By: Omair Alavi
Those born after the 1970s remember him as the man with the most memorable songs; people who grew up in his era call him the first Super Star of Bollywood. His name was Rajesh Khanna and he left his fans, friends and family 5 years back on this day, but left a legacy of songs that would be hard to match. Let’s listen to 15 of the best solo songs filmed on him (duets were too hard to pick) and remember his through the melodies created for him!
Aradhna – Mere Sapno Ki Rani
The song that heralded the careers of Rajesh Khanna and Kishore Kumar (the playback singer); Rajesh Khanna’s actions went onto become popular making him undefeated at the box office for the next 3 years.
Aradhna – Roop Tera Mastana
Bollywood’s boldest song of the 60s required extra effort from the actors as well as the vocalist who gave their best performance in this sizzling number. Although the song is credited to S D Burman, it has shades of R D’s touch since he was the one who completed the soundtrack when his father fell ill.
The Train – Gulabi Aankhen
And here is Mohammad Rafi with his biggest hit on Rajesh Khanna, also composed by R D Burman. The song is still popular even after 45 years which is a testament to its evergreen status.
Safar – Zindagi Ka Safar
Rajesh Khanna was not only just a romantic hero but was a master when it came to tragedy; it was said that when he died in a film, people came out crying. This Kalyanji-Anandji song is one of the best numbers filmed on the veteran actor and was played repeatedly on his demise.
Kati Patang – Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai
People who termed Aradhna a fluke were in for a surprise as Shakti Samanta reunited with R D Burman, Kishore Kumar and Rajesh Khanna to bring one of the most soulful soundtracks of the 70s. This song is played repeatedly even after so long because it remains fresh due to its lyrics and Kishore Kumar’s genius.
Kati Patang – Pyar Deewana Hota Hai
Same film, different kind of a song. Rajesh Khanna sizzles in this number that can be termed as one of the finest of his career. His pairing with a much senior Asha Parekh also didn’t look odd as they complimented each other.
Anand – Kahin Door Jab
Mukesh didn’t sing much for Rajkesh Khanna but when the legendary singer did – as in Anand – the result was magical.
Andaz – Zindagi Ik Safar Hai Suhana
The first song that comes to mind when one mentions Rajesh Khanna is this hit number from Andaz where Kaka was a guest actor who dazzled while riding a bike with a beautiful Hema Malini as his co-passenger.
Amar Prem – Kuch To Log Kahenge
The Aradhna gang was back and this time, they excelled in slow, sorrow number such as this classic which has lyrics that have survived generations.
Amar Prem – Chingari Koi Bhadke
When Rajesh Khanna went to Calcutta to shoot this song under the Howrah Bridge, people gathered to get a glimpse of their favourite actor. This soulful number had to be shot in the studio back in Bombay and that’s one of the reason why the actors gave a commanding performance.
Mere Jeevan Saathi – Chala Jata Hoon
This film was Rajesh Khanna’s first flop in 3 years but even then, it had a soundtrack to die for. This song features the best yodeling from Kishore Kumar and is regarded as one of the best songs filmed on Rajesh Khanna.
Ajnabee – Ek Ajnabee Haseena Se
This number continues to entertain listeners because of its novel lyrics where Kaka is addressing the girl in front of him, without addressing the girl in front of him!
Anurodh – Aatay Jatay Khoobsurat
After Amitabj Bachchan dethroned Rajesh Khanna in the mid-70s as the reigning superstar, Kaka was desperate for a hit. Even then, he kept delivering songs that were better than any of his counterparts’ including this number.
Kudrat – Hamain Tumse Pyar Kitna
Kaka may not have been a force to reckon with in the 80s but the quality of songs filmed on him didn’t deteriorate. This R D Burman classic remains as haunting as it was in the 80s!
Souten – Shayad Meri Shadi Ka Khayal
Well into his 40s, Rajesh Khanna continued to woo girls with this Souten song being one such number.
Story first published: 18th July 2017