Friday, June 26, 2009

when he would have been 70

The late Rahul Dev Burman would have turned 70 today. Since he passed away in 1994, he has achieved the iconic status reserved only for those who pass from the world of the living to the world of the dead. He has his share of fans and detractors. He gets his share of criticism for all the "inspired" songs he made. There will be the occasional article, perhaps a new book or a new documentary about his music. One also hopes that efforts like the Panchammagic shows continue, if only in the hope that more people might find out why his work found a lot of praise, and fans and how his ouevre has influenced many.

There are so many examples in the work of the now separated Pandit brothers (notes about a recent discovery can be found here). There's that "Pancham" rhythm (hardly his invention, but something that shows up prominently in his work) showing up in songs (aaj ham ne dil kaa har from Sir). That isn't the only Anu Malik song that owes something to the late RDB. Consider paagal paagal from his non-film album Ho Raha Hai Sama, which sounds like it was composed while he was listening to raat krismas kii thii in a loop.

Meanwhile, it's a relief to know that there's always something new one can discover in the canon. Consider how the title track for The Train contains elements that showed up again in the title track for Trimurti (typical Bollyfare).

Excuse me, but it's time to go back and savour the joys of the little-heard title track of the Kumar Gaurav starrer Siyasat.

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