Sunday, 16 June 2019

Rahul Dev Burman: Raksha (1981)

Raksha

Upbeat and lively, 'Raksha' is a soundtrack with essentially great sounding tracks that nonetheless I have, for the most part and for some reason, been struggling to get really excited about. It is arguably growing on me and may continue to do so over repeated listens, but the songs don't stick the way RD Burman's best work does. Curiously, it is one of very few scores not given a single mention in my go-to book on him and his career. (And speaking of books...)

'Naye Purane Saal Men' certainly has me humming and my feet tapping; kind of fun but the melody sounds... I don't know, a bit simplistic maybe. Midway it samples White Christmas for no apparent reason; perhaps the on-screen party is a Christmas one. 'Main Chalta Hoon Mujhe Jane Do' is similarly cheerful but it's only at the sporadic synth breaks that my ears prick up.

The real highlight is in fact the opening track, the near perfect percussion-driven, moog-augmented lounge-funk cabaret number 'Jani Dilbar Jani'. I keep returning to that. Doesn't Parveen Babi looking stunning in its picturisation? (Didn't she always?)

Track listing:
1. Asha Bhosle: Jani Dilbar Jani
2. Asha Bhosle, Kishore Kumar & Chorus: Naye Purane Saal Men
3. Asha Bhosle & Mohd. Rafi: Main Chalta Hoon Mujhe Jane Do
4. Kishore Kumar: Tere Liye Mere Liye
5. Asha Bhosle & Kishore Kumar: Mil Gaye Dil Mil Gaye


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Friday, 31 May 2019

Rahul Dev Burman: Phir Kab Milogi (1971/1974) / Do Chor (1972)

Phir Kab Milogi

These two titles were, until recently, completely unknown to me. I suspect the reason might be that neither were particularly big hits, combined with the fact that the soundtracks never appeared as LPs. Or, maybe I'm simply not as knowledgeable as I think I am...

'Phir Kab Milogi' the movie came out in 1974, though it seems to have been held back a few years as this EP is dated 1971. All four songs are good; my favourites are 'Le Qai Khushbu' which has a great funk-pop vibe, and 'Kahin Karti Hogi' which is a take on the Herb Albert (among others) track 'The Lonely Bull'. 'Ram Qasam Bura Nahin Manoongi' sounds vaguely familiar too, but at the moment I'm unable to place it.

Do Chor

1972's 'Do Chor' is more of the same. Pleasant pop tunes, unassuming yet still memorable, in that special Burman way. 'Meri Jan Meri Jan' may have borrowed some ideas from Cliff Richard's 'Fall In Love With You', but that's allowed, in Bollywood anyway. For me the EP's highlight is loungy drug number 'Yari Ho Gayi Yar Se'; I'm a sucker for that type of thing.

Track listing, 'Phir Kab Milogi':
1. Lata Mangeshkar: Le Qai Khushbu
2. Lata Mangeshkar: Ram Qasam Bura Nahin Manoongi
3. Lata Mangeshkar & Mukesh: Kahin Karti Hogi
4. Lata Mangeshkar: Tum Mujhse Roothe Ho

Track listing, 'Do Chor'
1. Kishore Kumar & Lata Mangeshkar: Kali Palak Teri Gori
2. Kishore Kumar: Meri Jan Meri Jan
3. Kishore Kumar & Lata Mangeshkar: Chahe Raho Door
4. Lata Mangeshkar: Yari Ho Gayi Yar Se


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Sunday, 5 May 2019

Laxmikant Pyarelal: Mera Jawaab (1984)

Mera Jawaab

A blog reader first made me aware of 'Mera Jawaab', a few years ago now. I had to admit I'd never heard of this particular Laxmikant Pyarelal score, and considering the vintage I wasn't really expecting to like it should I at some point come across a copy. Now that I have, I find it... well not entirely great but one that has its moments.

