Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Kalyanji Anandji: Mere Humsafar (1970)

Mere Humsafar

While neither among Kalyanji Anandji's best scores nor belonging to my favourite K-A period (that would come a few years down the line), 'Mere Humsafar', a soundtrack a lot less reliant on western influences than their more famous ones, has its moments. One highlight is the de facto title track 'Kisi Rah Men Kisi Mod Par'; a lovely duet with eloquently swirling strings and a subtle tabla rhythm ('Title Music' is essentially the instrumental version). My other preferred pick is 'Tum Hamse Mile', the most (conventionally) poppy song on the album; gently grooving, with nice piano touches.

Elsewhere (between loads of dialogue), 'Maudam Hai Baharon Ki' is good on compulsive drumming if not very memorable on melody, and 'Mera Pardesi Na Aaya' is another expressive Lata Mangeshkar song.

Track listing:
1. Mahendra Kapoor, Balbir & Chorus: Maudam Hai Baharon Ki
2. Lata Mangeshkar & Mukesh: Kisi Rah Men Kisi Mod Par
3. Title Music
4. Asha Bhosle: Mar Gai Mit Gai
5. Lata Mangeshkar: Mera Pardesi Na Aaya
6. Lata Mangeshkar: Tum Hamse Mile

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Rahul Dev Burman: Jheel Ke Us Paar (1973)

Jheel Ke Us Paar

'Jheel Ke Us Paar' [review] is a prime-period RD Burman score that, while certainly worthwhile, doesn't quite match up to his finest works. There are a likeable songs on it but I'm not convinced any of them will stick with me for very long. If pressed for favourites I might choose Lata Mangeshkar's 'Chal Chalen Ai Dil', 'Kah Rahe Hain' and 'Do Ghoont'; all really good (I like Asha Bhosle's 'Hae Bichhuwa' too) so it does feel kind of strange that I'm not raving about this soundtrack more than I am. But then there's the knowledge that Burman made 'Anamika' and 'Yaadon Ki Baaraat' at around the same time, and well, those are some benchmarks.

But hey, you know what? Comparisons are daft so I'm just going to go ahead and enjoy it anyway. Feel free to join me.

Track listing:
1. Lata Mangeshkar: Babul Tere
2. Asha Bhosle: Hae Bichhuwa
3. Kishore Kumar: Yeh Nazare
4. Lata Mangeshkar: Do Ghoont
5. Lata Mangeshkar: Kah Rahe Hain
6. Lata Mangeshkar: Chal Chalen Ai Dil

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Bappi Lahiri: Tere Pyar Mein (1977)

Tere Pyar Mein

Early Bappi Lahiri soundtracks; I tend to like those. Predating the famous disco-era ones we all know and love (or hate), they were often excellent, and 1977's 'Tere Pyar Mein' (the film apparently released much later) is certainly worthwhile. It's uncharacteristically subtle (except for the irritating 'Ui Amma Ui Amma'); in a way it brings Rajesh Roshan's 'Julie' from a few years prior to mind.

'Aankhon Men Tun' comes with a sublime intro and a melody that reminds me of the Ennio Morricone instrumental 'Ninna Nanna In Blu', which happens to be one of my favourite ever soundtrack moments. Did Bappi draw inspiration from it? I wouldn't put it past him. In any case, this sumptuous lounge tune is among his finest songs. I like the happy version best. 'Aa Aa Meri Jaan' is a sweet pop confection, sung by Priti (aka Preeti) Sagar who did quite a bit of that sort of thing. The gentle 'Bhool Gaye Ham' proves that Bappi could effectively tackle traditional Indian composition, and 'Aankhon Men Hain Aansoo' (another great intro) is a lovely slow waltz. Sadly there aren't many clips to be found on YouTube.

