Big B turns 80

Amitabh Bachchan is one of the most popular actors of Bollywood. He came into limelight as an angry young man in Zanjeer in 1973 and maintained the image for a couple of decades. He started with the K A Abbas directed ‘Saat Hindustani’ in 1969 and subsequently featured in Reshma Aur Shera which was directed by Sunil Dutt. The major breakthrough was, of course, Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Anand in 1971. Though he was then a newcomer, he wasn’t at all overshadowed by the superstar, Rajesh Khanna. Amitabh’s performance was equally appreciated by classes and masses. Still his next 7 to 8 films saw utter failure at the box office. But 1973 proved lucky, as both Zanjeer and Abhiman were released in the year and became hits. And Amitabh played characters, poles apart from each other. He never looked back again.

Amitabh 1

The Angry Young Man in Zanjeer

The late 80s and 90s were not so great for him. His venture ABCL also had a tough time and was eventually closed. His second innings saw him on television and it was extremely successful and he became the mega superstar of the era. No wonder he successfully resumed his film journey and is still at the top.

Today’s post wasn’t actually planned by me. As you know, blog readers suggest themes from time to time and I try to fulfill it if it appeals to me. To publish a post on the songs sung by Amitabh Bachchan was actually suggested by Dr Ravindra Shrikhande in the last year. I couldn’t get enough time then and skipped it. This year when he reminded me, I managed to plan it in advance. And what could be the best occasion than his 80th birthday today.

amitabh 2

Before I start, let’s wish the superstar

A very happy 80th birthday and many years of good health

For an easier presentation, I’ve divided the songs in three categories.
* Songs as a singer
* Songs incorporating his dialogues
* Recitals in Hindi films and non-film

Let’s begin.

1. Songs as a singer
We will begin with the first song that he sang for a Hindi film. Perhaps he wanted to add diversity to his personality, so he sang the song. And the song is a bit unconventional, in the sense, it’s not poetry throughout. Some of the portions are prose and still it’s fun to listen to. Amitabh has definitely added his own magic to the rendition, making it more appealing. Not only children, grown ups can enjoy it too. Let’s listen to it.

Mere Paas Aao Mere Doston – Mr Natwarlal (1979) / Rajesh Roshan – Anand Bakshi

The next song on the list is the one that Amitabh himself used to sing since his childhood days. When Prakash Mehra told Amitabh about including this song in the movie, at first Amitabh took it as a joke. But of course it wasn’t. He was not sure about the song, but ultimately he sang it and it became the main highlight of the movie. The song has a female version as well, picturised on Rakhi and sung by Alka Yagnik. Here’s the Amitabh version for you,

Mere Angane Mein Tumhara Kya – Lawaris (1981) / Kalyanji Anandji – Anjaan
The song may look a bit odd, Amitabh’s expressions may look vulgar and cheap. But nevertheless the song was a blockbuster of the year and was an indispensable part of Amitabh’s stage shows.

The same year saw him acting and singing for Yash Chopra’s Silsila. Audience had tremendous expectations from the film, which it perhaps couldn’t fulfill. Though it’s popular now, it wasn’t a hit that time. The film had Amitabh’s voice in three songs. A couple of solos and a song with his dialogues. Let me add one of the solos.

Rang Barse Bheege Chunarwali – Silsila (1981) with Chorus / Shiv Hari – Harivansh Rai Bachchan
The song is still immensely popular and is considered one of the iconic songs of Amitabh. Set on the background of Holi, the song highlights the love triangle of the film with the fourth angle witnessing the events as well. It took me just a few minutes to decide between the two solos of the movie, though I equally like the other solo.

Tu Maike Mat Jaiyo – Pukar (1983) R D Burman – Gulshan Bawra
Though not a great song, it’s quite enjoyable. Pleasure to watch. The song describes the months of the year and how dearly the man misses his beloved.

