Music Details of Pyaasa:
Music: S D Burman
Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi
Label: Saregama HMV
Director: Guru Dutt
It was in Guru Dutt's 1951 directorial debut Baazi that composer S D Burman first worked with lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi, a soundtrack that became the first hit in both Burman and Ludhianvi's respective careers. Between 1951 and 1957 the duo went on a voraciously productive spree, churning out as many as 18 soundtracks, producing some iconic songs along the way. By some quirk of fate, it was another Guru Dutt film that saw the unfortunate end of the partnership as well, incidentally the most significant body of work from the team. Pyaasa was as much a crowning achievement for the director-actor as it was for the composer and the lyricist; the trio seem to have fed off each other's genius to make it an all-round masterpiece. While Ludhianvi's poetry ranged from frivolous (Sar Jo Tera Chakraaye) to romantic (Hum Aapki Ankhon Mein/Jaane Kya Tune Kahi) to angst-ridden (Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye), Dada Burman's arrangement was the right mix of folk, classical and Western flavours so as to give prominence to the words.
Best Song of Pyaasa: Featured in most of the album's songs, Rafi and Geeta Dutt were both in topmost form throughout the soundtrack, the former's rendition of the powerful Yeh Duniya especially still considered among his best. My favourite from the album though, is the only song that did not have Rafi or Dutt, but Hemant Kumar. The singer's earnest delivery was perfect for the ode to unrequited love that Jaane Wo Kaise Log They Jinke Pyaar Ko Pyaar Mila was. With Burman's folk-infused melody, simple arrangement beautifully complementing Ludhianvi's poignant verse, it couldn't get more heart-rending than this.
On a related note: The Geeta Dutt song Jaane Kya Tune Kahi was an adaptation of a non-film Bengali song composed and sung by SD Burman, Mono Dilo Naa Bondhu.
The Pyaasa Playlist:
Listen to the playlist of Pyaasa:
(With contributions by Praveen VR, co-founder of musicaloud.com; information partly sourced from myswar.com)