Track listing:
1. Bappi Lahiri & Sulakshana Pandit: Aankhon Men Tun (Happy)
2. Shailendra Singh & Priti Sagar: Aa Aa Meri Jaan
3. Bhupinder & Bansuri Lahiri: Bhool Gaye Ham
4. Mahendra Kapoor & Mahesh Kumar: Ui Amma Ui Amma
5. Bappi Lahiri: Aankhon Men Tun (Sad)
6. Chandrani Mukherjee: Aankhon Men Hain Aansoo

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

D.C.S.: Cricketer (1983)


This one first came to my attention last year, via a tip from DJ and promoter/publisher of all things cool Jonny Trunk (his radio show dedicated to the MFT3F book can still be enjoyed online). I'm glad it's still possible to find soundtracks by artists I've never heard of; 'Cricketer' makes for an ace new acquaintance.

There isn't much information about the film online, nor any clips. It was produced in England, which might explain why London-based D.C.S. (from original band members Danny, Charlie and Shin) were called upon to supply music. With a couple of familiar voices guesting. Anuradha Paudwal performs the (Euro)pop-oriented 'Abhi Main Pyar Ki Rahon Men', while Bhupinder features on the more sedate 'Maloom Nahin Kyon'. The band kept the best songs for themselves though: Shin is credited singer on the jubilant and catchy 'Sheila-O-Sheila' as well as the score's real highlight, the fantastic space-dub reggae track 'Mainne Kaha Tha Mat Jao Tum'.

Instrumentals round off each side of the LP. Synthy 'Title Music' sounds like something out of a cheap Italian zombie movie while 'Music' reminds me a bit of Blondie's 'Call Me'. Neither of those things are necessarily bad.

Track listing:
1. Shin: Sheila-O-Sheila
2. Anuradha: Abhi Main Pyar Ki Rahon Men
3. Surinder Kholi, Dolly-Shin & Chorus: Hare Krishna Jai Jai
4. Title Music
5. Bhupinder: Maloom Nahin Kyon
6. Shin: Mainne Kaha Tha Mat Jao Tum
7. Anuradha: Main Kaun Koi Kya Jane
8. Music

PS: Around the same time as this soundtrack was made, D.C.S. recorded an album with pop singer Runa Laila (she sung on a few Bollywood soundtracks in her time too) which, because it is rather good (it features another killer cosmic reggae track), I'm including as a bonus. The band would later become major players on the UK bhangra scene.

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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Laxmikant Pyarelal: Aya Sawan Jhoom Ke (1969)

Aya Sawan Jhoom Ke

Sometimes it takes that one extra listen. See, I was about ready to categorize 'Aya Sawan Jhoom Ke' as another of those one-good-song-and-not much-else-on-it soundtracks that I arguably own too many of, when I suddenly found myself rather liking it more. Take the title track... traditional sounding, very percussive, didn't really fancy the melody much at first but then it slowly snuck itself into my head – it's actually quite catchy – at which point I started to notice a bunch of cool instrumental details as well. So yeah, it's good. As are Mohd. Rafi's equally drummy (but slower) 'Yeh Shama To Jali' and 'Bura Mat Suno'; they're growing on me too. And so is his 'Majhi Chal'; pastorally sweet and romantic and driven by a compelling soft groove.

My favourite is still that initial one song though, Asha Bhosle's superb cabaret number 'Main Ek Haseena'. Happy, boisterous, featuring horns, great guitar bits and a killer beat, spiritedly performed on screen by Laxmi Chhaya, the next best thing to Helen. The soundtrack would have been worthwhile just for that.

Track listing:
1. Lata Mangeshkar, Mohd. Rafi & Chorus: Aya Sawan Jhoom Ke
2. Mohd. Rafi: Yeh Shama To Jali
3. Asha Bhosle: Main Ek Haseena
4. Mohd. Rafi & Chorus: Majhi Chal
5. Mohd. Rafi & Lata Mangeshkar: Saathiya Nahin Jaana
6. Lata Mangeshkar: Rama Duhai
7. Mohd. Rafi: Bura Mat Suno

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Shankar Jaikishan: Ek Phool Char Kante / Iqbal Qureshi: Love In Simla (1960)

Ek Phool Char Kante

To the extent Shankar Jaikishan's 'Ek Phool Char Kante' is well known it will likely be for featuring actor/singer/Elvis-soundalike Iqbal Singh's 'Bombshel Baby' [sic], a track that would lend its title to Bombay Connection's superb compilation 'Bombshell Baby of Bombay' in 2006. What's interesting, apart from it being an ace early rock 'n' roll number with a wonderful swing to it, is that the words were changed from slightly suggestive 'Bombshell Baby of Bombay' on the record to the rather more pedestrian 'Beautiful Baby of Broadway' in the film. Why isn't quite clear; the aforementioned compilation's liner notes suggest "Perhaps the Indian censor board was wary of the explosive potential of the lyrics...". Similarly styled (and almost as fab) 'O Meri Baby Doll' was however deemed appropriate.