I’m directly going into the 2000s, when he began his second innings which turned out to be even more successful than the earlier career. The film Baghban was similar to the Marathi film, तू तिथं मी, which in turn was the remake of the Marathi classic, ऊन पाऊस. Based on the story of an elderly couple, who are forced to live apart for their children’s convenience, the film was very successful at the box office. Though the most popular song, Meri Makhna Meri Soniye, was sung by Sudesh Bhosle, Amitabh got the opportunity to sing another couple of songs. And I’m adding both to today’s list.

Main Yahan Tu Wahan – Baghban (2003) with Alka Yagnik / Adesh Shrivastav – Sameer
The couple talks on the telephone and conveys their agony to each other. Amitabh sings as well as recites dialogues and it’s really heart touching.

Hori Khele Raghuveera – Baghban (2003) with Alka Yagnik, Sukhvinder Singh & Udit Narayan / Adesh Shrivastav – Sameer
One of the most popular Holi songs. After a gap of 22 years, he sang yet another iconic Holi song. And a pleasure to watch and listen to. Though usually I try avoiding adding songs from the same film, it was worth bending the self inflicted rules. Enjoy the song.

Chalo Jane Do – Bhootnath (2008) with Juhi Chawla / Vishal Shekhar – Javed Akhtar
What a cute song! And I must add, Juhi Chawla also has rendered it well. I haven’t watched the movie, though it’s relatively easy to guess the situation in the song.

Ekla Cholo Re – Kahaani (2012) with Clinton Cerejo / Vishal Shekhar
Amitabh sings the most popular poem by Rabindranath Tagore. The song runs in the background in the film. Amitabh’s performance is quite impressive, though I must add, I’m neither a music expert nor an expert in Bangla language.

Ganapati Aarti – Sarkar 3 (2017) with Chorus / Rohan Vinayak
Traditional Ganpati Aarti in the somber voice of Amitabh Bachchan. Sounds good.

Waqt Ne Kiya – 102 Not Out (2018) / Rohan Vinayak
(Originally sung by Geeta Dutt for Kaagaz Ke Phool. Composed by S D Burman with lyrics by Kaifi Azmi)
One of the good remakes of old film songs. Amitabh puts apt emotions in the song. Heart touching rendition indeed.

2. Songs with dialogues by Amitabh

Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hum – Silsila (1981) with Lata Mangeshkar / Shiv Hari – Javed Akhtar
Though I’ve already added a solo from Silsila by Amitabh on the list, this song is the most popular song with his dialogues incorporated excellently in a song. So I decided to add it. Amitabh’s expressions in his rendition are perfect. It is said that Lata Mangeshkar and Amitabh couldn’t record it together.
To add to the magic, there are excellent landscapes, full of vibrant tulips . I think Yash Chopra’s fascination for tulips and Switzerland started with this film.

Title Track – Aankhen (2002) with Sonu Nigam & Remo Fernandes / Adesh Shrivastav – Prasoon Joshi
Can anyone ever forget this splendid movie and Amitabh’s performance? Equally fascinating was his participation in the title track for the movie. We are mesmerized by Amitabh’s dialogues in the opening two minutes of the song. In case you have forgotten, revisit here.

Baatein Hawa Hain – Cheeni Kum (2007) with Shreya Ghoshal / llayaraja
The audio song has two verses and it doesn’t have Amitabh’s dialogues. The film version has no verses but the bonus of dialogues. Cheeni Kum was successful too.

3. Recitals
I actually wanted to start the post with this section, as the first one on the list would perhaps be his first of such kind. But as these were not songs literally, I decided to add it as the last section of the post. The section has film and non-film recitals. And of course all are very interesting. Let’s listen to these……

Maut Tu Ek Kavita Hai – Anand (1971) / Gulzar
I think this can be taken as Amitabh’s first recital of a poem in Hindi films. The poem by Gulzar is meaningful and Amitabh adds his own touch to the rendition which however is very short, hardly half a minute.

Shayaris by Sahir and Javed Akhtar
The clip has shayaris from Kabhi Kabhi by Sahir and the ones incorporated in the song, Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hum from Silsila.

Tu Chal – Pink (2016) / Shantanu Moitra – Tanveer Ghazi
A motivational and inspirational poem. It’s not a song and I take it as a recitation.

