhpe hain sabke nain (Amir Garib, 1974) Laxmikant-Pyarelal/ Anand Bakshi/ Kishore Kumar
Four Film Collaborations
Four film collaborations happened only with Kalyanji Anandji and Rajesh Roshan. Both provided some good music and memorable songs. The first KA collaboration was the Shanker Mukherji directed Mahal in 1969. Recall those two lovely Asha-Kishore duets, Yeh duniya wale poochhenge, mulaqat hui kya baat hui, and, Ankhon ankhon mein hum tum ho gaye diwane.
Next, in Vijay Anand’s Johny Mera Naam in 1970, they hit the jackpot with all the songs becoming hits just as the film topped popularity charts. Shanker Mukherji again brought them together in 1973 Banarasi Babu, a mediocre hit and finally it was for Asok Roy directed Kalabaaz that KA scored for Dev in 1977. The film and the songs did not fare well. One can recollect the posters with Dev mounted atop an elephant and Zeenat leading with a stick in hand.
Johny Mera Naam remains a textbook in movie making for all masala commercial films with a climax that has the maximum number of twists that a film ever had.
O mere raja, khafa na hona, der se aayee (Johny Mera Naam, 1970) Kalyanji Anandji/ Indeevar/ Asha and Kishore
Rajesh Roshan started with the Navketan hit Des Pardes, the film that introduced Tina Munim, under Dev’s direction in 1978. The music was a hit too. His next two teaming with Dev flopped. Loot Maar in 1980 and Main Solah Baras Ki in 1998 were both wash outs.
Des Pardes had Jaisa des waisa bhes phir kya darna, also, Tu pee aur jee, and the riotous one, Arre najar lage na saathiyo. Also, one song from Loot Maar remains popular, Jab chhaye mera jadoo, koi bach na paaye.
Tu pee aur jee (Des Pardes, 1978) Rajesh Roshan/ Amit Khanna/ Kishore Kumar
The Basu Chatterji directed, Indian adaptation of Pygmalion in 1980, Man Pasand, had a decent run and the songs heavily inspired from the music of My Fair Lady, as well some original score, was received well. I remember HMV released the LP record on 2nd October, 1979 had to reprint the LP records within a month of their first issue. The film released in Calcutta on 26 June, 1980. Charu chandra ki chanchal chitwan and Hothon pe geet jaage and also Logon ka dil agar haan jeetana tumko hai toh, were all hits. This number, Logon ka dil remains the final song that Rafi sang for Dev Anand. Rafi died on 31 July, 1980.
Sa re ga ma pa ma ga re sa ga sa ga (Man Pasand, 1980) Rajesh Roshan/ Amit Khanna/ Lata and Kishore
Golden words written by Amit Khanna here: Awaaz sureeli ka jadoo hi nirala hai, sangeet ka jo premi woh kismat wala hai. Wow.
Five Films Together
The five film association belongs to Anil Biswas and Bappi Lahiri. Bappi did four Dev directed films, Sachche Ka Bolbala, 1989, Awwal Number, 1990, Sau Crore, 1991 and Mr. Prime Minister, 2005. Aman Ke Farishtey in 2003 was directed by Kadar Kashmiri.
Anil Biswas was the senior music director and highly respected when Dev started his career. First time they came together was in Mohan Sinha’s Jeet in 1949, music credit shared with Shyam Babu Pathak. Chahe kitni kathin dagar ho, duet by Suraiya and Shanker Das Gupta was a hit.
Aaaram in 1951 directed by DD Kashyap was next and a huge hit. Interestingly, Dev had no song in the film. Ae jaane jigar dil mein samaane aaja (Mukesh) was by Premnath and Shukriya ae pyar tera shukriya (Talat) was by Talat himself as also, Zindagi hai yo yo was by Manmohan Krishan singing for himself on screen. The Lata hits were Balma ja ja ja, and, Man mein kisi ki preet basa le. Next year, DD Kashyap made Do Sitare with Anil Biswas and Dev. Again there were no songs on Dev! Rahi by Khwaja Ahmed Abbas in 1953 was the fourth film. O jane wale raahi, ik pal ruk jana by Lata was a hit, and no songs for Dev. Final Anil Biswas-Dev film was in 1955, Phani Majumdar directed, Farar. Four Geeta Dutt songs on Geeta Bali, and no Dev song again.
