Best songs of 1955: Final Wrap Up 4

December 25, 2012

The SoY award for the best Music Director goes to?

Naushad-SD Burman-OP Nayyar-Shankar Jaikishan-C Ramchandra-NashadThis is like completing the circle, which means you come to the same point from where you started. So I look back at the mother post on the overview of the best songs of 1955  and I am amazed at the overwhelming response it generated, both in numbers and quality. As I said earlier, the methodology is not some kind of poll, but trying to capture the sense of the house. The SoY regulars would also recall that at the readers’ suggestions, I also wrote categoriwise summaries – Wrap Up 1 for the best male playback singer; Wrap Up 2 for the best female playback singer and Wrap Up 3 on the best duets. These are parts of the whole. Therefore, it is obvious that the final wrap up on the best music director would also draw a great deal from these subsidiary posts.  Here I am presenting the final wrap up of the string of posts that originated from the readers’ suggestions and which took shape as we moved on, as my Christmas and New Years Greetings to all.


As a first cut, we can say without any doubt that the music directors who made the most impact in 1955 are the following (not in any order):

1. Aan milo aan milo Shyam sanwre – Manna Dey and Geeta Dutt
2. Sajan ki ho gayi gori – Geeta Dutt
3. Ab aage teri marzi – Lata Mangeshkar
4. O janewale ruk ja koi dum – Lata Mangeshkar
5. Mitwa lagi re ye kaisi anbujh aag – Talat Mahmood
6. Kisko khabar thi kisko yakeen tha – Talat Mahmood
7. Jise tu qabool kar le – Lata Mangeshkar
8. Wo na ayenge palat ke – Mubarak Begum
House No. 44
9. Teri duniya me jeene se behtar hai – Hemant Kumar
10. Chup hai dharti chup hai chand sitare – Hemant Kumar
11. Phaili hui hai sapnon ki baahen – Lata Mangeshkar
12.  Peechhe peechhe aa kar chho lo hame paa kar – Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar
13. Jeevan ke safar men rahi – Kishore Kumar/ Lata Mangeshkar (twin songs)
14. Shivji bihane chale – Hemant Kumar
15. Ghayal hiraniyan main ban ban dolun – Lata Mangeshkar
16. Dil ki Umangen hai jawan – Hemant Kumar, Geeta Dutt and Thakur (Pran)

1. Suno chhoti si gudiya ki lambi kahani – Lata Mangeshkar
2. Tu pyar ka sagar hai – Manna Dey
3. Kahan ja raha hai tu ai janewale – Rafi
4. Manmohna bade jhoothe – Lata Mangeshkar
Shri 420
5. Mera joota hai Japani – Mukesh
6. Dil ka haal sune dilwala – Manna Dey & others
7. Ichak dana bichak dana – Lata Mangeshkar & others
8. Pyar hua iqrar hua – Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshakr
9.  Mud mud ke na dekh – Manna Dey, Asha Bhosle & others
10. O janewale mud ke zara dekhte jana – Lata Mangeshkar
11. Ramaiya vastavaiya – Rafi, Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar & others

1. Radha na bole na bole na bole re – Lata Mangeshkar
2. Aplam chaplam – Lata Mangeshkar and Usha Mangeshkar
3. Dekhoji bahar ayee – Lata Mangeshkar
4. Ja ri ja ri O kari badariya – Lata Mangeshkar
5. Kitna haseen hai mausam – Chitalkar and Lata Mangeshkar
6. Marna bhi mohabbat me kisi kaam na aya – Raghunath Jadav & others
7. Pee ke daras ko taras gayi ankhiyan – Lata Mangeshkar
8. Kitni jawan hai raat koi yaad aa gaya – Lata Mangeshkar
9.  Bechain nazar betab zigar – Talat Mahmood
10. Mujhpe ilzam-e-bewafai hai – Lata Mangeshkar
11. Tum apni yaad bhi dil se bhula dete to achcha tha – Talat Mahmood and Lata Mangeshkar
12. Ankhon me sama jao dil me raha karna – Lata Mangeshkar
13. Hans hans ke haseenon se nazar char kiye ja – Lata Mangeshkar

