R.D. Burman‘s passion for music was so intense that he literally lived music, ate music, breathed music and even made musical compositions in his dreams! Yes, the song Kanchi Re Kanchi Re (Hare Rama Hare Krishna) was reportedly composed by Pancham in his dream. Asha Bhosle, his wife in an interview once said, “Pancham was madly in love with music. He was so passionate that he was obsessed 24X7 in music. He was such a crazy that he worked long hours and sometimes got up at mid-night and composed music until he was satisfied by a tune.”
He was one of the few music directors who brought a revolution in Bollywood music. He introduced Latin sounds, retro disco and funk sounds. He had eccentric ways to generate rhythm which led to out-of-the-box compositions. A unique feature of his compositions was generating music using non-musical instruments; sometimes things as weird as a spoon and a glass!! If you don’t believe then listen to the hit song Chura Liya Hai Tumne…(Yadoon Ki Baraat) in which he created music by hitting a spoon on a glass.”
Readers would be shocked to know Pancham created the evergreen classic song Mere Saamnewali Khidki Mein …. (Padosan) by simply using a comb to produce a rustling sound effect in the song. Similarly, for the super hit song Mehbooba Mehbooba (Sholay) Pancham used empty beer bottles! He asked one of his musicians to blow into beer bottles to create a unique rhythm. And what’s more, he created rhythm through huffing and pant. Remember the song Duniya Mein Logon Ko from Apna Desh (1972). Isn’t it weird and unbelievable? Well, yes! But in those days music directors did not have modern musical instruments to create music hence maverick music directors like Pancham used creativity to the maximum.
In addition, the other quality of Pancham was that he made several innovations to create exceptionally different music like for the immortal song Raina Beeti Jaaye from Amar Prem (1971), he combined santoor and guitar – a rare combination never performed before!! Hence music critics called him a music director far ahead of time. True indeed, because the music that was ridiculed by music critics during his era has today become classic. Today’s generation is going crazy over his classic numbers. A full-fledged Bollywood film Dil Vil Pyar Vyar (2002) was dedicated to R.D. Burman and several super hit songs of Pancham were re-mixed. After that, the number of re-mixes of R.D. Burman in Bollywood has become a trend. Youngsters today, keep R.D. Burman songs as their mobile caller tunes.
What’s more, in 2013, a beverage company from Netherland used RD’s revolutionary signature tune of Dum Maro Dum (Hare Rama Hare Krishna, 1971) for their advertisement. And last but not least, it’s been several years when Pancham departed from the world but still he is alive with his songs on radio and TV. It is impossible to jump radio channels without R.D. Burman‘s hit songs!!