Dil chura loon, chura loon dil mein chhupi baat (Farar, 1955) Anil Biswas/ Prem Dhawan/ Geeta Dutt
The Six Film Combinations
C Ramchandra and Husnlal Bhagatram are the two composers who did six films each for Dev Anand. All these films happened in the early days of his career. In fact, the very first film he acted in, Hum Ek Hain in 1946, directed by PL Santoshi had music by Husnlal Bhagatram.
Next Dev had Mohan in 1947, directed by Anadi Nath Banerji, and Birha Ki Raat in 1950 directed by Gajanan Jagirdar that had music by the duo. In 1951 they had Sanam and Stage together. For the Vijay Mhatre-directed Stage, music credits were shared with Sardar Malik. One Lata-Rafi duet by Husnlal Bhagatram was a hit, Dil leke dil diya hai, ehsan kya kiya hai. Dushman in 1957 directed by Raj Rishi was their final film together.
Songs from Sanam, directed by Nandlal Jaswantlal were popular hits. Main keh doon tumko chor by Suraiya and Rafi, Mere chaahne wale hazaar, by Suraiya and SD Batish and the three Suraiya solos Hothon pe kisi ka naam and Yeh kehti hai duniya tujhe bhool jaun, also Duniya wale meri duniya lut gayee, all were popular. This Suraiya-Rafi title duet was the most popular, brilliantly composed, written and sung indeed:
O sanam, O sanam, main tujhe pukaroon sanam sanam (Sanam, 1951) Husnlal Bhagatram/ Qamar Jalalabadi/ Suraiya and Rafi
C Ramchandra gave more hit numbers in his share of six Dev films. Namoona in 1949, directed by Heera Singh was followed in 1950 by Shanker Mukherji directed Nirala. Remember Lata’s immortal solo, Mehfil mein jal utthi shama parwane ke liye, from Nirala. Insaniyat in 1955 directed by SS Vasan was next and another south film, directed by T Prakash Rao followed in 1958, Amar Deep. It was reported in trade papers that T Prakash Rao had signed Dev and Vyjyanthimala for two films, one was Amar Deep, but the next, for whatever reason, took ten years to be made, Duniya in 1968.
Two more Shanker Mukherji films had music by C Ramchandra, Barish in 1957 and Sarhad in 1960. From Barish one recollects the hits; Daane daane pe likha hai khane wale ka naam, lene wale karore dene wala ik Ram, by Chitalkar, and his duet with Lata, Kehte hain pyar kisko panchhi zara bata de.
In Sarhad, the Asha number, Aa jaa re, na jaa, laage na mora jiya (western inspired tune) was popular. The best remembered song of Dev with C Ramchandra would be the Rafi-Asha duet from Amar Deep, Dekh humein awaz na dena (in two parts). The film also had the masterpiece, Lata numbers, Dil ki duniya basa ke sanwariya, tum na jaane kahan kho gaye and Mere man ka baawra panchhi kyun baar baar dole. Excellent compositions by Ramchandra.
Dekh humein awaz na dena, o bedard zamaane (Amar Deep, 1958) C Ramchandra/ Rajinder Krishan/ Asha and Rafi
No music director had seven films team up with Dev Anand. We are left with two more music directors for Dev – 8 films with Shankar Jaikishan and 11 with RD Burman.
8 Films by SJ
Shankar Jaikishan started with Dev with the 1953 Amiya Chakraborty directed, Patita. All super hit songs, Mitti se khelte ho baar baar kis liye and Kisi ne apna bana ke mujhko both by Lata; Andhe jahan ke andhe raaste jayen to jayen kahan and Hain sabse madhur woh geet jinhe hum dard ke sur mein gaate hain both by Talat; and the immortal Lata-Hemant duet, Yaad kiya dil ne kahan ho tum. The suave, city sleek, handsome, Hindi cinema icon, Dev sent hearts aflutter with this song:
Yaad kiya dil ne kahan ho tum (Patita, 1952) Shankar Jaikishen/ Shailendra/ Lata-Hemant
Subodh Mukherji directed Love Marriage in 1959. The Lata-Rafi breezy duet, Dheere dheere chal chand gagan mein, was a massive hit. Kahe jhoom jhoom raat yeh suhaani was another beautiful romantic solo by Lata.