1. Mera salam le ja – Lata Mangeshkar & others
2. Mohabbat ki rahon men chalna sambhal ke – Rafi
3. Na toofan se khelo – Rafi
4. Hamare dil se na jana – Lata Mangeshkar
5. Na ro ai dil kahin rone se taqdeeren badalti hain – Lata Mangeshkar
6. More saiyan ji utarenge par ho – Lata Mangeshkar & others
7. Sitaron ki mahfil saji tum na aye – Lata Mangeshkar
8. Ghar aya mehman koi jaan na pahchan
9. O door ke musafir mujhko bhi sath le le – Rafi

1. Ae ji dil pe hua aisa jadoo – Rafi
2. Thandi hawa kali ghata – Geeta Dutt
3. Jane kahan mera jigar gaya ji – Rafi and Geeta Dutt
4. Ab to ji hone laga kisi ki sorat ka samna – Shamshad Begum
5. Chal diye bandanawaz chhod kar mere dil ka saaz – Rafi and Geeta Dutt
6. Idhar tum haseen ho udhar dil jawan hai – Rafi and Geeta Dutt
7. Preetam aan milo – Geeta Dutt

1. Jhanak jhanak payal baje – Ustad Amir Khan
2. Saiyan ja ja – Lata Mangeshkar
3. Nain se nain nahi milao – Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar
4.  Jo tum todo piya main nahi jodun re – Lata Mangeshkar
5.  Mere ae dil bata – Lata Mangeshkar

1.  Bhula nahi dena ji bhula nahi dena – Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar
2.  Mohabbat ki bas itni dastan hai – Lata Mangeshkar
3.  Tasweer banata hun tasweer nahi banti – Talat Mahmood
4.  Kho diya maine pakar kisi ko aag lag jaye is zindagi ko – Lata Mangeshkar
5.  Dard bhara dil bhar bhar bhar jaye – Lata Mangeshkar
6.  Chhayi re badariya – Lata mangeshkar
7. Dil humse wo lagaye jo hans ke chot khaye – Lata Mangeshkar and Mubarak Begum

This is a fascinating list on many counts. The big five – Naushad, C Ramchandra, Shankar Jaikishan, SD Burman and OP Nayyar – are all there with their outstanding creations. Vasant Desai’s name is synonymous with classical raga based songs, and he comes with probably his career-best in Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje. And in this field of titans, Nashad comes up with perhaps his career best Baradari, which stands as tall as any of his more renowned peers. A great year of the Golden Era, this 1955.

The readers’ opinions and comments are broadly reflective of the above scenario. There is hardly anyone who did not include SD Burman in the top five. In most cases he was among the first three, albeit movies being different. With three superb movies, it is natural that individual choices may vary. Next in terms of support come Shankar Jaikishan and C Ramchandra. One common factor between these three is that they had more than one movie with outstanding score in the year. Madan Mohan was mentioned in passing for Railway Platform. But essentially the exercise boils down to selecting 3 or 5 from the above lsit and put them in order.

We can agree on one novel idea, without compromising the end objective – the best music director need not relate to a particular film, but his entire work in the year. After all, when you are looking back after 57 years, what leaves an imprint in your mind is the total contribution of that MD in that year. We broadly followed this line for the best male and female playback singer.


Several readers have given not only their ranking, but also a conceptual framework for taking a decision. The broad parameters for ranking which had been mentioned by readers are – popularity, quality and innovation. To make it more amenable to analysis, we might agree that these parameters would be popularity, quality and the song’s historical importance. We may add another parameter – diversity in terms of singers used and also the type or genre of songs.

