Artists at Their Peak

There is something special about artists who are at their peak form. I am going to talk of a few Hindi music and film greats that I remember. All of them made an impact.

The sixties and seventies saw a few singers at their greatest form. These include Kishore Kumar, Mohammad Rafi, Manna Dey, Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. My favourites were Kishore and Asha, but all of them produced many great songs. There were also heroes at their peak. Rajesh Khanna (Aradhana, Kati Patang, Anand, Aap ki Kasam), Dharmendra (Aadmi aur Insaan, Aankhen, Blackmail, up to Yadon ki Baraat) , Dev Anand (from Jewel Thief to Johny Mera Naam), Sanjeev Kumar (Manchali, Manoranjan, Koshish, Aandhi, Sholay) and so on.

Of course, in music, we had RD Burman, Laxmikant Pyarelal, Kalyanji Anandji who dominated the landscape, with their superhit numbers. Filmmakers in my view included Basu Chatterji (Rajnigandha, Chitchor, Chhoti si Baat, Shaukeen), Hrishikesh Mukherjee (Golmaal, Chupke Chupke), Gulzar (Parichay, Aandhi), and Nasir Husain (Yaadon Ki Baraat, Hum Kisise Kum Nahin), Manmohan Desai (Amar Akbar Anthony, Roti). Govind Nihalani with Aakrosh and Ardh Satya.

In classical Hindustani music, we had Bhimsen Joshi, unparalleled in many ways. In instrumentals, Shiv Kumar Sharma and Hariprasad Chaurasia. whom I have also heard live. Ghulam Ali, Pankaj Udhas and Mehdi Hasan, and Jagjit Singh in ghazals.

I feel fortunate that so many of these artists were at the peak and I along with my friends and contemporaries enjoyed their wonderful performances.

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