A Compilation Of Rajesh Khanna Songs (L-Z)

The Trivia Of Rajesh Khanna’s Superstardom

Amitabh Bachchan was the undisputed superduper/ mega star when I was growing up and the movie fans around me used to call Rajesh Khanna “Pavali” (i.e. worth 25 paise, or simply spoken, most insignificant) in arrogance. In fact, even the movie stars like Dharmendra, Jeetendra, Vinod Khanna, and Rishi Kapoor has had a better audience  carved out for themselves post the mid-1970s, indicating how steep a fall Khanna has had after an equally stellar rise only a few years ago.

But when I look back now and find my most valuable Kishore  Kumar songs lying in Rajesh Khanna’s palms; and when I reassess the legacy he leaves behind with that brief sparkle in the early 1970s, I’m but forced to admit his everlasting contribution. That he couldn’t rise to his own potential  again – except for a brief surge in the mid-1980s with the hits like Souten and Avtaar – reminds one of his inherent flaws.

Researching for these compilations also made me have a fresh look at how the Hindi cinema music transformed along with the movie craft in the 1970s onwards. Bachchan had some of the biggest hits at the box-office and equally popular songs, but not the same socio-cultural legacy, which Kaka’s song renditions seemed to enjoy. In fact, Bachchan used to be idolized for his characters and dialogues more than anything else. Incidentally, the Kishore Kumar – RD Burman duo did not have the same luck with Khanna either after what they had seemingly triggered with him earlier. They separately excelled with the other actors and movie makers, but there seems to have taken a shift in how songs were being conceived in the Hindi cinema in the years that followed, and by the mid-1980s; i.e when Kishore Kumar had started contemplating a retirement from his playback career, the erosion of the Hindi cinema music could easily be gauged by the music lovers.

The 1970s not only saw some of the best Hindi cinema music being composed ever, but also a dramatic transformation in how the very cine-craft was being conceived in those years. Why did the Hindi cine music lose its sheen in the absence of Kishore Kumar and RD Burman is unclear, though. There still was some music left in the 1990s, but almost zilch in the years that followed. Why hasn’t there been any resurrection of the good cinema music or the emergence of a separate music industry, if that wasn’t anymore  possible through Bollywood, is a continuing puzzle! May be, this is a temporary ripple of the reality television and the dance and idol TV shows, which should transform with time as the media keeps on evolving.

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