With three remarkable films, for SD Burman I have listed 16 songs, all very popular till date. All the songs are musically superb. Coming to their place in history – Talat’s two solos in Devdas, picturised on the tragedy king Dilip Kumar are integral part of a doomed tragic lover. Wo na ayenge palat kar would count as a cult mujra song of Mubarak Beguam, probably the first which brought her national notice. Kishore Kumar’s Jeevan ke safar me rahi and Hemant Kumar’s Teri duniya mein jeene se behatar hai are their respective iconic songs for Dev Anand. The Vaishnav bhajan Aan milo aan milo Shyam sanwre by Manna Dey and Geeta Dutt is again a landmark song on wandering minstrels, and plays a very important part in conveying the subtle theme of the story. SD Burman shows amazing diversity in singers and genres, and comes up with several landmark songs in the year.

C Ramchandra’s music in the 1950s was very Lata Mangeshkar-centric. But in Yasmin, he comes up with a cult Talat Mahmood song Bechain nazar betaab jigar. The song is also remarkable in that he presents a Talat, who is not in a blue mood, but sings a peppy number set to instrumentation in Arabic/West Asian style. In Azaad, his own duet with Lata Mangeshkar, Kitna haseen hai mausam, is an everlasting song. He set about to create a Talat-effect (Dilip Kumar wanted Talat, who was not available), and how he succeeds! The qawwali in the voice of Raghunath Jadav is a real gem. And Aplam chplam on the dancing duo, Sai sisters, is again an iconic song. And Lata Mangeshkar songs? The fact that these were done in quick time has not affected their quality. These are extremely popular even today, and would rank among their best.

Shankar Jaikishan’s Seema and Shree 420 contained several songs which have got cult status. Mera joota hai Japani is a landmark song of Raj Kapoor-Mukesh-SJ team, which is integral to RK’s tramp persona. Then Pyar hua iqraar hua as a romantic duet, with the lovers in rains under an umbrella, has acquired an iconic status. The triad song O Ramaiya vastvaiya also has an important place in the RK films musicology, romanticising the simple hearted, poor street people, pitted against the vicious metropolis Bombay. Tu pyar ka sagar hai is universally regarded as among Manna Dey’s best, as also Lata Mangeshkar’s Manmohna bade jhoothe. SJ score very high on the number of popular songs, quality and their landmark status in history. On diversity too they do well, though it would be difficult to match SDB on this.

Naushad was unapologetically Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar centric in the Golden Era. On diversity he would be far behind. That should not take away from the quality of Udankhatola’s music. He did create some of the most everlasting songs of Rafi and Lata. I am a great fan of Nausad, but probably because of his limited diversity, his name generally came after the above three in readers’ comments. Vasant Desai’s Jhanak Jhank Payal Baje is his undisputed landmark. He was not as prolific as the titans, but the title song in the voice of Ustad Amir Khan, Hemant Kumar-Lata Mangeshkar duet Nain so nain nahi milao and Lata Mangeshkar solo in the film Saiyan ja ja are all iconic songs. OP Nayyar’s Mr and Mrs 55 has an outstanding score, and is one of his important films. But there is an element of sameness about him, and as a reader remarked, he was popular all right, but probably on the quality of music he could not be bracketed with the others mentioned above.

That leaves Nashad, who deserves a very special mention. Here is a man, who had a Naushad complex, and therefore changed his name from Shaukat Ali Dehlvi to Nashad. In some of his films, he was dismissed as a Naushad clone. Then comes Baradari with a score that is entirely his. Tasweer banata hun is a Talat Mahmood cult song, Bhula nahi dena jib hula nahi dena is a landmark Rafi-Lata duet. Dil humse wo lagaye jo hans ke teer khaye by Lata Mangeshkar and Mubarak Begum is a terrific female qawwali-mujra duet. If you listen to it carefully, you get a feeling that this might be a precursor of Mughal-e-Azam’s female qawwali duet Teri mehfil me qismat ajma kar hum bhi dekhenge. With Baradari, Nashad should have been able to exorcise his Naushad-fixation.

