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: Wheeeeee!, I would yell. In a way, listening to the album of Teesri Manzil is a bit like that experience. Only that slide on the way down lasts a little longer and kicks in more excitement.
With Teesri Manzil, R.D. Burman had truly arrived on the music scene. The hip n happening album brought a new twist to
Shammi Kapoors career and allowed him to go crazier than usual with his dancing moves. Producer Nasir Hussain was so pleased with Burmans work that he adopted him as his regular MD for the films that he directed. Their team spawned many hit albums, Caravan, Hum Kisise Kum Nahin and Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai just to name a few.
At the time, the popular trend of rock songs was still continuing from the late 50s. What Burman did was take the element of rock and experiment more with the western sound. Poet Majrooh Sultanpuris words add spice to the jazzy proceedings.
The electricity between Mohammad Rafi and Asha Bhosle in O Haseena Zulfon Wali Jaan E Jahaan 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. Ashas entrance into the song is enticing. Woh anjaana dhoondti hoon, Woh deewana dhoondti hoon, Jalaakar jo chup gaya hai, Woh parwana dhoondti hoon! And she is brilliant when the music quickens pace and she sings: Main bhi hoon galiyon ki parchai, Kabhi yahan kabhi wahan, Shaam hi se kuch ho jaata hai, Mera bhi jaadu jawaan!
Both the singers continue the infectious adrenaline driven mood in Aaja Aaja Main Hoon Pyar Tera. 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 A-ha-aaja, a-ha-aaja are blended with the sound of a trombone for maximum foot-tapping effect.
Dekhiye Saahibo Woh Koi Aur Thi 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 Deewana Mujhsa Nahin Is Amber Ke Neeche. The boisterous and zestful ambience that is found in the aforementioned songs is toned down here. Rafis display of enthusiastic vocal strength is music to the ears.
Wait There is an even slower song in the form of another Rafi solo, Tumne Mujhe Dekha Ho Kar Meherbaan. Dont 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, Yeh Ladka Haye Allah (Hum Kisise Kum Nahin), I was sure it was going to be some weird disco track. In Tumne Mujhe , 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: O kahin dard ke sehra main, Rukte chalte hote, In hothon ki hasrat main, Tapte jalte hote, Meherbaan hogayi zulf ki badliyan Jaan-e-man, Jaan-e-jaan. Rafis rendition is heart-warming.
Asha does not have a solo track but O Mere Sona Re 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. O Mere Sona Re 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. O Saathi Chal (Seeta Aur Geeta), Chura Liya Hai Tumne Jo Dil Ko (Yaadon Ki Baaraat), Tu Tu Hai Wohi (Yeh Vaada Raha) and Aap Ho Paas To Din Dhale (Ratan Deep) come to mind.
A superb soundtrack, Teesri Manzil has everyone from the singers to the music composer to the lyricist on winning form. A winning album, indeed!