The Nasir Hussain directed Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai in 1961 had the title song by Rafi picturised on Dev atop a train. The other solo Teri zulfon se judai to nahin maangi thhi, and the Lata-Rafi duets, Yeh ankhen uff you maa and Sau saal pehle were smashing hits too.
The year 1961 saw two more Dev films with SJ music, the HS Rawail-directed, Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja, and Hrishikesh Mukherji’s Asli Naqli. Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja was a Ganga Sagar story but it did not register at the box office and the music sank with it. I like the Talat-Lata duet, Tu roop ki rani main choron ka raja, tera mera pyar nirala.
Asli Naqli was a box-office hit and so was the music. The Lata-Rafi duet, Tujhe jeevan ki dore se baandh liya hai, the Lata solo, Tera mera pyar amar, phir kyun mujhko lagta hai darr and also the Lata title solo, Lakh chhupao chuup na sakega raaz ho kitna gehra are still just as popular. The three Rafi solos, Chheda mera dil ne tarana tere pyar ka and the title number, Kal ki daulat aaj ki khushiyan and that super romantic, Ik but banaunga tera aur pooja karunga – don’t we hum these even today?
Ik but banaunga tera aur pooja karunga (Asli Naqli, 1961) Shankar Jaikishan / Hasrat Jaipuri / Rafi
Shanker Mukherji’s flop, Pyar Mohabbat in 1966 was the next. Rafi’s Aap naraz khuda khair kare, was popular and so was the duet, Pyar mohabbat ke siwa yeh zindagi kya zindagi. There was a charming telephone song by Sharda where Rafi joins in at the end, Sun sun sun re balam dil tujhko pukare.
Two more films, both in 1968 complete the SJ-Dev list. Vijay Anand’s biggest ever flop, Kahin Aur Chal (the only Navketan film with Shankar Jaikishan’s music) sank without a ripple. No prints are available even for drawing reference. T Prakash Rao’s Duniya did reasonably well and the songs were hits. Rafi’s Falsafa pyar ka tum kya jaano and Jawan tum ho jawan hum hain were popular. The Kishore-Lata duet also became popular as Kishore was now making a comeback as Dev’s voice (as in Guide and Teen Deviyan). This duet is one of the most stylish compositions ever by SJ. Listen and watch it to observe how fit it was on Dev and his well-known style, it seems even Vyjayanthimala was under its influence. The only Kishore-Dev song composed by SJ:
Dooriyan nazdeekiyan ban gayin ajab ittefaq hai (Duniya, 1968) Shankar Jaikishan/ Hasrat/ Lata and Kishore
There were so many mainstream well known music directors who never got to work in a Dev Anand film. Think of names such as, Ravi, Roshan, Khayyam, Naushad, Chitragupt, Hansraj Behl, SN Tripathi, S Mohinder and many more. These were prominent names during the era when Dev was active. It is said, and said by Dev himself, that he never interfered with the choice of crew or cast with any producer or director. He remained a thorough professional.
11 Films with RD Burman
Finally, eleven films with RD. Six of them were directed by Dev himself and one each by Vijay Anand, Yash Chopra, Raj Khosla, Pramod Chakraborty and Gogi Anand.
Their first pairing in 1972 with Hare Rama Hare Krishna was their biggest hit. The revolutionary music by RD, the liberated fashion icon, Zeenat Aman, the hippy culture and Fali Mistry’s class cinematography capturing the ever beautiful Nepal made this film memorable. Dum maro dum almost became a cult song. Ketan Anand (son of Chetan Anand) in long hair and glasses and Gautam Sareen (Dev’s sister’s son) in blue jubba, shared the screen prominently with Zeenat.