And the SOY award for the best music director for 1955 goes to:

Now we are in a position to conclude that the best music directors of 1955 are the following in order:

1.  SD Burman
2.  C Ramchandra
3.  Shankar Jaikishan
4.  Naushad
5.  Nashad

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ASHOK M VAISHNAV December 25, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Ending SoY’s 2012 book with a Final Wrap Up of Hindi Film Music for the year 1955 does make an excellent way to wrap up all that has been discussed on SOY during 2012 as well as bring the curtains down on a well-debated chapter of a very distinctive series.
During the initial stages of discussions, I had brought in an additional parameter of music’s contribution in the success of the film , on the consideration that when all other parameters were not able to bring a clear choice. On this count, I had cast my vote with Vasant Desai for Janak Janak Payal Baje.
But, today, I have no hesitation in agreeing with AKji’s analysis and the final choice.

2 AK December 25, 2012 at 3:19 pm

It is gratifying that a connoisur like you agrees with my conclusion. In music it is very difficult to come to an agreed ranking. I know there are people who would question the very idea of making any comparison. Thanks a lot for your contribution to the discussion.

3 N Venkataraman December 25, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Thanks for the absorbing series, the final wrap-up and analysis. I am happy to find both Naushad and Nashad in the final (five) list. Initially, Nashad was not in the reckoning, but finally his name crept in and deservingly occupied a place among the final five. This brings us to the end of this exercise and will be looking forward to the next series (1953 or 54), next year. Since the final conclusion announced today was based on readers’ ratings and suggestions, and the parameters set/considered by you, I assume that this is not your personal opinion. Since the final results on all the four categories are out, I am curious to know your personal preference for all the categories.
Thank you once again.

4 AK December 25, 2012 at 6:42 pm

I have been quite open about my Naushad fascination. He would have appeared very prominently in various categories. Some of my choices would have been:

Best male playback
1. Rafi – O door ke musafir
2. Talat Mahmood – Bechain nazar or Tasweer banata hun or Kisko khabar thi

Best female playback
1 to 5 – Lata Mangeshkar
More saiyanji utarenge paar ho
Aise hain sukh sapan hamare

Best duet
Rafi & Lata – Bhula nahi dena

Best music director
1. Naushad

Not many people I found who shared my Naushad love. So I had to give way to popular opinion.

Since two films of 1954 won Filmfare awards for best music in different years –Taxi Driver and Nagin – 1953 would come next in the series.

Thanks a lot for your support and your contribution.

5 jignesh kotadia December 25, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Akji…thanks 4 such interesting series…ur choices r better and i havent arguments with it…but as i m also a judge of this elite panel(joke), i wd like to add my views.
Though its really difficult to choose 1 from OPN and Naashad 4 5th place I wd like to add OP in final 5 nominees. In that year he had 3 beautiful scores..1. Mr n mrs 55 2. Miss coca cola 3. Musafirkhana (less known but nice songs).

Ultimately i m going to give this precious award to Shankar Jaikishan,,,,each song of their both films r Iconic as well as highly popular and classical too.

6 AK December 25, 2012 at 10:36 pm

I have been as much open about admitting I am not a great fan of OPN – Lata exclusion being one reason – as I have been about my Naushad fondness. So I am afraid I am not with you on OPN. That is not to say that he did not give outstanding music in 1955.

I am sure there will be many with you on SJ. But all that you say about them is more than true of SDB, who has the added distinction that no one matched him in the variety of singers he used.

But finally, in music, to each his own.

Thanks for your compliments. I am happy that you liked the series.

