#25 Dil Chahta Hai: Top 100 Bollywood Albums

The 2001 film had music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and lyrics by Javed Akhtar, who created iconic songs like Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe and Dil Chahta Hai. Directed by Farhan Akhtar, Dil Chahta Hai starred Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna and Preity Zinta in lead roles

Movie Details of Dil Chahta Hai 

Music: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy

Lyrics: Javed Akhtar

Label: T-Series

Director: Farhan Akhtar

In the recent movie Chef, leading man Saif Ali Khan makes a brief reference to Dil Chahta Hai at one point. It is a testimony to the 2001 film's cult status that this particular scene was the one that evoked loudest audience response where I was watching it. Apart from becoming the gold standard for urban films in Bollywood, Dil Chahta Hai also marked the true arrival of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy into the film composing scene. The trio's refreshing music, while sticking to the movie's youthful theme, incorporated a lot of world music elements. In addition to SEL's songs, the movie also had a beautiful orchestral theme piece by Australian musician Mike Harvey. Dil Chahta Hai marked the start of a long association for Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, not just with Farhan Akhtar (who debuted with this movie), but with the Akhtar family in general – the composers handled music for Farhan's mother Honey Irani's directorial debut Armaan, and for most of the movies directed by his sister Zoya Akhtar.

Best Song Of Dil Chahta Hai: Few singers have the gift of delivering sad songs to such heart-rending effect as Sonu Nigam does. Shankar Ehsaan Loy have made exceptional use of this skill on more than one occasion, and Tanhayee was one of the most memorable songs born thus. Like with Farhan Akhtar's subsequent movies, Javed Akhtar penned the lyrics for this movie too, and the melancholy in this song situation is incredibly palpable through his words. SEL complement the desolation with their melody and arrangement that sees a beautiful interplay of violins and flute (latter played by the brilliant Naveen Kumar).

On a related note: Though Shankar Ehsaan Loy first worked with Farhan Akhtar for this movie, Shankar Mahadevan's association with the director goes back to 1998. The title song of Shankar's album Breathless (written by Javed Akhtar) came with a music video that was directed by Farhan and Zoya Akhtar. It was this song – which had the singer seemingly on a non-stop rendition of a nearly three-minute-long piece – that launched Shankar Mahadevan to singing stardom.

The Dil Chahta Hai Playlist: 

  1. Dil Chahta Hai (Singers: Shankar Mahadevan)
  2. Jaane Kyon (Singers: Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik)
  3. Woh Ladki Hai Kahan (Singers: Shaan, Kavita Krishnamurthy
  4. Kaisi Hai Yeh Rut (Singer: Srinivas)
  5. Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe (Singers: Shankar Mahadevan, Shaan, KK)
  6. Akash's Love Theme (Music: Mike Harvey)
  7. Tanhayee (Singer: Sonu Nigam)
  8. Dil Chahta Hai (Reprise) (Singers: Shankar Mahadevan)
  9. Rocking Goa (Instrumental)

Listen to the entire album of Dil Chahta Hai here:

(With contributions by Praveen VR, co-founder of musicaloud.com)

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