It is he who introduced the era of electronic rock to Bollywood and went onto score some of the evergreen songs of Indian cinema. RD Burman has composed some of the biggest musical hits in the history of Hindi films. He was trained under Ali Akbar but he was also hugely influenced by Western music. It was with Mehmood's Chhote Nawab in 1961 that RD Burman released his first album as an independent music composer. But it was Guru Dutt who gave Panchamda his first break in Raaz. Unfortunately the project was shelved.
Early Life of RD Burman
RD Burman was born in Kolkata, was nicknamed Pancham, because, in his childhood, his cries sounded similar to the fifth note 'Pa' of the Indian musical scale. He received his early education at Ballygunge Government High School, Kolkata. After moving to Mumbai, he took sarod lessons from Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. RD Burman composed his first song at the age of nine. His father used the track in the 1956 film, 'Funtoosh'. The song "Sar jo tera chakraaye" from Pyaasa, was also composed by him as a child.
Career of RD Burman
Burman's music career began as father's assistant. He has composed for 331 movies in Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Oriya and Marathi. RD also composed TV Serials in Hindi and Marathi. He also released a few independent albums in Bengali (popularly known as modern songs).
In 1961, Mehmood's Chhote Nawab was Burman's first released movie as a music director, which was followed by the hit movie Teesri Manzil in 1968. It put the ace musician in the lead. Songs like "O Mere Sona Re", "Aaja Aaja Main hoon Pyar", "O Hashina Zulfon Wali" and others rocked the entire nation.
R D Burman was India's most popular composer in 1970s, famous for his unconventional tunes. He teamed up with singers like Asha Bhosle, Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar and many others to create Indian music history. In 1970s, RD Burman composed music for many popular movies, of which Kati patang, Seeta aur Geeta, Heera Panna, Rampur ka Lakshman, Shareef Badmash, and Bombay to Goa, Anamika, Mere Jeevan Saathi, Parichay, Apna Desh were the biggest musical hits.
In the Bengali film named Gayak, Burman made his acting debut. He also worked on few albums, including Pantera - an international album in which he collaborated with Latin American composer Jose Flores.
Personal Life of RD Burman
RD Burman was married to Rita Patel, but got divorced in 1971. Then he married singer Asha Bhonsle in 1980. Burman faced financial difficulties later in his life.
Awards of RD Burman
He won 3 Filmfare Best Music Director Awards in his lifetime for, Sanam Teri Kasam (1982), Masoom (1983) and 1942: A Love Story (1994)
Some of the landmark works by RD Burman include the following films:-
RD Burman spent his final years rather unpleasantly. Most of the films he composed for flopped at the box office. In 1994, '1942: A Love Story' became the only unforgettable score. It won him his last Filmfare Award.
Rahul Dev Burman died on 4th January 1994. Before that RD Burman suffered from a cardiac arrest in 1988, and in 1989. During this period, RD Burman composed many tunes, which were never released. RD Burman composed music for Vidhu Vinod Chopra's movie Parinda in 1989. He composed one song called Chhod Ke Na Jaana which was sung by Asha Bhosle for the movie "Gang". "Thenmavin Kombath", a Malayalam film by the director Priyadarshan was the last film he signed, but he died before he could score for the film.
After the death of R. D Burman, the remix versions of Burman's greatest hits dominated the Indian music charts. In 2008, 'Pancham Unmixed - Mujhe Chalte Jana Hai', a documentary film, was premiered at IIFLA in Los Angeles. It featured a host of close friends and admirers, reliving their memories and experiences with the musical genius.