7 jignesh kotadia December 26, 2012 at 1:30 am

@Akji…thanx 4 ur nice feedback.
I m always happy to talk with those people who like our music of 40s and 50s. As u have stirred the subject to be a fan of someone,,i recall my musical journey started in ’88 when RK departed, i came across his music in bulk and highly impressed by SJ. Thenafter i listened various music d’s in 90’s and became huge fan of Naushad and Madan mohan alongwith SJ. I had firm belief that these r ultimate in music. I kept my takhallus ”SHANJAMAN” (shankar,jaikishan,madanji,naushad). I listened more music thenafter but my favs didnt differ.
After longtime in 2005 i found and downloaded many rare and unlistened songs including Anilda and CR’s songs which were unknown territories for me at then time. I listened that music and just FLABBERGASTED !! MMMYYY GGOODD….gajre..anokha pyar..laadli..sangeeta..sargam..patanga..lajawaab..tarana..albela..aaram..aarzoo..beqasoor..O my god……terrific….these both men led me to higher level of melody,perhaps it was the sweetest portion(1948-52) of golden era. Thenafter i listened Vinod,shyam sunder and many geniuses …and came out from that ”shanjaman” syndrome. Today i m a neutral music lover not having any favorite. I listen Timir baran to Himesh with equal passion. Thanks to Anilda, C.anna and Eric roberts.

8 jignesh kotadia December 26, 2012 at 1:47 am

my above statements doesnt mean that anyone shouldnt have favorites or likes…. it is just the musical experiences and views of my tiny mind. I ve also my favorite singer(Lataji) and favorite actor(Amitabh bachchan).

9 AK December 26, 2012 at 9:02 am

Thanks for sharing your journey through old film music. Most of us have similar stories of romance, varying only in details.
Mine started in the ‘Radio Era’ when I grew up in school years. The next phase was ‘Doordarshan Era’, when they presented 4-part ‘Gata Jaye Banjara’, which was anchored by Poonam Dhillon. This opened windows to many unheard melodies, unknown singers, and music directors. Now, we are perhaps in the most wonderful period – ‘Internet Era’. But one would always cherish the old memories of how and when we came across a particular song, which mesmerised us.

10 Arunkumar Deshmukh December 26, 2012 at 8:24 pm

AK ji,
A nice and satisfying wrap up for the series indeed.
I know,it is extremely difficult to choose the best among the Bests !
Also it is understandable that the element of subjectiveness does play a part,but it is simply unavoidable.
I am particularly happy about Nashad being in the list.Composers who get less chances can make the best use of the opportunities they get and Nashad is an example.(BTW, it was not Shaukat Dehalvi who changed his name to Nashad on his own,but the person doing this was
Nakshab jarachavi who had a grudge against Naushad.This happened at the time of Nagina film.)
Thanks for a very entertaining series.
-Arunkumr deshmukh.

11 AK December 26, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Thanks a lot for your kind words, and also for info on Nashad’s name. I think you mean the film Naghma, and not Nagina?

12 Arunkumar Deshmukh December 26, 2012 at 9:33 pm

AK Ji,
Sorry,my mistake.It should be Naghma-1953.

13 Moti Lalwani July 3, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Why only the 1955, If you take the entire 50s, 60, and till mid 70s, SD Burman would be rated the best music director throughout till his death. And then the melody died after he was no more.

Several music directors, without being prompted, have told me in voice /video recorded interviews, that their songs have been inspired from SDB’s songs, mentioning even the songs. The three that come my mind are Shantanu Moitra, Anandji (K-A team) and Ravinder Jain.

Vijay Anand has said in his interview with my friend Peeyush Sharma that during the making of ‘Hum Done’ (1961) that it was predetermined with Jaidev that all his songs would be wetted / approved by SD Burman.

14 AK July 4, 2013 at 10:42 am

I am sure many would agree with you. Two things can be said about SD Burman without any doubt – (i) He was the most versatile during 50s and 60s in terms of singers he chose and diversity of songs, and (ii) He was the most long lasting among the greats. There is no one who continued for about 30 years and was in top form right till the end of his life. A genius no doubt. Whether we call him the best is a matter of personal choice and is subjective to a great extent. If you ask me, my personal choice which I have also indicated more than once is Naushad, though on the two parameters I have mentioned, SD Burman is ahead of him.

15 dinesh shah July 6, 2013 at 11:37 pm

i have no website would like to know more about MD’s who came in late 50 s n beyond till the 80 s….would love to know more about them .I am sure i will get some know how the Music changed during these Years.

