R.D. Burman or Rahul Dev Burman was born in Calcutta on June 27, 1939 as the only child of the great music director and singer Sachin Dev Burman. He received his early education at the St Xavier’s School in Calcutta. Fondly known as Panchamda, he was trained in Sarod by Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and in tabla by Samta Prasad in Mumbai. He also considered Salil Chaudhry as his guru. His first wife was Rita Patel whom he married in 1966. He married Asha Bhosle in 1980. His association with Asha Bhosle was the finest time of his music career. Their live performances together were the height of their glory together.
Musical Career of R.D. Burman:
R.D. Burman was a music director and music composer of great repute. He is credited for revolutionizing the Hindi film music. Out of his 331 released movies scores 292 were Hindi, 31 in Bengali and the remaining in other languages. He also composed 5 TV serials in Hindi and Marathi. He also sang for a few compositions.
Burman was influenced by Western, Latin and Arabic music. He made a mix of these music in his own style in his composition, the result being the most popular of the Hindi film songs. A wide range of influences from several genres formed the crux of his music. He made the electronic rock popular. He was known for mixing disco and rock elements with Bengali folk music. He was also known to use jazz elements in music. He did major works of his career with Asha Bhosle and Kishore Kumar. His association with Asha Bhosle and the live performances were the finest of his music career.
He composed his first song “Ae Meri Topi Palat Ke Aa” when he was 9 years old which was used by his father in the film “Fantoosh”. The tune of the song ‘Sar Jo Tera Chakraye’ was also composed by him as a child which was used by his father in the film “Pyaasa”. The tune of the songs ‘Mere Sapno Ki Rani’ and ‘Kora Kagaz Tha Ye Mann Mera’ from the film ‘Aradhna’ were composed by him though the music of the film was composed by his father. He played mouth organ for the hit composition ‘Hai Apna Dil To Awara’.
RD used to serve as an assistant to his father. He also played harmonium in his orchestra. As a music assistant he worked in the films like ‘Chalti Ka Naam Gadi’, ‘Kaagaz Ke Phool’, ‘Tere Ghar Ke Samne’, ‘Bandini’, ‘Guide’, ‘Jewel Thief’, ‘Prem Pujari’ etc. He started as an independent composer in 1961 with the film “Chote Nawab”. His "Teesri Manzil" was his first hit as a music director. With Nasir Hussain he composed the music of the films "Baharo Ke Sapne", "Yadon Ki Baarat" etc. He is also noted for his association with Gulzar who has written for several of his compositions.
The music compositions of Panchamda sung by Kishore Kumar were super hits. The songs of "Kati Patang" were immensely popular. He also made some of his finest compositions with Md Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. The music of the film “Hare Rama Hare Krishna” and its song “Dum Maro Dum” by Asha Bhosle proved to be a seminal rock number in the Hindi film music. It is still remembered as a cult song in the film industry.
All the songs of the 1975 film “Sholey” were blockbusters. The music of the films “Sanam Teri Kasam”, “Rocky”, “Satte Pe Satta” and “Love Story” have been all time hits. The music of “1942: A Love Story” was released after his death. The music of the film was a huge popular. Several movies made after his death contains his original songs like “Dil Vil Pyar Vyar” contain his rearranged hit songs. A number of remix albums feature RD Burman’s songs. He also composed non film music. His two most notable attempts were the international album “Pantera” and “Dil Padosi Hai”.
His successful music in films include "Yadon Ki Barat", "Padosan", "Kati Patang", “Hare Rama Hare Krishna”, "Amar Prem", "Caravan", "Buddha Mil Gaya", “Seeta Aur Geeta”, “Rampur Ka Lakshman”, “Bombay to Goa”, “Parichay”, “Aap Ki Kasam”, “Sholey”, “Andhi”, “Mili”, “Hum Kisi Se Kamm Nahi”, “Kasme Wade”, “Ghar”, “Gol Maal”, “Khubsoorat”, “Sanam Teri Kasam”, “Rocky”, “Satte Pe Satta”, “Love Story”, “1942: A Love Story”, “Masoom”, Shaan, “Betaab”, “Saagar”, “Heera Panna”, “Parinda”, “Izazat”, “Kinara”, “Khushboo” and so forth. The music composed by Pancham da has attained the repute of classics. Some of his classic compositions include "Ye Shaam Mastani", "Ye Jo Mohabbat Hai", “Dum Maro Dum” “Raat Kali Ek Khwab Me Aayi”, “Piya Tu Ab Toh Aaja”, “Kya Hua Tera Wada”, “Mehbooba Mehbooba”, “Aao Twist Kare”, “Chura Liya Hai Tumne Jo Dil Ko”, “Hume Tumse Pyar Kitna”, and “Tum Bin Jau Kahan”.
R.D. Burman suffered a heart attack in 1988 since when his health began to deteriorate. He composed a lot of melodies during that while, however, many of which were unreleased due to his untimely death. The music maestro breathed his last on January 4, 1994.
Awards and Recognition of R.D. Burman:
R.D. Burman received his first filmfare Best Music Director award for “Sanam Teri Kasam” For the film “Masoom”, he received the filmfare best music director award. And for “1942: A Love Story” he received his third and last filmfare award. In 1995 the filmfare Awards constituted the Filmfare RD Burman Award for New Music Talent in his honour. The MP government conferred him with the Lata Mangeshkar Award for 1992-1993. The film “Jhankar Beats” is a tribute to Pancham da. The documentary “Pancham Unmixed: Mujhe Chalte jana he” is based on the works of the music director.
Words and Wishes:
“He was immensely talented and could compose in any style.”
"I have a learned a lot from him, apart from the music that we grew up on. His personal life, which was quite painful, has inspired me. I still keep on listening to his music. We all grew up on his music. I worship him."
Wife: Asha Bhosle
(FAN OF Mr. RAHUL DEV BURMAN)
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