Non film recitals 

National Anthem –
It must have been a proud moment for Amitabh Bachchan to recite the anthem during the T20 world cup in 2017. It was however criticized for being slow paced.

The next video has Amitabh reciting poems by his father Harivansh Rai Bachchan. The recital goes on for almost an hour where he recites 14 poems. It’s an experience.

And, how could I end the post without the recital of Madhushala by Amitabh!
This link has a short clip of Amitabh Bachchan reciting Madhushala at Lincoln Center, New York City in 2007.
Madhushala was a poem with 135 quatrains (Rubaais) written by Harivansh Rai Bachchan in 1935. The poems are highly metaphorical and are remembered for their deeply Vedantic and Sufi incantations and philosophical undertones.
The video is actually not recitation but singing.

Have I missed your favourite by Amitabh?

Disclaimer –
Mehfil Mein Meri, claims no credit for any image, screenshots or songs posted on this site. Images on this blog are posted to make the text interesting. The images and screenshots are the copyright of their original owners. The song links are shared from YouTube, only for the listening convenience of music lovers. The copyright of these songs rests with the respective owners, producers and music companies.

22 Replies to “Big B turns 80”

  1. I wish to add my two favorite songs.

    This was tandem with Lata Mangeshkar.Amitabh’s rendition is at par with Lataji.

    Another one is from film Babul. Adesh Shrivastava has used beautifully voice of another Shrivastava on many occasions.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Anup ji,

    This one has “some” dialogues by Big B (you didn’t specify how many words :))

    It is from the 1976 Film “DO ANJANEY”

    (लुक छिप लुक छिप जाओ न……)

    With warm regards


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good article.
    Just a thought – there are quite a few movies in which Amitabh had the narration done in the beginning – such as – Bawarchi, Lagaan, Shatranj Ke Khiladi, etc. It would be interesting if someone can compile them and publish.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. MAHAAN, remake of Kannada super hit SHANKAR GURU , starring Raj Kumar.

    Jidhar dekhoon teri tasveer nazar aati hai…
    in AB’s voice.

    Happy version is by Kishore Kumar.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Anup,
    Whatever you say about Amitabh Bachchan would be less than what he is. My favourite songs are many not mentioned in the Post.

    1. “Khaike paan Banaraswala”
    2. “Pag ghungharu baandh Meera nachati.



  6. Dr. Anup,

    An enjoyable and befitting article on Big B’s big birthday!!

    Really glad to see this post on the Superstar , whose movies have been part and parcel of my growing up in 70s and 80s.

    Here’s a song from Main Azaad Hoon (1989), sung by him
    Itne bazu itne sar ginle dushman dhyan se

    Liked by 1 person

  7. AB sings with Rafi in Naseeb (1981) for Chal mere bhai. Rishi Kapoor also chips in later

    He also joins KK for My name is Anthony Gonsalves in AAA

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes,
      I was expecting someone to add the songs. I had omitted his songs with other male singers. I was wishing you would add those. And I’m happy to really did. Thank you for these.
      I was going to add,
      My Name is Anthony Gonsalves, as it’s an iconic song. I was adding it to the ‘songs with AB’s dialogues’ section. But I dropped it. I wanted to limit the number of songs.


  8. Anupji, one of his underrated movies which do not figure in the top is Saudagar. He plays the selfish lover wonderfully. The song Har Haseen Cheez Ka is one of my favourites with Ravindra Jain using the Sanchari in it( from 1:57 to 2:10 in the link) .
    Alaap was another of his very good movies directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee with outstanding music by Jaidev.


  9. Anup ji ,
    What a research !
    The way U hv presented this 3 – part post is really very very praiseworthy .

    Here is my addition from movie अक्स.
    Though the movie was डोक्याला शॉट ( !!! ) , Amitabh’s rendition of song is amazing ..

    Anup ji ,
    Hats off to U for this wonderful post .

    Wud like to see this kind of somewhat musical biographical post on other gr8 artists too .

    With best wishes ,
    Pramod Godbole .

    Liked by 1 person

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