It's the top-selling album of this decade
There’s no denying that when it comes to cinematic music, Bollywood soundtracks transcend time and capture a broad range of emotions.
The Hindi film industry has been a treasure trove of iconic songs that have resonated with millions around the globe.
These melodies are the heartbeats of Indian cinema, narrating tales of love, heartbreak, celebration, and unity.
Among the many facets of Bollywood, its soundtracks hold a special place in the hearts of music lovers.
It’s a realm where the magic of lyrics and harmonies combine to create something extraordinary.
In this exploration of the best-selling Bollywood soundtracks, we look at the most iconic songs and the movies that made them popular.
It’s important to note that these scores are based on physical sales and in today’s digital age, streaming statistics could render different results.
Yet, it’s crucial to pay homage to the legacy of Bollywood soundtracks that became a global phenomenon.
Aashiqui, the timeless masterpiece of 1990, stands as a testament to Nadeem-Shravan’s musical prowess.
For ardent music lovers, this album is a heartwarming treasure trove of romance.
Each track is a gem in its own right, making it a daunting task to pick the ultimate favourite.
Among the top contenders for this musical crown, we have enchanting melodies like ‘Jaane Jigar Janeman’, ‘Bas Ek Sanam Chahiye’, ‘Nazar Ki Samne’, and ‘Dheere Dheere Se Meri’.
These songs are adorned with Nadeem-Shravan’s signature jhankar beats, the lyrical magic of Sameer, and the sublime voices of Kumar Sanu and Anuradha Paudwal.
They are like a time machine, transporting us back to the sheer beauty of that era.
The collaboration between Nadeem-Shravan and Sameer is a stroke of genius, and their creation is etched in history as a classic.
Aashiqui is not just a relic of the past; it’s a timeless marvel that continues to resonate with music lovers to this day.
With over 25 million units sold, it’s no surprise that Aashiqui stands as the best-selling album of all time, for its magic is truly unparalleled in the world of music.
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
Yash Chopra’s cinematic creations have always been a symphony of emotions, and their musical endeavours have rarely missed the mark.
In the grand tapestry of Yash Chopra’s legacy, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge shines as a crowning jewel.
The musical maestros, Jatin-Lalit, were at the helm of this enchanting soundtrack, and their compositions continue to cast a spell on us even today.
The sounds of this film have etched themselves into the collective memory of music lovers.
The title of the finest gem undoubtedly belongs to ‘Tujhe Dekha To’.
This song is an enchanting masterpiece that has earned its place as one of the finest duets in the illustrious history of Bollywood music.
But let’s not forget the other radiant jewels that adorn this album such as ‘Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna’, ‘Ruk Jaa O Dil’, and ‘Ghar Aaya Mera Pardesi’.
Each of these tracks is a testament to the music of the heart, evoking a myriad of emotions with their notes.
It’s no wonder that Yash Chopra’s films have a consistent record of getting music right.
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge sold over 20 million albums, however, this figure could be much higher.
Mughal-E-Azam stands as a testament to the age-old adage that great things take time.
It took over a decade to craft this grand cinematic masterpiece, and in a production of such grandeur, every facet must shine brilliantly.
In the realm of Bollywood, music is the lifeblood that elevates a film to iconic status, and Naushad delivered a legendary score that continues to resonate.
Every note in the soundtrack of the movie is a lyrical experience, sung with exquisite brilliance.
From the timeless allure of ‘Jab Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya’ to the classical beauty of ‘Mohe Panghat Pe Nandlal’ to the haunting melodies of ‘Mohabbat Ki Jhoothi’, the movie is a mix of emotions.
‘Aye Mohabbat Zindabad’, ‘Yeh Dil Ki Lagi’, and the soul-stirring qawwali ‘Prem Jogan Ban Ke’ further add to the musical opulence of this classic.
It’s quite unfortunate that Mughal-E-Azam didn’t receive the Best Music award at the 1960 Filmfare Awards.
Regardless, it still stands as one of the greatest Bollywood soundtracks ever.
Bombay is one of the most popular Bollywood movies ever released.
The maestro behind this unforgettable score is none other than the genius, A.R. Rahman.
From the very first note, the Bombay soundtrack sweeps you into a captivating journey, evoking thoughts and memories like few others.