Twice-featured 'Mere Liye Zindagi' might be the soundtrack's best known song. The initial duet has a pleasant poppy feel (I like the guitar picking; the easy listening strings are a bit much), while Anuradha's solo version is slower, more subtly arranged. I prefer the latter. I'm also quite partial to 'Aa Baitha Hoon Dar Pe Tere', how its intro seamlessly segues from electro-funk into a traditional sounding Indian groove and how those forms meld throughout the track. Catchy and danceable. Even more so is 'Main Hoon Hasina', an almost anthemic dance floor stomper that's sort of disco but not in any sense western ears will be used to. My favourite here.

'Main Usse Itna Pyar Karta' has some nice instrumental bits, but as a whole it doesn't do a lot for me. And I'm not very fond of Manhar's voice to be honest.

Track listing:
1. Manhar & Anuradha: Mere Liye Zindagi
2. Manhar, Anuradha & Chorus: Aa Baitha Hoon Dar Pe Tere
3. Manhar & Anuradha: Main Usse Itna Pyar Karta
4. Anuradha: Mere Liye Zindagi
5. Alka Yagnik & Laxmikant: Main Hoon Hasina


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Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Rahul Dev Burman: Adhikar (1971)

Adhikar

'Adhikar' originally appeared on this blog as an EP, posted some 12 years ago. It seems I kind of liked it at the time, but without being overly impressed. I like the LP better, partly due to it including 'Sharab Nahin Hoon', featuring Asha Bhosle on vocals and Helen on screen. I'm a sucker for those two doing RD Burman songs. Additionally tracks such as 'Koi Mane Ya Na Mane' and 'Tum To Ho Sabke Rakhwale' make more of an impression on me now than they did then, don't ask me why. And 'Fashion Ki Diwani' still sounds pretty irresistible. It looks great too if you can find the film clip (someone pulled it off YouTube before I finished writing this); appealingly mod.

Track listing:
1. Manna Dey: Fashion Ki Diwani
2. Kishore Kumar & Asha Bhosle: Koi Mane Ya Na Mane
3. Asha Bhosle: Sharab Nahin Hoon
4. Mohd. Rafi: Rekha O Rekha
5. Asha Bhosle: Tum To Ho Sabke Rakhwale
6. Mohd. Rafi: Jina To Hai Usika (Qawwali)


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Monday, 14 January 2019

Ravindra Jain: Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985)

Ram Teri Ganga Maili

I never planned on buying an album by a music director I'd long ago dismissed as not particularly to my taste, especially one made as late as 1985. I knew of 'Ram Teri Ganga Maili's mild controversy (its director Raj Kapoor a cinema legend of course), but I don't look for soundtracks based on somewhat bold scenes in whatever film they're from. Thus there really wasn't much chance of me ever obtaining a copy of this. Until I heard it. And to my surprise very much enjoying what I was being played.

To a large extent a Lata Mangeshkar show case, Ravindra Jain's score is a collection of exquisitely crafted songs that – and this is a clincher – don't come across as saccharine. Highlights include gently swaying 'Husn Pahadon Ka', exotica-tinged 'Sun Sahiba Sun' and the bewitching 'Ek Dukhiyari Kahe'; all as elegant and lush as their accompanying visuals and as beautiful as their on-screen executant. And yes, 'Tujhe Bulayen Yeh Meri Bahen' is trippily scrumptious, even outside the context of its admittedly very appealing picturization.

Track listing:
1. Lata Mangeshkar: Tujhe Bulayen Yeh Meri Bahen
2. Lata Mangeshkar & Suresh Wadkar: Husn Pahadon Ka
3. Lata Mangeshkar & Chorus: Sun Sahiba Sun
4. Suresh Wadkar: Main Hi Main Hoon
5. Lata Mangeshkar & Suresh Wadkar: Yaara O Yaara
6. Lata Mangeshkar & Chorus: Ek Dukhiyari Kahe
7. Lata Mangeshkar: Ek Radha Ek Meera
8. Suresh Wadkar & Chorus: Ram Teri Gangli Maili


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Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Bappi Lahiri: Dahshat (1981)

Dahshat

This record is one of those Bappi Lahiri soundtracks that tend to have exorbitant price tags attached to them on the second-hand/collectors' market. It sometimes baffles me which ones do and which don't. 'Dahshat' [review] is hardly that scarce – could simply having tracks featured on Western compilations such as 'Bollywood Bloodbath' contribute to the inflation? The score is good in parts, but come on, it shouldn't be costing hundreds of bucks.