The other two tracks are nice too, especially Lata's lovely 'Banwari Re'.

Love In Simla

There's more of the same to be found on Iqbal Qureshi's 'Love In Simla' [review]. Part rock'n'roll, part Latin ballroom, the lively 'Gaal Gulabi Kiske' wouldn't have sounded out of place on a Shankar Jaikishan score, and 'Dil Thaam Chale' proves how effective the sound of a train engine works as rhythmic backing, here with the added effect of getting stuck in my head for a few hours after every time I hear it. Both are great songs.

Two EPs of songs from this film were made (no LP was released at the time), unfortunately I don't have the other one.

Track listing, 'Ek Phool Char Kante':
1. Lata Mangeshkar: Banwari Re
2. Mohd. Rafi: O Meri Baby Doll
3. Mukesh: Matwali Naar
4. Iqbal Singh: Bombshel Baby

Track listing, 'Love In Simla'
1. Mohd. Rafi & Chorus: Dil Thaam Chale
2. Mohd. Rafi & Asha Bhosle: Al Baby Idhar Aa
3. Mohd. Rafi & Asha Bhosle: Love Ka Matlab Hai Pyar
4. Mohd. Rafi & Chorus: Gaal Gulabi Kiske

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Friday, March 24, 2017

S.D. Burman: Kala Bazar (1960)

Kala Bazar

What a great soundtrack Sachin Dev Burman's 'Kala Bazar' is; as fine a collection of vintage Bollywood film songs as you're likely to find. It's an album full of sweetly hummable tunes, sumptuously arranged; partly traditional, partly modern; seasoned with a dash of exotic jazz and sprinkled with Latin flourishes. Pick your own favourites – mine include the beguiling 'Na Main Dhan Chahun' featuring Geeta Dutt and seldom heard Sudha Malhotra, Asha Bhosle's flirtatious 'Sach Hue Sapne Tere' and the exuberant bongo drum-driven cabaret number 'Sambhalo Sambhalo Apna Dil'.

Mohd. Rafi's contributions are also worth noting: 'Teri Dhoom Har Kahin' has a charming, rustic feel to it, and best of all, the score's biggest highlight 'Apni To Har Aah Ek' is a calm and contemplative musical reverie, sung over a soft, chugging train-wheel rhythm. It's written in an unusual time signature (7/4?), giving it an offbeat, droney quality of the sort that today might be termed psychedelic folk. Whatever the categorization, it's a beautiful song.

Track listing:
1. Title Music
2. Mohd. Rafi: Teri Dhoom Har Kahin
3. Geeta Dutt & Sudha Malhotra: Na Main Dhan Chahun
4. Mohd. Rafi: Apni To Har Aah Ek
5. Asha Bhosle: Sambhalo Sambhalo Apna Dil
6. Manna Dey & Asha Bhosle: Sanjh Dhali Dilki Lagi
7. Mohd. Rafi: Khoya Khoya Chand
8. Geeta Dutt & Mohd. Rafi: Rimjhim Ke Tarane Leke
9. Asha Bhosle: Sach Hue Sapne Tere
10. Music

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Chitragupta: Vaasana (1968)


Music director Chitragupta Shrivastava's career spanned five decades (1940s-80s); his lovely 1968 effort 'Vaasana' [review] was made somewhere in the middle and is one of those scores that successfully bridges tradition and modernity. Captivating, almost soothing sounding melodies characterize 'Aaj Is Darja Pila Do', 'Itni Nazuk Na Bano' and 'Yeh Parbaton Ke Daire', the latter in particular being a favourite, it could be the waltz time that does it for me. 'Mulk Men Bachon Ki Gar Sarkar Ho' features sisters Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle voicing kids, and is also rather compelling. The exotic instrumental 'Fisher Woman's Dance' convincingly combines Latin piano, rousing strings and Indian percussion. And then there's the cabaret number 'Jeenewale Jhoom Ke', again starring Helen, but sweeter, poppier, less raunchy than on recent posts. Top stuff, regardless.