16 Moti Lalwani July 7, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Naushad was indeed one of our great MDs, I respect your choice. He fell silent after 1960s, at a very young age, due to two main reasons:

1. His favourite poet Shakeel Badayuni died in 1970 at the age of 53. Naushad was not very comfortable with any other poet.
2. His assistant Ghulam Mohammad was no more with him.

About Ghulam Mohammad this is what Naushad has said, “It was his greatness that he not only accepted me as an Ustad but loved me with his deep heart . On the contrary it should have been the other way round , his knowledge was remarkable . I accept with my whole heart that he was more knowledgeable than me and played a significant role in mending my career .”

In contrast, SDB did not depend on any one lyricist, creating magic Sahir, Kaifi, Shailendra, Majrooh, Anand Bakshi, Neeraj, Yogesh among others.

SDB’s assistant kept on changing with time, but his music continued to be of superb quality. Departure of Suhrid Kar, N. Dutta, Jaidev, Pancham, Anil-Arun, Ashish-Bablu made no difference to Sachinda’s music. Even Pancham’s departure with entire common team of SDB-RDB in 1970 did not have any effect on SDB’s repertoire.

Single handed, father SDB won Filmfare award for Abhimaan (1973), against three other MDs: Kalyanji-Anandji (Zanjeer), Laxmi-Pyaare (Bobby and Daag) and his own son RDB (Yadon Ki Baraat).

No other composer has left rich legacy in Kishore Kumar and son Pancham, first hit songs of Manna Dey, Hemant Kumar and Suman Kalyanpur, first cabaret songs of Lata and Asha, maximum number of hit songs, and many other firsts.

17 Jignesh Kotadia January 3, 2014 at 10:40 am

ultimately i found the song ”gareebon ko tu aye duniya sata le jitna jee chahe” from UDAN KHATOLA on YT.

18 Jignesh Kotadia January 3, 2014 at 12:50 pm
19 SB September 2, 2014 at 2:41 am

In my view, and with my limited knowledge of hfm, Dada Burman was miles ahead of Naushad in almost every department.
Longevity, selection and variety of singers, orchestration, melody, adaptability and most important of all Variety (folk, pure classical, semi classical, mujra, cabaret, bhajan, ghazal). And remember that he did all this with generations of eras, influence of western music, composers, lyricists, arrangers, musicians all changing around him for three decades.
I think he is the undisputed composer of composers.

20 AK September 2, 2014 at 11:43 pm

I cannot let that go uncontested. Even though I have declared SDB no. 1 of the year, and Naushad at no. 4, Naushad remains my top favourite. We are not competent to declare one superior to the other among the greats. I read you as saying your top favourite is SD Burman ahead of Naushad, That is fair enough, just as for many, including me, Naushad is the best ever.

21 SB September 3, 2014 at 1:39 am

AKji, In my view SDB is the greatest composer of all time, for all the reasons that I have listed.

I know when anyone says this it’s a very very personal view, but even then I say this as its a general consensus after hours and hours of discussion with a bunch of fellow music connoisseurs.

We would have a fair idea of where each composer stands, if we assign specific points to each MD in the year by year analysis that we do over here.
Anyway, I know it’s absolutely a personal choice, but Naushad Sahab didn’t even figure in top 3 of any of my fellow music lover’s choices. It was Madan Mohan, Shankar-Jaikishan, Salilda, Hemant da.

I need to make newer friends like you maybe, which I would be delighted to.

22 AK September 3, 2014 at 10:05 am

SoY has already made us friends. I would be happy to interact with you on

23 Kapil September 3, 2014 at 10:57 am

SB ji, Naushad had a huge edge over SDB in the 40s both artistically and commercially. In the 50s too, though artistically they were on par, Naushad had a greater mass appeal. Post 1960 SDB was better but the vintage era belongs to Naushad. Having said that, I am also a huge SD fanatic, I firmly believe that as a singer + composer SDB is a greater music personality than Naushad.

24 SB September 3, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Kapil Sahab
Agree with everything u have said, word-to-word.
Naushad Sahab’s commercial success and mass appeal in the 40s and early 50s is undisputed.