Half of it fails to interest me. Kishore's opener I find annoying, and Asha's contribution is quickly forgotten. On the plus side, 'Disco Title Music' is pretty decent. It has a vague 1970s blaxploitation or crime theme feel; for what is essentially an instrumental it could have sounded more adventurous to warrant a 3-minute runtime, but it's still worthwhile. 'Meri Jaan' (on which Bappi takes centre stage himself, along with Sulakshana Pandit) is the album's highlight; a boisterous dance floor stomper situated somewhere between his early (funky) disco experiments and the synthetic (ostentatious) variant of the genre he gradually become famous for.

Track listing:
1. Kishore Kumar: Mere Pyar Ka Metre
2. Bappi Lahiri & Sulakshana Pandit: Meri Jaan
3. Asha Bhosle: Meri Yaar Ghussewala
4. Anand Raj: Disco Title Music
5. Dialogue


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Wednesday, 19 December 2018

O.P. Nayyar: Mere Sanam (1965)

Mere Sanam

Here's a somewhat unobtrusive yet rather wonderful soundtrack from the mid-1960s. O.P. Nayyar's work often seemed to be influenced by sounds and rhythms (in particular) from across the musical spectrum, which in the case of 'Mere Sanam' [review] results in quite a varied collection of songs. Opener 'Yeh Hai Reshmi Zulfon Ka Andhera' is a gorgeous bossa-tinged ballad, while waltz-timed 'Yeh Ab Aap Sochiye' has a lullaby-like quality. 'Pukarta Chala Hoon Main' has a nice folky twang, and 'Jaiye Aap Kahan Jayenge' verges on country. Cabaret number 'Humdum Mere Maan Bhi Jao' comes with a Latin twist; 'Bhalla Mano Bura Mano' has a slight tropical/Hawaiian vibe. And so on... I'm actually finding it hard to pick highlights, but only because I love them all. That's pretty rare. It's performed in its entirety by Asha Bhosle and/or Mohd. Rafi; despite liking variety that's not a combo I'm liable to complain about.

Track listing:
1. Asha Bhosle: Yeh Hai Reshmi Zulfon Ka Andhera
2. Mohd. Rafi & Asha Bhosle: Yeh Ab Aap Sochiye
3. Mohd. Rafi: Pukarta Chala Hoon Main
4. Asha Bhosle: Jaiye Aap Kahan Jayenge
5. Mohd. Rafi: Humdum Mere Maan Bhi Jao
6. Mohd. Rafi & Asha Bhosle: Roka Kai Bar Main Ne
7. Mohd. Rafi: Tukde Hain Mere Dilke
8. Mohd. Rafi: Bhalla Mano Bura Mano
9. Asha Bhosle, Mohd. Rafi & Chorus: Haji Haji Haji Are Haji Baba


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Thursday, 13 September 2018

Kalyanji Anandji: Dil Ne Pukara (1967)

Dil Ne Pukara

'Dil Ne Pukara' is a comparatively charming Kalyanji Anandji effort, made a few years before their most famous scores. It features a variety of styles and moods, including a number of pleasing (if not entirely outstanding) songs.

Opener 'Dekha Hai Sabhi Ne Chand Ko' is a bright and poppy Mohd. Rafi track, quite typical for its time. Moody 'Waqt Karta Jo Wafa' may be the score's best known song, at least based on YouTube accessibility. In fact there's not a lot to be found about either film or soundtrack online; the only other song clip I located was 'Khai Thi Kasam', a dramatic sounding yet still very pretty Lata Mangeshkar ballad. As luck would have it that's my favourite track off the album, along with the jumpy Manny Dey & Asha Bhosle duet (a cabaret number maybe?) 'Kis Kadar Zalim'.

