Silver Chips Online

Bollywood beats

Bringing you the best Indian hits

By Priyanka Gokhale, Online Editor-in-Chief, Poorva Singal, Online News Editor and Op/Ed Editor and Rachita Sood, Online Editor-in-Chief
March 28, 2007
Hey Bollywood fans (and soon-to-be Bollywood fans) – we're back. Yes, your SCO "Bollywood experts" are here once again to choose the best of Indian entertainment. We gave you our list of "must-sees," now here is our list of "must-listens."

Hardly any Bollywood movie is complete without its series of song-and-dance numbers. Like English songs, Indian songs – which are sung in Hindi – range from the classically grounded to catchy pop to techno-based fusions, with everything in between.

Don't know Hindi? You can still listen to these songs – which generally range from five to seven minutes – and imagine dancing with your lover in the Alps and running hand-in-hand through open fields, just like the actors and actresses in Bollywood movies. Chances are, you'll start dancing to the beat of the music without caring much about the meaning of the words. Do not worry about not being able to understand a word of any of these tracks – plenty of the listed songs are sprinkled with English phrases, because that adds to a song's "coolness" factor.

To listen to these songs, check out this website to search for the movie albums or go to YouTube to look up individual songs and the music videos.


Album/Movie Name: Bluffmaster
Year Released: 2005

Top Tracks:
1. Right Here Right Now
The song's title should be easy to understand, like many of the other lines in the song – about half of them are in English. Featuring the voice of Abhishek Bachan, the movie's star, the song offers a steady, fresh beat that will get you nodding your head to the rhythm. If you like this one, be sure to check out its "Hip Hop Mix."
2. Bure Bure
"Bure Bure" is a song even we hardly understand – it isn't in Hindi or English save for a couple of lines that translate roughly to "protect yourself from me." Sung in Persian, the track offers a fresh variety to Indian music along with a beat that you cannot resist tapping your foot to.
3. Say Na Say Na
Don't skip this song after listening to the first few seconds! We promise that the strange voice in the beginning only lasts a few moments and that the song becomes normal and fun to listen to. A few English phrases are thrown in here and there, for instance, Arash, the singer, yells, "all you desi [Indian] boys in the house, just put your hands up and join the crowd."


Album/Movie Name: Devdas
Year Released: 2002

Top Tracks:
1. Dola re Dola
"Dola re Dola" is may be one of the most danced to Hindi song of this generation, so if you're Indian, you are probably tired of it by now. But the song's popularity is not baseless – it has a very "danceable" beat, with a touch of old Bollywood class.
2. Maar Dala
More classical than most Bollywood songs of today, "Maar Dala" was made popular by the actress Madhuri Dixit's stunning dance accompanying it. "Maar Dala" translates to "killed me," as the girl sings a love song about how her happiness has "killed" her.
3. Chalak Chalak
In the movie, two drunken friends are shown singing to "Chalak Chalak" just having a good time. The song goes to show that Bollywood songs can be good listens without the contemporary English. The track is based entirely in classical Indian music with natural Indian beats you want to dance along with.


Album/Movie Name: Dhoom
Year Released: 2004

Top Tracks:
1. Dhoom Machale
"Dhoom Machale" – the title song in "Dhoom" – is a percussion-based track that is a feature at every Indian dance party. The song encourages listeners to "get up and party" and "paint the town red." The insertion of some awkward English phrases, like "dance with me, dance with me, this is my philosophy," might not appeal to Hindi song "purists," but the fast, exciting tempo makes up for any lapses in lyrical monolingualism.
2. Dilbara
"Dilbara" is main character Ali's pathetic but cute attempt to woo the girl of his dreams while on a nighttime stake-out. Though non-Hindi speakers won't be able to understand Ali as he tries to prove himself a worthwhile suitor, the plinking beat and sweet melody will appeal to lovers of smooth jazz and R&B artists.
3. Salaame Salaame
It's New Year's Eve, the dance floor is hot and everyone's had a little too much to drink – the perfect set-up for a song! "Salaame Salaame" is an upbeat hit with the words "Salaame, Salaame" repeated over and over – it won't have you guessing at its meaning, but will bring you to your feet!


Album/Movie Name: Dil to Pagal Hai
Year Released: 1997

Top Tracks:
1. Mujhko Huyi Na Kabar (Le Gayi)
"Mujhko Huyi Na Kabar," better known as "Le Gayi," is the story of how a girl gets her heart stolen. It showcases the wide range of aging but talented singer Asha Bhosle by pairing it with a subtle westernized, that is, borrowed from an English song, background. This song kick-started a "revolution" in Hindi music; the songs were once more ethnic but are now techno-charged like remixes of English songs.
2. Koi Ladki Hai
Every Hindi movie worth its salt has a song featuring the main characters singing in the rain, and "Dil to Pagal Hai" is no exception. "Koi Ladki Hai" is a boys-versus-girls song in which the two main characters – accompanied by a group of kids – make fun of each other while getting drenched by the rain. For a lack of a better word, this song is "cute," due mainly to the fact that the kids join in on the singing.
3. Dance of Envy
The "Dance of Envy" is the marriage of a slow jam and a techno track. Entirely musical, the song brings in variety of instruments including the sitar, a staple in many classical Indian songs. The fusion of fast and slow and new and old may not appeal to all, but, at 3 minutes and 20 seconds, it is half as long as most Indian songs and certainly deserves a listen.