My copy of this is a Barbadian pressing. I've sure it was released in India too, but so far I've only seen late 80s reissues, so who knows?

Track listing:
1. Mohd. Rafi: Aaj Is Darja Pila Do
2. Mohd. Rafi & Lata Mangeshkar: Yeh Parbaton Ke Daire
3. Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle & Chorus: Mulk Men Bachon Ki Gar Sarkar Ho
4. Lata Mangeshkar: Jeenewale Jhoom Ke
5. Mohd. Rafi: Itni Nazuk Na Bano
6. Lata Mangeshkar: Main Sadke Jaoon
7. Fisher Woman's Dance

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Madan Mohan: Parwana (1971)


I was curious to find out if 'Parwana' would have a similar vibe to that of Madan Mohan's raunchy, mind-blowing previous effort 'Mahraja' or if it would fall into the more serene and traditional (but not necessarily less worthy) category of soundtracks I'd initially come to know him for. Closer to the former it turned out. And it's a pretty good one, although my copy is partly scratched and ruined: 'Yun Na Sharma Phailade' is marred by a couple of skips I was unable to work around whilst ripping. It's included in the download, but you might want to look for a better version elsewhere. I'll be looking for an upgrade. Luckily the rest sounds ok.

'Chale Ladkhada Ke' is a top cabaret number, sounding delicious and decadent. Another drunk-song? Helen looks both intoxicating and intoxicated in the clip. Predictably my favourite track here. 'Jis Din Se Main Ne Tumko Dekha Hai' is also excellent; a lovely tune wrapped in a gorgeous, almost folky arrangement. 'Simti Si Sharmai Si' is charming pop; a long intro keeps you guessing with several tempo and time-signature changes.

If only they'd included the groovy mod-soul title music...

Track listing:
1. Asha Bhosle: Chale Ladkhada Ke
2. Mohd. Rafi & Asha Bhosle: Jis Din Se Main Ne Tumko Dekha Hai
3. Kishore Kumar & Mohd. Rafi: Yun Na Sharma Phailade
4. Kishore Kumar: Simti Si Sharmai Si
5. Asha Bhosle: Piya Ki Gali
6. Mohd. Rafi & Asha Bhosle: O Jamila

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Laxmikant Pyarelal: Anhonee (1973) / Aaj Ka Mahatma (1975)


Two soundtracks that to the best of my knowledge were never released on LP, only as EPs. 'Anhonee' is the better of the pair. As is kind of expected from Laxmikant Pyarelal the songs are loud and dramatic, if not particularly memorable, most of them. 'Main To Ek Pagal' and 'Budhdhoo Pad Gaya Palle' aren’t bad, at least the instrumental parts, and they might conceivably grow on me over time. They will however pale drastically against what does in fact make this record essential, Asha Bhosle’s amazing drunk song 'Hangama Ho Gaya'. A fantastic track containing garage punk elements, jazz elements, psych elements… intoxicating, headbanging stuff. Some of you will have heard it on one of MFT3F’s special mixtapes; it was also remade as recently as 2014.

Aaj Ka Mahatma

Unfortunately I find all of 'Aaj Ka Maratma' somewhat dull. 'Chandni Chand Se Hoti Hai' is OK I guess. It baffles me sometimes that there are so many Laxmikant Pyarelal made between 1972 and 1974 that I love, one fantastic score after another, but after that they only shone intermittently. Or is that just me?