Track listing:
1. Mohd. Rafi: Dekha Hai Sabhi Ne Chand Ko
2. Lata Mangeshkar: Khai Thi Kasam
3. Manna Dey & Asha Bhosle: Kis Kadar Zalim
4. Lata Mangeshkar & Mohd. Rafi: Ooi Amma
5. Mukesh: Waqt Karta Jo Wafa
6. Manna Dey: Yon Na Tanke Chalo

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Monday, 6 August 2018

Rahul Dev Burman: Bond 303 (1984)

Bond 303

RD Burman acquisitions are few and far between these days; a combination of already owning a lot of his best scores and the scarcity (and exorbitant asking prices) of those I don't. 'Bond 303' had been on my want list since almost day one, so I was pleased to finally acquire a copy without having to rob a bank first.

It's an enjoyable album, especially considering the vintage – mid-80s was a bit past Burman's prime. 'Main Hoon Lilly' seems to be most people's favourite and I'm not one to disagree; funky in a laid-back sort of way; titillating rhythm, loads of fun instrumental breaks and a stellar melody. And the triumvirate of RD, Asha Bhosle, and Helen on screen always did tend to work.

I'm also fond of 'Dil Agar Jawan Ho To' with it's cool jazzy vibe interspersed with disco bits. 'Main Tera Diwana' and 'Ab Jo Hoga So Hone Do' are nice too, both poppily upbeat. And the inclusion of instrumentals are usually a plus on Burman soundtracks; three of them here, all simply entitled 'Music'. The first is a compelling piece of electro-funk, the second a miniature suite of sorts; loud, dramatically orchestrated (reminiscent of Bernard Herrmann) yet ingeniously initiated by drum and bass-styled electronica. The last is a mysterious but groovy sounding snippet (a mere 30 seconds) comprised of just drums, bass guitar and a piano. I find them all excellent.

Track listing:
1. Kishore Kumar & Chorus: Raaste Men Kal Ek Ladki Mili
2. Kishore Kumar, Rahul Dev Burman & Annette: Dil Agar Jawan Ho To
3. Amit Kumar, Suresh Wadkar & Kalyani: Main Tera Diwana
4. Music
5. Asha Bhosle: Main Hoon Lilly
6. Music
7. Kishore Kumar & Asha Bhosle: Ab Jo Hoga So Hone Do
8. Music

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Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Babla: Meetha Zehar (1984)

Zehar

A friendly Twitter follower first alerted me to 'Meetha Zehar', or so I thought. Turns out it might already have been lurking in the periphery of my subconscious; I discovered the title in a text document I'd once compiled of soundtracks I felt I needed to investigate. And this is quite a worthwhile offering from Kalyanji Anandji's younger brother Babla Shah, perhaps better known for his Chutney collaborations with wife Kanchan as well as a couple of non-filmi disco albums, so I was glad of the reminder.

And Kanchan features prominently. Her catchy dance floor filler 'Pee Pee Pee Pyare Dil Laga Ke Pee' is one of the score's highlights. Fans of Andrew Lloyd Webber and/or musicals may recognize its main riff from 'Jesus Christ Superstar's 'Heaven on Their Minds'; Babla uses it well. (Off topic: Anyone up for another great version should check out the fantastic 'Talagh' by legendary Persian singer Googoosh.)

Kishore Kumar makes an appearance on 'Kabhi Hoti Nahin Hai'; I find its combination of charming melody, stylish orchestration and subtle rhythm very appealing. But best of all is the moody lounge-funk piece 'Aye Mere Dil Tu Rona Nahin', on which a slow-burning groove and Kanchan's voice conjures up images of hot and sultry summer nights (well, for me at least). Unfortunately the haunting instrumental preceding the song in the film clip isn't included. A real pity, as it's one of my favourite pieces of music of late. I'm ripping it off the video and throwing it in anyway.

Track listing:
1. Kanchan: Pee Pee Pee Pyare Dil Laga Ke Pee
2. Nitin Mukesh & Kanchan: Maine Kahin Dekha Hai
3. Kishore Kumar: Kabhi Hoti Nahin Hai
4. Kanchan: Boond Boond Kar Ke Samundar Bana Hai
5. Kanchan: Aye Mere Dil Tu Rona Nahin


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Sunday, 27 May 2018

Music From The Third Floor: Vol. 12

Music From The Third Floor: Vol. 12

If you're new to this site, you may not know that the MFT3F sampler series represents the coolest collection of magical Bollywood sounds you're likely to find anywhere. Here's volume 12.

