Movie Details of Woh Kaun Thi
Music: Madan Mohan
Lyrics: Raja Mehdi Ali Khan
Label: Saregama HMV
Director: Raj Khosla
Director Raj Khosla's three-and-a-half-decade long film career covered a wide range of genres, with much success. It is said that his original objective was to make it as a playback singer; while that never happened, he did give Bollywood a lot of great songs via various composers and lyricists. The mystery thriller Woh Kaun Thi was the first time Khosla teamed up with composer Madan Mohan. The success of the movie, that owed a lot to the soundtrack, led Khosla to make two more movies in the genre, and to work with Madan Mohan in two more movies (one that was part of this trilogy, one the 1969 film Chirag), all of which contained some beautiful tunes. Woh Kaun Thi was the best of the lot though – Madan Mohan paired up with the lyricist who had been part of his songs right from his debut movie, Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, to produce a soundtrack that is best known for the composer's characteristic melodic pieces. While the composer had the likes of Asha Bhonsle, Mohammed Rafi and Mahendra Kapoor delivering some splendid songs, the album's most timeless compositions went to Lata Mangeshkar.
Best Song of Woh Kaun Thi: It was always going to be a toss-up between the two Lata songs for me – Lag Jaa Gale and Naina Barse Rimjhim both of which score incredibly high on both musical and lyrical quality, I have a slightly increased liking towards Lag Jaa Gale though – Mehdi Ali Khan's lines about treasuring moments of togetherness, treated with a matching level of tenderness by both Madan Mohan and Lata: perfect combination.
On a related note: Woh Kaun Thi's success prompted remakes in Tamil (Yaar Nee) and Telugu (Aame Evaru), both starring J Jayalalithaa. While the songs essentially reused all of Madan Mohan's tunes, the composing credits were given to Vedha instead. Lata's songs were all sung by P Susheela in both languages, while Asha's were given to L R Eshwari.
The Woh Kaun Thi Playlist:
Listen to the entire album of Woh Kaun Thi? here:
(With contributions by Praveen VR, co-founder of musicaloud.com)