25 arvindersharma September 3, 2014 at 3:08 pm

AK Ji,
I would also like to second your opinion.
I have a fondness for nearly all the MDs of the golden era of HFM, but the impact which Naushad’s music had amongst the masses was unparalleled.
The credit for the popularity of classical music goes greatly to his efforts, his team and the producers of the films he gave music for.
I respect all the music directors of yore, particularly Anil Biswas and C Ramchandra, and have no hesitation in agreeing that SD Burman, along with Naushad was the most successful composer of HFM.
I would rate Naushad as the frontrunner in early years and SDB as the MD who lasted the longest amongst the greats.

26 Anant Desai March 14, 2015 at 9:44 pm

AK ji and SOY friends,
I agree that to call someone best is neither fair nor valid. May I offer a different perspective?
The Golden Era was Golden for the following factors coming together:
1. Best lyrics, composers and singers came together.
2. All were inspired by each other in a friendly competition.
3. Even the producers and directors contributed in selecting final version. Credit RK, BR Chopra, Bimal Roy, LV Prasad, Anand Bros, Bharat Bhushan, Gurudutt and Shataram among others.
4. Great arrangers like Sebastian DeSouza and Dattaram added fused western symphony, jazz, flamenco elements.

The broad diversity of successful contributors was perhaps the magical recipie for the Golden Era.

Top Five are undisputedly SDB, SJ, Naushad, CR, OP.
This still begs for Hemant Kumar, KA, SN Tripathi, Vasant Desai.
We are also missing the Pitamah Anilda, KP, Pankaj Mallik who laid the foundation. Earlier recordings suffer from lack of studio recording. Naushad said that Gham Diye Mushtaqil had Saigal walking and singing with orchestra following in a truck. Instruments got out of tune in the Sun.

I hope we can admire the collaborative competition and in that spirit not work too hard to pick the best. Best by year perhaps, but not overall.

Without deminishing anyone, I offer SJ for two specific years:
1956: Chori Chori, Nai Delhi, Patrani, Basant Bahar, Raj Hath, Halaku
1959: Anari, Ujala, Kanhaiya, Chhoti Bahen, Main Nashe Mein Hun, Love Marriage, Shararat.
I very much doubt if there is even a close second to this achievement of quality, quantity and diversity of styles and creativity. For these years, it would be difficult to pick even top 20 of SJ alone!

I would pre-nominate SJ for these two years.

27 ksbhatia March 14, 2015 at 11:53 pm

Anant desai’ji ; I will go with you and second your choice on nominating SJ for 1956 and 1959 for the best MD s . The music of the listed movies were the golden period for SJ themselves . Each and every songs was masterly orchestrised and highlighted their creativity and composition. yes, it is very difficult to list the top 20 of SJ ‘s songs. Lata’ji, Mukesh , Kishore , Rafi sahib gave their best during these years . Who can forget Lata’ji s masterly rendering of high pitched ‘Rasika balma’ and lilting song ‘ Tera jalwa jisne dekha ‘, Mukesh’s ‘ Kisi ki muskart and Sab kuch seekha hamne ‘ , Kishore’s ‘ Nakhre wali , and Mohd Rafi’s ‘ Ajab hai dastan hai teri yeh zindagi ‘ . These years also belong to Manna dey sahib also . ‘ Sur na saje kya gaon mein ‘ ,’ ketki gulab ‘ and ‘ Yeh raat bheegi bhigee ‘ are few of his beautiful renderings . Regarding my fav. MD s ….Naushad for his contribution of classical based songs and SJ for modern music that went great as times went by. Among others I liked SDB, CR, MM, and in fact all other MDs of that era.

28 Anant Desai March 15, 2015 at 10:36 am

Bhatia ji,
Thanks for the consenting vote.
As I was listing “other” music directors, I still missed MM, Roshan, Ravi, Khayyam, N. Dutta, Chitragupta and was called out by my knowledgeable friend. This makes the point that there were so many successful MD’s who added to the Golden Years. See I still missed Salil da and Jaydev. SofY has also recognized more amazing achievements of additional contributors like Lachhiram, and many more. The point is that it was not a winner take all market. Everyone got a chance to contribute.