Do click the links to the source albums; there's generally plenty more worthwhile songs on them.

Track listing:
1. Title and Theme: Bombay Talkie (from Bombay Talkie)
2. Chale Ladkhada Ke (from Parwana)
3. Tute Na Dil Ka Vaada (Happy) (from Baadal)
4. Gaal Gulabi Kiske (from Love In Simla)
5. Mere Katil Utha Botal (from The Gold Medal)
6. Do Ghoont (from Jheel Ke Us Paar)
7. Mainne Kaha Tha Mat Jao Tum (from Cricketer)
8. Tere Bin Jeena Kya (from Red Rose)
9. Tum Hamse Mile (from from Mere Humsafar)
10. Aankhon Men Tun (Happy) (from from Tere Pyar Mein)
11. Chal Diye Tum Kahan (from from Ek Kunwari Ek Kunwara)
12. Jeenewale Jhoom Ke (from Vaasana)
13. Ae Dost Mere (from Sachaai)
14. Hangama Ho Gaya (from Anhonee)
15. Phoolon Se Hai Meri Dosti (from Heeron Ka Chor)
16. Main Hoon Tujh Pe Sun Fida (from Telephone)

Listen on Mixcloud.

Cover star: Bindu (from 'The Gold Medal')


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Sunday, 20 May 2018

Bappi Lahiri: Baadal (1984)

Baadal

This is the first of three soundtracks released in 1984 I have lined up. It's not a year that excites me from the off when it comes to Bollywood sounds; when I started this project I avoided most things post-1980, but obviously there were exceptions to be made.

That said, this one is hardly a classic. Bappi Lahiri soundtracks can go either way; had I heard 'Baadal' before warming to his work, said warming might have taken a bit longer. There are tracks here that I find horribly tasteless; 'Go-Go Go-Go Gori' in particular is the sort of godawful song best suited for drunken holidaymakers in tacky Spanish tourist resorts. 'Hari Hari Bhangiya' contains elements of the same but on the plus side it has a decent samba beat sustaining it.

'Mere Jaisi Mehbooba' is the soundtrack's main (at least current) claim to fame, a typical Bappi-remake of a famous western hit, this time Herbie Hancock's electro anthem 'Rockit'. It's not bad at all, and I do have a fondness for Sharon Prabhakar's voice. It's my top pick from the album, along with the trippy 'Tute Na Dil Ka Vaada', performed by S.P. Balasubramanium and S. Janaki (the spelling in the track list is as given on the record) whom I previously know from one of my favourite Ilaiyaraaja efforts.

Track listing:
1. Sharon Prabhakar & Bappi Lahiri: Mere Jaisi Mehbooba
2. Bappi Lahiri & Chorus: Go-Go Go-Go Gori
3. Kishore Kumar & Chorus: Hari Hari Bhangiya
4. Balasubramanium & Janki: Tute Na Dil Ka Vaada (Happy)
5. Bappi Lahiri & Shankar Shamboo(late): Laila Meri Maila
6. Balasubramanium & Chorus: Tute Na Dil Ka Vaada (Sad)


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Monday, 26 March 2018

Shankar Jaikishan: Sachaai (1969)

Sachaai

More Shankar Jaikishan, and more good songs to savour. Unsurprisingly it's the cabaret numbers that initially stand out on 'Sachaai': 'Ae Dist Mere' is archetypal Mohd. Rafi sung rock 'n' roll (duetting with Manna Dey on this occasion), catchy as ever and containing some very trippy sitar breaks. And 'Kabse Dhari Hai', while pretty great in its own right, becomes downright stunning when matched with its visuals; Helen trapped in a whisky decanter on a technicolor set reminiscent of something Busby Berkely might have dreamed up.

Elsewhere, opener 'Mere Gunah Maaf Kar' is a dramatic (and pained) sounding waltz with a memorable melody, and conversely, closer 'Sau Baraski Zindagi Se' is a sweet, groovy, fireworks-filled pop tune.