Track listing, 'Anhonee':
1. Asha Bhosle: Balma Hamaar
2. Kishore Kumar & Asha Bhosle: Main To Ek Pagal
3. Lata Mangeshkar: Budhdhoo Pad Gaya Palle
4. Asha Bhosle & Chorus: Hangama Ho Gaya

Track listing, 'Aaj Ka Mahatma'
1. Lata Mangeshkar: Kumda Babnu Ashiq Jhala
2. Kishore Kumar & Asha Bhosle: Chandni Chand Se Hoti Hai
3. Lata Mangeshkar: Tum Aese Kahan Tak Chhupo Ge
4. Kishore Kumar: Ahe Woh Bhi Tha Kya Zamana

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Rajesh Roshan: Telephone (1985)


'Telephone' could have been a perfect record. A short and sweet soundtrack by Rajesh Roshan, this 45 rpm mini-album features a handful of very likeable songs, and half of a super ace one. Annette Pinto's 'Hello Darling' would have been its sexy, groovy highlight but for the ridiculous fact that it fades out after 2 minutes. I believe the full length version, running almost twice as long, was released on tape – it's possible that Super T-Series was primarily a cassette label – but for fuck's sake, what reason on earth could they have had for not including the whole thing on this 12" record? Bah!

(A kind reader sent me an MP3 of the long version, origin unknown; I'm enclosing that as a bonus.)

So the best of the rest then, and to be fair I am really fond of it all. Poppy 'Main Tujh Pyar Karoon' comes in both male and female versions, has a pretty melody and lovely instrumental parts. Frantic 'Saak Mubarak No' has a funky middle bit with electronic noodlings, a great chorus and all manners of oddball stuff going on. And speaking of sexy, Asha sounds (and Parveen Babi looks) deliciously seductive on 'Main Hoon Tujh Pe Sun Fida', a smooth, elegant after hours lounge piece, my other big fave from the album.

Track listing:
1. Kishore Kumar: Main Tujh Se Pyar Karoon
2. Asha Bhosle: Saak Mubarak No
3. Asha Bhosle: Main Hoon Tujh Pe Sun Fida
4. Anuradha Paudwal: Main Tujh Se Pyar Karoon
5. Annette: Hello Darling

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Music From The Third Floor: Vol. 11

Music From The Third Floor: Vol. 11

And the Bollywood beat goes on. Every time I compile one of these mixes I wonder if I'll ever find enough great tracks to later on make another. Inevitably, I always do. So here's the 11th volume. Almost a decade since the first, and each one as good as the next. Download or stream them, your call, but don't give them a miss!

Track listing:
1. Title Music (from Hamraaz)
2. Love Me Love Me Tonight (from Maze Le Lo)
3. Roz Roz Roz (from Khilona)
4. Chumma Chumma (from Pataal Bhairavi)
5. Parde Men Pyar Kare (from Teen Eekay)
6. Punkh Hote To Ud Aati (from Sehra)
7. Lab Tak Aai Hai (from Tumhaare Bina)
8. Main Hoon Chhui Mui (from Chhupa Rustam)
9. Pyar Chhalke (from Sumbandh)
10. Sha Shangrila Sha Shangrila (from Kala Dhanda Goray Log)
11. Is Raat Ke Sannate Men (from Do Chehere)
12. O Meri Lara Loo (from Dil Daulat Duniya)
13. Yaar Badshah Yaar Dilruba (from C.I.D. 909)
14. Peechha Karro (from Peechha Karro)
15. Meri Bagiya Ki Kali (from Do Raha)
16. Sajna Saath Nibhana (from Doli)
17. Bheegee Bheegee Raat Suhani (from Dhoop Chhaon)
18. Zulfon Tale (from Maut Ka Saya)

Listen on Mixcloud.

Cover star: Vimi (from 'Hamraaz', 1967)

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sonik Omi: Teen Eekay (1978)

Teen Eekay

Contrary to expectations, Sonik Omi's 'Teen Akay' is an excellent soundtrack. I first encountered it many years back when the track 'Ree Baba Ree Baba' turned up online (possibly on some forum or other) as an example of weird Bollywood novelty songs; on it Om Prakash Sharma adopts a form of comical scat singing, no doubt inspired by RD Burman's so-called Mehbooba voice... to be honest I was more bemused than impressed. I'm not actually sure it's featured in the film (I fast-forwarded through that on YouTube where it can be seen in its entirety) even though it might have fit its mood: quite slapsticky, probably a bit daft.

