Laxmikant-Pyarelal Biography, Music, Family, Net Worth, Awards And More!
Laxmikant–Pyarelal were a popular Indian composer duo, consisting of Laxmikant Shantaram Kudalkar (1937–1998) and Pyarelal Ramprasad Sharma (born 1940). They composed music for about 635 Hindi movies from 1963 to 1998, working for almost all notable filmmakers, including Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, B.R. Chopra, Shakti Samanta, Manmohan Desai, Yash Chopra, Subhash Ghai and Manoj Kumar.
Laxmikant–Pyarelal’s Early Life
Pyarelal Ramprasad Sharma (born 3 September 1940) was the son of a renowned trumpeter Pandit Ramprasad Sharma (popularly known as Babaji), who taught him the basics of music. He started learning
violin at the age of 8 and practised it 8 to 12 hours daily. He learnt to play violin from a Goan musician named Anthony Gonsalves.
The song “My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves” from the movie Amar Akbar Anthony is regarded as a tribute to Mr. Gonsalves (the movie had music by Laxmikant–Pyarelallal). By the age of 12, his family’s financial condition had deteriorated, which in turn forced him to earn money by playing in studios. Pyarelal then used to frequent and play the violin in studios such as Ranjit Studios, to earn money for his family.
Laxmikant–Pyarelal’s Formation of Composer Duo
When Laxmikant was about 10 years old, he once played mandolin in a Lata Mangeshkar concert in Radio Club, Colaba. Lata was so impressed that she talked to him after the concert.
Laxmikant and Pyarelal met at Sureel Kala Kendra, a music academy for children, run by the Mangeshkar family. After she came to know about their financially poor backgrounds, Lata recommended their names to music directors like Naushad, Sachin Dev Burman and C. Ramchandra. Similar financial backgrounds and age made Laxmikant and Pyarelal very good friends. They used to spend long hours at the recording studios, sometimes getting work for each other and even playing together whenever they got the opportunity.
Pyarelal often used to frequent the Bombay Chamber Orchestra and the Paranjoti Academy, where he would perfect his skills in the company of Goody Seervai, Coomi Wadia, Mehli Mehta and his son, Zubin Mehta. Laxmikant–Pyarelal were not content with the payments being made to them for their music, so they decided to go to Madras (now Chennai).
But, it was the same story there. So, they returned. Once Pyarelal decided to leave India and go to Vienna to play for symphony orchestras, just like Zubin. However, he stayed back at Laxmikant’s insistence. Some of Laxmikant–Pyarelal’s colleagues at this time included Pandit Shivkumar Sharma (Santoor) and Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia (flute).
Later, Shivkumar and Hariprasad also ventured into Hindi Cinema as Shiv-Hari. Laxmikant–Pyarelal worked with almost all reputed music directors (with the exception of O. P. Nayyar and Shankar-Jaikishan) of the 1950s. In 1953, they became assistants to Kalyanji-Anandji and worked with them as assistants till 1963. They worked as music arrangers for many music directors including Sachin Dev Burman (in Ziddi) and also for his son Rahul Dev Burman (in his first film Chhote Nawab).
Laxmikant–Pyarelal and R D Burman remained very good friends, even when Laxmikant–Pyarelal started giving music independently. R D Burman played mouth organ for all songs of Dosti. Laxmikant once made a guest appearance playing the role of himself as a composer of the Song “Dil Ki Baat” in Teri Kasam (1982), which had music by R D Burman.
Laxmikant–Pyarelal’s Music Career
In their early days, Laxmikant–Pyarelal’s music was very similar to Shankar-Jaikishan’s music, as Laxmikant was a great fan of theirs. Once Shankar even changed his orchestration to make sure that his music did not sound like Laxmikant–Pyarelal’s. Laxmikant–Pyarelal’s first film as music directors was not released. The first released movie which featured them as music directors was Babubhai Mistry’s Parasmani (1963), which was a costume drama. All the songs of the film became immensely popular, esp. “Hasata Hua Nurani Chehara”, “Wo Jab Yaad Aaye” and “Mere Dil Main Halki Si”.
Throughout their tenure as music directors, Laxmikant–Pyarelal only used A-grade singers. Their mentors, Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi, agreed to sing for them in spite of low budgets, and Laxmikant–Pyarelal always remained indebted to them. In fact, all three, Mohammad Rafi, Asha Bhosle and Lata have sung the highest number of songs in their career for Laxmikant–Pyarelal. They continued to give patronage to Mohammed Rafi, sometimes against filmmakers’ wishes. They had a great rapport with Kishore Kumar as well. Kishore Kumar sang the most songs (402) for L-P among all male singers, followed by Rafi (about 365 songs).
