"It’s very difficult to repeat anything like this again.”
It has been 30 years since the release of Mahesh Bhatt’s Aashiqui in 1990 and it continues to be celebrated for its spellbinding music.
Despite the film being panned by critics and audiences, Aashiqui’s music soundtrack has allowed the film to enjoy successful longevity.
Music lovers of all ages have been captivated by the melodious tracks produced by music directors Nadeem Akhtar Saifi and Shravan Kumar Rathod.
Combining the two, they became the formidable duo of Nadeem-Shravan.
In fact, the composer duo established their careers with the success of the film’s soundtrack.
Lead vocalist, Kumar Sanu also catapulted to stardom. Undoubtedly, his harmonious voice received praise and he continues to be a fan favourite.
The soundtrack album also holds the record for the best-selling album in Bollywood highlighting its evergreen music.
We explore the success of Aashiqui’s music.
Originally an Album
Interestingly, the soundtrack for Aashiqui was originally meant to be solely an album titled, Chaahat.
However, it was later created into a film based on the music.
Speaking to BBC Asian Network, singer Kumar Sanu, actor Rahul Roy and actress Anu Aggarwal revealed anecdotes about the film and its music.
Kumar Sanu opened up about how it was, in fact, the music that inspired the story for the film. He explained:
“Firstly, the film’s songs were not the film’s songs, it was an album. The album was named Chaahat.
“We recorded ten songs and when Mahesh (Bhatt) arrived at the studio by chance. Gulshan (Kumar) said to Mahesh, ‘I am making a new album and all the songs have been recorded. Listen to it.’
“Mahesh said, ‘This is not an album song it belongs in a film. They are filmy style songs.’
“So Gulshan told him to put them in a film. Mahesh asked, ‘What film shall we put them in? If you give me the songs, we will write a story around it.’
“The songs were given to Mahesh who then wrote a story around them. My first recording was ‘Nazar Ke Saamne’. We were born from the film.”
Kumar Sanu became a household name with the release of Aashiqui’s soundtrack. His popularity and melodious voice saw him win his first-ever Filmfare Award.
He further explained how the film’s music changed the course of popular music in India. Sanu said:
“At that time, it was about break dancing and disco dancer. After Aashiqui, it changed. Melody music was reborn.
“Aashiqui worked like medicine. There will be no film in the next 100 years which will have all hit songs. It is the highest-selling Indian music.”
Speaking about the popularity of the film and how it made history, Rahul Roy said:
“Three months before the film’s release the marketing for the music began. No one knew that the nine songs would become a global phenomenon.
“During those days, there was no social media. If people liked the song they heard on the radio and with word of mouth publicity they were the organic followers.
“At that time, it was already booked that the Friday, Saturday and Sunday shows were full all over India.
“These were not these small multiplex cinemas, they were single theatres with 1,200 seats to 1,500 seats.
“In the 1990s, black tickets were going for Rs 1,500 (£15.36). This film was making history before its release.
“When the film released I went to the Metro Cinema with producer Mukesh Bhatt for the 12 pm showing.
“700-800 people were outside for one showing. When the song started, ‘Ek Sumun Chaiye Ek Aashique Liye’ Kumar Sanu’s voice became mine.
“He sang it so beautifully and people were throwing money at the curtains.”
He further added that the story and music resonated with fans everywhere who felt a personal connection with the film and its music. He said:
“Whenever these songs are played they do not only belong to the film. The Aashiqui love story is everyone’s story.
“Over the last 30 years, we have met millions of people who have said, ‘When your film released I met my wife or I met my first girlfriend.’
“The story and the songs became a part of people’s lives and that is why it created a history of 30 years.
“Today, it’s very difficult to repeat anything like this again.”
Known as the finest music ever produced in Bollywood, the soundtrack of Aashiqui continues to live in the hearts of millions of fans worldwide.
The soundtrack changed the course of music in the 1990s, which saw romantic songs and ‘Ghazal-like’ music dominate the time.
The songs were composed by the duo, Nadeem-Shravan while the lyrics were written by Sameer, Madan Pal and Rani Malik.
Aashiqui’s music launched the composer duo into stardom as well as the music banner, T-Series.
Thirty years later the music continues to captivate listeners. In fact, the music appeals to a vast audience from the 1990 generation to contemporary listeners.
Lending her voice as the female vocalist, Anuradha Paudwal enchanted listeners with her majestic voice.
Kumar Sanu sang nine tracks from the album with Nitin Mukesh and Udit Narayan singing a song each. Needless to say, the three male vocalists simply delight.
Nadeem and Shravan are known for their Jhankar Beats, which also include the rhythmic sounds of the piano and saxophone.
This composition can be found in the film’s tracks. The opening track, ‘Jaane Jigar Jaaneman’ instantly catapults viewers into the world of the film.
In fact, this song is repeated twice as well as the song, ‘Dil Ka Aalam’.
‘Main Duniya Bhula Doonga’ is another wonderful song where Kumar Sanu beautifully executes the romantic meaning behind the lyrics through his voice.
Featuring harmonica intervals alongside melodious violin composition and a light drum base, the song perfectly mirrors the emotions experienced by the characters.
The title track, ‘Bas Ek Sanam Chaahiye’ is sung in both a male and female voice (Kumar Sanu and Anuradha Paudwal).
The mesmerising orchestration is certainly spellbinding, making it one of the best songs from the soundtrack.
Listen to Bas Ek Sanam Chaahiye
Another fan favourite is the hit track, ‘Dheere Dheere Se’. Unlike the other songs, ‘Dheere Dheere Se’ begins with a rather techno-style beat.
Listen to Dheere Dheere
Interestingly, cover versions for the song have been released. Artist Yo Yo Honey Singh released an adaptation of the song titled, ‘Dheere Dheere’ in 2015.
The video featuring Hrithik Roshan and Sonam Kapoor garnered a staggering 5 million views in four days of its release.
Notably, some of the less popular songs from the soundtrack are ‘Dil Ka Aalam’ and ‘Ab Tere Bin.’
The Aashiqui soundtrack consists of an amazing twelve songs. These include:
- ‘Jaane Jigar Jaaneman’
- ‘Main Duniya Bhula Doonga’
- ‘Bas Ek Sanam Chaahiye’ (Male)
- ‘Bas Ek Sanam Chaahiye’ (Female)
- ‘Nazar Ke Saamne’
- ‘Tu Meri Zindagi Hain’
- ‘Dil Ka Aalam’
- ‘Ab Tere Bin’
- ‘Dheere Dheere Se’
- ‘Mera Dil Tere Liye’
- ‘Jaane Jigar Jaaneman (II)
- ‘Dil Ka Aalam’ (II)
The spectacular soundtrack of Aashiqui is largely credited for the film’s overall success.
Reportedly, the film was made with a budget of Rs. 20 lakhs (£2,560.58). It went on to achieve box office success, gaining Rs. 2.50 crore (£256,057.72).
Undoubtedly, the music had a significant part to play in the film’s credit as an all-time blockbuster hit.
A sequel to the 1990 film was made in 2013, titled, Aashiqui 2. The film starred Aditya Roy Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor in the lead roles.
Nevertheless, Aashiqui’s music continues to be loved and enjoyed today. There is certainly nothing else quite like it.