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R.D. Burman

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Biography

R.D. Burman has influenced the bollywood music more than any other music director of his times and brought glitzy dance-oriented music to the stagnated techniques of the '70s. His approach, which takes cues from Western rock and electronic music and amalgamates it perfectly with Indian chorus and rhythm-based melodies is unprecedented and years ahead of his time. The use of new recording techniques and instruments reflected upon the changing attitude of his audience and acted as a trendsetting innovation to the Indian music industry. Rahul Dev Burman (popularly known as Pancham) was born in Calcutta, India to the renowned music director S.D. Burman. In his initial years, Rahul learned the basics of rhythm from tabla maestro Brajen Biswas and sarod from Ali Akbar Khan and later Ashish Khan. He entered the bollywood music industry as an assistant to his father with Pyaasa being the first official film. Rahul's first break as an independent music director came through the film Raaz. Unfortunately, the film was dropped and the unused songs were used for Chote Nawab. In 1966, Rahul gave music for the film Teesri Manzil which became his first box office hit. In early 1970's, Rahul's became the most preferred music directors of his era with hits for films like Kati patang, Amar prem, Buddha mil gaya, Caravan, and Hare Rama Hare Krishna. The song "Dum Maro Dum" from the film Hare Rama Hare Krishna became a hippy anthem of its times and was used in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories soundtrack in 2006. Rahul also sang at times with his grunt bass laden voice; most notable of these being "Mehbooba Mehbooba" from the film Sholay and "Duniya Mein" from Apna Desh. R.D. Burman gave some of the biggest hits of 1970's and early 80's including films like Aandhi, Kinara, Khusboo, Parichay and Golmaal. However, his career took a dip by late 80's with the advent of the disco styled dance music. Most of his music failed to make any significant impression on his audience except that of Sagar and Ijaazat. 1942: A Love Story; released after his death; won him his third Filmfare Award. ~ Bhasker Gupta
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