Dec 01 2016

Birthday Special: 15 memorable 'Voice of 1990s' Udit Narayan songs

by   Mayur Lookhar

How many singers can boast of having sung for Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan? Truth be told, it didn’t matter who the superstar was, Udit Narayan was the voice that ruled the 1990s. As the singer turns a year older today (1 December), we reel off a list of his memorable numbers.

1 'Ae Mere Humsafar' – Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988)

Udit Narayan was among the many making their debut in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. His voice seemed perfect for the young Aamir Khan. He picked up a Filmfare award for 'Papa Kehte Hain', a solo track, but it's hard to look beyond the 'Ae Mere Humsafar' duet as Narayan's finest in the film.

2 'Pehla Nasha' – Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander (1992)

Few romantic numbers in the 1990s could beat 'Pehla Nasha'. It retained the traditional 1990s music, but the piano rendition gave it a magical Western touch. No wonder that years later, we have seen many remixes of this number. However, nothing beats the original. Surprisingly, Udit Narayan didn’t win the Filmfare award for this song.

3 'Jaadoo Teri Nazar' – Darr (1993)

This was no great melody, but a cry of an obsessed lover Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan). While Khan nailed the acting, Narayan’s voice immortalised the stalker anthem. Naturally, it's a favourite with jilted lovers.

4 'Kya Kyare Kya Na Kare' – Rangeela (1995)

AR Rahman brought a revolution in the Hindi film music scene. But he, too, tapped into the voice of Udit Narayan in Rangeela. Narayan's voice lent credibility to the dilemma of the street-smart Munna (Aamir Khan) over professing his love. 'Kya Kare Kya Na Kare' remains one of the most memorable tracks of Rangeela.

5 'Ruk Ja O Dil Deewane' – Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)

The infectious energy of Raj (Shah Rukh Khan) resounded through the spirited voice of Udit Narayan. 'Ruk Ja O Dil Deewane' perfectly summed up the effervescent character of the Indo-British brat.

6 'Ghar Se Nikalte Hi' – Papa Kahte Hain (1996)

Udit Narayan had begun his career with 'Papa Kehte Hain' from Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988). In 1996, he sang for a film called 'Papa Kahte Hain'. Javed Akhtar and Rajesh Roshan produced the romantic number 'Ghar Se Nikalte Hi' that refreshed our memories of the girl-next-door.

7 'Meri Saanson Main Basa Hai' – Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya (1990)

Aishwarya Rai’s debut film Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya had few good romantic numbers. Bobby Deol wasn’t the ideal hero for both Rai or this song, but the purity of the lyrics and the romantic voice of Udit Narayan made 'Meri Saanson Main Basa Hai' a timeless number.

8 'Bholi Si Surat' – Dil To Pagal Hai (1997)

Simple lyrics, simple music and simply magical singing by Udit Narayan in Dil To Pagal Hai. Often the simplest things are the toughest to do; hats off to Narayan for pulling off 'Bholi Si Surat' with such innocence.

9 'Ae Ajnabi' – Dil Se... (1998)

A reunion with AR Rahman brought Udit Narayan the 'Ae Ajnabi' track. The song is accompanied by a a dafli (tambourine), and Narayan moulded his voice and paced it perfectly with the tambourine's beats. Connoisseurs of music will vouch for how difficult it is to sing 'Ae Ajnabi'. 

10 'Jaane Kyon' – Dil Chahta Hai (2001)

In the new millennium, AR Rahman brought in refreshing music with Dil Chahta Hai. Udit Narayan bagged the National award for Best Male Playback Singer that year for this number and 'Mitwa' from Lagaan (2001). Alka Yagnik's voice added to the charm of 'Jaane Kyu'.

11 'Udja Kaale Kaava' – Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001)

Udit Narayan had a great 2001 with some of the finest numbers in films likes Lagaan, Gadar and Dil Chahta Hai. 'Udja Kaale Kaava' had different versions, but none was more appealing than the folk solo version by Narayan. 

12 'Kyon Kisi Ko' – Tere Naam (2003)

A relatively underrated track from Tere Naam, but the pain of Radhe (Salman Khan) was epitomised wonderfully in Udit Narayan’s voice in 'Kyun Kisi Ko'.

13 'Aao Naa' – Kyun! Ho Gaya Naa... (2004)

Sadhna Sargam is the true voice of this song, but Udit Narayan’s few lines in the latter half of 'Aao Na' take the song to dreamy heights.

14 'Main Yahan Hoon' – Veer-Zaara (2004)

The late Madan Mohan had left behind magical tunes which were given colour and heart by Javed Akhtar in Veer-Zaara. 'Main Yahan Hoon' was then immortalised by Udit Narayan.

15 'Hum Hain Iss Pal Kahan' – Kisna: The Warrior Poet (2005)

This one song got lost in the poor script. However, Kisna: The Warrior Poet will be remembered for the purity of this song that flowed like a drop of honey. AR Rahman's rhythmic music and Madhushree and Udit Narayan's mellifluous voices made 'Hum Hai Iss Pal Yahan' a timeless number. This was one of the two songs composed by Rahman for Kisna, while the rest were all Ismail Darbar's creations.