Track listing:
1. Mohd. Rafi: Mere Gunah Maaf Kar
2. Asha Bhosle: Beet Chali Haae Ram
3. Asha Bhosle & Mohd. Rafi: Kabse Dhari Hai
4. Mohd. Rafi & Manna Dey: Ae Dost Mere
5. Asha Bhosle: O! More Saiyan
6. Asha Bhosle & Mohd. Rafi: Sau Baraski Zindagi Se


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Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Shankar Jaikishan: The Gold Medal (1975)

The Gold Medal

I'm having some trouble dating 'The Gold Medal'. According to Wikipedia, it premiered on 3 March 1969. Its IMDb entry however states 1984 as the year of release, while the Censor Board certificate displayed at the beginning of the film suggests 1979. The only thing that seems clear is that Shankar Jaikishan's soundtrack came out in 1975. So based on that, in addition to input received from MFT3F followers on Facebook, I'm inclined to believe that Wikipedia is mistaken, and that the film was produced around the mid-70s but not officially released until the 80s. If anyone knows otherwise, or a precise reason for the confusion, please let me know.

The music then, and a couple of noteworthy songs: 'Main Tumko Dekhti Hu' has a lovely melody, wrapped up in traditional percussion and soaring strings. Delightful 'Dheere Dheere Mere Dil Ke Paas' and cool cabaret number 'Mere Katil Utha Botal' bring the great S-J scores of the late sixties to mind (as well as renewed doubts as to when this was actually recorded). The rousing 'Aazadi Aayi Bhi To Kya' is kind of catchy too. Jaikishan passed away in 1971 so Shankar alone may have been responsible for this soundtrack; the two composers were generally at their best when working together, but some of the these later efforts are still worth checking out.

Track listing:
1. Asha Bhosle: Main Tumko Dekhti Hu
2. Mahendra Kapoor: Zamana Hare Note Ka
3. Sharda: Dheere Dheere Mere Dil Ke Paas
4. Asha Bhosle: Mere Katil Utha Botal
5. Mohd. Rafi: Aazadi Aayi Bhi To Kya
6. Inderjeet Singh Tulsi: Mere Malik Meri Baksh Dena Khata


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Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Sonik Omi: Heeron Ka Chor (1981)

Heeron Ka Chor

There's generally a lot of interesting (if not always entirely original) stuff happening in Sonik Omi's music. 'Heeron Ka Chor' is one of only a few of the duo's 1980s efforts I've come across, and while the songs aren't necessarily very memorable this too has a lot going for it. Like some excellent dancefloor-friendly grooves, spread out through the album.

A trio of tracks stand out. 'Ye Jawani Hai Meri Jaan' effectively melds Latin and Arabic influences and is infectious as hell. String sections are obviously common in Bollywood film songs, yet I can't recall many featuring an actual fiddle solo. 'Kuchh Aise Ashiq Saamne' has a compelling, vaguely psychedelic and sort of sleazy vibe (Helen sporting a whip contributes to that); the arrangment is riddled with neat details. And 'Phoolon Se Hai Meri Dosti' has a cool, double bass and percussion driven jazz thing present, augmented by 70s/80s synth touches.

Additionally, the opening disco number 'Mera Dil Dhak Dhak Dhak' is a beat heavy stomper (you'll need to get past its rather cringeworthy English introduction), and 'Title Music' is almost (but not quite) up there with the best Kalyanji Anandji action movie themes. So all in all, despite there not really being any melodies to hum, a pretty ace soundtrack.

Track listing:
1. Amit Kumar & Chandrani Mukherjee: Mera Dil Dhak Dhak Dhak
2. Mohd. Rafi & Asha Bhosle: Ye Jawani Hai Meri Jaan
3. Mohd. Rafi, Asha Bhosle & Chorus: Kuchh Aise Ashiq Saamne
4. Aziz Nazan, Asha Bhosle & Chorus: Chilman Se Nikalkar Saamne Aa
5. Mohd. Rafi & Chorus: Phoolon Se Hai Meri Dosti
6. Title Music


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