Dum maro dum, mit jaye gham (Hare Rama Hare Krishna, 1972) RD Burman/ |Anand Bakshi/ Asha and chorus
Shareef Budmash in 1973 was directed by Raj Khosla, did not do well at the box office. The song although was a delight to watch, Neend chura kar raaton mein tumne baaton baaton mein.
The Yash Chopra directed Joshila 1973 that began on a promising note was left stunted when Chopra got busy with his own Daag. Brilliant music by RD stands out, though the film sank. The two cabaret numbers, Kaamp rahi main lelun zara dum jaana (on Padma Khanna) and Sharma na yun, ghabra na yun, parda kiye yeh raat hai (on Bindu) are showcase of RD’s creative excellence. Add to it the dance number, Sona, Sona mile to log aajkal dil ko kabhi na lein. Then the two romantic duets, Dil mein jo baatein hain aaj chalo hum keh dein, with Hema and the one with Rakhee, Kuchh bhi kar lo ik din tumko mera hona hoga. And, that outstanding Kishore solo, Kiska rast dekhe ae dil ae diwane.
Kiska rasta dekhe ae dil ae diwane (Joshila, 1973) RD Burman/ Sahir/ Kishore
Pramod Chakraborty directed Warrant in 1975, the road roller song, Ruk jana o jana humse do batein kar ke chali jana, was popular.
Chetan’s other son, Gogi Anand, who had been an assistant to Dev, directed in 1976, Darling Darling. An amateurish attempt at film making. The song, Aise na mujhe tum dekho, seene se laga lunga, was popular.
Vijay Anand’s Bullet in 1977 was a quickly done film. Brilliantly directed in parts, the film flopped and the music went down along with it.
The other five Dev-directed films that had RD’s music were Heera Panna and Ishk Ishk Ishk both in 1974, Swami Dada in 1982, Anand Aur Anand in 1984 and Hum Naujawan in 1985. Heera Panna had popular music and the film ran reasonably well. Panna ki tamanna hai ki heera mujhe mil jaye and Bahut door mujhe chale jana hai were popular. The music in the last three films did not create ripples.
Panna ki tamanna hai (Heera Panna, 1974) RD Burman / Anand Bakshi / Lata and Kishore
Ishk Ishk Ishk was a very prestigious project that Dev had endeavoured into. Partly borrowed from Topol’s Fiddler On The Roof, it was brilliantly shot in never-before locales of heights of Himalayas in Nepal. A true pleasure to watch. But mishandled by Dev, the director, it flopped miserably. It most certainly had one of RD Burman’s best music score, extremely well-conceived and composed songs with superb orchestration. Wallah kya nazara hai had buoyancy that’s infectious. Mujhko agar ijaazat ho to main ik geet sunaaun and Tim tim chamka jhilmil taara and also Bheegi bheegi aankhein ankhon mein hai were outstanding. Personally to me, the title song Ishk ishk ishk zamaane mein jo karte hain and Chal saathi chal were RD’s best ever for Dev, even superior to Hare Rama.
Wallah kya nazara hai (Ishk Ishk Ishk, 1974) RD Burman/ Anand Bakshi/ Kishore and Asha Bhosle
My brother, Shanu Dev, who lives in Mumbai and works mostly as a dubbing artist has also acted in a few films, particularly Dev Anand’s Censor in 2001 and some other. He was in regular touch with Dev Anand. I had once asked him to convey two of my very strong beliefs to Dev Saab when he met him next, and he did so. I will pen down this personal detail.
One, to my note that had he refrained from directing any films and let his brother Vijay Anand do the job, we might have had some fine superior films. Dev Anand’s reply was; after a certain time in films one yearns for creative independence and that is what made me do my own films.
Second, among all leading men of the golden era of Hindi cinema when melody was truly the queen, Dev Anand stands out heads and shoulders above all competition as one who has the quality and quantity of the best of music and songs associated with any star.
His reply was; “Shanu, your brother truly has a deep understanding of music, my regards to him. But, you know, the soul of my music deserted me long ago. Give me Sachin Dev Burman again and I will give the world another Guide.”
As assured above, I will soon be back with the 28 films of Dev-SDB together, though it is real challenge not to include multiple songs from each of those 28 films.
More to read on Dev Anand
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