It would not be wrong to state that Udit Narayan has dominated the male playback singing for the last 2 decades or so. The King of Bollywood playback singing has sung all kinds of songs and has collaborated successfully with each and every prominent music composer or singer. Much like few select legendary singers from the past, the best quality of Udit is that he has learned to impersonate the on-screen actor’s voice so perfectly that it seems like the actor is actually singing (special mention Aamir Khan).
Without much ado, let’s start with the list of 10 best songs of arguably the most successful singer of the 90s and 2000s.
1) Pehla Nasha: Nostalgic! In one of the most romantic songs ever, Udit has rendered soulful and emotive base vocals. This Jatin-Lalit melody grabs attention instantly and sounds even better after these many years. The track, penned by Majrooh Sultanpuri, was shot in complete show motion and has now become a cult song. Udit sang as if he was born to sing this song from ‘Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikandar’.
2) Jaadu Teri Nazar: Udit is in his complete elements in this track from ‘Darr’ composed by Shiv-Hari and written by Anand Bakshi. Their superb combined effort brings in the feel of obsessive love on screen. Narayan’s remarkable varying tones builds a castle of love and seeps well in mellowed softer arrangements. Song has superb recall value even after two decades.
3) Aye Mere Humsafar: ‘Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak’ gave not 1 but 4 star artists to Bollywood – Aamir Khan, Juhi Chawla, Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik. Narayan gave his heart to this Anand-Milind melody as he sounds completely raw in his first hit album. When I first saw the movie, I got an impression that it’s Aamir only who has lent his voice to all the songs. The enthusiasm and freshness in Udit’s voice has remained the same since 1988.
4) Main Yahaan Hoon: Magic! Sheer magic! Late Yash Chopra used Late Madan Mohan’s classic melodies for his epic musical lova saga ‘Veer Zaara’. This ever so romantic song becomes even more infectious with Udit’s mesmerizingly somber vocals as they suited SRK’s on screen persona to the T. A special art of quality voice modulation has made this song a pure gem.
5) Ghar Se Nikalte Hi: The beginning of this song when Udit starts humming connects you with it and the impact keeps on growing as the track progresses. This song is only mentionable because of Narayan’s vocals and nothing else as they are out of the world. Interestingly, it is the only Non Khan song in the list.
6) Mitwa: I cannot imagine any voice apart from Udit’s which can dominate the music of A.R. Rahman and makes the song his own rather than Rahman’s. Sukhvinder and Alka supported Udit well in this highly energetic and inspiring track from ‘Lagaan’.
7) Tere Naam: The true feelings of love oozed out of the voice of Udit in the title track of ‘Tere Naam’. Narayan single handedly carried one of the most successful music albums of past decade. He was exceptional in ‘Kyon Kisi Ko’ and ‘Tumse Milna’ as well. Udit passionate singing lightens up this slow mellow melody of Himesh Reshammiya.
8) Aye Ajnabi: This is one of the toughest songs to sing where Udit showed his wide range & versatility and hence makes singing look easier and simpler. A.R.Rahman’s composition from ‘Dil Se’ showcases the true colors and levels of Udit’s voice in this song.
9) Chand Chupa Badal Mein: Any great of Indian music must have been proud to see the way Udit sung this Ismail Darbar’s masterpiece from ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’. Alka makes a late entry but they both sound great together in this evergreen duet. A song for all times, video is enriched with the dynamic presence of Salman and Aishwarya.
10) Aaye Ho Meri Zindagi Mein: This Nadeem-Shravan’s simple melody required excellent and high-quality vocals to take it to heights and Udit’s effortless singing provided exactly that. This song from evergreen award winning album of All Time Blockbuster ‘Raja Hindustani’ is as good as it gets. Magic begins as soon as Udit starts with ‘Hmm Hmm Hmm….’. He was breathtaking in all the songs of this movie.
These are just 10 out of so many Udit Ji’s songs that we have heard over and over again. The list is endless as he has sung over 15000 songs in 33 languages.
Some gems are Kya Kare Kya Na Kare (Rangeela), Papa Kehte Hain (QSQT), Mehendi Laga Ke Rakhna (DDLJ), Dil To Pagal Hai – All Songs, Jaane Kyon (Dil Chahta Hai), Udd Ja Kaale (Gadar), Idhar Chala (Koi Mil Gaya), Ye Taara Wo Taara (Swades), Falak Tak (Tashan), Tu Cheez Badi (Mohra), Tune Zindagi Mei Aake (Humraaz), Agar Tum (Zeher), Pehle Kabhi (Baghban), Pardesi Pardesi (Raja Hidustani), Dil Ne Ye Kaha (Dhadkan), Khoobsoorat Hai (Rog), Raja Ko Rani Se(Akele Hum Akele Tum), Tum Paas Aaye (KKHH), Oo Saathiya (Saaya)… and the list can go on and on and on.
In short, we can have many top 10 Best songs lists of Udit Narayan.
Do list your 10 favorite songs of Udit Narayan in the comments section below.
With ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ lined up for release next week, stay tuned for the top ten songs of Ranbir Kapoor!
Abhishek Sharma tweets @abhu_sharma