Bappi Lahiri will forever be remembered as the King of Disco whose songs traversed continents to be featured in Hollywood films. His introduction to music was at the tender age of three.
By the time Lahiri was eleven, he was composing songs. He went on to have hit after hit, writing songs for various films, some being copied by reputable American music producers, resulting in litigation.
The late musician’s name was entered in the Guinness World Book of Records for singing 180 songs in 33 films in 1986. And here are the ten best Bappi Lahiri songs of all time.
10. Dil Men Ho Tum
Although Lahiri was renowned as the King of Disco, his son, Bappa, said that Lahiri was more of a performer. He preferred grooving to dancing but knew how to get the crowd to its feet. Bappi recalled that his father loved performing “Dil Men Ho Tum” at the beginning of his performances and by the time he was done, everyone, young and old, alike would be on their feet, dancing.
9. Jahaan Chaar Yaar
In an interview with Film Companion, Lahiri disclosed that although he had composed the song in the 1980s, it took a while for it to gain popularity.
The late entertainer said the song was Prakash Mehra’s idea though he already had some lines that sounded like a Bengali folk song. Eventually, the lyrics came together and included a rap part set aside for Amitabh Bachnan, while the rest of the song was by Kishore Kumar.
8. Mausam Hai Gaane Ka
This song was inspired by John Travolta in the movie, “Saturday Night Fever.” Film director Ravikant Nagaich wanted a new actor, so he signed Mithun Chakraborty to dance like John Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever” but fight kung fu.
Thankfully, Lahiri had been exposed to American dance moves through a concert he had attended in 1979 in America. He had gone to a club and heard the song “Saturday Night Fever” by Bee Gees which inspired the beats to “Mausam Hai Gaane Ka” for the film “Surakksha.”
7. Inteha Ho Gayi Intezaar Ki
Most singers cannot pick their favorite songs from their catalog and it was the same for Lahiri. To such songwriters and artists, the songs are like their children – you cannot pick any as your favorite. Still, Bappi disclosed that he would have to go with “Inteha Ho Gayo Intezaar Ki” as his late father’s favorite. The son even added that he would keep playing the song for his father until they meet again.
6. Haan Pahli Bar
Lahiri was a reputable songwriter, and he told IPRS that every time he composed a song, he knew it would be successful. However, he was not so sure about the fate of “Haan Pahli Bar.” Lahiri felt it was incapable of being a hit, but to his surprise, it took off well despite it being featured in a budget movie, “Aur Kaun.” Kishore Kumar did the song justice, and Lahiri was pleased that his fans still embraced it.
5. Yaad Aa Raha Hai
Lahiri loved writing songs so much that whenever commissioned by film directors, he would write several so the filmmakers would take their pick. In this instance, he wrote this song with Kishore Kumar in mind as the artist.
However, after Kumar sang a few lines, he told Lahiri that the song was much better suited for the songwriter. Thus, Lahiri wound up being the composer and artist as well. It was the best thing that Kumar could have ever done for Lahiri because it was then that the late songwriter knew that he was a talented singer as well.
4. I’m A Disco Dancer
Talent recognizes talent, exemplified by when the King of Pop met the King of Disco. Lahiri remembered the encounter with Michael Jackson, who loved the Indian’s trademark gold chains. According to Lahiri, Jackson was captivated by the movie “Disco Dancer,” and the featured songs, particularly “Disco Dancer” and Jimmy Jimmy.”
To the late Disco King, having Jackson recognize and appreciate his songs was a historic moment. It was quite memorable, so whenever he could, Lahiri recounted the meeting with the King of Pop.
3. Jimmy Jimmy Aaja
This song was in the 1982 movie “Disco Dancer,” and it became so popular that it was remade in 45 languages; Lahiri bragged that the song had been remade in China and Russia. Despite it being four decades old, it still is a fan favorite. According to NDTV, Chinese took to the streets, protesting the COVID-19 lockdown, while singing the Indian song.
They had their version in Mandarin, “Jie mi, jie mi,” which means “give me rice, give me rice.” The Chinese displayed empty vessels while making their versions of the videos to show how the total lockdown deprived them of necessities like food.
2. Jhoom Jhoom Jhoom Baba
Guardians of the Galaxy proved successful worldwide hence the rumors that Volume 3 will be released on May 5, 2023. During its promotion in India, the promotional clip featured this song by Lahiri which might have boosted its popularity.
According to India Today, the makers of the movie had liked Lahiri’s music so much that after using his song to promote the movie in India, they reached out to collaborate with him in their next film. The late King of Dance could not hide excitement, saying that Chris Pratt loved “Jhoom Jhoom Jhoom Baba.”
1. Kaliyon Ka Chaman
Lahiri did not want anyone taking his craft for granted, and this song resulted in a lawsuit. According to Vogue, the musician said he would sue anyone who copied his songs so when Dr. Dre copied it for his album “Addictive,” Lahiri went to court. All he wanted was credit for his composition, and he did not care about money. Luckily, they settled, and Lahiri got his wish.
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