Luckily the album has several songs that far surpass 'Ree Baba' in quality, including a trio of great Asha Bhosle-sung cabaret numbers. 'Yeh Gora Badan' is the poppier of them, happy-go-lucky and sing-along-able. A cool, staccato rhythm and an intoxicating melody is what characterizes 'Parde Men Pyar Kare' and best of all, the fantastic 'Jua Kisika Na Hua' is loud and gritty, harking back to the classic cabaret numbers from the start of the decade and packing a similar punch as Madan Mohan's sensational 'Kitni Haseen Hai Meri Pyar Ki Nazar' from 'Mahraja'.

'Nazar Kazrari Ho Raja' and 'Tum Ho Johari' are more traditional, and were, at least at the outset, tracks that interested me less, but they both have an oddly psychedelic tinge, especially in the breaks, so I keep coming back to them too.

Track listing:
1. Asha Bhosle, Usha Mangeshkar & Chorus: Nazar Kazrari Ho Raja
2. Asha Bhosle & Chorus: Yeh Gora Badan
3. Asha Bhosle: Parde Men Pyar Kare
4. Omi: Ree Baba Ree Baba
5. Asha Bhosle: Jua Kisika Na Hua
6. Joginder, Asha Bhosle & Dilraj Kaur: Tum Ho Johari
7. Music


Friday, February 3, 2017

Bappi Lahiri: Sumbandh (1982)


Bollywood beat heads were raving about 'Sumbandh' a few years back due to the two disco tracks that highlight it. Both are quintessential Bappi Lahiri and both are good, almost great even, if not among his very best.

'Pyar Chhalke' has a nice and laid-back lounge feel to it. Running at 8 minutes it includes loads of instrumental breaks, and Sharon Prabhakar's spoken English lyrics bring to mind the sublime 'Come Closer' from 1984's 'Kasam Paida Karnewale Ki'. 'Paas Ao Na' is slightly more uptempo with more of an electro thing going, but still surprisingly restrained (not as over-the-top as Bappi could often be). On it he borrows from 'Wild Thing' again; he'd done so before on 'College Girl' back in 1977.

Track listing:
1. Sharon Prabhakar: Pyar Chhalke
2. Asha Bhosle & Chorus: Raat Ko Mere Kamre Men
3. Asha Bhosle & Bappi Lahiri: Deewane Deewani
4. Asha Bhosle: Paas Ao Na


Friday, January 20, 2017

S.D. Burman: Ziddi (1964)


It's possible that a film review over at the Memsaab Story blog some years ago was what initially induced me to add 'Ziddi' to my soundtrack want list... "And the songs – my God, the songs! They are made of beautiful, all of them" certainly sounds like something that would have piqued my curiosity, and SD Burman assisted by his son Rahul Dev generally stands for quality.

Truth be told though, having eventually acquired this LP I was left a bit disappointed. A tiny bit. Oh, it has its moments, my favourite of which are Lata's 'Yeh Meri Zindagi' and 'Raat Ka Samaan', both of them charming and hummable, and Rafi's 'Pyar Ki Manzil' is kind of cool... and I could easily put the record on as pleasant background music to whatever it is that I'm doing, but, despite the odd nifty instrumental detail, there wouldn't be much on it to stop me in my tracks. So basically it's good, but not outstanding.

Maybe I was expecting too much.

Track listing:
1. Mohd. Rafi: Teri Soorat Se Nahin Milti Kisi Ki Soorat
2. Lata Mangeshkar: Yeh Meri Zindagi
3. Manna Dey: Pyar Ki Aag Men Tan Badan Jal Gaya
4. Geeta Dutt & Manna Dey: Main Tere Pyar Men
5. Lata Mangeshkar: Raat Ka Samaan
6. Mohd. Rafi: Pyar Ki Manzil
7. Mohd. Rafi: Janoon Kya Mera Dil
8. Mohd. Rafi & Asha Bhosle: Champakali Dekho Jhuk Hi Gayi Re