On February 15 this year, the film and music world were shocked to hear of the demise of music director Bappi Lahiri. Known for popularising the disco genre in Hindi films, he had a very successful run in the late 1970s and 1980s.
Bappi would have been 70 on November 27. To commemorate, we have chosen 10 songs in which he contributed as a singer. Interestingly, only one of them has been composed by somebody else. The order is chronological.
1 Jaana Kahan Hai – Chalte Chalte (1976)
The 1976 film Chalte Chalte had hit music, propelling Bappi’s career as a music director. The song ‘Jaana Kahaan Hai’, a duet with Sulakshna Pandit, was his first hit as a singer. Amit Khanna wrote, “Jaana kahaan hai, pyaar yahaan hai, duniya jawaan hai, dilkash samaa hai”. The romantic song was filmed on Vishal Anand and Nazneen.
2 Bambai Se Aaya Mera Dost – Aap Ki Khatir (1977)
This super-hit tune was picturised on Vinod Khanna, Rekha and a group of revellers. Shaily Shailendra wrote, “Bambai se aaya mera dost, dost ko salaam karo, raat ko khaao peeyo, din ko aaram karo”. Bappi composed and sang it with a smart chorus. The song became a popular way for people to welcome guests from Mumbai.
3 Dil Tha Akela Akela – Suraksha (1979)
Filmed on Mithun Chakraborty and Ranjeeta, this was sung by Bappi and Lata Mangeshkar. For the tune, Bappi was inspired by the ABBA song ‘Hasta Manana’. Ramesh Pant wrote, “Dil tha akela akeka, saathi mila albela, sapne mein bhi socha na tha, apna koi ban jaayega”. Bappi also sang the disco item number ‘Tum Jo Bhi Ho Dil Aaj Do’ with Dilraj Kaur in the film.
4 Mere Jaise Hasina – Armaan (1981)
This tune was copied from Dr Hook’s ‘When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman’. Sharon Prabhakar sang it, with Bappi chipping in with one line, “I love you so much, I love you so much, I love you so so much”. Anjaan wrote the lyrics. Kalpana Iyer and Prema Narayan did the main dance, and Shammi Kapoor and Raj Babbar also appeared on screen.
5 Tu Mujhe Jaan Se – Wardat (1981)
Kalpana Iyer and Mithun danced to this number sung by Usha Uthup and Bappi, who composed the song in full-on disco style. Ramesh Pant’s catch-line “Main teri ho gayee, tu mera ho ja” became popular. The song was a big hit at dance parties.
6 Yaad Aa Raha Hai – Disco Dancer (1982)
Bappi sang the popular ‘Koi Yahaan Nache Nache’ with Usha Uthup in Disco Dancer. He also sang and composed the uptempo ‘Yaad Aa Raha Hai’, with Mithun holding a guitar. Anjaan’s words were, “Yaad aa raha hai tera pyaar, kahaan tum kahaan hum, hue tum kahaan ghum, aa bhi ja aa bhi ja ek baar”.
7 Raat Baaki – Namak Halaal.(1982)
Parveen Babi did a wonderful dance, with Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor also gracing the screen. Composer Bappi sang a small part for Shashi, with Asha Bhosle being the main singer. Anjaan wrote, “Raat baaki, baat baaki, hona hai jo, ho jaane do, socho na, dekho toh, dekho haan, jaane jaan, mujhe pyaar se”.
8 Yaar Bina Chain – Saaheb (1985)
Anil Kapoor and Amrita Singh starred in this peppy number sung by S. Janaki and Bappi. Anjaan wrote, “Yaar bina chain kahaan re, pyaar bina chain kahaan re, sona nahin chandi nahin yaar toh mila, arrey pyaar karle”. Though the disco phase had faded, Bappi used elements of the genre.
9 Tamma Tamma Loge – Thaanedar (1990)
In a first, Bappi used digital computer coding for recording this song, featuring a fabulous dance by Madhuri Dixit and Sanjay Dutt. Vocals were by Anuradha Paudwal and Bappi, with Indeevar writing the lyrics. The tune was adapted from Guinean artiste Mory Kante’s song ‘Tama’, which also inspired Laxmikant-Pyarelal to make ‘Jumma Chumma’ in Hum.
10 Ooh La La – The Dirty Picture (2011)
This was composed by Vishal-Shekhar and written by Rajat Aroraa. The singers were Bappi and Shreya Ghoshal. It involved a film shooting sequence featuring Vidya Balan and Naseeruddin Shah. The main lines were, “Ooh la la ooh la la, tu hai meri fantasy, choona na choona na, ab main jawaan ho gayee”.
Bappi was never considered a great singer, but he knew how to fit into the situation. Moreover, his compositions went well with any song’s vocals. He shall be missed.