Rare gems of Madan Mohan unearthed in ‘Tere Bagair…’ (IANS Music Review)

June 25th, 2009 - 8:45 am ICT by IANS  

By Ruchika Kher
Album: “Tere Bagair…”; Music Director: the late Madan Mohan; Lyricists: Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, Naqsh Lyallpuri, Rajinder Krishnan, Prem Dhawan, Indeevar; Singers: Mohammad Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Talat Mahmood, Asha Bhosle, Kishore Kumar, Balbir and Brij Bhushan Rating: *** 1/2

A rare treasure, a glimpse into the unseen, an unexplored world of legendary composer Madan Mohan, call it what you want. “Tere Bagair…” is a collection of 15 songs, all composed and recorded by the composer that remained unreleased until now. The songs are from shelved films between 1964 and 1972.

The album begins with “Kaise kategi zindagi tere bagair”, a soft, poignant number that exudes old world charm. Instantaneously one is transported to the world of melody and words that pull at the heartstrings. Sung by legendary singer Rafi and written by Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, the song was originally composed in 1965.

Bringing alive the golden era of film music, of which Madan Mohan was an integral part, is the song “Mere ashqon ka gham”, which has the composer himself behind the mike. The song that was created in 1972 has lyrics that have the potential to make you completely get involved in the song.

The composition also has a version sung by Lata Mangeshkar. This version too is makes an impact, though the original song clicks more.

The next rendition is the clear reason why music buffs still remember Madan Mohan and his works even though he passed away in 1975. “Tum juda hokar” is a marvellous piece of work. It has a faint resemblance to the 1962 hit number “Aap ki nazron ne samjha”, but nevertheless the song has its original charm. Talat Mahmood’s enchanting vocals make it engrossing.

“Aye dil aye nadaan” is a soft number soaked in melancholy. Although it is sung by Asha Bhosle, it doesn’t impress like the others.

The next composition “Main ek baalak besahara” doesn’t impress as much. With vocals by Lata Mangeshkar and lyrics by Prem Dhawan, it was recorded in 1965. It is yet again a soft number.

“Phir wohi shaam” crooned by Asha Bhosle has a haunting prelude. It starts with a slow pace but then there is a sudden break to Western music. The tempo of the song rises and the music becomes louder. Somehow the song would have sounded better if there hadn’t been a fusion of two genres. The slower version captivates, but the Western version isn’t impressive.

The romantic genre is introduced with “Mera Paighaam”. Sung by Rafi, it stays with the listener.

Up next is “Mehbooba Mehbooba”. With lyrics by Rajinder Krishan, the song was recorded in 1964. This is not the best work of Madan Mohan.

“Khile kamal si kaya” has a pleasing effect. With Lata’s honey voice, the song gets an impetus. It was written by famous lyricist Indeevar and recorded in 1972.

Romantic numbers were Rafi’s forte and if the music is by Madan Mohan, the song surely becomes a must listen. The same is the case with “Kadamon mein tere”. It is free flowing and pleasing to the ears.

The album doesn’t entail too many fast paced, foot-tapping outings, but “Jahan mile dharti aakash” is one such number. However, it is neither too good nor too bad. Written by Rajinder Krishan, it has Rafi behind the mike.

A breath of fresh air can be felt with the next song sung by none other than Kishore Kumar. The song “Aaj mujhe jal jaane bhi do” is contemporary, hip and has Western arrangements in abundance. A romantic number, it is wonderfully sung. Though recorded in 1972, it will appeal to today’s generation.

“Yeh duniya ek maikhaana hai” seems like an item number sung by Asha Bhosle. The electric guitar has taken precedence and made it a total dance song.

Up next is a rhythmic and high on beats song “Dhadkan hai tu har dil ki”. The pace of the song is quite fast. However, it is hummable only in parts.

The album ends with one of the best songs titled “Yeh tera husn” sung by Rafi. Slow, soft and free flowing, it makes for a great hearing.

With his unmistakable use of the sitar and violins in the orchestra, set to the lyrics of his favourite poets, the songs will make sure that music buffs sit up and take notice even today.

The album is being released Thursday on the occasion of Madan Mohan’s 85th birth anniversary to commemorate him and his music.

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