LAXMIKANT-PYARELAL Music ForeverSwar Aalap
- Mr. P. P. Ramchandran
Mr. P P Ramchandran, popularly known as Mr. PPR., deserves all praise for his achievement, especially at 83 + age. His name should be included in guinness’ book of record. He is married to books, has more than 2000 books in his personal library at home. He has reviewed over 1000 books, in 50 years.
I have pleasure in forwarding my review of the book ” “Laxmikant Pyarelal, Music Forever” by Ajay Poundarik; Published by Blue Rose Publisher; Pages 695; Price Rs 1500/-. To Book your copy click: https://bit.ly/3mpru45 | https://amzn.to/2UJiv2d
Speaking in the House of Commons on 20th August 1940 in the heart of the Second World War the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill declared, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few”, referring to the ongoing efforts of the Royal Air Force fighting the Battle of Britain. Slightly amending the British Lion that roared we can say about Shri. Ajay Poundarik the author of the book under review- “Never in the annals of Hindi film history was so much owed by so many to one individual”.
The book under review is “Laxmikant-Pyarelal – Music Forever An ‘L.P.’ Era: 1963-1998”. The book is a monumental work- the result of unremitting hard work – collecting, collating, arranging in a palatable form valuable information on the greatest musical duo of Bollywood, who dominated the arena for over three and a half decades. Laxmikant-Pyarelal is the name that needs no introduction in the field of Hindi Film Music or Hindustani Music. The name represents an archive of hit film music that was churned out non-stop right from 1963 till the end of the century.
L.P. – Laxmikant-Pyarelal duo was one of the few Hindi Film music directors refreshingly active for almost four decades. L-P’s arrival in the Hindi Film Music world was during the year 1963 with the film “Parasmani” – a musical family drama partly black and white partly color. It had no major star to boast of. The film was a Superhit with six super songs. This was followed by Dosti, Mr. X in Bombay, Sant Gyaneswar, and Sati-Savitri, all with outstanding songs sung even today. This book vividly captures the magic generated by the characters that people in the Hindi film world as also those behind the screen – the playback singers, music directors, and directors of the golden era of the 1960s and 1970s.
The genius of these towering personalities does not end with them- it provides a peep into a time that had a romance and artistic feel all of its own. With the author’s nostalgic lens, the reader is led into a fascinating world of emotions, romance, melody, and quite a different set of moral values that dominated the world of Indian cinema. To name a few items which the book highlights – Chetan Anand’s fine directorial ability, Raj Kapoor’s showmanship, Dilip Kumar’s perfection as the king of tragedy, Madhubala’s ethereal beauty, and Dev Anand’s vibrancy. The colossal contribution of Laxmikant – Pyarelal is evidenced by the fact that the Duo gave music to 503 Films creating 2845 Songs, utilizing 160 Singers, and engaging 72 songwriters.
When the official history of Bollywood movies comes to be written an important place will be given to a Barometer that gauged the popularity of the songs and that was the weekly program Binaca Geetmala. The show was broadcast in 1953 by Radio Ceylon and the host was Ameen Sayani who had a mesmerizing voice that was sweet and singsong. The program gave ranks to the most popular Bollywood film songs according to sales in select shops in select cities. The program captured the entire nation as later Ramayana did. Wednesday 8 to 9 pm was dedicated to Ameen Sayani who offered a feast for one hour with selected popular songs. The songs soon were selected on the basis of Listeners’ Preferences. At the end of every year, lists were compiled based on points earned by songs through the year, by airing them on weekly countdown programs. These songs were the top hits of the year and were called Binaca Geetmala Final Songs.
Binaca Geetmala used to broadcast the annual (Varshik) program giving the orders of the top ‘Final Songs” songs of the year, at the end of every year. If we count the “Final Songs” of Binaca Geetmala, from 1953 to 1993 the “Final Songs” numbers come to 1259, in 40 years. Out of this L.P. captured a whopping 245 songs followed by Shankar – Jaikishan with 144 songs. Eleven songs of L.P. appeared on TOP. Another parameter was the Filmfare Awards. Ever since L-P entered into the Hindi Film Music in 1963 they were nominated for the Best Music Director for almost each and every year.
Altogether L.P. got 7 Filmfare Trophies, including Four Times in a row 1977/1978/1979/1980. Films are Dosti, Milan, Jeene Ki Raah, Amar Akbar Anthony, Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Sargam, and Karz. Laxmikant – Pyarelal composed over 2900 songs for nearly 503 films in a span of 35 years. Pages 488 to 504 furnish a list of the Films for which the duo gave music from 1963 to 1998. About 489 films. Pages 505 to 695 give a whopping list of 2844 songs. What is astounding is that the author gives in this list the following details Film / Year / Singers / Lyricists / Number of films and the numbers of the songs. The book covers every permutation and combination of L.P. and singers, lyricists, film producers, even musical instruments and offers these year-wise. Binaca Geetmala awards, Filmfare Awards, etc are also furnished. Quite often songs are analyzed in detail. Nuggets of information are passed on gently.
There was a time when there was a rift between Laxmikant and Pyarelal and both of them almost decided to separate. Lata Mangeshkar, Naushad, and Subash Ghai took the initiative and resolved the rift. To date, no one knows the cause of the rift. An interesting story is connected with the song “My name is Anthony Gonsalves” from the film “Amar Akbar Anthony”. The original name of the character played by Amitabh was Anthony Fernandez. L.P. wanted to give a tribute to Pyarelal’s Violin guru, whose name was Anthony Gonsalves. They requested Manmohan Desai to change the character’s name to Anthony Gonsalves and he readily agreed the song is a tribute to a Violin teacher from Goa.
The reader is made to understand the great role of Laxmikant-Pyarelal in the world of Hindi Film Music. The book of over 700 pages containing 92 different articles is a veritable feast. The author Ajay Poundarik is an Engineer who has undertaken projects in Nigeria, Afghanistan, and India. One wishes the author had given brief biographies of both Laxmikant and Pyarelal. Also, that he had employed a good proofreader. P.P. Ramachandran.