Album/Movie Name: Hum Tum
Year Released: 2004

Top Tracks:
1. Ladki Kyon
"Ladki Kyon" is a poppy, upbeat song that reflects the main characters' bewilderment with the opposite sex. While he muses about girls' obsessions with minute details, she complains about how fickle boys are. The effect is funnier if you know Hindi, but listening to the pair sing and squabble is amusing no matter what language you speak.
2. Chak de
The melodious sounds of a guitar and a flute merge in the cheery song "Chak de." The track shows off the incredible voice of popular Indian singer Sonu Nigam as a soft, plinking beat.
3. Hum Tum
"Hum Tum"'s title song "Hum Tum" is a love song whose meaning – "let me and you become one" – is conveyed via the soft melody and romantic instrumentals. Most Hindi movies have at least one song that listeners usually ignore, but it would be unwise to pass up the sweet sounds of "Hum Tum."


Album/Movie Name: Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham
Year Released: 2001
Top Tracks:
1. You Are My Sonia
If you are told that "Sonia" means "love," you will be able to figure out what the title of the song means. Whether the random insertions of this "Hinglish" – Hindi mixed with English – phrase make the song cool or corny is for you to decide, but this song will get you trying some Bollywood dance moves for yourself.
2. Bole Chudiyaan
At this part of the movie, character Pooja has to admit in front of her family that she has fallen in love with male lead Rohan. In a Hindi movie, what better way to do so than with a song? "Bole Chudiyaan" is another song danced to way too many times but still remains popular and is surely worth at least one listen.
3. Suraj Hua Madham
There are plenty of other quality songs in the movie, but "Suraj Hua Madham" adds something new to the movie's soundtrack as it has a slower paced beat that is soothing and relaxing.


Album/Movie Name: Lagaan
Year Released: 2001

Top Tracks:
1. Ghanan Ghanan
Like those in "Devdas," all of the songs in Lagaan stray away from the synthesized beats that current Bollywood music producers obsess about. "Ghanan Ghanan" proves that old is gold. The song features several excellent voices singing for the many villagers in a drought stricken village as they pray for rain.
2. Mitwa
"Mitwa," like "Ghanan Ghanan" uses traditional instruments to create soaring crescendos and light melodies. Bhuvan, a villager, sings this song in the movie "Lagaan," trying to convince the other villagers to join him in taking on a bet against the British rulers of the province.
3. Chale Chalo
In this song, the villagers sing about their preparations for their upcoming cricket match against the British rulers. Intense and melodious, the track captures the determined feel that engulfs the village prior to the match.


Album/Movie Name: Salaam Namaste
Year Released: 2005

Top Tracks:
1. My Dil Goes Mmmm
"My Dil Goes Mmmm" captures the feelings of two young lovers who have found their passion for each other. The passion in the "dils" – hearts – of the couple is conveyed through the happy melody and the chemistry in the voices of the two singers, Shaan and Gayatri Iyer. This fun, cheesy song captures the essence of the music in the Hindi movie, "Salaam Namaste."
2. Salaam Namaste
Some Hindi songs have a dance move associated with them. Over time, this dance move becomes so well-known that any time the song is played, everyone gets up and does the motion. "Salaam Namaste" is one of these songs. To do the move, simply place your right hand on your heart and stick your left arm up, and whenever the words "Salaam Namaste" come up, move your hands back and forth. Or, if you don't feel like getting that into the music, you can just listen to this poppy, catchy hit that has everyone's arms…flailing.
3. Tu Jahaan
"Tu Jahaan" is a classically melancholy "break-up" song that puts the thoughts of two ex-lovers into music. While it isn't exactly the happiest Hindi song you could listen to, it is certainly a pretty, melodic composition perfect for some easy listening.


Album/Movie Name: Taal
Year Released: 1999

Top Tracks:
1. Ramta Jogi
The swaying beat and slurred voice in this song put the listener in the shoes of the disheveled Romeo who sings it in the movie. While the lyrics lack profound meaning, the music and feel are extremely catchy.
2. Taal se taal
The title song of the movie, "Taal se taal" is light love song about how two strangers meet one day in the hills. For a groovier and dancier version, look to the "Western version" with its varied percussion beats.
3. Ishq Bina
A melodious female voice sings over the light rustle of tambourines about life without love in this song. Luckily, the singer stays far away from the depressed wailing found in some Hindi songs. The track is interspersed with lively musical interludes and a hard hitting percussion cut that adds emotion to the singing.


Album/Movie Name: Yaadein
Year Released: 2001

Top Tracks:
1. Chamakti Shaam Hai
A dance number, this song's beat drives its catchy vocals and brings it on the border of bhangra – a genre of Indian dance music. Nevertheless, the track is sure to get any listener out of their seats and dancing. The lyrics are about love, but don't really matter.
2. Jub Dil Miley
This track chronicles the love between two friends who ultimately have to fight their parents to get married (big surprise). Although it has its share of cheesy interludes, the song is backed by a marching band beat that will get any listener moving in no time.
3. Yaadein
The title song to this movie is mellow and slow, but the lyrics have meaning. The song talks about the longstanding nature of memories in a life where actions are ephemeral. While not a high energy track, it is still worth a listen.

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