Between Shankar and Jaikishan who was the more gifted one? This debate surrounding musical duos has existed from the time Shankar-Jaikishan hyphened their super career, to the time of Nadeem-Shravan and Jatin-Lalit. Here are some of the superhit S-J’s chartbusters which were specifically created by Shankar.
1. Pyar hua ikraar hua(Shri 420,1955): Raj Kapoor gave S-J their first break in Barsaat in which Lata Mangeshkar broke out as a super-singer. The film featured a truckload of hit songs. Raj Kapoor’s Shri 420 came 6 years later. This immortal Lata-Manna Dey duet was composed by Shankar, and it’s to this day remembered for the passing shot in the film of Raj Kapoor’s three children Randhir Rishi and Ritu. Manna Dey once wondered how he got to sing this ultra-romantic duet with Lataji when Raj Kapoor’s voice was Mukesh.
2. Aaj kal tere mere pyar ke charche(Bramhachari, 1968): Most of the songs in this Shammi Kapoor film were composed by Shankar. This one is remembered to this day by for its zingy dancefloor beat and Mohammed Rafi’s peppy singing. Oh by the way, that female voice singing for Mumtaz is not Lata Mangeshkar. It’s Suman Kalyanpur. This song was recorded during that prolonged phase when Lataji and Rafi Saab had stopped singing together. Lata-soundalike Suman made hay while the coldwar lasted.
3. Titli udi(Sharda, 1966): In the mid-60s Shankar had a major rift with his professional partner Jaikishan over “singer” Sharda whom Shankar took a shine to and pushed into his music although everyone(barring the besotted) could hear she couldn’t carry a single note properly. Love, we heard, is blind. Shankar proved it’s deaf too.Among the atonal chartbusters that Ms Sharda “sang” was this sprightly impish Asha Bhosle styled number. Imagine if a real singer had rendered this.It would taken wings.
4. Bol radha bol sangam hoga ke nahin(Sangam;1965): By the mid-60s Shankar-Jaikishan had out-distanced all other film composers, rolling out hit after hit after hit…. In Sangam Mukesh had a chartbuster each with Shankar and Jaikishan. While Jaikishan composed the immortal song betrayal Dost dost na raha, Jaikishan did the playful Mere mannki ganga tere mann ki jamuna bol radha bol sangam hoga ki nahin.The song has a attractive guest appearance by Vyjanthimala. I don’t think she is heard in any other song.
5. Chal sanyasi mandir mein(Sanyasi; 1975): After Jaikishan’s untimely death in 1971 Shankar struggled along composing music alone though he stuck to the Shankar-Jaikishan brand name.In 1975 he had one last flash of success with this Manoj Kumar-Hema Malini starrer where Manoj Kumar personally requested Lataji to do the singing honours. She gave Shankar a blazing gallery of chartbusters in Sanyasi: Sun bal brahmachari, Bali umaraiya, Yeh hai geeta ka gyan and this, the title song where she played the seductive Menaka to Mukesh’s meditating “bal” (Manoj Saab was pushing 50) brahmachari . That titli which never took wings, long forgotten.