I have been a movie buff and music buff since my childhood. I grew up in 80’s and 90’s and have keenly followed Hindi film music since then. I was fortunate to see the rise of A.R. Rahman right from beginning. However, I also love the 80’s and 90’s songs before or around the emergence of Rahman.
There were 4 prominent singers back then – Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Udit Narayan and Kumar Sanu – who ruled the Hindi playback singing. Then there were 4 other prominent singers – Anuradha Paudwal, Sadhana Sargam, S P Balsubramaniam and Hariharan. Sonu Nigam, Abhijit, Shreya Ghoshal, Sunidhi Chauhan happened much later – starting late 90’s and early 2000’s. The evergreen singers Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Suresh Wadkar etc. had slowed down since late 80’s.
However there were three other singers who were very underrated and haven’t got their dues – Mohd Aziz, Manhar Udas and Amit Kumar.
Mohd. Aziz mostly got B-grade Hindi movies which had very melodious songs. However since the movies mostly flopped, he didn’t get the credit he deserved. Manhar Udas also sang many popular songs in early 80’s and became voice of Jackie Shroff. However he also couldn’t become the mainstream singer. Amit Kumar, on the other hand, became hugely successful early on, even when his legendary father Kishore Kumar was around and very active. In fact he was the voice of Anil Kapoor for a while, when Anil was at the top. However, he slowly faded into oblivion after arrival of Udit Narayan and Kumar Sanu – partly because of his tantrums, bad work discipline and lack of professionalism.
I used to watch all sorts of movies, including B and C grade movies because in those days all movies would release on video cassettes. In my mom’s native place there used to be video parlours which would show all such movies for a ticket price of 1 rupee! Yes, just 1 rupee. The ice candy would cost Rs. 2 back then. So in the summer vacation I, along with my cousins and friends, would watch 2-3 movies every day!
All those movies prominently features songs sung by Mohd Aziz, and to some extent Amit Kumar and Manhar Udas. So I have a lot of fond memories of these singers and I still cherish those songs a lot – I have created Youtube playlists of those songs. It’s a mix of nostalgia and some real good melodious songs.
If you are a Hindi film music lover and haven’t explored these three singers yet, please check out some of their memorable songs below.
Sonu Nigam’s tribute to Mohd. Aziz
Hits of Amit Kumar
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