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30 years of Raveena Tandon: Top 10 songs filmed on the actress

Raveena Tandon's debut film Patthar Ke Phool (1991) was released on this day (22 February) in 1991.

Keyur Seta

Raveena Tandon Thadani was among the more popular actresses to emerge in Hindi cinema in the 1990s. Though she mostly featured in hard-core commercial entertainers, she also showed her range as an actress in serious roles in films like Daman (2001), Agni Varsha (2002) and Satta (2003).

Tandon entered the industry in the early 1990s, when lead actresses were still called ‘heroines’, and did a lot of films in which she played the 'love interest' of the ‘hero’. But this also meant that she got to be part of a long list of popular songs, many of them dance numbers.

Exactly 30 years ago, Raveena Tandon entered the film industry with the release of her debut film Patthar Ke Phool, opposite Salman Khan. As she completes three decades as a film artiste, we revisit the top 10 songs featuring her. Enjoy.

'Kabhi Tu Chhalia Lagta Hai' — Patthar Ke Phool (1991)

There are very few Hindi songs whose lyrics feature a long list of old movie titles. ‘Mere Jeevan Saathi’ from Ek Duuje Ke Liye (1981) springs to mind. Raveena Tandon got to be part of this rare genre in her very first movie with the song ‘Kabhi Tu Chhalia Lagta Hai’. Interestingly, both songs were sung by the late SP Balasubrahmanyam.

The track gave Tandon an opportunity to prove her acting and dancing skills in her very first film. This wasn’t an ordinary dance number as it involved some fast and crazy steps courtesy the fun tune by Raam Laxman. But lyricist Ravinder Rawal deserves maximum credit for including so many popular Hindi film titles in a song and still making it sound meaningful and melodious.

'Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast' — Mohra (1994)

The song ‘Dhak Dhak Karne Laga’ from Beta (1992) became synonymous with Madhuri Dixit. For Raveena Tandon, it was ‘Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast’ and even to this day she is known as the 'Mast Mast' girl. Tandon's energetic dance in the white costume also became quite a sight back then.

Composed by Anand Bakshi, the song was perfect for someone like music composer Viju Shah, who was specialized in the disco genre. Kavita Krishnamurthy and Udit Narayan were reliable as always.

The film has another version of the song, ‘Main Cheez Badi Hoon Mast Mast’, also sung by Kavita Krishnamurthy. Both versions were merged in the remix of the song in Abbas-Mustan’s forgettable Machine (2017).

'Tip Tip Barsa Paani' — Mohra (1994)

The seductive ‘Tip Tip Barsa Paani’ was the other hot favourite from the hit Mohra album that will forever be identified with Raveena Tandon.

There is no denying that Alka Yagnik’s smooth voice has played a major role in the song’s longevity. Viju Shah’s signature tune also made it an earworm. Yet, the inescapable truth is that ‘Tip Tip Barsa Paani’ became the rage that it did because of Raveena Tandon’s racy moves in that famous yellow saree.

The various cover versions of the song doing the rounds of YouTube even today are proof that the track has stood the test of time.

'Kitna Haseen Chehra' — Dilwale (1994)

Raveena Tandon’s character did not get to sing any part of this song. But she remains its focus throughout as the track describes her beauty. The actress got plenty of scope to emote in ‘Kitna Haseen Chehra’ and she made good use of the opportunity while pretending not to be paying attention to Ajay Devgn’s attempts to woo her.

The 1990s was a period when singer Kumar Sanu, composer duo Nadeem-Shravan and lyricist Sameer dominated Hindi film music. All three departments came together wonderfully in this number, which is one reason the song remains popular even today.

'Elo Ji Sanam Hum Aa Gaye' — Andaz Apna Apna (1994)

Rajkumar Santoshi’s Andaz Apna Apna was not just a madcap comedy. The film starring Aamir Khan and Salman Khan also had popular songs. ‘Elo Ji Sanam Hum Aa Gaye’, which features Aamir Khan and Raveena Tandon, was the best of the lot. It is a romantic song but a fun number at the same time. Vicky Mehta’s energetic voice adds plenty of life in the audio. 

Tandon’s character gets to sing at the end of this song, but just as in ‘Kitna Haseen Chehre’ you can’t miss her expressions even when Aamir Khan’s character is crooning.

The sound of the horse hooves used by composer Tushar Bhatia is reminiscent of the style of the legendary composer OP Nayyar in hits like ‘Maang Ke Saath Tumhara’ from Naya Daur (1957) and ‘Banda Parwar’ from Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon (1963). The second one also had the same start to the song in terms of visuals.

'Chaha Toh Bahut' — Imtihan (1994)

In a list dominated by dance numbers and fast-paced songs, this is a pure romantic track. Lyricist Faiz Anwar used simple words in his poetry and this simplicity has ensured the song’s longevity, along with the wonderful rendition by Kumar Sanu and Bela under music director Anu Malik’s baton.

Raveena Tandon perfected her slow dance moves and reactions here with multiple attire changes throughout the song. Her pairing with Saif Ali Khan also looked good. 

'Ankhiyon Se Goli Maare' — Dulhe Raja (1998)

Raveena Tandon had done plenty of dance numbers before this one came her way. But a dance track in a typical Govinda film was a different ball game. Apart from having to make it all look funny, the challenge always was to match up to the actor’s energy level. Tandon succeeded in doing that in ‘Ankhiyon Se Goli Maare’.

Jaspinder Narula and Sonu Nigam’s vocal form added a lot of spunk to the audio of the song. The track also stands out from composer duo Anand-Milind’s discography as they were known more for their romantic numbers.

Having more than 20 crore views on YouTube is proof of this song’s popularity even today. It was also recently remixed in Pati Patni Aur Woh (2019), starring Kartik Aaryan, Ananya Panday and Bhumi Pednekar. 

'Kisi Disco Mein Jaaye' — Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998)

This was another popular number from the pairing of Raveena Tandon and Govinda, yet different from ‘Ankhiyon Se Goli Maare’. While this is also a dance number, ‘Kisi Disco Mein Jaaye’ is much slower paced, except for the ‘Chalo Ishq Ladaye’ portion. Tandon and Govinda also ensured that they didn’t make it repetitive. They were helped, of course, by the different costumes and the foreign locations.

Having different singers this time around — Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan — and a different music composer, Viju Shah, also added to the freshness to the audio.

'De Diya Dil Piya' — Keemat (1998)

Raveena Tandon and Akshay Kumar, one of the most sought-after pairs in the 1990s, were back with another seductive number in Keemat. This time, too, it was Tandon’s character wooing Akshay Kumar's. And, yes, she gets wet on this occasion too.

Yet, this song is very different from ‘Tip Tip Barsa Paani’. While the 1994 hit had a fast tempo, this one, with Indivar’s lyrics, is more melodious, with Alisha Chinai behind the mic, a voice you didn’t hear much in Hindi cinema. Tandon delivered a different act with slow, layered dance moves.

'Yeh Raat' — Aks (2001)

This song was an image-breaker not just for Raveena Tandon, but also for her co-star Manoj Bajpayee. ‘Yeh Raat’ is set in a bar, but it’s not like any other bar song in Hindi films, thanks to lyricist Gulzar and composer Anu Malik.

The track was not just unconventional, but also ahead of its times. Even 20 years after Aks was released, we have not seen such a dark and wild number, both in terms of the audio and visuals. The song required Tandon to move out of the box and match up to singer Annupamaa’s voice. She met the challenge, especially while performing those cat moves.