I remember when I was a little kid and I used to love going on one of those slides in the playground at the park. I would climb up to the top and then slide my way down the metal path: βWheeeeee!β, I would yell. In a way, listening to the album of βTeesri Manzilβ is a bit like that experience. Only that slide on the way down lasts a little longer and kicks in more excitement.
With βTeesri Manzilβ, R.D. Burman had truly arrived on the music scene. The hip n happening album brought a new twist to
Shammi Kapoorβs career and allowed him to go crazier than usual with his dancing moves. Producer Nasir Hussain was so pleased with Burmanβs work that he adopted him as his regular MD for the films that he directed. Their team spawned many hit albums, βCaravanβ, βHum Kisise Kum Nahinβ and βZamane Ko Dikhana Haiβ just to name a few.
At the time, the popular trend of rock songs was still continuing from the late β50s. What Burman did was take the element of rock and experiment more with the western sound. Poet Majrooh Sultanpuriβs words add spice to the jazzy proceedings.
The electricity between Mohammad Rafi and Asha Bhosle in βO Haseena Zulfon Wali Jaan E Jahaanβ is equaled by the exuberant dancing between Shammi and Helen in the unforgettable picturization. The two great dancers match each other step for step making for great entertainment. Ashaβs entrance into the song is enticing. βWoh anjaana dhoondti hoon, Woh deewana dhoondti hoon, Jalaakar jo chup gaya hai, Woh parwana dhoondti hoon!β And she is brilliant when the music quickens pace and she sings: βMain bhi hoon galiyon ki parchai, Kabhi yahan kabhi wahan, Shaam hi se kuch ho jaata hai, Mera bhi jaadu jawaan!β
Both the singers continue the infectious adrenaline driven mood in βAaja Aaja Main Hoon Pyar Teraβ. The riveting music will drive you to shake your booty and the jazzy intro interspersed with drum-beats is excellent. I adore the way the voices shake as they repeat the word aaja. Refrains of βA-ha-aaja, a-ha-aajaβ are blended with the sound of a trombone for maximum foot-tapping effect.
βDekhiye Saahibo Woh Koi Aur Thiβ is perhaps the least famous song in this classic album. The other numbers tend to get more attention. I have no idea why that is as this song is delightful fun. I like the undercurrent of humor that runs through this tangy number. Rafi and Asha lead the wild party.
My personal favorite in this delicious box of chocolates is βDeewana Mujhsa Nahin Is Amber Ke Neecheβ. The boisterous and zestful ambience that is found in the aforementioned songs is toned down here. Rafiβs display of enthusiastic vocal strength is music to the ears.
Waitβ¦ There is an even slower song in the form of another Rafi solo, βTumne Mujhe Dekha Ho Kar Meherbaanβ. Donβt let the intro fool you otherwise. Burman often created intro pieces that contradicted the actual compositions themselves. For example, when I first listened to the beginning of another famous Rafi-Asha duet, βYeh Ladka Haye Allahβ (βHum Kisise Kum Nahinβ), I was sure it was going to be some weird disco track. In βTumne Mujheβ¦β, the fast mood and the party music disappears altogether (after the intro anyway) and this song reaches us on a higher emotional plane. With the sentimental punch added, Majrooh outdid himself with moving lines like: βO kahin dard ke sehra main, Rukte chalte hote, In hothon ki hasrat main, Tapte jalte hote, Meherbaan hogayi zulf ki badliyanβ¦ Jaan-e-man, Jaan-e-jaanβ. Rafiβs rendition is heart-warming.
Asha does not have a solo track but βO Mere Sona Reβ is often recognized as her song (Rafi only sings a few lines). Her voice is a gorgeous blend of the sensuous and emotional. Most of the other music directors at that time probably would have requested Lata Mangeshkar to sing this number. The previous songs mentioned were always typically assigned for Asha to sing anyway. They are saucy and speedy. βO Mere Sona Reβ is a different type of song as it is about the heroine admitting her mistake and asking for forgiveness from her hero. The music composer chose Asha to sing this and he went on to compose many other non-vampy songs for her. βO Saathi Chalβ (βSeeta Aur Geetaβ), βChura Liya Hai Tumne Jo Dil Koβ (βYaadon Ki Baaraatβ), βTu Tu Hai Wohiβ¦β (βYeh Vaada Rahaβ) and βAap Ho Paas To Din Dhaleβ (βRatan Deepβ) come to mind.
A superb soundtrack, βTeesri Manzilβ has everyone from the singers to the music composer to the lyricist on winning form. A winning album, indeed!