If there has been one singer who has made me fall so deeply in love with music with her mellifluous voice, widest range, melancholy pathos, husky intoxication and absolute soulful singing, it has been ASHA BHOSLE all the way. She personifies versatility and perfection in all the music she has created, touched and lived through, enriching the world of music with an astonishing huge collection of breathtaking songs over a huge span in time. I am so much in awe of her that I don’t need a special occasion to remember her songs. I celebrate music by celebrating her every day. She invigorates life to an otherwise mundane living.
Asha tai has given gems in all genres of music with the best of music directors; though SD Burman, OP Nayyar and then RD Burman have possibly contributed the most in making her the versatile genius over the years. I have always personally preferred the pathos of her soulful numbers, her flawless semi classical songs, and her lilting romantic melodies over the conventionally more popular club or cabaret songs that somehow she gets associated with as a genre the most, though no one can render the later with the intoxication of hers.
Here is my very difficult attempt to pick up MY TOP 25 SOLOs of Asha Bhosle – with an attempt not to repeat tracks from a given movie, and cover some range in genre and composers. And I know, I am leaving behind multiple gems, which I absolutely wanted to include. This list may not include a lot of ‘obvious’ top 25s, because she has way too many ‘special’ jewels that no one else is a master of.
In no particular order then (other than the first song which is at the top of every musical list of mine), here is what I would rate as my top 25 Solos of Asha Bhosle. I will fall short of exact sentiments of why I like each of these songs more than the others though there is a very unique quality to each one of these gems, so it is best to leave a link for others to enjoy the treasure:
1. Song: Mera Kuchh Samaan; Movie: Ijaazat; Composer – RD Burman
2. Song: Justjoo jiski thi; Movie: Umrao Jaan; Composer – Khaiyyam
3. Song: Ab ke baras bhejo; Movie: Bandini; Composer – SD Burman
4. Song: Chain se humko kabhi; Movie: Pran jaaye par vachan na jaaye; Composer – OP Nayyar
5. Song: Phir se aaiyo; Movie: Namkeen; Composer – RD Burman
6. Song: Raat akeli hain; Movie: Jewel thief; Composer – SD Burman
7. Song: Naina hain pyase mere; Movie: Aavishkar; Composer – Kanu Roy
8. Song: Jahaan me aisa kaun hain; Movie: Hum dono; Composer – Jaidev
9. Song: Ek hans ka joda; Movie: Lajwanti; Composer – SD Burman
10. Song: Meri berukhi tumne dekhi hain; Movie: Phir wohi dil laya hoon; Composer – OP Nayyar
11. Song: Tumul kolahal kalay mein; Movie: Non-film; Composer – Jaidev
12. Song: Mar dalega dard e jigar; Movie: Pati Patni; Composer – RD Burman
13. Song: Bagh me kali khili; Movie: Chaand aur sooraj; Composer – Salil Choudhury
14. Song: Yehi who jagah hain; Movie: Yeh raat phir na aayegi; Composer – OP Nayyar
15. Song: Yeh saaye hain; Movie: Sitara; Composer – RD Burman
16. Song: Aaiye meherbaan; Movie: Howrah Bridge; Composer – OP Nayyar
17. Song: Bhawra bada nadaan hain; Movie: Sahib bibi aur ghulam; Composer – Hemant Kumar
18. Song: Kali ghata chhaye; Movie: Sujata; Composer – SD Burman
19. Song: Aisa ho to kaisa hoga; Movie: Ratnadeep; Composer – RD Burman
20. Song: Saara din jaage to; Movie: Sitam; Composer – Jagjit Singh
21. Song: Teri meri yaari badi puraani; Movie: Charitraheen; Composer – RD Burman
22. Song: Dhalki jaaye chundariya; Movie: Nau do gyarah; Composer – SD Burman
23. Song: Gumsum kyon hain sanam; Movie: Bhala maanus; Composer – RD Burman
24. Song: Aao huzur tumko; Movie: Kismat; Composer – OP Nayyar
25. Song: Kaise unko paoon Aali; Movie: Non-film; Composer – Jaidev
Will not go over the number as I started with and yet I know so many of the absolute favorites and missed out. I have also been cautious not to include songs like ‘Jhoothe Naina’ where Asha is the primary singer but it is technically still a duet. May be for some time – and may be that will be the time to recall her fascinating bouquet of full duets! Till then – happy soulful listening!