As we celebrate the great R.D’s 74th birthday, we realize that the musician’s contribution to Bollywood music is unparalleled. He is an established niche, that generations after strive to achieve. Why is the Pancham magic so infallible even after decades of his demise? The reasons are myriad and personal to each. For me, Pancham’s music gives me solace. I don’t belong to his generation of music, but if I were to choose between Pink Floyd and Pancham, the answer is obvious.

Pancham kickstarted a revolution in India of sorts in terms of melody. While S.D Burman was a man of soft tunes, more rhythm based, his son, Pancham was the man who was bold enough to experiment. Why even after years, his music remains unfazed out is because of its simplicity, its hummable quality!

R.D Burman
R.D Burman

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Contributing to an entirely conspicuous era of Bollywood music, he tried every genre. Known equally well for both his fun tracks and melodious ones, his indomitable versatility is what makes him outstanding. With an unparalleled repertoire of work that is nothing short of genius, I celebrate every significant occasion in my life with a R.D song! There is nothing that gives me greater solace sometimes.

It is so tough to single out one favorite track of his, or even to compile his best tracks. Every song from this maestro is a unique gem by itself. From Masoom‘s Mera Kuch Saaman to Andhi‘s Tere Bina Zindagi Se, for every mood, every feeling, Pancham Da has left for us an unforgettable song.

While a few of his songs evoke strong emotions, it is his overpowering simplicity that makes his music beautiful. The man had it in him to blend two distinct musical influences of the east and the west, yet bowing down respectfully to both cultures with equal zest. It was he, who brought to Bollywood, the hints of International music into mainstream Bollywod. From the Australian folk tunes in Mehbooba from Sholay to the use of Saxophone in Aanewala Pal from Golmaal, he knew how to rightly use jazz, latin based and rock and roll at the correct cues in the music of Hindi cinema.

Before Pancham, the directors followed a monotone route of music. Using mainly the fabric of Hindustani classical, erstwhile music was conservative, though melodious. Sticking strictly to the realms of known, with R.D, a new brand of music was established! Compelling and clever, Burman knew the right measures of chord progression. It was he who introduced guitars into Bollywood music and with that he rendered to our music an intrinsic Beatles-like magical music.

Decades after his death, his music doesn’t fade! There are many reasons for that, the most plain one being, it is impossible to forget a trendsetter or revolutionary. Even today there is an Amit Trivedi giving tribute to R.D’s genre of music with a Lootera!

Also check out our special quiz on R.D Burman. Click here!

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