THIS week marks the death anniversary of legendary songwriter Anand Bakshi, who passed away on March 30, 2002, aged 71. One of the greatest lyricists in Bollywood history, he was responsible for more than 4,000 songs and earned himself a record-breaking 40 nominations at the Filmfare Awards.

Eastern Eye decided to remember him on the anniversary of his passing by doing the impossible and going through more than 600 films to select his top 10 soundtracks.

Anand Bakshi

Jab Jab Phoole Khile (1965): A passion for poetry growing up led to Anand Bakshi becoming a Bollywood lyricist in the 1950s. He was bubbling away under the surface and rose up with the stunning soundtrack composed by Kalyanji-Anandji. He delivered the lyrics for songs that included iconic classics Pardesiyon Se Na Ankhiyan Milana and Ye Samaa Samaa Hai Pyar Ka, which helped the movie to become the second highest grosser of that year.

Milan (1967): The greatest musical partnership the ace lyricist had was with dynamic duo Laxmikant Pyarelal, and they worked on more than 300 soundtracks together. Their first big success was with the deeply meaningful songs for this emotional drama. Bakshi would get the first of his record-breaking Filmfare nominations for the unforgettable song Sawan Ka Mahina.

Aradhana (1969): As the 1960s drew to a close, the ace lyricist became massively in demand and hit top gear with this game-changing soundtrack. SD Burman delivered catchy melodies, but the film’s iconic songs were all about the wonderful words Bakshi delivered. Timeless songs like Mere Sapno Ki Rani, Kora Kagaz Tha Yeh Man Mera and Roop Tera Mastana would go on to entertain different generations. Lead star Rajesh Khanna was so taken by the songs that he insisted Bakshi write the lyrics for his subsequent films whenever possible.

Kati Patang (1971): The music director Bakshi had the second most prolific partnership with was RD Burman and they worked on nearly 100 soundtracks together. They had delivered the songs for Haré Rama Haré Krishna in 1971, but the standout soundtrack of that year was Kati Patang. It included superb songs like Yeh Shaam Mastani, Pyar Deewana Hota Hai, Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai and the inventive Mera Naam Hai Shabnam.

Sholay (1975): It may have been an action entertainer, but the record-breaking curry western had some incredible songs, which are still popular today. Bakshi teamed up with RD Burman to deliver solid gold gems like Yeh Dosti, Koi Haseena, Mehbooba Mehbooba, Holi Ke Din, and Haa Jab Tak Hai Jaan. There were also quality songs that didn’t make the final cut but were released later like cool qawwali Ke Chand Sa Koi Chehra, which is a rare number that features Bakshi’s voice.

Amar Akbar Anthony (1977): The all-time classic clocked up the highest box office figures for that year and a large part of its success was due to the stunning soundtrack. The dream team of Bakshi and musicians Laxmikant Pyarelal delivered truly terrific tracks such as Taiyabali Pyar Ka Dushman, Humko Tumse Ho Gaya Hai Pyar, Shirdi Wale Sai Baba and one of Hindi cinema’s greatest qawwalis Parda Hai Parda.

Karz (1980): Filmmaker Subhash Ghai has always been known to have great music in his films and a large part of that was due to Anand Bakshi writing the lyrics. He would pen songs for his hit films that included stunning soundtracks Hero (1983), Karma (1986), Ram Lakhan (1989), Khalnayak (1993) and Pardes (1997). Karz, their first great collaboration together, included the songs Om Shanti Om, Ek Haseena Thi and Dard-E-Dil, Dard-E-Jigar Dil Mein Jagaaya Aap Ne.

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995): Legendary filmmaker Yash Chopra had established a partnership with Anand Bakshi with great soundtracks like Chandni (1989) and Darr (1993). So, it would be inevitable that his son Aditya Chopra’s record-breaking directorial debut would have songs written by the maestro. The Jatin Lalit compositions were taken to a higher level by lyrics for songs like Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna, Tujhe Dekha To, Mere Khwabon Mein and Ho Gaya Hai Tujhko. Aditya Chopra would get Bakshi to write the lovely lyrics for his second directorial outing Mohabbatein (2000), which was one of his last great soundtracks before Bakshi’s passing.

Dil To Pagal Hai (1997): Director Yash Chopra had got Sahir Ludhianvi to pen songs for him and found it difficult to replace the lyricist after he died. Anand Bakshi finally filled that void and this was arguably the best collection of songs he wrote for the legendary filmmaker. The record-breaking Uttam Singh composed soundtrack included blockbuster hits such as Bholi Si Surat, Dholna, Le Gayi, Koi Ladki Hai (Chak Dum Dum) and of course, the title track.

Taal (1999): The lyrical maestro teamed up with AR Rahman for this soundtrack, which smashed records globally. Although Bakshi would win a Filmfare Best Lyrics award for Ishq Bina, there were plenty of other hits he wrote on there like Nahin Samne, Ramta Jogi, Taal Se Taal and Kahin Aag Lage. The songs were part of a stunning legacy of a legend, who left a great body of work behind.