Oct 01 2016

Lata Mangeshkar's best songs 1990s: Birthday series - Part 5

by   Sonal Pandya

Lata Mangeshkar remains the gold standard for playback singing in India. For seven decades, the singer reigned at the topmost echelons of Indian film music, with grace and poise. The singer turns 87 this week, we look back at some of her most memorable songs from each decade through a six-part series. Here are 10 songs from the 1990s that mark the golden reign of the Melody Queen.

1 ‘Megha Re Megha’ - Lamhe (1991)

Sridevi’s introduction number in Yash Chopra’s Lamhe had several Rajasthani influences. Lata Mangeshkar’s voice dominated the soundtrack. Ila Arun sang alongside Mangeshkar on ‘Megha Re Megha’ on the soundtrack composed by Shiv-Hari.

2 ‘Kabhi Tu Chhalia Lagta Hai’ - Patthar Ke Phool  (1991)

After the success of Maine Pyar Kiya (1989), Raamlaxman gave another popular album for a film headlining Salman Khan. Co-star Raveena Tandon made her debut opposite Khan. Lata Mangeshkar had several hit songs from the soundtrack, including ‘"Tumse Jo Dekhte Hi Pyar Hua’ and the nostalgia-inducing ‘Kabhi Tu Chhalia Lagta Hai’.

3 ‘Yaara Seeli Seeli’ - Lekin... (1991)

Lekin... brought much critical acclaim to the crew of the film. Lata picked up her third National Award for this song as did Gulzar and Hridaynath Mangeshkar. Gulzar was likewise honoured for his lyrics on the album while her younger brother Hridaynath, the film’s music composer, won his only major award for his score.

4 ‘Tu Mere Samne’ - Darr (1993)

Yash Chopra’s Darr (1993) found Shah Rukh Khan playing an obsessive stalker and Juhi Chawla as his unfortunate object of affection. Lata Mangeshkar was the key voice for Chawla on a soundtrack composed by Shiv-Hari that also featured singers Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krishnamurthy and Pamela Chopra.

5 ‘Didi Tera Devar Deewana’ - Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994)

The best-selling album of 1994 was arguably Raamlaxman’s score for Sooraj Barjatya’s Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994), even with 14 songs in its soundtrack. Mangeshkar was closely associated with actress Madhuri Dixit as her voice during this decade. Mangeshkar was given a special Jury Award at the Filmfare Awards for her work on the film.

6 ‘Tujhe Dekha Toh Yeh Jaana Sanam’ - Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)

Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol solidified their status as the top pairing of the 1990s with the blockbuster hit, DDLJ. Jatin-Lalit’s score and especially this duet sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Kumar Sanu was the romantic anthem of the decade. Anand Bakshi wrote the lyrics for the film.

7 ‘Pani Pani Re’ - Maachis (1996)

Gulzar and Vishal Bhardwaj first began their cinematic collaboration with the National Award-winning Maachis starring Tabu and Chandrachur Singh. Lata sang most of the songs on the album including including this melancholy number picturised on Tabu.

8 ‘Dholna’ - Dil To Pagal Hai (1997)

For Yash Chopra’s contemporary dance feature, Lata Mangeshkar was used as the female voice on virtually every song of the soundtrack by music composer Uttam Singh. While the title track is often remembered, it’s this melodious number, ‘Dholna’ which ticks off every box of a Yash Chopra romance: chiffon saris, lush green locales and Yash Raj Films staple Lata Mangeshkar singing for his heroines.

9 ‘Jiya Jale’ - Dil Se... (1998)

In an album in which every song was exquisitely put together, music composer AR Rahman used a whole host of singers from Sukhwinder Singh to Lata Mangeshkar. Here, she was a given a solo picturised on Preity Zinta (in her first big break) which also contained a chorus sung in Malayalam led by MG Sreekumar. The soundtrack, with lyrics by Gulzar, was a global hit.

10 ‘Geela Geela Pani’ - Satya (1998)

In Ram Gopal Varma’s hard-hitting film on the seedy underworld of Mumbai, Lata Mangeshkar sang two songs in Vishal Bhardwaj’s album. One of them, the serene ‘Geela Geela Pani’ written by Gulzar, showed a happy moment in aspiring singer Vidya’s life, played onscreen by Urmila Matondkar.