When I called fellow cowboy Narendra Kusnur for this week’s Album Talk, I thought I have called Kumar Sanu by mistake! Why? Because I was greeted by a rendition of Tu Meri Aashiqui Hai (pretty sure he has the auto-tune app) in his “melodious’” voice. So the topic drifted to one of the highest-selling Bollywood movie soundtracks, Aashiqui.
Released in 1990, this movie soundtrack has some of the most melodious music in Bollywood history. It has sold more than 20 million physical copies and is still a favourite for the ones in love and also the broken-hearted.
Note: Language may be altered to suit the platform’s requirements.
Me: Sir, what is the issue today? You are singing!
Kusnur: When the soundtrack of this movie was released, we would sing all the songs daily. Don’t ask for whom.
Me: I was in school so I didn’t sing them, but I remember that the music was a super hit.
Kusnur: Yes, this soundtrack was a major hit.
Me: Apparently, it brought melody back into Bollywood music. Sir, but aren’t most songs like a film version of ghazals?
Kusnur: The songs were planned to be released in a ghazal album called Chahat by Gulshan Kumar, the then owner of T-Series. He had a listening session with director Mahesh Bhatt who insisted on the music to be used for a film. It was released in the late 80s when the ghazal wave had gone down.
Me: It didn’t help revive ghazals into the mainstream.
Kusnur: Yes, that didn’t happen. Ghazal albums weren’t selling but many movies had ghazals in their soundtrack. It was when the Bollywood movie soundtracks were reviving and Aashiqui came as a breakthrough soundtrack.
Me: It was the first movie that had a hero with long hair and a dusky heroine.
Kusnur: Rahul Roy and Anu Agarwal, yes. Both one-hit wonders. It was Kumar Sanu’s third or fourth movie and maybe even Nadeem-Shravan’s.
Me: I thought it was Nadeem-Shravan’s first or maybe their first hit.
Kusnur: Kumar Sanu had a hit song before this from the movie Jurm with the song Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaaye which was a copy of 500 Miles From Home by Kingston Trio. Apparently Kalyanji Bhai from Kalyaniji-Anandji introduced him to Nadeem-Shravan. Except for one song all the other songs on the soundtrack are sung by Kumar Sanu.
Me: Mera Dil Tere Liye was by Udit Narayan and one more song was by Nitin Mukesh.
Me: There is only one female singer, Anuradha Paudwal. There is an underrated song Dil Ka Alam that was superbly sung.
Kusnur: No man, even this song was a success at the time. In most movies, only some songs become well known.
Me: Every song was a hit in this movie. Jaane Jigar Jaaneman, Tu Meri Aashiqui Hai, Main Duniya Bhula Dunga and the rest. All were hits!
Kusnur: Nazar Ke Saamne too. Most were written by Sameer. Dil Ka Alam was written by Madan Pal and Dheere Dheere was written by Rani Malik. This was big for Sameer as after this he went on to rule the ’90s as a lyricist.
Nadeem-Shravan had many hits after Aashiqui but not of this stature. Even today it is the highest-selling Bollywood soundtrack.
Me: What made this a standout soundtrack?
Kusnur: Simple melodic songs. People still liked ghazals at the time. This soundtrack was a mix of ghazal and romance.
Me: And saccharine lased melody.
Kusnur: Shravanji always says they were responsible for the return of “malady”.
(Edited) Guess why?
Me: At least they did give us good music.
Kusnur: No doubt.
Me: Which is your pick from the soundtrack?
Kusnur: Dheere Dheere, Tu Meri Zindagi Hai and Nazar Ke Saamne. I still like these three.
Me: Jaane Jigar Jaaneman was different from the rest. Tu Meri Aashiqui Hai is still a favourite for many. All songs were hits.
Kusnur: This is the difference between this soundtrack and the rest. You can hardly remember more than a couple of songs from the other movies but you know all the songs from Aashiqui.
At this point, Mr. Kusnur offered to shoot a video of him singing some songs from the soundtrack.
To be released very soon!
Even if you don’t want it to.