If I say ‘Sharaabi’, what comes to your mind first?
Of course, the 1984 Amitabh Bachchan-starrer directed by Prakash Mehra! For musical context, the film’s soundtrack won its composer, Bappi Lahiri, the Filmfare Best Music Director Award in 1984.
And which song comes to your mind first, from the film? For most people, it’d be ‘Inteha Ho Gayi Intezaar Ki’. Let me address that after I attend to more pressing things.
To begin with, the film’s plot was inspired generously by the Hollywood film Arthur starring Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli. The same original was free-made in Kannada too, titled Nee Thanda Kanike, starring Vishnuvardhan, in 1985. Years later, in 2004, Anurag Basu free-made Arthur again, as Tumsa Nahin Dekha, starring Emraan Hashmi and Dia Mirza.
Having settled the plot’s inspiration, let us start with the first song in Sharaabi. The title credits for the film starts when Vicky Kapoor (Bachchan) meets 5 people in the bus stop, on the way to Pascal’s ‘adda’ for a drink! Vicky, being a drunkard himself, opens his car’s boot, a mobile bar of sorts. They get their drinks and start singing the first song in the film, ‘Jahaan Chaar Yaar’.
Listen to ‘Jahaan Chaar Yaar’:
That song is a direct and blatant lift from a Bangla song, ‘Bondhu teen din’ from the 1980 Bangladeshi film, ‘Koshai’. The film had music by Alauddin Ali (also referred to as Alif Alauddin). The original was sung by Runa Laila, with whom Sharaabi’s composer, Bappi Lahiri worked very famously, even launching her Indian career with the album Superuna, in 1982.
Listen to ‘Bondu Teen Din’ (Koshai, 1980):
Listen to Runa Laila singing the song for BBC Asian Magazine, 1984:
Now, let’s get to the most famous song from Sharaabi – ‘Inteha Ho Gayi Intezaar Ki’.
The mukhda and antara are Bappi’s own. But, when the song pivots to a different, racy tune as Jaya Prada dances her way down the stairs, Bappi gets down to business. That entire part, till the song ends, owes a LOT to ‘The Runner’, by the American all-woman vocal group, The Three Degrees. The song was produced by Giorgio Moroder, and it was part of the 1978 album, New Dimensions.
Listen to The Runner, by The Three Degrees (1978):