Sa Re Ga Ma/ RPG
Lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni
Music by Naushad
Rating: ***** (beyond outstanding)
CD Price Rs.125/ Tape Rs.55
Yes, there are Shakeel Badayuni’s lyrical pearls cascading in a flow that you want to grasp in a gasp of appreciation.
But still, words fail you as you listen to this transcreation of a timeless soundtrack created 44 years ago. We’ve grown up listening to all the tuneful Taj Mahals created by the mighty Naushad.
It was said that this was the only composer whose name appeared above even the film’s title in the hoardings. Listen to the opulence, the sheer epic grandiosity of the sound he creates for Lata Mangeshkar, the sweetest, most tuneful throat that God ever produced, and you’d agree Naushad’s awesome reputation is entirely deserved.
And then there’s the transcreation. The entire soundtrack has been re-recorded by Uttam Singh, Gurmeet Singh and Naushad’s son Raju. If you’ve heard the original soundtrack the startling sound quality achieved in the digital stereophonic avatar would want you to raise a toast to the enterprising spirit of the creative persons behind this dream project who have lifted a timeless soundtrack to a sphere far beyond time and trends.
Wisely, the new version of the Mughal-e-Azam soundtrack places all eight solos by Lata Mangeshkar plus her qawwalli Teri mehfil mein kismet azma kar (with Shmshad Begum) all together.
Lataji is, after all, the soul of the sound in Mughal-e-Azam. What would Madhubala be without that beauty-defining voice singing the efferevescent,enchanting and nourishing Pyar kiya to darna kya, Mohe panghat pe , Ae ishq sab duniyawale or the heartbreaking and dirgeful Mohabbat ki jhooti kahani pe roye, Humen kaash tumse mohabbat na hoti, Bekas pe karam kijiye and Khuda nigahenban?
Every track has been re-recorded with a meticulous care passion and precision that preserve the pristine and sublime quality in Lataji’s voice while at the same time, transforming the original soundtrack into an altogether new magical and momentous experience.
Mention must be made of the legendary classical vocalist Bade Ghulam Ali Khan who broke his classical diktat to sing Prem jogan ban and Shubh din aayo for this exhilarating life-changing album.
The way incidental sounds coalesce into the larger epic design of the compositions in a format that exudes the scent of nostalgia-rejuvenated, is indeed a marvel of technical and artistic creation.
The use of the chorus in Pyar kiya to darna and Teri mehfil mein kismet is so broadened, it actually enhances the beauty of the original composition. Then there’s Mohd Rafi singing his only solo Ae mohabbat zindabad in this soundtrack, saying zindabad to the spirit of immortal love that this album celebrates so effectively.
But the soundtrack clearly belongs to the Nightingale. From the spiritual Ras-Leela frolic of Mohe panghat to the sound of the breaking heart in Bekas pe karam kijiye, she imparts to the sound a texture of beauty that transcends all human definition or description.
There are no words to describe what this album achieves. It's a monument of melody transformed by the sheer creative genius of a team that takes our breath away even while giving a new life breath and breadth to an experience that goes beyond precincts of a musical experience.
Go for the past. Now.