#27 Umrao Jaan: Top 100 Bollywood Albums

The 1982 film had music by Khayyam and lyrics by Shahryr who together created iconic melodies like Dil Cheez Kya Hai and In Aankhon Ki Masti. Umrao Jaan was directed by Muzaffar Ali and started Rekha, Farooq Shaikh and Naseeruddin Shah

Movie Details of Umrao Jaan:

Music: Khayyam

Lyrics: Shahryr

Label: Saregama Music 

Director: Muzaffar Ali 

Director Muzaffar Ali has just five movies to his name, but two of those films have together picked up four national awards in the music category. Two among them happened in the 1978 movie Gaman (which already appeared in this list), Umrao Jaan was the other. Like the former, Umrao Jaan too was to have music by Jaidev, but when differences arose between the composer and the director, Khayyam took over the role. And to bring the famed courtesan's poetry to life, Ali enlisted the services of lyricist Shahryar who had given him two beauties in Gaman. The man produced some stellar work here too, and Khayyam added his bit of magic with a soundscape rich in classical and folk elements. The soundtrack is of course, most famous for Asha Bhonsle's memorable renditions, one of which won her her first national award. Another musician who was employed brilliantly throughout the soundtrack was sarangi maestro Ustad Sultan Khan.

Best Song Of Umrao Jaan: This is another album where multiple songs are equal contenders for the top spot (Yeh Kya Jagah Hai Doston is one that caused a lot of conflict in my head!), but I will go with the one which won Asha Bhonsle her award – Dil Cheez Kya Hai. While the singing is spotless, you can also hear Sultan Khan's brilliance shine through right from the prelude. And then there is Rekha, in all her radiance and grace, immortalising Umrao Jaan on screen.

The Umrao Jaan Playlist: 

  1. Dil Cheez Kya Hai (Singer: Asha Bhosle)
  2. In Aankhon Ki Masti (Singer: Asha Bhosle)
  3. Jab Bhai Milti Hai (Singer: Asha Bhosle)
  4. Jhoola Kinne Dala (Singers: Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan, Shahida Khan and Nizami) 
  5. Justuju Jiski Thi (Singer: Asha Bhosle) 
  6. Kahe Ko Byahi Bides (lyrics: Amir Khusrow) (Singer: Jagjit Kaur)
  7. Raagmala (Singers: Mustafa Khan, Runa Prasad and Shahida Khan)
  8. Yeh Kya Jagah Hai Doston (Singer: Asha Bhosle)
  9. Zindagi Jab Bhai (Singer: Talat Aziz) 
  10. Pratham Dhar Dhyan (Singers: Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan) 

Listen to the songs from Umrao Jaan here: 

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

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