I would like to mention S. Hazara Singh who was such a musical talent that we hear his electric guitar in a classical score like Baiju Bawara in o Duniya ke rakhwale!! Also in Pyasa Jinhen Naz hai. I had the privilege of hearin him live playing Lal Lal Gal and Mera Nam Chin Chin Choo and rocking the house. Pt. Vishva Mohan Bhatt is along that line with his own Mohan Veena.

29 ksbhatia March 16, 2015 at 12:52 am

Anant Desai ‘ji; You are perfectly right . Every MD has given their best and it matters a little whether they were popular or not . eg . Daan singh …. Woh tere pyar ka gam , C Arjun …..Ishq hum khaman khan kar bahthe, G S Kohli …… Tum ko dil diya imtnan se , S Mohinder …. Guzara hua zamana aata nahin dobara , Kanu ghosh ……. Do roz mein woh pyar ka alam guzar gaya , Sajaad hussain ….. Phir tumahri yaad aayi aye sanam aye sanam etc . All these and many others MD s have really produced gems for us to enjoy . You have listed some MDs which I think we need to dig their talent once more . We can take them one by one . Recently we had very rich discussions on Ravi/ Sahir/ Mohindra kapoor / Rafi sahib ; with very interesting inputs from AKji, Arvinder sharma ji and SOY family . Likewise one can take S Mohinder first and others one by one . Desai ji , You have sharpened my old memory of musicians ; the likes of S Hazara singh . A few of them are coming to my mind……. Van shipley , Anoc dalian. Recently I had a chance to listen to Sheshadri playing Piano accord. on YT . His playing the various hindi song tunes is so perfect that one has to believe and check whether they are original .

30 Antara July 8, 2015 at 7:10 pm

What a fantastic compilation! Loved every bit of this insightful and so very well researched article. I keep coming back to SoY and every time I take away much with me in terms of insights, knowledge and new discoveries.

The songs of SD Burman you have listed AK are by far my all time favorite numbers. My unequivocal support to the choices… Each one a gem!

I am incompetent to comment on the intricacies. I can just share what I love instinctively and can never get tired of listening to them over and over again. The rest of the music directors and the songs listed are eclectic as well but for me in this list Burman Dada rules.

A few songs I will pick from the rest of the list are – Nain so nain (so very delicate and soft, delectable), Kitna haseen hai mausam (it seems C Ramachandra had composed this song very quickly when the producer had come to him for a quick melody and of course C Ramachandra could compose in lightning speed smiling all the while), Thandi hawa kali ghata ( Geeta Roy’s voice seems to usher in a pleasant and refreshing cool breeze everytime you listen to it).

My comments are only from the point of view of a music buff who relies on the ear and not on any formal training.

Enjoyed this thoroughly!

31 AK July 9, 2015 at 12:24 am

Thanks a lot for your nice words. While some followers of SoY are genuinely music experts, I and many others are plain music buffs, with no formal training. Keep commenting freely.

32 Antara July 9, 2015 at 6:03 am

Dear AK,

You are much more than just a music buff. Your knowledge, understanding and research comes through in your articles. Every reader of SoY would agree with me.

SoY is a treasure trove for people like us who are looking for authentic research and deeper insights to be able to discover angles in the music of the golden era which we have missed or never knew existed. I thoroughly enjoy my visit here, everytime and I learn much.

33 AK July 9, 2015 at 7:26 am

Thanks again.

34 D P Rangan October 5, 2015 at 5:11 am

The comments seem to have gone out of context marginally. The primary subject is finalising best songs of 1955. But I see discussions about 1956 and beyond. It is not easy to make an objective assessment in this kind of analysis. Personal choices will weigh heavily and each can produce his own best songs of 1955. I still feel indebted as it had given me ready access to many of the songs. I have heard majority of songs through Radio Ceylon or through cassettes and cds.

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