Rahman’s mastery lies in his ability to seamlessly blend Indian classical and folk music with Western elements, creating a harmonious and evocative sonic mood.
The album opens with ‘Hamma Hamma’, a groovy fusion of Indian and Western beats, setting the stage for the auditory feast that follows.
‘Kehna Hi Kya’ is a celestial melody that transports you to another realm, beautifully sung by K.S. Chithra and Kavita Krishnamurthy.
The enchanting ‘Tu Hi Re’ is a heart-wrenching ballad from Hariharan that tugs at your heartstrings.
And, one cannot forget the mesmerising ‘Kuchi Kuchi Rakamma’, a celebration of life and love, a true Rahman signature composition.
A.R. Rahman’s brilliance in seamlessly blending diverse influences, coupled with the heartwarming lyrics of Mehboob, makes this album a classic.
And with over 15 million soundtracks sold, Bombay is a journey worth revisiting time and time again.
Dil To Pagal Hai
Dil To Pagal Hai, the 1997 Bollywood romantic musical, is a sonic classic that made a huge impact on music lovers and Bollywood enthusiasts.
The music mogul behind this enchanting soundtrack is the one and only Uttam Singh.
This album is a musical journey that mirrors the emotions of love, passion, and the pursuit of one’s heart’s desire.
It’s a harmonious blend of classical Indian melodies with contemporary rhythms, offering a diverse range of musical experiences.
The heart of the album is the title track, ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’, a captivating ode to the complexities of love.
Udit Narayan’s mellifluous voice, Lata Mangeshkar’s timeless grace, and the beautiful choreography make this song a visual and auditory delight.
The album features the enchanting ‘Bholi Si Surat’, a gentle serenade that gorgeously highlights the innocence of love.
Whereas, ‘Le Gayi’ is a lively and exuberant track, sung with infectious energy that infuses a sense of euphoria.
One cannot forget to mention Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan’s vocals on ‘Pyar Kar’.
The partnerships on this soundtrack are truly a spectacle for the ears.
Having sold over 12.5 million units, Dil To Pagal Hai provided Indian cinema with a timeless project that encompassed what makes Bollywood so iconic.
Unveiling the crown jewel of Bollywood’s musical heritage, the 1949 classic Barsaat comes as no surprise.
This iconic album made history when it first graced the airwaves, swiftly becoming the highest-selling album of its time and reigning supreme as the top-selling gem of the 40s.
The legend of Barsaat also served as the springboard that launched Lata Mangeshkar, arguably the greatest singer Hindi cinema has ever known.
This magnum opus was the debut work of the prolific duo, Shankar-Jaikishan. To this day, Barsaat stands as a cherished cornerstone.
Lata’s vocals are showcased with remarkable finesse, as the album predominantly features her solo renditions.
The mellifluous ‘Hawa Mein Udta Jaye’, the poignant ‘Barsaat Mein Hum Se Mile’, and the irresistible ‘Mujhse Kisise Pyaar Ho Gaya’, are all solos that deserve a perfect ten.
Barsaat also harbours other gems, including Mohammed Rafi’s ‘Main Zindagi Main Hardam’.
In addition, two enchanting duets, ‘Patli Kumar Hai’ and ‘Chhod Gaye Balam’, feature the divine vocal pairing of Mukesh and Lata.
With such a plethora of talent, there’s no wonder that Rakesh Budhu of Planet Bollywood said:
“Barsaat is ideally one of Hindi cinema’s best soundtracks.”
Marking the beginning of Shankar-Jaikishan’s illustrious career, Barsaat stands as one of the greatest Bollywood soundtracks of all time.
Hum Aapke Hain Koun
Hum Aapke Hain Koun had the brilliant Raamlaxman behind this historic 1994 movie.
The soundtrack is an embodiment of love, celebration, and joy, much like the film itself.
It’s a delightful blend of Indian melodies, classical tunes, and contemporary beats that leave a lasting impact on the hearts of music enthusiasts.
The album begins with the charming ‘Dhiktana (Part 1)’, a jovial and infectious tune that instantly sets the tone for the joyful journey that follows.
It’s a celebration of family and togetherness.
