Why Composer Viju Shah’s Return—With Netflix’s Class of 83—Has Got Us Excited, Film Companion

Viju Shah is one of the Hindi film composers who rode the international synth wave of the 80s. Before Shah there was Biddu, of course, who created a sensation with “Aap Jaisa Koi” (from Feroz Khan’s Qurbani). But while Biddu’s mainstay wasn’t Bollywood, Shah—son of Kalyanji of Kalyanji-Anandji— kept the flag flying for electronic music in film songs. In the beginning there were the hits that came during his stint as an assistant to Kalyanji-Anandji, in which he contributed majorly, before he went solo with Rajiv Rai’s Vishwatma (1992).

Although never not completely untainted by plagiarism (from Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan to Pet Shop Boys), Shah had a distinct sound—most notably associated with Rai’s thrillers from the 90s including Mohra and Gupt—that can be characterised by synth bass lines, a generous employment of sampling, along with the traditional elements of the Hindi film song: tabla, dholak, sitar and so on, and a prominence of melody.

As the composer makes a return with Atul Sabharwal’s Class of 83, starring Bobby Deol, here’s a Viju Shah playlist (including his work under KA) to take you back to the 80s and 90s.

Kya Hua Kya Nahi, Yudh (1985)

Pyaar Do, Pyaar Lo, Jaanbaaz (1986)

Gali Gali Mein Firta Hai Tu Kyun, Tridev (1989)


Saat Samundar Paar, Vishwatma (1992)

Tip Tip Barsa Paani, Mohra (1994)

Aankh Maare, Tere Mere Sapne (1996)

Mushkil Bada Yeh Pyaar Hai, Gupt (1997)

Makhna, Bade Miya Chhote Miya (1998)

Chaand Ho Na Ho, Pyaar, Ishq aur Mohabbat (2001)

Pal Pal Soch, Tujhe Meri Kasam (2003)

Teri Dekh Dekh Ladkaiyan, Asambhav (2004)

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