Laxmikant–Pyarelal hit the big time with Rajshri Productions’ 1964 film Dosti. The film had two newcomer heroes who never became popular, and the film was a success due to its music. Songs like “Chahoonga main tujhe shaam savere” and “Rahi manava” became very popular. At that time, many used to think that there was a single person by the name of Laxmikant Pyarelal.
Laxmikant–Pyarelal won their first Filmfare Best Music Director Award for the movie, ahead of stalwarts like Shankar-Jaikishan (for Sangam) and Madan Mohan (for Woh Kaun Thi?). Then came Lootera, a superhit musical non-star cast film, which is remembered only because of Lata Manageshkar’s superhit songs with Laxmikant–Pyarelal.
L-P had a great collaboration with Asha Bhonsle. Their most favourite singer was Asha, for whom they composed 485 songs. She has sung many hits under their baton. “Dhal Gaya Din” (with Rafi) in Humjoli (1970) became a superhit. “Roz Roz Rozy” from Khilona (1970), “Bane Bade Raja” from Abhinetri (1970), “Hungama Ho Gaya” and “Balma Hamar Motorcar Leke Aayo” from Anhonee (1974), “Aye Mere Nanhe Gulfam” from Jagriti (1977), “Aaiye Shauk Se Kahiye” from Parvarish (1977), “Teri Rab Ne” from Suhaag (1979), “Ek Hasina Thi” from Karz (1980), “Are Bhaago Are Dauro” from Bandish (1980), “Man Kyun Behka Re” from Utsav (1985), “Balram Ne Bahut Samjhaya” from Ram Balram (1990) etc. They recorded the second most songs with Asha Bhosle. In the years 1980-1986, most of their songs would be sung by Asha only.
“Hungama Ho Gaya” from Anhonee was a chartbuster and Asha was nominated for Filmfare Award in 1974. The song was later re-recorded for the 2014 film Queen, with additional voice by Arijit Singh, it again hit the top charts and became a superhit. “Man Kyun Behka Re” with Lata was also a hit and several blockbusters by L-P had Asha as lead voice in films such as Suhaag, Vakil Babu, Dostana, Adha Din Adhi Raat, Loha and Anhonee etc. to name a few.
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In 1966 L-P started cementing their place in Hindi film music. LP’s first musical hit film, with a big star cast, Aaye Din Bahar Ke was released, followed by Pyar Kiye Jaa. Even in films with lesser-known actors, L-P scored hit music: in Sati Sawitri (Songs:”Tum Gagan Ke Chandram Ho”, “Jeevan Dor Tumhi Sang Bandhi”, “Kabhi To Miloge”); in Sant Gyaneshwar (Songs: “Jyot Se Jyot Jagate Chalo”, “Khabar More Na Line”); in Hum Sab Ustaad Hai (Songs: “Pyar Batate Chalo”, “Ajanabi Tum Jane Pehachane Se”); in Mr. X in Bombay (Songs: “Mere Mehaboob Quayamat Hogi”, “Chali Re Chali Re Gori”, “Khoobsurat Haseena”); and in Shriman Fantush..(Songs: “Sultana Sultana Tu Na Ghabarana”, “Yeh Dard Bhara Afasana”).
In 1967, L-P consolidated their position in the Hindi film industry with a series of hits, one after another. Non star cast film Farz was L-P’s first golden jubilee musical hit, followed by big star cast films such as Anita, Shagird, yet another Golden Jubilee hit, Patthar Ke Sanam, Night in London, Jaal and another evergreen musical hit Milan. L-P received their second Filmfare Trophy for Milan without any stiff competition.
The rise of Laxmikant–Pyarelal, Rahul Dev Burman, and Kalyanji-Anandji marked the end of an old era of Bollywood music, which belonged to Shankar-Jaikishan, Sachin Dev Burman, Naushad (Mausicar-e-azam), C. Ramchandra, Khayyam, Madan Mohan, O. P. Nayyar, Roshan and others.
Big film producing names, such as Prasad Productions, Rajshri Productions, J. Om Prakash, Raj Khosla, Manoj Kumar, Ramanand Sagar, Madan Mohla, Mohan Sahagal, V.Shantaram, Raj Kapoor, Yash Chopra, Manmohan Desai, Subhash Ghai and many more, started replacing their regular music directors and preferred Laxmikant–Pyarelal on a regular basis, and in return L-P have given outstanding music to justify the replacement among the big names.
The team of Laxmikant–Pyarelal and lyricist Anand Bakshi churned out some of the most popular songs in Hindi Cinemas history. The combo composed songs for more than 250 movies. Anand Bakshi was the lyricist who wrote the maximum number of texts Laxmikant–Pyarelal gave music to. He was actually the lyricist for all the films for which Laxmikant–Pyarelal won Filmfare Awards, except their very first award.