‘Didi Tera Devar Deewana’ celebrates the playful banter between siblings and at the heart of the album is the soulful ‘Didi Tera Devar Deewana (Part 2)’, a melancholic variation of the earlier track.
However, the album’s jewel is ‘Pehla Pehla Pyar Hai’, a tender and romantic ballad by S.P. Balasubrahmanyam.
Having sold over 12 million units, Hum Aapke Hain Koun is not just a soundtrack; it’s a musical celebration of life, love, and relationships.
Raamlaxman’s compositions, along with Dev Kohli’s lyrics, create an album that embodies the essence of family and festivities.
When we talk about the music maestros who held sway over the melodic landscape of the 90s, Nadeem-Shravan’s name shines the brightest.
During that era, they were a relentless powerhouse, churning out unforgettable albums one after another.
Among their brilliant repertoire, Raja Hindustani remains an enduring classic, cherished by music aficionados to this day.
It proudly wears the badge of one of the top-selling albums of the 90s.
From the chart-topping sensation ‘Pardesi Pardesi’ to the exquisitely beautiful ‘Puchho Zara Puccho’, Raja Hindustani clinched the coveted Best Music award at the 1997 Filmfare Awards.
Nadeem-Shravan’s musical wizardry brought forth an album that not only dominated the sales charts but also captured the hearts of music enthusiasts.
The album sold over 11 million copies and remains an eternal testament to their brilliance that graced 90s music.
RK Films has a legacy of crafting cinematic wonders with impeccable musical scores, and Awaara stands as a shining example.
In fact, it’s not just a gem of the 50s; it reigns as the quintessential musical masterpiece of its era. It’s the top-selling album of this decade.
Every note in the Awaara album is etched in the annals of time, never losing its lustre.
Lata Mangeshkar’s rendition of ‘Ghar Aaya Mera Pardes’ is a song that easily claims its spot in the top 10 list of her finest works.
It’s an instant candidate for those soul-soothing rewinds.
But the album boasts a catalogue of stunning tracks such as ‘Dum Bhar Jo Udhar’, ‘Jab Se Balam’ and ‘Ek Do Teen’.
Awaara remains a source of inspiration for music enthusiasts longing for the magic of yesteryears.
Its melodies, even after 70+ years, continue to enthral and remind us of the timeless beauty that graced the music of RK Films.
Yash Chopra delivered another sublime musical experience with his 1989 movie, Chandni.
Starring Sridevi, Rishi Kapoor, and Sushma Seth, the film was a box-office sensation during its release.
The soundtrack, composed by Shiv-Hari, would go on to sell over 10 million copies and is an example of a certain magic within Hindi scores.
From the timeless allure of ‘Mere Haathon Mein Nau Nau’ to the endearing ‘Lagi Aaj Sawan Ki’, Chandni stands as a masterpiece in its own right.
It’s no surprise that this album found its place among the top-selling gems of the 80s.
Maine Pyar Kiya
In Barjatya films, a consistent hallmark of their cinematic offerings is the presence of exceptional and melodious music.
While their movies often cater to family audiences, the true essence of their musical mastery deserves special recognition.
In their illustrious career, Maine Pyar Kiya reigns supreme.
Released in the waning moments of 1989, the movie made an indelible impact on the music landscape.
Its accolades are a testament to its colossal success: not only was it the chart-topping sensation of 1989, but it also proudly holds the title of the biggest hit of the entire 80s.
What makes this more remarkable is its timeless appeal, enchanting listeners across generations.
Moreover, Maine Pyar Kiya marked the inception of one of Bollywood’s iconic superstars, Salman Khan, adding an extra layer of significance to its legacy.
At the heart of this musical masterpiece lies ‘Dil Deewana’, an enchanting gem sung impeccably by Lata Mangeshkar and SP Balasubramaniam.
The album’s magic doesn’t stop there, and other delights include ‘Aaye Mausam Dosti Ki’, ‘Mere Rang Mein Rangne Wali’, and ‘Kahe Toh Se Sajna’.
With such compelling and emotive tracks, it’s no wonder the album would go on to sell well over 10 million copies.
It’s a statement of pure musical truth to assert that SD Burman’s magnum opus, Aradhana, is the pinnacle of his illustrious career.
When many fans consider compiling the most legendary songs in the history of Bollywood, one can wager that ‘Mere Sapnon Ki Rani’ and ‘Roop Tera Mastana’ will make the prestigious lineup.
These songs are timeless echoes that resonate through the corridors of music history.
In every aspect of singing, lyrical finesse, and musical composition, they emerge as unrivalled champions.
Yet, Aradhana is not a two-horse race but a triumphant trio.
The album also has ‘Kora Kagaaz Tha Yeh Man Mera’, one of the most sublime love duets ever to grace Bollywood.
These three songs alone elevate Aradhana to greatness.
But of course, the highest-selling Bollywood soundtracks don’t rely on just three songs.
This one in particular also boasts ‘Gun Guna Rahe Hain'” and ‘Saphal Ho Tera Aradhana’, among others.
Aradhana is more than just a film; it’s the catalyst that skyrocketed Rajesh Khanna into the pantheon of Bollywood stardom.
Subhash Ghai’s 1993 movie Khalnayak produced one of the finest soundtracks of the 90s and retained its timeless appeal.
Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Subhash Ghai’s favoured music maestros, once again weave their magic on this score.
This album witnessed the birth of the chartbuster ‘Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai’.
Despite its controversial lyrics, the song soared to immense popularity.
Its musical composition, coupled with the remarkable vocals of Alka Yagnik and Ila Arun, secured them the prestigious 1994 Filmfare Award.
Alka, in her prime, takes centre stage with ‘Palki Pe Hoke Sawaar’, a composition where her harmonies mix exquisitely with the musical arrangement, making it a standout in the album.
Likewise, the enchanting ‘Nayak Nahin, Khalnayak Hai Tu’ boasts remarkable performances by Vinod Rathod and Kavita Krishnamurthy.
With over 10 million copies sold, this soundtrack is for those who appreciate soft melodies and hold a fondness for Subhash Ghai’s cinematic oeuvre.
Again with over 10 million albums sold, Bewafa Sanam’s soundtrack strikes a chord with music lovers.
The musical brilliance behind this film is from the versatile duo of Nikhil-Vinay.
This soundtrack is a journey through emotions, heartbreak, and poignant melodies.
It perfectly encapsulates the sentiment of love, loss, and the complexities of human relationships, making it a relatable and soul-stirring collection of songs.
The album kicks off with ‘Achha Sila Diya Tune Mere Pyar Ka’, a heart-wrenching song about the pain of betrayal.
However, the depth of the songs continues with ‘Bedardi Se Pyar Ka Sahara Na Mila’ and ‘Dard To Rukne Ka’.
However, fans can also rejoice in tracks like ‘Teri Gali Vichchon Uthe’ which is a rhythmic and vibrant Punjabi number that adds a touch of liveliness to the album.
Nikhil-Vinay’s compositions, coupled with the evocative lyrics, create an album that resonates with anyone who has experienced the rollercoaster of emotions in matters of the heart.
Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai
In the year 2000, a resounding applause in the form of the Best Music Award resounded for the cinematic masterpiece that initiated the Hrithik Roshan phenomenon.
Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai marked a new era in Bollywood, and its musical allure was pivotal to its success.
The soundtrack of this film holds the key to its timeless charm, with two prime jewels: ‘Naa Tum Jaano Na Hum’ and ‘Ek Pal Ka Jeena’.
Both songs served as the debut platform for the gifted singer Lucky Ali.
These songs reigned supreme on the music charts of their time, catapulting Ali into instant stardom.
The album further graces us with other hit tracks like ‘Pyaar Ki Kashti Mein’ and ‘Chand Sitare’.
Each composition reflects the genius of Rajesh Roshan, who crafted an album that not only stood the test of time but continues to resonate with music lovers even today.
Having sold well over 10 million albums, this masterpiece deserves all its recognition.
Through the best-selling Bollywood soundtracks, we find that these albums are time capsules that capture the emotions, stories, and dreams of generations.
From the fiery compositions of A.R. Rahman to the timeless symphonies of Lata Mangeshkar, each soundtrack is a testament to the magnificence of Hindi music.
Hindi songs and Bollywood soundtracks have an enduring legacy that will continue to shine throughout the decades.