Laxmikant–Pyarelal’s Style of Music
Laxmikant–Pyarelal composed Indian classical music as well as Western music. But they were most popular for their folk tunes and semi-classical music. In Shagird, they created Rock-n-Roll-style foot-tapping melodies. The film Karz is worth specially mentioning here where L-P successfully gave disco-like music, in this film they had experimented with a Ghazal, “Dard-e-dil Dard-e- jigar” by westernising it.
The song is strongly remembered even now, and the duo received the Filmfare Best Music Director Award for the year. Although its tune “Ek Hasina Thi” is a blatant lift from George Benson’s “We as love” (1977), which was played by Gorakh Sharma, who worked with the duo on many songs.
Although not as a rule, Laxmikant mostly looked after vocals and Pyarelal used to take care of orchestration. Both had vast knowledge of various music genres, musical instruments and orchestra management.
Laxmikant–Pyarelal On Binaca Geet Mala
LP dominated the Weekly Hindi Film songs Countdown programme Binaca Geet Mala, the most popular musical radio programme of its time. Its first broadcast was in 1953 by Radio Ceylon and its host was the Ameen Sayani. The Binaca Geet Mala ranked the most popular Bollywood film songs according to sales in select shops in select cities.
In the third quarter of 1963, L-P’s first ever song “Hasta Hua Nurani Chehara” from Parasmani hit the “Binaca Geet Mala”. After that, L-P’s songs were regularly and prominently aired on “Binaca Geet Mala”. There used to be sixteen songs in each of the weekly “Binaca Geet Mala” programme, more than half the numbers of the songs were of L-P.
There are certain weekly Binaca Geet Mala programmes in which more than 13 out of 16 songs of LP were broadcast when LP were right on top of their career. BGM used to broadcast annual (Vasrshik) programme giving the orders of the top 32 songs of every year. In this programme also, L-P had the upper hand. Not only that, on average, there used to be at least 15 songs from L-P, also about 50% of the songs between top to tenth position. The Binaca Geet Mala records show that Laxmikant–Pyarelal have completely dominated this musical programme.
After Laxmikant’s Death
After Laxmikant’s death, Pyarelal has done some work independently. When the playback singer Kumar Sanu turned music director, he approached Pyarelal to arrange music for him. Pyarelal was approached to assist in the music of Farah Khan’s Om Shanti Om song “Dhoom Tana”. In 2009 Pyarelal won the Sachin Dev Burman International Award for Creative Sound and Music at the Pune Film Festival. Pyarelal has done a show with Kakas Entertainment called Maestros: A musical Journey of Laxmikant–Pyarelal.
After Laxmikant–Pyarelal made their debut as a music director duo in 1963, they were nominated for the Filmfare Awards (Best Music Director) almost every year. Many times, they were nominated for three or more films in a particular year. At the same time L-P narrowly missed the awards for musical hits like Aaye Din Bahar Ke, Intaqam, Do Raaste, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Shor, Daag, Bobby, Ek Duuje Ke Liye, Utsav, Sur Sangam, Farz, Shagird, Tezaab, Hero and Mr. India.
Laxmikant–Pyarelal have won seven Filmfare Awards.
Laxmikant–Pyarelal’s Filmfare Award for Best Music Director – Won
- 1965 Dosti
- 1968 Milan
- 1970 Jeene Ki Raah
- 1978 Amar Akbar Anthony
- 1979 Satyam Shivam Sundaram
- 1980 Sargam
- 1981 Karz
Laxmikant–Pyarelal’s Filmfare Award for Best Music Director – Nominated
- 1971 Do Raaste
- 1973 Shor
- 1974 Bobby
- 1974 Daag: A Poem of Love
- 1975 Roti Kapda Aur Makaan
- 1976 Dulhan
- 1980 Jaani Dushman
- 1981 Aasha
- 1982 Ek Duuje Ke Liye
- 1983 Prem Rog
- 1984 Hero
- 1986 Meri Jung
- 1986 Pyaar Jhukta Nahin
- 1986 Sur Sangam
- 1989 Tezaab
- 1990 Ram Lakhan
- 1992 Saudagar
- 1994 Khalnayak
Bobby has been rated the 17th best soundtrack ever by Planet Bollywood on their “100 Greatest Bollywood Soundtracks”. Other soundtracks in the list include Amar Akbar Anthony (25), Roti Kapada Aur Makaan (27), Dosti (32), Hero (36), Ek Duuje Ke Liye (44), Karz (50), Ram Lakhan (59), Kranti (61), Tezaab (65), Do Raaste (74), Milan (75), Khalnayak (77) and Prem Rog (85).